NoMa Harris Teeter Opens tonight

The new Harris Teeter at 1st & M Streets NE in the NoMA BID opens tonight with a Ribbon Cutting at 5:30PM and an event called Taste of Teeter from 5:30PM to 8PM. The community is invited to Taste of Teeter for complimentary samplings of unique products and fine wines. After the event, the store will remain open for shopping from 8PM to Midnight. On December 8, Harris Teeter opens for regular grocery shopping at 8AM. Typical store hours are 7AM to midnight, seven days a week.

Over the summer I hinted at Harris Teeter being on the horizon and it generated a larger volume of debate in the comment section than I ever anticipated. The three largest themes were “I am dissatisfied with the Safeway and can’t wait to shop at Harris Teeter“, “The Safeway is just fine” and “We should work with Safeway to improve their store rather than taking our business elsewhere.”

The NoMA Harris Teeter is a bit of a hike and possibly not a safe walk past Sursum Corda. If you only need a few items I’d suggest riding Capital Bikeshare. NoMa has a CaBi station immediately in front of the Harris Teeter entrance.

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  1. 1

    Jay says

    I HATE the CV Safeway. The store looks like it is 10-15 years old already. Whoever is running that place needs to be fired. Can you post an open-discussion on everything that sucks about Safeway? It would also be great if readers could snap pictures. I would like to forward all of the comments over to Safeway corporate to let them see how dissatisfied people are with the store. This won’t be fixed at the store manager level.

    Until things improve, despite me living directly on top of the Safeway, Harris Teeter has my business.

  2. 2

    Mike says

    I’m looking forward to trying out this Harris Teeter. I walked by and peeked inside late last week and it looked pretty damn good.

    I live about 1.1 miles from the City Vista Safeway and was happy when it opened but agree it’s gone downhill. The produce section is has no organization. Being that HT is 0.5 miles closer I”ll be happy to make the switch

  3. 3

    John Thompson says

    I HATE the CV Safeway – the store is dirty AND messy. I work near the Georgetown Safeway and shop there every day. The difference between the 2 stores is like night & day. The CV Safeway produce is of poor quality, the shelves are a mess, the bathrooms are disgusting, I went to buy olives last week and there was MOLD on them. CV Safeway is a poor quality store & they’re loosing my business the MOMENT Harris Teeter opens.

    It’s a shame that such a beautiful store got run down so quickly. To think that I bought a condo there, thinking this would further improve my return on my investment – I think living over a ghetto Safeway with nothing more to offer than the fact that it’s not that old has done nothing for my property value.

    Clearly the staff has no pride in the store, otherwise things would be different. If you need an example of how a new Safeway with a staff that takes pride in the store can make a difference, go to the Georgetown Safeway – or any Whole Foods, Wegman’s or Harris Teeter. Safeway – WAKE UP. FIX THIS STORE. YOU’VE HAD 3 years to make it amazing, but it’s done nothing short of spiral downhill faster than anyone could ever have anticipated.

  4. 4

    John Thompson says

    The cafe area looks like a homeless shelter and the area behind the service counter looks like one too.

  5. 5

    Ben says

    If you thought the CV Safeway would make your CV condo property values take off that’s a bit naive. The property value premium of having a nearby grocer was already baked into the real estate prices several years before the Safeway opened doors. The real winners were the landholders in the Triangle and rowhome owners north of NY circa 2005 and earlier.

    I don’t disagree that the Safeway needs to reverse it’s downward spiral. But can we refrain from using the word ghetto to describe the issue?

  6. 6

    John Thompson says

    Safeway’s Eastern Division HQ phone number:

    4551 Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD 20706-4325, United States

    Steve Neibergall is the President for the Eastern Division. I wish I could contact him (via email or phone) & have him shop at the CV Safeway a few nights/week for the next month. My guess is that if he did, we’d see BIG changes in a short amount of time, beginning with an overhaul of the employees. That’s where it starts & stops.

    When I was leaving the store the other day, a woman from the meat department was walking out of the store to have a smoke – she actually LIT HER CIGARETTE before she began walking out of the store! I’m a smoker… that took balls.

  7. 7

    Mike@555 Mass says

    While I concede that our Safeway is not a perfect store, I still don’t see what issues people have with produce and stocked shelves. I have bought apples at Trader Joes in Old Town Alexandria on multiple occasions which were not fresh. In fact I have found the same problem with other produce at this Trader Joes, too. I don’t buy produce there now. I bought a ribeye steak at the Old Town Giant last week and was disappointed in how fatty it was. I find that the quality of produce and most of the meat selection at the CV Safeway is better than Trader Joes and Giant in Old Town. Granted there are better groceries in the metro area, but I just don’t see why so many people insist on calling the CV Safeway a “ghetto” store. It is not a word that I think one should use lightly and can be misinterpreted quite easily.

  8. 8

    Jay says

    @Mike – It isn’t just the produce/freshness of the food. It is how they run the store. It is extremely dirty, run down, self-checkout is always broken, they don’t have enough workers there, they don’t have enough lanes open, the deli department is a joke, and the workers hate their jobs. Asking a worker in Safeway for anything is like pulling teeth. There are worse grocery stores in DC, but for a store this new, and with so much potential, it is a real shame that it has gone in a downward spiral this quickly.

  9. 9

    John Thompson says

    @ Mike – are you the guy that lives at 555 that works for the Safeway Eastern Division? If so, I’d understand you’re post. Sort of.

    Bad produce from other stores or a fatty steak is nothing compared to what’s happend to this “new” Safeway. The only thing about this store that makes it an “Urban Lifestyle Safeway” is the gritty condition it’s in.

    I JUST (literally) went to the Georgetown Safeway, eyes wide open. The store is clean, the restrooms are not grimy (I’m afraid to touch anything in the CV Safeway restrooms, because the staff doensn’t clean them, much less discourage the homeless from taking bird baths in there). Georgetown’s floors were spotless, the shelves were all stocked & fronted, the produce was all neatly, meticulously stacked & displayed, the bumpout displays in front of the register were all organized, there wasn’t any crud around the bases. The self checkout counters were shiny & clean, bags neatly stocked. The shopping carts were all neatly put away, not strewn about the entrances. The floral department looked like a flower mart, not a disheveled mess of greenery. Stuff wasn’t lying around (in general), everything looked like a class A supermarket. Oh, and the staff clearly took pride in their work, carefully placing items on shelves, stacking fruit & vegetables, cleaning the store and asking cutomers if they needed assistance. They also took pride in their appearance, as opposed to the sloppy appearance of the staff at CV.

    FYI, I went in to get a sandwich at CV Safeway this past Saturday afternoon, stood there for 10 minutes, no one came. I then realized the meats & cheeses at the sandwich counter were all dry & crusty looking. I went to spend the extra money at Taylor, money well spent.

    How many days a week can you go in & not get a pack of Marlboro Ultra Lights? I’ll tell you: 6. Consistently. Not that I advocate smoking (it’s awful), but their cigarettes have been out of stock FOREVER – so I take my $ elsewhere.

    Do you know that if it takes the staff at the Georgetown Safeway more than 3 minutes to prepare your sandwich (and they’re really great, BTW – very fresh), they give it to you for free?

    All I’m saying is that the CV Safeway needs a serious overhaul, from staff to the quality of the food. Oh – and I think the staff has let the cleaning slip beyond the point of no return. The place needs to be repainted around the cash wraps, cafe, customer service & the entrances. The floors need to be replaced in many spots. The bathrooms should be incinerated.

    If anyone has any doubt as to the poor quality of the CV Safeway, shop at the one in Georgetown for a couple of weeks… compare apples to apples. The difference in quality between the two stores is astounding. It all starts with the staff. Quality staff would never let moldy olives sit at the olive bar, or let crusty roast beef/crusty cheese sit at an unstaffed sandwich counter. Quality staff would clean the store. Often. Quality staff would train more quality staff to walk down aisles and front the stock on the shelves. They’d put stuff away, pay attention to merchandising and the overall quality of the store. Quality staff wouldn’t light up a cigarette in the store on their way out for a smoke break. This store is sadly broken & needs a LOT of attention.

  10. 10

    Tony says

    @Jay – “…Asking a worker in Safeway for anything is like pulling teeth.”


    @Mike – Not disagreeing with your Trader Joes comments, because certainly no grocery store is perfect; however, it is still one of my favorite places to shop for food. The employees are always cordial (at least to me they are) and they seem glad to have you shopping at their store. Three words come to mind when I think of the City Vista Safeway, though — Can’t Be Bothered! That is why I Can’t Be Bothered to shop there.

  11. 11

    Get A Life says

    Oh my god, are you people so seriously offended by the Safeway? It is a grocery store, guys. A grocery store.

    Yes, things in Georgetown tend to be cleaner sometimes. Probably, that is because that store/Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods pays its employees more because customers there as much more demanding. That is not a good thing. That is a thing for people who have never had to work in the service industry (I won’t make any assumptions about the readership of this blog…) and stage scenes in public because the deli is currently out of mortadella. Those people are awful. There is absolutely nothing that I would hate more than to shop next to them on a weekly basis.

    This is a grocery store with a nut bar that we are talking about, guys. You can grind your own peanut butter, if you’re so inclined. It ain’t exactly a food desert. You’re saying that parts of the store need to be “incinerated”? Seriously? Have you ever actually seen dirt before in your entire life? Okay, sometimes the bread aisle is kind of messy. Sometimes some of the apples are not the best (like any grocery store, people here scan through produce to find the right piece. I’m sure you can do it, too. We, as humans, have been doing infinitely harder work to find apples for the entirety of human history.). But I really, really promise that there is food here. It is delicious! Healthy! Sometimes well-priced! You can buy it! And you do, I know you do, because I see all of you there every weekend.

    Sometimes gentrification is a messy process. It would be exceedingly helpful if, in your process to transform neighborhoods, you could at least have a certain amount of compassion and/or awareness of other the people that live and work here.

    Also, please refrain from your thinly-veiled racism. Thanks.

  12. 12

    FourthandEye says

    @GAL – I worked 30 hours a week at a grocer in my hometown during High School. I don’t personally have a problem with the customer service at the City Vista Safeway. I think I’ve once encountered a Safeway deli clerk who didn’t know what a 1/3 of a pound was – but I just found that amusing rather than anything to rant about.

    Anyway my eagerness to have the nearby Harris Teeter option is that in my estimation they have a better prepared foods, produce and deli. The reality is I’ll still make some trips to 4th & Mass CVS when I need something quick, some to the Safeway, some to Harris Teeter and even occasional trips to Wegmans or Whole Foods. It depends what I have time for and am in the mood for. I don’t see any reason I need to pledge all my business to Safeway.

  13. 13

    Mike@555Mass says

    Oh man, you guys have lots to say about this! I am so glad to know just how passionate my neighbors are about what could be a huge asset to our community. I want to say to John Thompson that yes I live at 555, but I do not work for Safeway. I work in Old Town Alexandria about a block away from the Trader Joes. So I actually shop at the Trader Joes 2 or 3 times a month. I like the Trader Joes. I like the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff. It is a great store. I just don’t like the fact that their produce can be a hit and miss in terms of freshness (I don’t believe they get fresh produce delivered every day). I like having Safeway in our neighborhood and I do believe that the majority of employees who work in the CV Safeway live in the neighborhood. I have heard this from others. This place provides jobs for many people who might not have previous experience working in a grocery store. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if this is many of these employees first job. I give this store and these people the benefit of the doubt because I have had MANY employees at this store help me locate items, show consideration towards me, give me a smile, and help to make my grocery shopping experience pleasant. I will have to shop at the Georgetown Safeway. I want to see this store for myself. I want to say, though, that the CV Safeway is important to me and to our community and I think that we would all benefit from having the best possible store that we can have. If you can’t find an item you want to buy ask the manager if they can stock it. If you find something dirty, messy, moldy, old, etc. then you should say something. I would. We could all give up on this store. That would be the easy thing, but I don’t want to say that I spent 400K for a condo a block from a store that I won’t even patronize. I feel territorial about my neighborhood and I always try to give my business to the stores, shops, and restaurants that have spent their money to locate in Mt. Vernon Triangle.

  14. 14

    John Thompson says

    I guess my point is that I don’t believe the responsibility for the cleanliness of the store, good merchandising, and decent staffing rests on the customers. If this is the first job for some of the staff, they should learn that if they slack & do poor quality work or have a poor work ethic, they may get fired. The problem here is that the management doesn’t care & has low standards, so they easily tolerate staff that doesn’t care & has low standards.

    I guess that I just have higher standards & expectations from my grocer – especially from a store that’s only 3 years old. keep the place clean, keep it looking nice & staff it well. I know, it’s a lot -but I get that at the Georgetown Safeway, as well as Whole Foods & hopefully now, Harris Teeter. This is why I will not shop at City Vista Safeway anymore. Since they’ve let the store run down so much & they remain poorly staffed, this store has lost my business.

  15. 15

    I live and work here says

    @ Mike and Get A Life

    -“[C]ustomers there are much more demanding. That is not a good thing.”-

    Why in the world is that “not a good thing?” If a custyomer doesn’t demand better, cleaner, quality goods and serices, a customer will never get them. (And, yes, I have worked a low-rung job in a service industry.) I have shopped at the CV Safeway and I have complained to them when I found it “dirty, messy, moldy, old, etc.” Yet, the store remains so.

    -“Have you ever actually seen dirt before in your entire life? Okay, sometimes the bread aisle is kind of messy. Sometimes some of the apples are not the best.”-

    Yes I have seen dirt before, and filth. And I have see it again in the “kind of messy” aisles and filthy bathrooms at the CV Safeway. If a store – or any person or business – doesn’t strive to be the best they can be, conditions certainly won’t improve. I, too, “feel territorial about my neighborhood,” and an attitude that allows ones neighborhood store, or ones neighborhood in general, to be dirty, run-down, and trash-strewn deserves the moniker “ghetto attitude,” no matter ones race. If “gentrification” means a cleaner, safer, more diverse neigborhood and better goods and services for everyone in the neigborhood, bring it on!

  16. 16

    John Thompson says

    FYI, I just went in to the GT Safeway to get cigarettes because the CV one has been out of Marlboros for 3 days. Picked up a coffee as well, did a little shopping. Once again, there’s no reason the CV store can’t be as well run & as nicely kept as the GT store. I spoke with the “First Assistant Manager”, Heidi Beaulieu, complimenting her on the overall, outstanding quality of her store & staff.

    She was helpful in that she provided me with a number to call for the Safeway district that the CV Safeway falls into – which is a different one than the GT store.

    The number to call: 301-918-7062
    Safeway District: 88
    CV Store Number: 2737

    I am complaining about this store because I KNOW they can do better, I’ve seen it. The store was amazing when it opened & I know that with some attention to the store, it can be an outstanding place to shop once again. They need a wake-up call. If residents believe this store can do better than it’s been doing, please call & make your voice heard.

    I need to add that there ARE people at the CV store that I REALLY, REALLY like – Janet, Tom, Marcus, Shaunetta- all amazing people & very helpful. That said, the store still has horrible merchandising, no one fronts the stock on the shelves & the store is still dirty, grimey & messy. The produce section is almost always in bad shape. Once again, it’s just attention to detail. If you look at the produce section at the GT Safeway, the presentation & attention to it almost rivals that of Whole Foods. The CV Safeway could do this too, they just don’t (at present).

    The goal of my posts & complaints are to get the attention of the district & store, to get them to improve it & bring it back to the higher standard it held when it opened. It’s possible, but corporate needs to know the store’s slipped over the past 3 years. With a few changes in employee attitudes, work ethic & attention to detail, this store can once again shine as another high-quality Safeway in DC.

    Believe me, I want this store to be amazing again, I own a condo at City Vista & really WANT to shop there! If you believe this store can do a better job than they’re doing, please contact them & let them know – make a difference vs. accepting it as “good enough”.

    Once again:

    The number to call: 301-918-7062
    Safeway District: 88
    CV Store Number: 2737

  17. 17

    MVTResident says

    I don’t usually have a complaint about CV Safeway but yesterday I was panhandled after I entered the 5th St. side doors by the guys standing just inside the doorway. On my way out, the guys were drinking singles (beers) and in a huge fight (threatening each other). This was just INSIDE the doors. I was in the Safeway for an hour so there was no way the staff should not have rectified the situation during that time. When I got home, I tried calling the manager to notify them that people were drinking alcohol inside the store. It took ten phone calls (and I finally got a person in the bakery) before I could beg someone to put a manager on the phone. The assistant manager did not bother to get complete information and handled the call poorly. Again, I am a fan of Safeway and want it to succeed. I never hesitate to thank people for good service or share a concern. But I was extremely disappointed yesterday.

  18. 18

    John Thompson says

    I called & had a TERRIFIC exchange with the woman that took my call for Safeway (SW) District 88. She was VERY receptive to the comments & feedback I provided. I kept it positive & ensured her that the unltimate goal is to get the CV SW standards up to where they were when it opened. Totally possible.

    I told her I’d be more than willing to actively work with them & she promised that the district manager would personally call to address the issues.

    I really look forward to this opportunity to provide suggestions & encourage other MVT residents to call as well – if they hear from enough of us, it can make a difference. I’d also like to provide suggestions for improvements (esp. to the cafe, displays in the vestibule & future outdoor cafe seating along L St.) – maybe the DM would be willing to meet with MVT residents for a working & brainstorming session. I’d be happy to host it in our community room. This is my neighborhood SW & I want it to be the best in DC.

    I urge MVT residents to call them – a 3 minute phone call from residents in MVT can make a big difference.

  19. 19

    Jay says

    @John – that’s great to hear. I think a meeting with MVT Residents and the DM is a great idea, and would absolutely be interested in attending. I will call to voice my concerns as well.

  20. 20

    RobA says

    My days using the CV Safeway are over – they had three years of us reporting issues to both the store manager(s) and district managers and nothing was every done (or improved). After three years of trying, I’m done. Harris Teeter wil get all my grocery business now – in all my years going to Harris Teeter (VA and DC stores), I never encountered anything near to the issues that I have at the CV Safeway. Sure it may be a bit pricier on some things, but I’m willing to pay those few extra cents to get a true customer-service centered store with management and employees that care. Many of the employees working last night at the opening came from other HT stores in DC and were very excited about working at the NOMA store and at the largest DC region store. Those that transferred from the other stores are still carrying the same enthusaism as they had 2-3 years ago when they started at the other stores (I recognized them from the other stores).

    And the walk from my house is no less safe than the current walk over to the CV Safeway … anyone wanna walk down 5th Street at night alone? I see a lot more muggings and robberies reported along the route to CV Safeway than I do down New York Avenue/M Street to the NOMA area.

  21. 21


    Any idea if the new Harris Teeter has parking? I only shop about once every two weeks, and like to drive to carry home the groceries. If HT has parking, I’m making the switch.

  22. 22

    FourthandEye says

    Harris Teeter has parking. There are entrances to the garage on both M and N Streets NE.

  23. 23

    Bruce says

    I went to the Harris Teeter this morning for the first time. Overall, I liked it. It was clean, bright, and airy, and the staff was friendly and helpful.

    The layout was slightly strange, and I somehow missed the huge produce area as I entered; I had to double back for it. The produce area was impressive, with several sizable salad bars, Asian food bars, and so on. Everything was neatly laid out and clearly labeled. There were a few organizational issues–for example, I spotted two separate areas, fairly far from each other, both devoted to cheese–but overall it was pretty good.

    I had a few problems locating items in the aisles because the overhead signs that list the items in the aisle didn’t seem to reflect the actual locations of those items, as they do in most other supermarkets I’ve been in.

    I was surprised to see that the prices of the items on my regular shopping list were generally somewhat higher, and in some cases significantly higher, than those of the City Vista Safeway. A few items were cheaper, particularly with the Harris Teeter discount card, but on average Safeway seems to charge less for the items I usually buy. Harris Teeter did carry a number of products that Safeway doesn’t seem to, though, and I ended up buying mostly those.

    The staff was terrific. One smiling, friendly man asked me if I needed any help less than 15 seconds after I arrived. And as I wandered into the checkout area with my purchases, a woman standing attentively in the aisle waved me over, opened a new checkout lane for me, and quickly and efficiently rang up my items.

    Overall, I liked the experience, but given the 15 minute walk from my building and the fact that they seem to be generally more expensive than the Safeway on the items that I buy, I’ll probably continue to do my regular shopping at Safeway. But I’ll plan to wander up to the Harris Teeter maybe once a month to stock up on items that Safeway doesn’t carry.

  24. 24

    Bob Zughetti says

    This has to be some of the shallowest and snobbiest stream of comments ever left on this blog. Hey yuppies, if you don’t like the cv safeway, don’t shop there. In fact, do us all a favor and move to Georgetown. Please.

  25. 25

    FourthandEye says

    @Bob – we don’t have to all agree but please refrain from name calling and ‘please move’ rhetoric.

  26. 26

    CP says

    It never ceases to amaze me that people take the role of apologists for rotten behavior and mediocrity. To those who consider these detailed complaints “snobbish”: do you not want nice things? Are you comfortable that your society is filled with people without work ethic?

    My lone experience at the CV Safeway involved a disastrous stop at the Starbucks. A complaint to Starbucks’ corporate office was met with an apology, a comment that that location has received many complaints about poor service, and a gift card. A complaint to Safeway did not get a response.

    Harris Teeter in Kalorama get my business – employees who act like they want to work, and acknowledge my presence, and a clean store with good groceries, to boot. Not a lot to ask for from an organization in the service industry.

  27. 27

    The Watcher says

    That City Vista Safeway is nas-ty and whoever is manageing it has no clue how to run a business (except in the ground).
    I live 1 and a half blocks from the Safeway and trek to HT or Whole Foods twice a week where I’m the point of them being open and not a bother.

  28. 28

    John Thompson says

    @ CP: “do you not want nice things? Are you comfortable that your society is filled with people without work ethic?”


    @ The Watcher: +10