The long-awaited West Seattle Trader Joe’s at 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW opens at 8 am. Mark says he got there at 4:30 am to be the first person in line. As of about quarter till 7, when we photographed him in the golden glow of the rising sun, Mark was the only person in line. He tells us first thing he’s buying is a case of the famous TJ’s wine, known by its nickname “Two-Buck Chuck.” More coverage to come – we’ll be adding to this story through the day.
7:59 AM: By the time the doors were about to open, Mark had been joined by about two dozen others:
8:12 AM: Our crew tells us the store actually opened a few minutes early. Here’s the ceremonial lei-cutting:
So, no traffic jam at this hour. We’ll check back later.
10:14 AM UPDATE: Thanks for sharing first-hand reports in the comment section! We also got a mural photo, shared via Twitter by Jose:
— Jose Mandojana (@mandojana) April 13, 2012
11:07 AM UPDATE: Three hours into Day 1, we drove back by to check traffic/parking. In a word: Busy. Here’s the view looking south down 39th SW – just west of the store (and on the left of our photo, you’ll see the entrance/exit to TJ’s roof parking) – this was taken before 11 am, so West Seattle Bowl wasn’t even open yet:
4:53 PM UPDATE: Drove by within the past hour. Still busy. Remember that if it looks like there’s no parking in the lot that faces Fauntleroy, turn right at “The Hole” and try the upstairs parking, entrance on the right (east) side of 39th SW.
11:41 PM NOTE: In the final hours of the store’s first day, business was really booming. We walked through around 7:30 and noticed long checkout lines; after we tweeted a mention of that, @juyeda – also in the store – tweeted this photo. And we forgot to mention one thing – this store has just officially applied for its license to sell liquor when privatization takes full effect June 1st.