It's been a sorry state of affairs at the Grays Ferry Shopping Center for the last year or so. Ever since the Grays Ferry Pathmark closed its doors at the end of 2015, the shopping center, located on the 2800 block of Grays Ferry Avenue, has been sitting more vacant than not, rudderless without an anchor tenant. We were cheered back in April when we heard that Fresh Grocer would be taking over the old Pathmark space, we were further jazzed in August when construction got started, and we were over the moon when we spied a liquor license application, indicating that the new Fresh Grocer would be offering wine and beer.
Well folks, today was the grand opening of the new supermarket, marking the elimination of a food desert in this neighborhood after just one year and the completion of a major renovation effort on a space that needed a major facelift. We managed to make our way to the market today, sadly missing the ribbon cutting and the dignitaries, but making it there in time to enjoy some of the copious free samples being offered. We snapped a couple of photos to give you an idea of what you can expect to find at the new Fresh Grocer, but we didn't take quite so many photos since people tend to get weirded out when strangers photograph them at the supermarket.
Compared to what this place looked like before, the new Fresh Grocer is a huge step up. They've improved the lighting, they've replaced the floors, and they've found a way to eliminate that persistent seafood smell that used to cover a quarter of the store. The weird paper goods section has been replaced by a large prepared foods department and the wine and beer section. Because they eliminated so much shelf space, the place is much better organized than its predecessor. And if you need a bathroom, you can find one in the front of the store, not through a maze in the back.
For those expecting an experience to rival the new Whole Foods near the Parkway, you will surely find yourself disappointed. After all, there's no Dizengoff at the Fresh Grocer. But if you have appropriate expectations, live nearby, and have had to hike far and wide for your grocery needs for the last year, you're probably pretty excited right now and are feeling #grateful for a new and shiny market option.