‘Barb’s bench,’ & other Admiral Safeway grand-opening notes

(12:15 PM UPDATE: The store’s now open. Ribboncutting video added to this story; separate full report later.)

10:57 AM: If you visit the new Admiral Safeway, which opens its doors to the public a little more than an hour from now (noon today, after an 11:30 am ribboncutting), take a moment and check out “Barb’s bench.” It’s on the landing of the stairway to/from the rooftop parking (which of course has an elevator nearby), and as noted on a it’s in honor of longtime Safeway employee Barb Fuda, a 41-year West Seattle Safeway employee who’d been looking forward to working in the new store – till cancer claimed her life two months ago. The store has other seating areas too:

This one is also on the west side of the store, to the right of the Starbucks kiosk, and includes a TV – Safeway’s Sara Osborne joked this morning (or maybe she wasn’t joking) that the Seahawks game would be on tonight. (Like other local Safeways, this one has wi-fi.) Then outside, as promised while the project went through an exhaustive series of design reviews, there’s a seating plaza at the southwest corner (California/Lander, across from Hiawatha):

We’re on our way back to the store right now – they’re offering a tour to show off the features of the store that Safeway says racked up enough points to potentially qualify for LEED silver status. Besides the 11:30 ceremony, special features today include a shopping-bag giveaway (limited quantities) and the Toucans steel-drum band playing 4-7 pm (that’s expected to be outdoors). More to come.

ADDED 12:16 PM: The ribboncutting, with longtime Admiral neighborhood leader Dennis Ross and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen wielding the scissors:

We’ll have a separate report later with more video and photos, including the entirety of the grand-opening ceremony.

38 Replies to "'Barb's bench,' & other Admiral Safeway grand-opening notes "

  • Meghan August 11, 2011 (11:22 am)

    Most improved corner in West Seattle in decades!

  • TSP August 11, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    Best of all, there are two BECU ATMs are there. Yes!

  • Admiral Lady August 11, 2011 (12:58 pm)

    The new store is AWESOME! I love this neighborhood so much!!

  • Pam August 11, 2011 (1:00 pm)

    Great opening!

  • KTP August 11, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    Knowing Sara, she was not joking about the Seahawks! Congratulations Safeway team, the store looks fantastic!! I can’t wait to step inside on my way home from work tonight. Thank you for such a wonderful improvement to our neighborhood.

  • Greg Nickels August 11, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    It’s huge (60,000 sf vs. 30,000 for the old one), it adds greatly to the neighborhood and emphasizes environmental sustainability. Nice to have it back.

  • Twobottles August 11, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Too bad Safeway continues to be one is those stores that demands my name and address in order to give me good prices (club card)

  • SuperAwesome August 11, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    Great job, Safeway team! It’s a beautiful store! It has so many more departments than the old store. It feels HUGE inside. Love, love LOVE it!

  • Jiggers August 11, 2011 (1:30 pm)

    I’m guessing its only in Seattle that Starbucks has to be in every ******* Safeway. It’s so whatever you want to call it.I call it drab. I don’t even like Safeway all that much either.

  • Robert August 11, 2011 (1:32 pm)

    Twobottles, No one said you had to give them CORRECT information.

    (I asked at REI how many people use 555-1212 as their phone and the cashier said hundreds…)

  • Forest August 11, 2011 (1:45 pm)

    I’m sad to see that Safeway’s sale prices entail buying minimum quantities, such that you basically need a car trunk to carry the sale item. For example, a discount price on a big box of cereal doesn’t apply until you buy 3 or 4 big boxes which an average pedestrian or bicyclist can’t even carry in one trip.

  • YarnCore August 11, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    Forest – We’ve lived by Safeway for years and I don’t feel like their pricing is like that at all. Yes, often times something will SAY 3 for $5 or something, but you get the price even if you buy just one. It’s only the buy one get one deals that require you to purchase multiples.

  • YarnCore August 11, 2011 (2:38 pm)

    Also, I don’t really mind giving them my info. They send coupons to everyone in the neighborhood regardless of whether or not you’re signed up, and mostly make it so I can put coupons on my card at home and not have to remember to bring them.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I feel like it’s pretty common practice to use club cards these days (like at Costco?) and I don’t feel like my privacy is being violated.

  • JEM August 11, 2011 (2:48 pm)

    Most of the sale prices do not require minimum purchase. If it is 5 for 10 dollars you can buy just one at $2 – you do not have to buy all 5. Also, Safeway has a licensing agreement with Starbucks so any Safeway in the whole country could potentially have a Starbucks kiosk in it.

  • Jiggers August 11, 2011 (2:55 pm)

    When I start to make comments like these, I’ve been here too long..:(

  • breezygirl August 11, 2011 (3:51 pm)

    Wow… are so many people really so unhappy they have to complain about EVERYTHING?!?! They can’t just be happy to have a nice new store? That’s just sad.

  • SomeGuy August 11, 2011 (4:01 pm)

    So I give them my name and contact info (and it doesn’t even have to be factually accurate), and in exchange I can save 10%, 20%, 30% or more on things I was already going to buy. Let me ponder that for a second… I WILL ACCEPT THIS PROPOSITION FROM ANY MERCHANT WHO WOULD LIKE TO OFFER IT TO ME. Honey badger doesn’t care if Safeway knows what he’s buying.

  • homesweethome August 11, 2011 (4:09 pm)

    yeah for wi-fi, met market will have to catch up

  • JanS August 11, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    great shopping experience this afternoon. Many helpful people, many good prices on things. The wine dept. is HUGE, the meat dept. is great…now I can go in and get just one chicken breast, or just one kebab, or have them cut a steak to order. And samples…all over the place. And warm bread if you so desire. Well done, Safeway.

    For those people who find it not pleasing to shop there, it’s simple. Shop someplace else. This store is lovely, you’ll be missing out :)

  • twobottles August 11, 2011 (5:23 pm)

    So I run a grocery store, which sells products at prices competitive with other stores in the area. Then I come up with a great marketing trick – “Club Cards”. I tell my customers that by using this card, they can save 10, 20, even 30%. How is this a great trick? If a customer has a card, I continue to give them the same decent prices that I always have. Without the card? I jack the price up 10, 20 even 30%. I know that some people will continue to shop without using a card, so for the tiny overhead of issuing and processing the cards, I immediately start making more money. Better yet, my customers somehow think that they are getting a “deal”.

  • Aman August 11, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    I’ve never seen so many (mostly) middle-aged fellows with ties on standing around while the staff hustled. LOT’s of visiting store manager’s on hand to observe and to “help.” Ha, ha, ha. Rank DOES indeed have its privileges.

    It’s a circus there today at Admiral Safeway. But a fun atmosphere none the less if you bring a flexible state of mind and a sense of humor. Be forewarned…Parking IS at premium today.

    Based on the shelf tags & organic produce selection Safeway is aggressively competing directly with PCC & Metropolitan Market. NOT subtle about at all. There’s a new BIG Kid in the neighborhood.

  • Jiggers August 11, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    YamCare..the whole philosophy like others is to get you to buy in volume. I’m sure you already knew that.

  • JayDee August 11, 2011 (7:09 pm)

    Look, if you don’t want to apply for a card try entering the 206-555-1212 phone number — It should work based on the REI evidence.

    I use a neighbors phone number. I just had to get used to the cashier saying “Thank you Mr. Smith” when they hand me the receipt. I also sometimes get their 10 centavo gas discount (It’s like a dollar a tank and I currently owe them $3)…

  • Admiral Janeway August 11, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    What are the store hours?

    • WSB August 11, 2011 (8:42 pm)

      Janeway – the Safeways are open around the clock.
      Bob – I just heard about that from Safeway. Am going to make a separate note of it toward the night’s end. Thanks for posting the story here … TR

  • Bob August 11, 2011 (8:12 pm)

    To Safeway, The Fuda Family would like to say thank you for thinking of my wife Barb with the beautiful bench you put in your store to honor her. I know she was their in spirit and she is missed by everyone. While I was there today sitting on her bench, I noticed a picture to my right, and in that picture was her dad Harry Grohn, a meat cutter at that store. Store 373-go figure that father and daughter both have passed, but are honor they are at the same store right next to each other. Again, a big thanks to Scott and Curt for what they did for Barb. See you around at the store.
    Bob,Melissa ,Whitney ,Tim and little Conner

  • Tom Rasmussen August 11, 2011 (9:55 pm)

    It was a great celebration for many reasons.

    Our neighbor former Mayor Nickels was there but I wasn’t sure if he wanted to be outed.

    To Bob Fuda and family: Thank you for sharing that information. I wouldn’t have known. Now, it makes the day even more special. Thanks!

    Tom Rasmussen

  • JanS August 11, 2011 (11:10 pm)

    two bottles…again…if you don’t want to get the discount because you feel it’s two invasive, then don’t. But as suggested above, give them a fake number…they don’t check, I’m sure. It’s a lovely store, it was great shopping.

    Jiggers…I shop for me, and no one else. If an item is 3 for 5 bucks, I usually get one, and the discounted price still applies. Sure, you can buy in bulk if you want, but you don’t have to.

    It’s been open for less than 24 hours, people. Quit the griping already :D

    Bottom line is..don’t like it? Don’t shop there. More for me, and less of a crowd :)

  • austin August 12, 2011 (8:08 am)

    For some reason I don’t think suggesting that people posting on the internet stop griping is going to work. You’ll have to find some way to turn the internet off completely to get back to the natural level of background whine.

  • DMC August 12, 2011 (10:45 am)

    The new store is awesome. I just went. I am so glad to have it back in operation. It was so nice to see all of my “friends” that work there too. Barb will be missed, for sure. The photo next to Barb’s bench makes it all the more special.

  • westseattlegrl August 12, 2011 (10:50 am)

    yesterday was a fun time at the grocery store. we were there for 2.5 hours. a lot of time spent talking to friends and neighbors we passed in the aisles.

    the store is beautiful. but perhaps our favorite part of the day was out encounter with Don, the “Pineapple Whisperer” (we gave him the title). He was passing out samples and we commented on how sweet the pineapple was. He offered to help pick out the best pineapple- and scrutinized at least 10 before picking his favorite for us.

    and then he posed for a picture:
    he was definitely having a good time greeting everyone.

    the lines were long for the checkout, but employees were going around handing out cookies to those waiting. our cashier was a hoot. with all the coupons and discounts she said it was like being in vegas, except everyong was excited to see the numbers going way down.

  • Mike August 12, 2011 (11:22 am)

    We miss Barb.

  • Gail Johnson August 12, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    I visited the new Safeway with high hopes that were quickly dashed. Clerks in training, shrill overloud announcements of little merit, difficulty parking (radius turn to rooftop parking is too small), crowds of people. I was completely overwhelmed and left my husband to check out (it took 20 minutes with only two people in line) while I waited outside. The overlarge concept in retailing is a mistake, I think, as evidenced by the popularity of “village” settings – human scale buildings with walkable spaces linking them. I don’t want to shop at Wallmart and Safeway is mistakenly turning towards that concept. I don’t want to go back.

  • GenHillOne August 12, 2011 (7:04 pm)

    Do you mean like U Village, Gail? I so HATE that place, lol. Wish I’d made my way to the new store today…tomorrow! Or maybe at midnight :)

  • Andrew August 13, 2011 (6:01 pm)

    So disappointed. This store is way too overpriced. The wine “experts” don’t know what the hell they are talking about and the over-all service is lousy. The Metropolitan market has a new permanent customer- and that’s too bad for Safeway since I’ve been going to that store for 40 years.

  • LAP August 14, 2011 (10:09 am)

    Visited the new store yesterday – and it is beautiful! The staff is helpful and have good attitudes – it is a mix of experienced and inexperienced staff, but who cares?!

    In the Wine Dept – I had the wonderful experience of being told some of my favorite wines will soon be on the shelf but were in the back (due to some goofy regulations) and if I didn’t mind waiting a minute for them, he’d go get them for me. yay!

    Let’s celebrate this new store and the great things it is bringing to the neighborhood! If I want to shop there, it is a bit out of my way, but one can always plan the best route to complete errands, correct?

    Go and take a look…..enjoy the celebratory atmosphere – find some delicious food to bring home!

  • marty August 15, 2011 (8:44 am)

    Love the bench! Barb was a great person, I’ll stop by for a visit.

  • miws August 16, 2011 (11:17 am)

    Jiggers, I don’t think it’s so much of a fact that every Safeway has a Starbucks, as it is the fact that Starbucks locations in some form, have to be spaced 50 ft apart. A lot of them just end up in Safeways by default.



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