Could a Fresh Fare Kroger replace Disco Kroger?
As Kroger buys up the property surrounding the Disco Kroger on Euclid, what’s in store…(so to speak)?
Although the DiscoKroger clearly serves the students and campus area (which dictates that a significant amount of square footage be devoted to beer), it is also walking distance to the surrounding Hollywood, Woodland Park, Ashland Park, and Chevy Chase neighborhoods—whose residents currently have to drive to Krolex or Fresh Market for everything from olive bars to deli for anything much beyond Jell-O salad. It has become increasingly reliant on “U-Scan,” with fewer and fewer checkout lanes open, serving more and more customers. (Here’s the official Ace Editorial Position on the U-Scan: if they expect you to scan and bag your own groceries, they can issue you a Kroger paycheck.)
If only there were a template… some idea of what might happen next? What could Atlanta and Cinci tell us?
Atlanta’s Kroger community is admittedly perhaps best known for Murder Kroger (http://www.yelp.com/biz/kroger-atlanta-3). One reader wrote on yelp:
“before I even hit the parking lot I was stopped by a wall of undercover cops clearing a path for an ambulance! As I started locking up my bike a car slowed down and these two cats circle around to get a better look at it! Their boldness was only matched by mine, when I simply took my bike into the store and locked it onto the candy machines! Now I don’t know if it’s normal or not, as I’ve only been to Murder Kroger this one time… but I walked over to the dollar bins and there… mixed in with children’s toys… were individual cans of beer! Perfect! Next time I stop by, I’m bringing a camera and some chalk so I can help the cops with the outlines! Their arms looked tired!”
But Atlanta also had its very own Disco Kroger. And it looks a lot different now. As 11 Alive reported last year (http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=122542):
“An Atlanta grocery store known as “DiscoKroger” is reopening after a $5.5 million transformation into an gourmet foodie’s paradise. The Kroger in Atlanta’s tony Buckhead neighborhood is becoming one of the chain’s ‘Fresh Fare’ locales with $1,000 temperature-controlled wines, fresh organic treats and chef-made entrees. It’s the fifth ‘Fresh Fare’ Kroger in the country and the first in Georgia as the Ohio-based chain tries to compete with stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market.”
Kroger’s site says their Fresh Fare stores “feature expanded organics, gourmet pastry shoppe, bulk natural foods,gourmet meats and cheeses, fresh sushi, and The Bistro that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds. To go along with your meal, you can find premium wines and a professional floral designer.” (They spell it “shoppe.”)
The Cincinnati Nomerati blog (http://cincinnatinomerati.blogspot.com/2009/01/kroger-fresh-fare.html) writes of the Cinci Fresh Fare:
“We ventured to the Kroger Fresh Fare to see what Kroger’s new crown jewel of its empire was like. Walking in, you are greeted with a sample of fruit (last time it was cantaloupe) and routed across the shiny polished floor to the bakery, which shows loads of loaves ready for you to slice yourself in the DIY slicer and take home. They have a Starbucks, but I am not sure that it is held to the same standard as other Starbucks in town. I think my order of two double tall coffee frappuccinos did not compute very well with the cashier. They have a large selection of dips, of which there are samples, and a large gourmet cheese shop that contains a variety of cheeses and the best hummus ever (I don’t know why some of the hummus is with the dips and the best of it is with the cheese) Sonny and Joe’s. They have lots of prepared meals that you can just throw in the oven, although I am not sure how good the finished product is, and a pizzeria and deli that looked decent. The seafood looked pretty good too, David and I picked up some salmon. Last time we were there you could get turtle meat and a whole wild octopus. I felt bad for the turtles and I have no idea how you would cook an octopus so I was a bit put out about that.”
Sounds like a store that would be right at home in Chevy Chase.