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Georgetown Welcomes New "Social Safeway"

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The 71,067-square-foot Georgetown store is awaiting approval to be the first LEED-certified grocery store in the District.
Rebecca Sheir
The 71,067-square-foot Georgetown store is awaiting approval to be the first LEED-certified grocery store in the District.

By Rebecca Sheir

A Georgetown institution where seeing and being seen are on everyone's shopping list, is back. After a year of renovations, the so-called Social Safeway is reopening.

Greg TenEyck, a spokesperson for Safeway, says he isn't sure how the store came to be known as the 'Social Safeway.'

"But it's really been kind of an endearing nickname for people," says Ten Eyck. "Sometimes its been said that rather than just show up with their t-shirt and jeans on, they'll actually dress up a little, fix their hair.

TenEyck says customers at the 24-hour store will be able to eat (at, for instance, the sushi or gelato bar), buy plenty of drinks (thanks to the largest wine and beer selection in the city) and, of course, be merry. This is the Social Safeway, after all. And as the company's first fromagier Treva Stose says, she can help.

"I can tell a lot about people by what cheese they like," says Stose. "Now I'm not saying I'm a matchmaker. But I have an idea if people would at least like each other according to their cheese tastes!"

Customers also can mingle in the indoor/outdoor cafe. It features free WiFi, high-definition televisions and a balcony overlooking Wisconsin Avenue.

And as Greg TenEyck points out, any and all hobnobbing will be environmentally friendly.

"The store is built to have the smallest carbon footprint it can possibly have," he says. "And this will be the first store in this region composting produce and floral waste."

TenEyck says over the next couple of months, Safeway will start composting programs at all 172 stores in this part of the country. But only one of those stores has made a name for itself as the Social Safeway.

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