Big Sisters Luminary Soiree

Robson Street Safeway is Closing

Thursday, August 9th, 2007 — 6:22pm PDT
Comments 17

According to the checkout clerk this evening, it’s been 15 years in the making: the Safeway on Robson at Denman is closing its doors this Saturday.

Robson Safeway is ClosingI remember when the liquor store across the parking lot shut down, that was when the old building was slated to be demolished and a new super-Safeway was to be rebuilt on the same corner. The clerk today said that about half of the employees will head over to the Davie Street location but those who commute in, from as far as South Surrey, will probably be looking elsewhere for work. After years of disputes and red tape, the West End is losing one of its main grocery hubs. Where will we get our food stuffs now?

Let’s look at the options downtown (handy Google map of all locations is also available)

  • Extra Foods in Denman Place: Not a shabby alternative.
  • Davie Safeway: It’s still a Safeway.
  • Super Value: Not a shabby alternative, a bit of a walk for us though.
  • Capers: Organic, lil pricey, no junk foods (and we can’t have that, can we)
  • T&T @ International Village: Great selection but a little too far from home, and exotic for our everyday shopping needs
  • IGA Marketplace: Wicked expensive.
  • Urban Fare: Tasty foods but pricey.
  • Costco: No membership, boo.
  • Robson Market: Awesome alternative. Fresh meats, produce, spices, nuts, and mini food court upstairs.
  • Robson Safeway is Closing

    It’ll be a while until the new fancy Safeway on Robson and Denman is in place, but hopefully it’s worth the wait. I’m sure we’re all pretty tired of the cracked floors, ancient shelving units, and produce that’s been sitting there since the store was originally going to shut down in the early 90s.

    If you have any more grocery shopping suggestions to add to my list, please leave a comment. I need to find a new place close by to get old fashioned chunky peanut butter since I don’t think they have any at the market.

    Update: August 16, 2007 – Its features will include wood floors, acres of glass, and an in-store Starbucks kiosk. Although the new building will be two storeys, Safeway will occupy only the top floor, while the ground level will house smaller retailers, including a government liquor store to replace the one that was closed in January 2003. [Westender]

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    1. colleen says:

      west valley on bute and davie ROCKS. lots of interesting foods as well as a good selection of staples. very very reasonable.

    2. thank god. i hate that location. i heart the one on davie. half of the daytime people know my daughter’s name, for cryinginthesink! the service and selection is much better. just stay away from the questionably retarded boy and whatever you do, don’t talk to him about hockey if you don’t want your ice cream to melt!

    3. Keira-Anne says:

      Well, for “major shopping trips,” I usually pick the Davie Safeway anyways. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that the Robson location is closing – it was due for an overhaul and didn’t have a huge selection. SuperValu is less than desirable…the quality is shite and the prices are ridiculous. I actually don’t mind Marketplace IGA because things are, for the most part, decently priced for what you get (in my opinion). Their sale prices are great. However, coming from the Island, there will never be a great grocery store downtown by my standards. Nothing tops Thrifty Foods or Quality Foods. Those are are reason enough to relocate!

    4. Great post and very timely for us – thanks! However one you miss off your list and is certainly on mine is but a short little boat trip away – Granville Island! How about a strategy of going to the Real Canadian Stupidstore for ‘household’ and taking your pick of smaller stores for the day to day. Of course there’s always restaurants and coffee shops πŸ™‚

    5. ouch – losing a mainstream grocery store is never fun. I should know — I live in gastown. Try getting your basic crunch peanut butter around Here!

    6. Miss604 says:

      Ah yes of course Granville Island – but it’s more of a day trip for us (complete with water taxi!) I can’t just run down there in my workout pants with my wet hair in a bun to grab a loaf of bread hehe.

      Stupidstore… where is there one nearby? And that’s funny you call it that too πŸ˜‰

    7. Hi Miss604

      Thanks for the update, I live on Denman and Barclay and always found it handy to pop over there for the odd item or too. Let’s hope they replace it with something better.

      FYI, there’s a cool site called walkscore where you can find all manner of local businesses in your neighborhood. Check it out –

      It’s not always 100% accurate but does give a good idea of what’s where.

      I’m co-founder of a free real estate community portal – My Real Place ( where people can find new properties, read about realty trends and ask questions of realty professionals etc and we are looking at integrating this data within our site. (Shameless plug!)

      I think it could be very useful when people are looking to move to new areas and are not to sure of the local ammenities.

      Great blog by the way!

      Have a great weekend.


    8. Miss604 says:

      Hey Jonathon – Yeah I actually calculated our walk score the other day and it was 95 (woohoo!) which is great because we don’t have a car πŸ™‚

    9. Stupidstore is over on grandview, Boundary direction. I will occasionally take the car to work in Burnaby and stop in there…. There’s always Zipcar πŸ˜‰

      Granville Island is tempting in terms of spending all day there, but Leftantler tells me that given you can go there anytime it’s easy to pop over for fresh stuff and come back all in a couple of hours. Probably the same as going to a big store and wandering around trying to find stuff!

      by the way our current place on the North Shore has a walkscore of 13!

    10. machead says:

      Here’s the new Safeway that’s going in at Robson/Denman

    11. How can you afford to shop at a Safeway anyway?

      When we lived in the West End, I always shopped at the Extra Foods on Denman. It was the closest to our place, yes, but I would have walked there anyway.

    12. machead says:

      Afford to shop at Safeway? Never thought of that – hell I shop at Capers – don’t ask me how I afford that…. but it’s so good.

    13. Alice says:

      West Valley Market on bute and davie is where I usually get all my produce/groceries. They have the best prices on produce and grocery anywhere in downtown as far as I know. Check it out!

    14. a&l says:

      Extra Foods on Denman is a subsiduary of Superstore, in case you didn’t know. They have No NameΓ’β€žΒ’ products. πŸ˜‰ Cheapest downtown grocers, though their BULK FOOD bins have been removed permanently.

      Super Value on Davie by Roger’s Video is not super value. It’s more like super ripoff. Really! If you want to pay that much and have quality food, go to Capers, Nester’s Market, Urban Fare (yes it’s overpriced as well) or Choices <–BEST par-baked bread in the city.

      West Valley Market is great for produce, as is Kins (sp?) on Davie across from The Pumpjack. MM now I’m hungry!

    15. JP Holecka says:

      From all the hustle and bustle that I can see daily it would look like they are trying to get the thing open just before X-mas and get some of that seasonal cash. It has become a real hive of activity in the last two weeks.

    16. […] been just over a year since the Safeway on Robson and Denman closed down. People have started to get excited about its re-opening as signage is put in place, windows are […]

    17. […] store that closed down on Robson, between Bidwell and Denman. It was supposed to re-open with the rebuilding of a Safeway but due to delays in that project, the liquor store building lay vacant for years. When the new […]

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