<--bust friends drinking a mid-day beer
Wow. Just wow. Crazy crowds are piling in to check out the new QFC at Kirkland Urban. This should be a nail biter for Whole Foods because QFC has just upped their game big time. There's an indoor/outdoor bar anchoring the corner, so.... mic drop right there. But wait..there's more?
Parking is underground and free (for the moment) - eventually it will be a 90 min limit complimentary park once we are all trained on the process. Nobody seems to know an exact date. You'll find an uber-cool escalator for your grocery cart (photo) in addition to the usual human version. Ready-made food abounds- from Tutta Bella and Starbucks to cases and cases of grab-and-go food. And LOTS more local, natural, organic food choices. The old reliables are still there, but so many more unique options designed with the local Kirkland shopper in mind. I promise you will turn into a zombie after walking about 15 feet into the store. Leave yourself time, the exploring is rich, and I'm already looking forward to the day that I know where to find things in there. Take note that the milk and eggs are strategically in the very back of the store so you'll have to walk past 64 enticing items to fill your cart with before arriving to the mundane.
Compostable bags make me happy. Produce looks amazing- there's even a live local mushroom display! (photo) Of course there are lots of self check-out stations one each end of the store, peppered with familiar employee faces from the little ole QFC we all remember. I grabbed some hummus and was chased down by this nice fellow, Walid Joudi, who owns Dreamland Foods, the company that provides many of the fresh locally prepared foods. "Why did you choose this hummus?" he inquired. "Because I liked the packaging?" I explained sheepishly (got it home, it tastes good too!). I appreciate that the vendors are here for the launch and talking to customers first hand. Samples can be found throughout the store.
Hours are 5am-1am everyday. Kids are already frolicking in the splash pad out front on these hot days. Be ready- this is not the subtle QFC experience you are accustomed to-- it is loud and entertains all the senses. Sneaking in with your pajama pants and a ponytail may be less likely You will see at least 4 people that you know and they will be a bit shell-shocked at what has just landed in Kirkland front/center. Amazing for some. Overwhelming for others. You decide. ~j