Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oot in a Boot: Harris Teeter in Adams Morgan

Harris Teeter, the popular southeastern grocery store is locating to Adams Morgan. Douglas Development announced the move in February 2005. The usual delays related to parking, alcohol, zoning, design and traffic patterns have slowed the project significantly, as the grocery was slated to open before the close of 2006. It's yet to be completed, but I walked over a few days ago to take some photos of the project.

For all you patrons of the "oh, wait, there are 12 registers?, we only hired 3 cashiers" Giant and the "what do you mean by 'fresh' produce" Safeway, Harris Teeter could be a welcome relief. There are plenty of grocery options in Mt Pleasant, with several bodegas and smaller grocery stores in neighborhood. Far and away, Super Save is my personal favorite.

As for the "convenience" and familiarity of shopping in a chain grocery, the Giant at 14th and Park and Safeway at Columbia and Ontario do meet the bare minimum standards of a chain grocery. Otherwise, both are pretty worthless. Giant never turned into that quick after work "let me pick up a few things before I get home" kind of place. A visit there always requires a time investment. As for Safeway, the store operators can never seem to get the place as clean as most of us would like. And for sure the place is lacking in the fresh produce selection. Stick to the local farmer's markets and you're golden. Neither grocer is that much cheaper than the local bodegas and convenience stores.

Maybe Harris Teeter will force the other two local big boys to shape up, if its ever finished. Or maybe they'll live down to the competition and we'll have to bestow the neighborhood savior status on another soon-to-be-disappointing chain development.