Food Desert to End Soon
Our long national nightmare is over; Disco Kroger (now Fort Kroger) to re-open in January
BY BRIAN S. POWERS
As the Euclid Kroger nears completion, more and more facts about the replacement for the beloved (nay, obsessed-over) Disco Kroger. The Kroger closed in March of 2014, plunging some of Lexington’s wealthiest and poorest neighborhoods, along with most of UK’s campus into a food desert (if you don’t count the snack racks at the nearby Speedways, and we don’t). Here is a breakdown of statistics, facts and figures about the new store.
Fort Kroger, so named by the neighborhood for its controversial setback lines, turns out to be an appropriate moniker for the new location, as one notices that the street proximity of the new store tends to block out the sun for that block, the next block over, part of Tates Creek Road, and most of Madison County.
Possibly the most unique feature of the new Kroger is the rooftop parking lot. There are 120 spots available on the roof. It is not acceptable to jump your 1970 Dodge Charger off the roof while grabbing the dash and yelling “Yeeeeeeeeehaaaaawwww!” Also, presumably there are guardrails to prevent this sort of behavior. For egress from the roof, there is a massive ramp down the side of the building from the rooftop parking area. (We cannot stress strongly enough that this epic, lengthy ramp should not ever be tested with either a skateboard or a bicycle. Should one fail to heed these words, please wear a helmet. Then tell us how it went. The ramp is heated to prevent any icing from occurring in winter.)
In a harbinger of modern times, the new store has 12 self-scan stations but only five full-service checkout lanes and two express checkouts. To be fair, while most stores have two-to-three times as many full-service checkouts as they do self-service checkouts, no one has actually seen more than two cashiers on duty at the same time in more than ten years. While the official Ace editorial policy is that self-service checkouts are only acceptable if the stores pay the customers to scan and bag their own items, the author, for one, welcomes our new computer overlords and offers his fealty in the coming robot war.
A Starbucks kiosk will be located inside the building at the entrance so that you can get your venti Chai nonfat latte and Paul McCartney album fix both coming and going. This is part of Starbucks’ ongoing effort to insinuate itself into every facet of your life. They’ll have that direct monthly billing option up any day now.
Moving trucks were spotted in front of several local fraternities after word got out that the new store would include a “beer cave.” While this news is accurate, many fraternity brothers were disappointed at discovering that is not an actual cave one can live in.
In a positively groundbreaking idea, this Kroger will have windows in actual walls. Some of these windows will be in the produce section, where college students can press their faces to the glass and see what actual fruits and vegetables look like before they head in to buy Hot Pockets.
Four fine local artists were commissioned by Kroger to create murals for both inside and outside of the store (John Lackey, Liz Swanson, and Aaron and Jared Scales). Lexington has not yet passed an ordinance requiring all public work to bear the notation, “These are not gang signs, you idiot.”
Two elevators will ferry passengers with their carts up to the rooftop parking lot. The main difference between these elevators and regular elevators is that when these elevators get stuck, at least you’ll likely have something to snack on while you wait. Six more elevators ferry food and stock from basement preparation areas, so as you’re waiting for one of the only two elevators to take you and your cart full of rapidly-thawing ice cream to the rooftop parking, ponder why there are three times that many elevators just to bring up cold cuts and Gatorade from the stockroom.
There will be a secondary entrance/exit near the hot foods section for people who want to experience the fun of getting hot brisket (yes, there will be hot brisket at this store, according to an informal video walkthrough) from a grocery store but don’t want to get caught chatting with their overly talkative neighbor entering from the front. This entrance is also handy for those coping with Starbucks addiction, as they can avoid the temptation of the kiosk in the front entrance.
Kroger will employ about 300 employees. Due to its proximity to the UK campus and student housing, it’s anticipated that as many as 299 of these employees will be exclusively tasked with stocking beer, condoms, and Funyuns.
Kroger began hiring for the store and stocking items in early December to prepare for a January opening. Many fan favorites from the former Disco Kroger who’ve been slogging it out in the suburbs are expected to return to their posts.
Houston retained their Disco Kroger moniker when they underwent a massive renovation (managing to keep the doors open during the renovation). Atlanta’s Disco Kroger has an actual Disco Ball hanging in their Fresh Fare concept store. Unlike Atlanta, Lexington (at the moment) does not have a Murder Kroger.
Update: the Disco Kroger has officially announced that it’s reopening on January 22.
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