The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 16, 2008

Another Look Into the Old Bellevue Safeway

Filed under: Bellevue, History, shopping — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:22 pm


Boys Not Sacked, Girls Just Bag It (Click for a larger version)

 Here’s another interesting item that I came across some time ago when doing research in the microfilmed Bellevue American archives, but my first attempt to get photos came out blurry, so I had to make a second attempt to grab it.  This is an article which came from a November 1969 edition of the Bellevue American (unfortunately, I forgot to note the exact date) talking about three Bellevue High School students who were working as bag girls at the old Safeway in downtown Bellevue.  In this day and age, when we shop at the grocery store we generally don’t give more than a passing thought to who happens to be bagging our groceries at the checkout line, but apparently back in 1969 this task was generally delegated to boys, and it was apparently unusual enough to see girls bagging groceries to warrant a newspaper story.  I don’t know if any of the three girls pictured here are still around the area (and even if they were, I suspect they’d be married with different last names,) but they’d be nearly sixty years old by now. 

The text of the news article these photos came from has been placed after the jump.


July 1, 2008

In with the New: A Tour of the New Downtown Bellevue Safeway

Filed under: Bellevue — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:06 am

As discussed previously, last Thursday marked the end of the 45-year run of the old Marina-style Safeway in downtown Bellevue.  Although a largely intact 1960s supermarket may invoke nostalgic longings for days long gone, it was clear that this store was outdated, and that even if it were not being replaced it would have fallen victim to the rapid growth and development of downtown Bellevue sooner or later.

In its place, a brand new Safeway store has now opened a block to the South in the new Avalon Meydenbauer development found near Bellevue Square   Even though there are currently only three Safeway stores operating within the Bellevue City limits (this one, a store located at Factoria Mall and one in the Overlake neighborhood,) Safeway has long been tied to the Eastside, having maintained a distribution center since 1958in the Overlake area, along with an industrial bakery and soda bottling plant.  In keeping with the increasingly urban character of Bellevue. this new store has become Safeway’s new flagship store for the Pacific Northwest, and provides an interesting snapshot that shows a number of ongoing trends in supermarket design as Safeway moves upscale in many of its local stores to keep up with high-end competition from stores such as QFC and Whole Foods Market.  In addition to this, this store ups the ante by adding several new features that you’re not likely to find in your local store anytime soon.

After the jump, a tour of Bellevue’s new Safeway store.


June 25, 2008

The Beginning and the End of the Old Bellevue Safeway

Filed under: Bellevue, History — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:42 am

Update 1/28/14:  The Downtown Bellevue Network Blog has reported this past weekend that this store, which has sat vacant again for most of the past two years after the Your Local Market store went out of business a little more than six months after it opened, has now been demolished, with construction of the next phase of Lincoln Square expected to begin sometime within the next few months.  You can find their article on this here.

Update 8/25/11:  As some of you have probably heard by now, after over three years of this former Safeway sitting empty, it has been announced that the store will soon be home to Your Local Market, a new independent supermarket focused primarily on local and organic products.  More details can be found at their website.  They are currently planning to open this new store in November of this year.  Within the past couple of months, the former Bartell Drugs space next door has also been reoccupied by Estate Furnishings, a consignment furniture store that was previously located a couple of blocks away on Northeast 8th Street.  With the reoccupation of this building, it seems clear that the second phase of the Lincoln Square development is unlikely to be happening anytime soon.

Over at Vintage Seattle yesterday, I found out that after more than 45 years of continuous operation, the old Marina style Safeway across from Bellevue Square will be closing its doors for the last time tomorrow as Safeway’s new 55,000 square foot flagship store for the Pacific Northwest (more than double the size of this one) prepares to open a block to the south on Friday.  This particular store’s days have been numbered for some time now, and it has already lasted a year longer than it was intended to, as the new Safeway was originally intended to open a year ago.  For the time being, the Bartell Drugs next door will remain open, but this land is now owned by Kemper Freeman, and the chances are good that it will soon become the site of another mixed-use development similar to the nearby Lincoln Square.  As one of the shrinking number of relics from the Bellevue of old, I went to take one last look at this store before it closes for good, and I was also able to find some information from back when it opened.  After the jump, a few photos of the interior of the store, and some background on its history.


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