Would you like some wine with your cheese?
That's the kind of occasion it was inside the new Safeway at The Village at San Antonio Center, as customers, business and political leaders gathered for the grand opening of the 64,000 square foot store on Thursday.
This Safeway will be the anchor tenant of the new $180 million development, and replaces the 30-year-old Safeway on California Street, which officially closed its doors on the same day.
Besides Mountain View City Council members on hand for the festivities, Los Altos City Council members came to the reception to get an idea of the things to come when Safeway in downtown Los Altos remodels later this year. "Attended the Grand Opening of the new San Antonio Center Safeway in Mountain View from 3 to 5 pm yesterday," Councilmember Val Carpenter posted on her Facebook page.
According to spokesman Keith Turner, the new San Antonio store will offer a lot of what shoppers want like fresh fruits and vegetables. He said that when possible, they try to source locally.
The new store also has a Starbucks and a large wine selection and cheese bar. It's also open 24-hours, seven days a week.
"This is such a great location because we have great competitors," Turner said about area stores like Artisan Wine Depot, BevMo, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Sprouts. "It's a fun place to be. This area is the opposite of a food desert."
Additionally, the new store has a pharmacy with lower counters that, according to Turner, makes it "more approachable."
In-house the store bakes its pies, French bread rolls and baguettes from scratch, and bakes its cookies from dough they get from Safeway. The cakes aren't baked on premise, but are decorated there.
In total, 200 employees from the original store work at the new outlet; others were relocated to a Safeway closer to their homes.
The store has four entrances, two on their rooftop-parking garage, with spots for approximately 110 vehicles. And while the building isn't LEED certified, Turner said there are sustainable elements throughout, including solar panels on the roof.
Outside of the store, a Mountain View resident was giddy with excitement.
"It was really fun and exciting," said the 60-something Becky, who shied away from using her last name. "It's really wonderful to have a new Safeway."
A dedicated customer of the California Street store, she doesn't mind the slightly longer walk to the new location from her home on Del Medio Avenue. She liked the two Starbucks, the one inside the store and the café on San Antonio Road.
"It's wonderful to have Starbucks in the area after so many years," she said because it makes Mountain View better than other cities. "I felt that Mountain View had been ignored for many years."
During the opening, Becky walked around and did "all of the tastings," she said. She called the store huge, but added that it was conducive to shopping."
"We knew it was going to be good," Becky said.
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- Then and Now: San Antonio Shopping Center