YGL: Social Shopping at the Safeway Gala

The District’s VIP’s turn out to celebrate the re-opening of the “Social Safeway” in Georgetown- complete with cocktail attire, small plates, Cristal … and that box of wheat thins if you needed it.

By

Sarah Meyer Walsh and Stevenson Hockley Walsh IV

Sarah Meyer Walsh and

When I first heard rumblings of the Social Safeway in Georgetown, it sounded like the some notion of bad advice from a weekly dating column. (Dear Abby, I can’t meet a nice guy in bars, what do you suggest? Signed, Lonely in the District. Dear Lonely, Try a quilting circle, bowling alley or your local Wisconsin Avenue Grocery store!). However, it kind of began to make sense once I pondered the idea. We all have to eat, we all have to buy groceries, we are all neighbors, so let’s eat gelato together and exchange phone numbers! Well, maybe not, but it’s nice to know in our “don’t say hi to strangers” society, there are still neighborhood grocery stores where you might bump into someone you know, or exchange pleasantries about zucchini preparation methods with passerby. In New York, I used to sometimes hang out at Dean & Deluca on the Bowery during my lunch breaks, in hopes of seeming cool and maybe mingling with some male hipsters in skinny jeans. Instead, I had to buy a pack of gum for $2.95 to avoid being ejected for loitering and may or may not have been added to a local neighborhood watch list. Not so “social”, after all…

Anyways, so when I received the assignment to attend a gala at the Safeway – full disclosure – I kind of wondered if my editorSafeway VIP_Reception206 was mad at me. I was shocked when I arrived at the event and found it to be a well-attended, seamlessly maneuvered event that had an excellent display of the stores’ offerings. Ok, so part of me was slightly weirded out to be mingling in cocktail attire and sipping Cristal next to a display for a sale on Wheat Thins, but once I got over that, I was pleasantly surprised. The food and drinks were delicious and I was especially enamored with an Italian antipasti salad that included some sort of salted cured meats, veggies, pasta and cheese –  a medley I commonly refer to as “heaven”. I also have to commend the Safeway employees who were working the event, passing around trays of wine, cocktails and appetizers, as they were all extremely friendly and well-versed on the items they were touting.

The store itself is also quite impressive. The massive renovation has doubled the grocery store in size and will feature a more upscale selection of grocery items, including a stock of truffles that will remain under lock and key, and a wide selection of exotic produce.  I personally shop at the Safeway in Chinatown and find it a generally enjoyable experience. However, I now have “grocery store envy” because ours does not have a gelato bar, walk in wine cooler, or revolving nut carousel. Sigh. *lease is up in 4 months, lease is up in 4 months…

So after I had had my fill of mini-eclairs (and trust me, I had my fill), I popped over to Capitol Hill to meet some of my politically-inclined friends at Tortilla Coast. Upon overhearing me discussing my previous engagement, numerous strangers lit up with glee and begged me to tell them everything about “their store”.  Never in my life have I heard of such excitement about a grocery store, but I have to say the excitement is pretty well placed. Your turn, Dean & Deluca. Oh, and give me my money back for that gum.

Greg TenEyck-Safeway, WJLA anchor Leon Harris, Safeway CEO Steve Burd, Councilmember Jack Evans and Craig Muckle gather at the Social Safeway Opening Gala

-Safeway, WJLA anchor , Safeway CEO , Councilmember and gather at the Social Safeway Opening Gala

Leon Harris welcomes the crowd at the Social Safeway Opening Gala

Leon Harris welcomes the crowd at the Social Safeway Opening Gala

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1 Response

  1. Jim Ebersol says:

    That’s my spot! Great article!

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