Big changes at Safeway

For the last couple of weeks, Safeway shoppers have been wondering what’s going on as they watch workers tear up the store.

In about a month, it will all be clear when the Oak Harbor store emergences from the cocoon of construction.

“We’re remodeling,” store manager Sherrie Sadighi said. “When’s it’s all done, we’ll have a beautiful, new, state-of-the-art building.”

Big changes are in store. The remodeling project will change the look of the interior and exterior of the building. There will be a new Starbucks coffee shop inside, as well as expanded deli, floral and produce departments.

The company has also “secured” the old Godfather’s Pizza building and plans to build a Safeway gas station there next spring, Sadighi said.

“The plans are still very tentative,” she said about the gas station.

In addition, the owner of the entire shopping center — with Safeway, Rite Aid and everything in between — plans to build another outlet from the parking lot onto S.W. Eighth Avenue. It will help with the traffic jams that sometimes occur in the lot.

In the meantime, Sadighi has a tip for people who want to shop at Safeway but don’t like the traffic congestion. She said people can drive around behind the Safeway building and avoid those problems.

For those with busy lifestyles, the expanded deli will offer different meals to go each night — meat loaf, prime rib and so on.

The project will also add indoor and outdoor seating for eating deli food or sipping coffee. And what modern grocery store is complete without an olive bar?

Sadighi said the 29,700-square-foot store hasn’t been remodeled in a major way since it was built in 1980, so it was due for a facelift.

Sadighi said the Starbucks will officially be open by Dec. 5. The rest of the work will be done by Dec. 28.

To celebrate the remodeling, the store is hosting a Taste of Safeway event, with plenty of free samples, Friday, Jan. 13. The next day will be the all-day grand opening party, with giveaways of 300 or so DVD players.

There are approximately 1,700 Safeway stores across the U.S. and Canada. These include 329 Vons stores in Southern California and Nevada, 132 Randalls and Tom Thumb stores in Texas, 42 Genuardi’s store in the Philadelphia area, as well as 21 Carrs stores in Alaska, according to the Safeway Web site.

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