Since I just blogged about shopping and eating at Urban Fare I thought that I should also mention the opening of the new Safeway at the corner of Robson and Denman. The store opened in December and from the outside the store is definitely unique being fully located on the second floor of the new building with street level shops below. Access to the parking garage is off Robson with the choice of either an elevator ride or the ‘funky’ slanted moving walkway to take you and your cart up to the second level entrance. But for us this great new location means never having to drive to a grocery store now that there are two Urban Fares, Capers and a Safeway all within easy walking distance.
The store layout is similar to most new Safeway stores with a Starbucks ‘express’ and eating area for those who just stopped by for a quick bite. However, the eating area at this store is larger than most I have visited with tables and bench seats and in the warmer months it appears that there will be a balcony area overlooking Robson for customer use as well. The soup bar is the same as at other Safeway stores but the salad bar and the Chinese buffet which are both based on weight are new additions. The salad bar selection is good including already prepared salads, plus the standard make-your-own ingredients, but it also has a full selection of fruits, yogurt and nuts. It is was great for a quick bite but I hope that it does not hurt the salad bar at the Robson Public Market as I still prefer the selection there.
The store layout is as expected and I always find it very easy to find what you are looking for at a Safeway as opposed to other grocery stores. There were a large number of staff ‘milling’ around, but this will likely change as the ‘newness’ of the store wears off. The deli counter is similar to most Safeway stores and still does not seem to offer the selection or quality of Urban Fare, however, I was surprised by the seafood counter and the large selection of both fish and shellfish. One exciting feature to note is the self service check out. I did not give it a try this time as I had too many items and some produce but for a quick trip for basic items I think it will be very welcome as opposed to standing in the always lengthy express lines.
So while the opening of this new Safeway store does not mean that I will give up my shopping trips to the Urban fare and the Robson Public Market it does give me one more option within walking distance and choice is always good.
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