Admiral Safeway: Honoring history, as new store opens Thursday

New information – plus that old photo – from Safeway, as its new Admiral store gets ready to open this Thursday. First: Though the doors officially open at noon, there will be an outdoor ribboncutting ceremony at 11:30, and the public’s welcome – enter the parking lot from California SW. Safeway’s Sara Osborne points out that this marks Safeway’s 50th anniversary in the Admiral District, and that’s why the photo is significant – it’s from 1962, showing the original store when it was about one year old an old Safeway in West Seattle. Historic photos will play a role inside the new store as well; Admiral and Alki scenes will be displayed. And Safeway promises some freebies: The first 500 customers will get reusable grocery bags with “Admiral Safeway” written on them; the first three weeks post-opening will include tastings of various items offered at the store. And if you look for a “Yellow School Bus” tag on items, note that purchasing them will send 10 percent of the sales price to a local school of your choice. Note that the big changes at the site (where a retail and residential building are still under construction) include parking – there’s still some ground-level parking, but there’s also a ramp on the east side of the store that will take you up to new parking on the roof. (added 5:14 pm – video showing you a bird’s-eye view of where the parking is, and more):

P.S. Still awaiting word on what band will be playing (after suggestions were solicited here)!

ADDED 3:23 PM: More of the new signage is up:

To recap if you’ve missed earlier coverage, Umpqua Bank and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt will open this fall in the retail building on the northwest side of the lot; the building on the southeast side is mostly apartments and scheduled to be available for leasing next year.

34 Replies to "Admiral Safeway: Honoring history, as new store opens Thursday"

  • RobertSeattle August 9, 2011 (3:15 pm)

    Noticed today that the construction webcam was turned off on August 2nd. Was kind of hoping it would stay on so we could see how busy the story was before heading over! :-)

  • Magpie August 9, 2011 (3:45 pm)

    In looking at this photo, is that a ship in the background? Are you sure this isn’t the Safeway that was by the Chelan cafe that was closed after the 1965 earthquake? I could be just getting blind in my old age….

  • coffee August 9, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    My how times have changed. Look at the size of the store back then and the size of a grocery now. Quite a bit of difference! I remember as a kid that groceries were a bit bigger and it was a huge deal when they started offering a few other things outside of the standard items you would go to the market for.

  • WSB August 9, 2011 (4:03 pm)

    Magpie – this came to us from Safeway’s local team. However, if I zoom way in, it sure looks like it could be something maritimey in the background. I am about to pack up and change locations so I can’t extensively research at the moment but I will send Sara a note asking if there’s any chance that was the one you mention (which not-oldtimers like me, only 20 years here so far, are oblivious too) … if so, we can revise the caption ;) – TR

  • Dan August 9, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    Just passed the new site the other day – weird how the driveway from California puts drivers into a pedestrian area that’s pretty narrow… Just like the Safeway at Jeff Square if you enter from 42nd. If you’re going to try to get into the plaza heading southbound from Admiral, expect bottlenecks and hysteria. Just sayin’.

  • westseattlegrl August 9, 2011 (4:34 pm)

    re: the underground parking…is there a direct entrance to the store from the underground lot? or do you still have to walk out and around like at the jefferson square underground lot?

  • let them swim August 9, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    @Magpie, I thought the same thing about location.
    Down the street from Chelan Cafe and Blue Eagle.
    I do not remember Admiral store facing street.
    But then again I do not remember a lot of things.LOL

  • Forest August 9, 2011 (4:55 pm)

    Will there finally be a northbound passenger bus stop @ California Avenue in the Safeway block? Also, what is the latest on Safeway’s promised improvements for Hiawatha Park on SW Lander Street directly across from the new store?

  • Diane August 9, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    Good catch Magpie; that does look like a boat in back of the old cars; and sure don’t see any signs of Hiawatha Park in the background

  • Diane August 9, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    there is no underground lot; it’s on the roof, much to my dismay; I fought for underground and lost

  • Meatloaf Sandwicher August 9, 2011 (5:09 pm)


    I don’t think there is any underground parking for the Admiral Safeway. I believe it is all rooftop parking, with a beautiful glass-windowed staircase leading down to the store, as well as elevators…

    • WSB August 9, 2011 (5:11 pm)

      It’s surface AND rooftop.

    • WSB August 9, 2011 (5:14 pm)

      And in fact, for a bird’s eye view of where the parking is, watch this clip. Safeway tried to get it to us yesterday but some technical difficulties ensued so we just asked them to upload it to YouTube – and it’s there now:

  • bebecat August 9, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    That’s the one down by the Chelan & Blue Eagle. I was 10 yrs old in 62. We (the kids from my hood) learned to drive go-carts in that parking lot on Sundays while it was closed. I totally recognize that store.

    • WSB August 9, 2011 (5:17 pm)

      Sara from Safeway says they got it from the Log House Museum where it was labeled “Admiral Safeway.” But in honor of those of you with awesome memories, I’ve amended the copy … thanks! – TR

  • Gina August 9, 2011 (7:47 pm)

    Family lore–the old, old Admiral Safeway was in the building where Zatz the Bagel store is, the after that Safeway was where Blockbuster is on College and California. The Safeway on the current site was pretty much a twin to the one on California that is now Rite-Aid. Identical size. Two houses and about four little stores were torn down when Admiral Safeway expanded in the early 80s. That created the parking lot Lafayette parents claimed for their own.

    Teeny the Magical Clown would perform at Safeway events, blowing up balloons, and he had a little car.

    Admiral Safeway had one of those tube testing machines to the right side of the door as you walked in from California Ave. The glassed in office next to that people could cash their paychecks at. Usually the blinds were pulled down. Mrs. Law worked over at the bakery, her kids sometimes had the multi colored swirly cookies in their lunches.

    There was a dime horse (coin operated horse), inside during the rainy months, outside in the summer. And the 1 cent, 5 cent and 10 cent gum machines–hoping to get the superball as a prize–
    Sundays, the meat all covered with a net because butchers didn’t work Sundays.

    Being sent up with a dime to buy the Extra edition of the Times, to settle and arguement whether or not Nixon had resigned, because you just can’t believe what the television news tells you.

    I was going to say that the picture looks like something that was by the Blew Eagle–but I couldn’t put a name on it.

  • Beth August 9, 2011 (8:41 pm)

    What a great pic!

  • Diane August 9, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    just drove by and the brand new snapshot BECU atm is installed on the wall outside the store; hurray; although for now, not accessible; it’s behind the chain link fence surrounding the store until it officially opens Thursday morning; I am so excited to have my grocery store and atm back

  • westseattlegirl August 9, 2011 (9:52 pm)

    so… the down ramp to underground parking for the apartments?….i could have sworn i saw a vehicle driving down a ramp when i walked by there last week.

    • WSB August 9, 2011 (9:56 pm)

      The only ramp is the one up to the roof, where the apartment parking will be, along with some store parking. There is no underground parking on the site.

      • WSB August 10, 2011 (11:18 am)

        **CORRECTION** I have been corrected by a member of the project team. The apartment building DOES have some underground parking. Not the store, just the apts – Sorry! – TR

        • WSB August 10, 2011 (11:37 am)

          P.S. Safeway confirms Toucans. Another story broken by a commenter :)

  • Dan August 9, 2011 (11:21 pm)

    Met Market probably pricier is a locally owned, union employed store showcaseing local products. I’ll be staying away from this big national chain which fought tooth and nail during the last contract negotiations for MANY concessions form its workers. Safeway is not the great store you all seem to think it is.

  • todd_ August 10, 2011 (12:23 am)

    It will be nice to be able to park on the street when going to Hiawatha Park (when construction crews leave after the grand opening). :)

  • w.s. maverick August 10, 2011 (6:10 am)

    they need to rude the traffic revision, very poor spot where people will get hit. they crammed to much stuff in one little space.

  • Charley August 10, 2011 (8:47 am)

    A little bird tells me the musical performance will be by The Toucans, a long-time local steel drum band with several West Seattleites in the group! 4-7 pm outside on the plaza.

  • miws August 10, 2011 (2:28 pm)

    Wow, Gina! Sounds like you’ve lived in West Seattle a long time! ;)


    And yes, the Toucans are a great steel drum band! I remember when they were starting out! Also, they know how to kick Big Corporate Butt!



  • Alvis August 10, 2011 (3:03 pm)

    Forest –
    Safeway’s on-site improvements for Hiawatha Park will be new hand rails at the California & Lander corner stairs and the 41st Avenue street-end stairs (next to tennis courts.) Seeing how it would make grocery shopping convenient for bus riders, I wouldn’t bank on the non-geniuses at Metro to OK a passenger stop on California Ave right in front of the store.

  • Gina August 10, 2011 (4:21 pm)

    Heck, if Metro would allow the 55 to stop at the 128 rest stop at California and Lander, that would be a great improvement!

  • Silly Goose August 10, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    As a new employee of the Admiral Safeway, I must say it is spectacular and you all will be very impressed with it. Beautiful Beautiful Store!!

  • Noelle August 10, 2011 (5:56 pm)

    When will the frozen yogurt place open?

    • WSB August 10, 2011 (6:02 pm)

      They said “September.” We’ll check back with them as it gets closer.

  • Silly Goose August 10, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    @Noelle until the frozen yogurt place opens come into safeway for some delicous Gelato fresh at the gelato bar, Pistacio is my favorite!! Yummy

  • westseattlegirl August 10, 2011 (9:07 pm)

    Ok…so I knew I wasn’t imagining things….I walked by there today and the “down ramp” I was seeing is to the left of the ramp to the upper parking lot. It is for the loading dock….it just wasn’t completed when I saw it originally.

Sorry, comment time is over.