The Vienna-Fairfax City area will lose two Safeway supermarkets Feb. 9, but gain a slightly larger Safeway "Super Store" on Feb. 10, as grocery chains here continue to follow new housing.
The new Safeway will open in the Pan Am shopping center, now nearing completion at Lee Highway (Rte. 50) and Nutley Street, less than a mole from the Fairfax Circle Safeway and about two miles from the Safeway at the Cedar Lane Shopping Center on the southern edge of Vienna.
The Pan Am Safeway also will sell small appliances, jewelry and house furnishings -- expanding the drug store/general store concept it has been experimenting with in several Washington-area Safeway stores, Safeway spokesman Larry Johnson said this week.
Safeway has plans to open about nine other new stores this year, Johnson said, but so far has not announced plans to close any additional stores. The nation's largest supermarket chain and the second-largest in the Washington area after Giant, Safeway has about 164 stores here, Johnson said, "although the number keeps changing."
Residents who live near the Fairfax Circle and Cedar Lane Safeways bemoaned the closings last week, although a few residents said they lived nearer the Pan Am shopping center and the new store would be more convenient. n
"What's going to benefit some, will hurt others," said Pat Radney, who lives in a nearby town house and now can walk to the Fairfax Circle Safeway. l
"But many people in the Circle Towers apartments are upset," Radney said, although one apartment resident, Agatha DeVries, was philosophical.
"I'm sorry to see it go," DeVries said, "but then I often come by car when I have a lot of groceries and so it really doesn't matter."
"Oh, no. I'm sorry to hear that it's closing. I didn't know," said Oliver Gaylord who lives near the Cedar Lane Safeway and said he had been shopping there ever since it opened in 1964.
Neither Safeway had signs posted last week telling of the closings, although Safeway officials said signs were to go up this week.
"You know, I've been coming here ever since they closed the Tyson's Corner Safeway years ago and now I guess I'll have to go into Vienna," said George Outlaw, who lives about a mile from the Ceder Lane store
Some residents were even excited at the prospect of the closings. "I come here a lot to buy candy and stuff. But I hear they may put in a roller rink here, and that'd be great," said 11-year-old Robbie Spink, who lives within skating distance of the Cedar Lane store.
Safeway officials said they did not know what would happen to the two buildings being vacated, both put up at the same time and in the same Quonsset-hut style, with arching wood-covered steel beams inside. Although the old and new stores appear roughly equivalent in size, Johnson said the old stores contained about 25,000 square feet each while the new store has more than 40,000 square feet.