Assault at Safeway on July 2nd

The Washington Blade thoroughly recaps an assault that occurred at the 5th & L Safeway on July 2nd. According to the report a gay man was assaulted by an unstable young black woman for asking “are you in line.” The suspect called the victim a “faggot” during the assault. When it was broken up the Safeway security guards escorted the woman off the premises rather than detain her for police.

The above video footage of the person of interest in the case was posted by DC MPD to Youtube.

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“Sexy” Safeway Upgrades to Premium Store Status

I’m not sure anyone still calls it the “Sexy Safeway” but if you are like me and you shop regularly at the “Sexy” Safeway on 5th and K, you may have noticed a few changes. The biggest physical change being the disappearance of the nut bar. Let’s be honest, it’s not a big loss. The nut bar was a waste of space and was never staffed so I’m sure the folks over at PQLiving will not be grieving long.

Safeway Nutbar gone - although signage still lingers above

I’m sure they’ll be happy to know though that Safeway will be adding more cashiers (hurray!) and other services as it transitions from being a regular Safeway to a “Premium” store. Or a “Super Sexy” Safeway if you like. The changes, including the addition of a “fruit cutter” who will cut fresh fruits for you in the store (because, you know, we can’t figure out how to cut our own fruits?) and an upgraded dairy section will roll out over the next few months. Stay tuned as we learn more about what our local Safeway has in store (pun intended) for us!

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Changes at Safeway

The Safeway at City Vista (490 L Street NW) has made several changes over the last few months. Early in the year we noticed all the tables and chairs removed from the cafe space as the area was generally only being utilized by the homeless and employees. In July the Fifth Street entrance was closed due to reports of high levels of shoplifting (estimated at ~$11K/mo). A month later the store expanded operations to be open for business 24 hours per day. In September the store began asking to check receipts of customers upon exit to attempt to further squash shoplifting. Many customers felt this to be merely security theater than a meaningful way to curb shoplifting.

In late October Safeway had a mini-marketing campaign suggesting they would have a grand re-opening. I was mailed a reusable grocery bag and information on discounts related to the re-opening day. I was out of town that re-opening weekend and had some skepticism that there would really be much change going on.

On Saturday morning I did visit the Safeway and noticed a series of improvements. I was only in the store for a few minutes but here are my observations of the positive changes:

  • Former Cafe space now repurposed for greeting cards. This allows the aisle space the cards previously used to be allocated to product. Seems several aisles have been reorganized.
  • Two new Self checkout stations. Not next to the other self-check outs. They are at the other end of the checkout area.
  • Refrigerated beer area expanded substantially. Some of the wine aisle space was converted.

What other changes have you noticed? What else would you change? Let’s try to be forward looking and constructive rather than repeating the same gripe about a couple of bad experiences from two years ago.

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24 hour Safeway

The City Vista Safeway is apparently now open 24 hours a day.

Photo from Miguel via the MVSNA listserv.

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Safeway Fifth Street Entrance Closed?

I’ve heard a rumor that the Fifth Street entrance of Safeway has been closed. The source says management claims they have been suffering an average of $11,000 in stolen items per month and attribute much of that loss to people sneaking out the side door without paying.

[Updated 7/29/2011 12:10PM] Photo confirmation.

And Rachelle Nigro contacted Safeway and learned this is a permanent change.

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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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40% off Wine at Safeway

Safeway has been running a 30% discount on wine on top of their standard 10% discount for the mix & match 6-pack. This chance to get a combined 40% off runs through March 3rd.

Please leave your recommendations for quality wines under $20 a bottle that are available at the 5th & L Safeway. I think it’s a discussion many will benefit from. Myself in particular I don’t drink red wine but would be interested in knowing which might to be good to have on hand for guests.
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Bag Bill surcharge begins Jan 1st

Beginning January 1, 2010 the “bag bill” approved by DC Council and signed into law by Mayor Fenty signed into law earlier this year will go into effect. District businesses will charge customers five cents for every disposable paper or plastic carryout bag with the proceeds going to the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund. The bag fee will not apply to bags used for newspapers, produce, hardware, frozen foods, plants, bakery items or prescription drugs.

A portion of the revenue raised from the bill will go towards education and providing reusable bags to low-income residents. A Skip the Bag, Save the River campaign is distributing 250,000 free reusable bags this month at locations around the district.
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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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