Housing Complex

Petworth Safeway: Starbucks, Local Beer, Bulk Grains, and a Changing Neighborhood


What a difference a few years makes in Petworth. Housing prices on some streets have doubled. Luxury apartments have sprung up along Georgia Avenue NW. An upscale French restaurant sits a block down the street from a single-origin coffee shop.

And what a difference a few years makes for the neighborhood's supermarket. Until it closed in 2012, the Safeway at the corner of Georgia and Randolph Street was one of the grimiest grocery stores in town, set behind a surface parking lot. This month, it'll reopen on the ground floor of the new "Swift" residences, with a selection to reflect the changing face of Petworth (as well as the general desire for a decent supermarket).

The 62,000-square-foot store, set to open on June 27, will be Safeway's second-largest store in the District. Next to the entrance will be a Starbucks coffee counter. An outdoor patio with seating on Randolph Street NW will allow shoppers to enjoy their sandwiches from the made-to-order deli or their sushi from the sushi bar. Whole Foods fans will find a familiar site: bulk oats, grains, flour, and the like. Unlike in other Safeway stores, pet medicine will be available.

The store will feature more than 500 wines and 350 beers—but not on opening day. The liquor store across the street is protesting Safeway's liquor license application. While Safeway may not sell wine and beer for a few weeks after opening, company officials are confident they'll have their license soon, so they can stock the "local beers" section with more than 20 varieties.

Have a look around:




photo (11)

Photos by Aaron Wiener

  • monamorous

    Did Popville petition to have the doggie drugs and local beer section?

  • rsn


    I realize you probably took these pictures with your phone, but perhaps you can get some sharper pics next time?

  • Brian

    I usually like Aaron's work, but every single establishment named is within about 3-4 blocks of the Metro. Petworth covers a HUUUUGE area beyond that, most of which isn't demanding doggie treats, local beer, or Starbucks. Yeah the neighborhood's changing, yes all of these observations are correct, but can we please stop presenting whole neighborhoods based on what's going on within only 10 square blocks of them? I've got people reading this stuff and saying that I live in the "hip part of town." No, I live in the part of town where business is still conducted through security turnstiles, where people worship in house front churches, where mentally ill and homeless citizens wander far enough from the Metro that they can find bus stops and park benches to rest on without being moved along by police. That's the Petworth I and most people here see every day, and I wish Popville and City paper and others would do a better job of reflecting that balance. You're feeding a hype that gives landlords the leverage they need to jack up prices on dilapidated houses and apartments, rather than really investing in spaces and letting the market grow in a sane way.

  • ZC

    Brian, I seem to recall a lot of press about the Petworth you describe. Not sure your criticism here is fair.

    As for Popville, Dan Silverman earns a modest living blogging about business and other things in a light way. Who reads his work expecting serious journalism?

  • Tom

    ZC, PoPville's Dan Silverman is definitely not a journalist, he is a neighborhood blogger who usually just posts other people's letters. Unfortunately it is sometimes a haven for some blatant racism which seems to be often overlooked by Dan or whoever moderates his site.