Happy Birthday City Vista Safeway!

Can you believe that it’s been one year since the Safeway at 5th and L opened?

Sure, there have been restocking issues, and I’ve found that the self checkouts always have at least one terminal out-of-order. The promise of a gourmet prepared foods section doesn’t really live up to the hype. The nut bar faced its fair share of jokes, and there may have been some misguidance in assigning aisles (the narrow beer/dairy aisle is a complete mess!). Yelpers are split in positive and negative reviews as well.

While this location still has a few kinks to work out, anything is an improvement to the Shaw Giant, in my opinion.

By the way, we’ve speculated over the nickname for this Safeway outpost but I don’t think we’ve come to a decision–will it really wind up being the Sexy Safeway? I guess only time will tell…

Editor’s note: While I almost always walk to the Safeway I did drive there four times over this first calendar year despite my condo being < 2 blocks away. How many of you that live within a few short blocks confess to driving more often than walking?

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  1. 2

    PQS says

    We live in the Sonata and we drive every time. It's sad to admit it but it’s true. We walked for the first two months or so but parking there is sooooo easy and we found it a pain to carry a week's worth of groceries home even if it’s only a few blocks away. We walk if we just need to grab a few things but other than that, its the car.

  2. 5

    ACY says

    It should be called exactly what it is….the Tranny Ghetto Safeway. Sad to say, but I live only 2 blocks away from the place, but would rather rent a Zipcar and drive all the way to Virginia and shop at Trader Joes. It's a much nicer shopping experience and it's unfortunate that we can't have this in our new Safeway.

  3. 6

    massysett says

    Service there is terrible. The lines are always way too long. Sometimes I walk in there, see the line, and just leave. Obviously the company is too cheap to increase the payroll. If I just need some ice cream or toiletries I would rather go to CVS, which likely costs more but there is no line.

  4. 7

    si says

    i'm partial to swanky safeway though the swank has faded. despite the problems you thoroughly list i love having it there so close, its like paradise. confession we drove just once but only because we were on our way home from somewhere. its the granny cart for me!

    some bright spots, the flower lady is so sweet and i am really pleased with the consistent quality of the blooms. Starbucks is VASTLY improved on many levels. The produce guys are super friendly and their dept looks way better now too than when it started. and the best part? not having to go to giant anymore. It'll be great for shaw when they finally do build the new one but it cant happen fast enough.

  5. 9

    Steven says

    I live in the K, so I always walk there. It's not a great grocery store in all respects, but I like being able to get the basics there (milk, salad, beer/wine, cheese, bread, etc.). The lines are often terrible, and I was really frustrated with them at first–until I learned to go during off peak times when the store's virtually empty. Much more pleasant experience.

    And despite all the complaints, I think it's much, much better than having no grocery store near by. It was a major consideration for me when moving to the area, and it does bring a lot of foot traffic to the area. That foot traffic helps the retail and makes our streets livelier than they would be otherwise.

    I still shop at other store sometimes, though: Trader Joe's in DC, Whole Foods, and Costco.

  6. 10

    Scenic Artisan says

    i prefer "swanky", though "sex worker safeway" was funny as hell.
    i like the place, but i'm not a one grocery store man. i run around with other places since i like a lot of variety in my food.

    all in all its one of the better designed stores in dc, except for the dairy /beer aisle. both safeway and giant seem to be lagging behind every other grocery store in the world in training their checkout people, but over all, i think its fine. i'm certainly glad its there.

  7. 11

    R&A says

    Yes, the trick to the lines is timing. I admit to walking in for one or two items at 6pm during the week and walking out again.

    But it is open until something like midnight and again at 5am every day. While hitting it right after work, is sure to be a pain, 11pm is almost always a breeze. (You'd think Safeway would realize this and plus up staff from 5pm to 8pm during the week…)

  8. 12

    pqresident says

    not sure where that Sexy Safeway moniker started but it's come to be the Standard Safeway for me. I get all the standard foodstuffs I need at standard prices and it's a standard distance from where I live, seven blocks away. it's been a much improved year having that Safeway open.

    I walk only when for an impulsive ice cream run. otherwise, I drive and bundle it with other errands that require driving. I have never had any issues with the service except for the odd long line. if I want Chilean Sea Bass for $24 per pound or tasty, more moderately priced pecan bars, the Whole Foods at 14th and P isn't going anywhere. [grin]

    I will add that parking at the Standard (Sexy) Safeway is always fantastic compared to when I lived in the 'burbs and rarely landed a parking spot close to the store's entrance (a Giant).

  9. 13

    Anonymous says

    I think Sex Worker Safeway really sums it up….! I can't imagine walking to that place. Whenever I have time, I still head to Happy Harris Teeter in VA.

  10. 14

    fahdp says

    i do my groceries out in virginia. the service at this safeway is a complete and utter disaster. you can literally stand in line for 30 mins. i really hate that place.

  11. 16

    Sameena says

    I lived in the Meridian for 2 and a half years and suffered through the Shaw Giant (which all my coworkers told me was the Rape Lot Giant due to 3 infamous rapes that had occurreed a few years prior). This store routinely had pigs' feet but nothing crazy fancy and exotic like, you know, shredded carrots. My husband wouldn't let me go to my "Giant in the Hood" after dark. So I ended up driving to Snobby Safeway way over on Wisconsin or circling the Logan Circle Whole Foods parking lot for 20 minutes (and leaving more than once because I couldn't find a spot). And actually, I just tended to Peapod a lot and get frustrated with how much stuff was not available online.

    I live on Capitol Hill but really prefer to shop at this Safeway over my Capitol Hill/Scary Safeway. I must shop at the right times because the only reason I come to this one is that the aisles are less crowded, things are much better restocked, and there's more self-serve terminals here than on Capitol Hill. All around it's a more pleasant experience.

    That being said, because I only work downtown now and don't live there, I'm always shopping during the week between 12-4p.m. So perhaps I'm missing all your long line, empty shelf issues.

    BTW, the Capitol Hill Harris Teeter really is no better than our Safeway. If I was driving to another store, it would definitely be Trader Joes' or Whole foods.

    What do we have to do to get some more organic produce or proteins? The tiny selection of fruits/veggies and meats is pitiful.

  12. 17

    Anonymous says

    I live right above it in the V and it's been convenient to just walk downstairs, so I can't complain there. I can complain, as everyone else has, with the terrible service. And this is constant, not just during peak hours. Though I'd love having the grocery workers smile and greet customers (which doesn't happen at all), I'd settle for just being able to get through the line quicker than 30 minutes.

    Side note to all the people who drive to Safeway: There is FREE underground parking below Safeway. Please stop parking on the street and taking spots away from people who actually live there and need to park at night. Though I'm sure no one who reads this blog is probably doing this, help me out by spreading the word…