Safeway patio seems a hit
A remodel of the new Safeway store in the Glenbrook Basin, including an expansive outdoor dining patio, recently was completed in time for an early rainy season.
“It does look nice,” said Deana Melugin of Grass Valley. But cloudy skies and a chill in the air ruled the lunch hour Monday, so she declined to dine at the new tables, she added.
By mid-afternoon, however, the clouds had parted and many shoppers lingered in the patio’s sunshine.
Katrina Warner, of Alta Sierra, observed the patio from the store’s northern entrance.
“Maybe they could make it a little nicer and put some plants on this side,” Warner suggested.
The new Safeway lifestyles store opened in the spring with amenities including a Starbucks Coffee Co. counter, a deli and bakery. Shoppers and city officials welcomed the remodeled store after initial uncertainty about the future of a previous Ralphs Grocery Co. store dominated discussion about Glenbrook Basin.
Recently finished remodeling work includes repaving the parking lot, said Safeway spokeswoman Esperanza Greenwood.
A proposed Walgreens at the corner of Sutton Way and Brunswick Road could further add to the changing face of the area known mostly for its fast food restaurants and big grocery stores. The Grass Valley Planning Commission is expected to vote on the Walgreens plan at its Oct. 16 meeting.
The remodel, completed Sept. 22, also takes a big step toward improving the look of the 1970s-era strip-shopping center on Sutton Way ” a long-time goal of city officials. Patios such as Safeway’s invite people to sit, creating a sense of a community space, according to current architectural thinking.
And it’s even attractive for the bottom line.
When the weather cooperates, the store should benefit from the patio’s large dining section, said Jim O’Brien, one of the owners of the Holbrooke Hotel. O’Brien, who was walking into the store on Monday, added he has seen it happen elsewhere.
Those outdoor tables at the Holbrooke Hotel & Restaurant fill up quicker than the
indoor tables on good days, O’Brien said. “I think they are on to something.”
“It’s been really good, to be honest,” Greenwood said. “The last couple days, it’s been packed with people.”
But Bob Berry, of Grass Valley, wasn’t impressed.
“It seems like a huge amount of seating,” Berry said. “To me, this wasn’t necessary.”
The Pleasanton-based company is updating the downtown Safeway as well. New shelving and flooring at the busy Neal Street store was finished also on Sept. 22, Greenwood said.
To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@the union.com or call 477-4234.
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