It may be hard to believe, but for the longest time downtown Phoenix did not have a full service grocery store. It’s crazy to think that the fastest growing city in the country didn’t have its own grocery store. Fortunately for Phoenicians, that’s no longer the case. Last week Fry’s Food and Drug opened up its first location in the downtown area. The new store is located at 125 E. Washington street, right in the heart of downtown.
“It’s a game changer,” said store manager Monica Garnes, noting that when you move anywhere, the first thing you ask is ‘where is my local grocery store?” Now, she continued, “the residents already in downtown Phoenix have a convenient grocery store right at their fingertips.”
Garnes also stressed how the new store will foster community among downtowners, also adding that the store will likely in turn spur new development in the area with new apartments and condos. “They have now the cornerstone that really brings a community together.” In addition to new local development, Garnes says the store will also create 250 new jobs on its own.
Prior to this new opening the next closest grocery store for those in the downtown was Safeway on McDowell. Over a mile away for some, the location was a bit too far, especially during the summer with the overbearing heat. Now people finally have a downtown location without having to go out of their way just to pick up basic groceries. It is also accessible via the light rail, making it incredibly convenient to get to.
For many Phoenicians, this new store is the last piece of the puzzle for the city. As with other Fry’s locations in the Valley shoppers can walk around the 67,000 square foot store while enjoying a coffee from the inside Starbucks.
Before becoming a Fry’s, the space was a parking lot. The new store is on the ground level of a luxury apartment building. Parking is available free for two hours in the parking structure above where shoppers may enter. Along with a Starbucks inside, this new Fry’s will also include the standard features found in other locations such as pharmacy, deli, bakery and online delivery and outside pick-up.
One local resident, Christine Lindley told AZCentral she plans to make the new Fry’s her go-to the grocery store, “it’s very much needed, and you can tell because of the crowds of people over here that it’s really something people have been looking for.” She later added, “It feels like we have everything that we need in our little pocket of downtown, and I love that.”