When was this Safeway in DC built?

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
Ephrata1966
Senior Member
Posts: 549
Joined: 29 Nov 2008 13:45

When was this Safeway in DC built?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 03 Oct 2013 21:31

What's the history of the Safeway at 4865 MacArthur Blvd in Northwest DC? Could it have opened around 1962, around the same time as the nearby A&P which was more recently a Super Fresh but now is a Fresh & Green, also around the same time as the Lord & Taylor in DC? The store now has the current (2005-present) Safeway logo, so it's hard to tell when the store was built. Also, I know this store sells beer and wine, but only due to a sign on the outside. In fact I've never personally been inside a supermarket in the District of Columbia. Are alcoholic beverages at DC supermarkets required to be in a room detached from the rest of the store? I've been to Safeway stores in several states that separated the alcohol from everything else, but maybe that's due to company policy, not any state/local laws.

And I very vaguely remember reading somewhere that the current Safeway here replaced one next door, which now is a CVS but most likely was a Peoples drugstore before that. This claim is odd because the CVS looks almost like a former A&P, but that might just be an aesthetic similarity. What's very strange is that the Safeway street signpost looks very much like an Acme street signpost from the 60's or 70's. Acme had at least one store in Northern Virginia long ago (I'm thinking of a Super Saver in Falls Church), so it would make sense if they were in DC at one point, but I couldn't name any former Acmes inside the city.

User avatar
Groceteria
Great Pumpkin
Posts: 1543
Joined: 04 Nov 2005 12:13
Location: NC Triad
Contact:

Re: When was this Safeway in DC built?

Post by Groceteria » 06 Oct 2013 12:33

The MacArthur Boulevard store dates from the early to mid 1940s but has been enlarged since to at least twice its original footprint; if you look at the store closely, the progression is pretty apparent; the right half is a typical 1940s design and the "seam" is right in the middle of the "w" in the sign in this view. It replaced a Sanitary location at 4885 Conduit Road (MacArthur Boulevard's original name). Beer and wine is not in a separate room in DC stores.

The CVS near this location is actually in the converted MacArthur Theatre.

There were several Acme and American Stores locations in DC between the late 1920s and the early 1970s. None, to my knowledge, was in this area.

Ephrata1966
Senior Member
Posts: 549
Joined: 29 Nov 2008 13:45

Re: When was this Safeway in DC built?

Post by Ephrata1966 » 07 Oct 2013 00:31

Thanks! I just realized though that unfortunately I neglected to specify the CVS in question is actually behind the A&P/Super Fresh/Fresh & Green's, not behind the Safeway. Though it would be very unlikely for a genuine Centennial A&P to have been replaced by another one as early as 1962, perhaps the CVS building was actually an early 1950s A&P that was remodeled circa 1959 to the Centennial look, but was replaced anyway? An odd case of an A&P relocation similar to this can be found in Lebanon, PA but that's another story.

rich
Senior Member
Posts: 570
Joined: 15 Nov 2005 20:51
Location: Washington, DC

Re: When was this Safeway in DC built?

Post by rich » 07 Oct 2013 10:40

The Mass Avenue CVS (behind the former A&P) is an ex-Safeway which closed in the 90s. A&P never had the kind of footprint in DC that they had in some other markets. This often was the case when someone else truly had saturated an area (Sanitary/Safeway in DC, First National in New England).

Acme's last store in DC was a pitched roof at Half & O Streets SW, which would have been part of the Sothwest urban renewal project. It was a weak location with poor visibility and away from the better off parts of the area--Safeway had the stronger position several blocks away and just replaced their store there. The Acme lasted about a year around 1969/70. Last time I looked, it was a post office. They had small neighborhood stores in the District before that which had closed by the mid-60s. The Dupont Circle CVS incorporates space that once was an Acme. There used to be a Blockbuster on upper Geprgia Avenue that was another oldie of their's. They never had a large DC area footprint; they also tended to get into odd locations like the Half & O store which didn't last.

Post Reply