The New Robson Street Safeway

Friday, December 5th, 2008 — 9:58am PDT
Comments 29

Update December 19, 2008: The new Robson Safeway is now open.

It’s 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 being set and polished, and there’s a career ad on Craigslist for a resident sushi chef.

Robson Safeway is Closing

The new building is pretty impressive and it looks as though there’s even a balcony portion up top, as side rails are in place outdoors on the second level.

the new robson safeway

other side of the new robson safeway

Since the Safeway shut down, two Urban Fare locations have sprung up in Coal Harbour; there was one on Hastings and Bute, and another opened last month on Alberni near Thurlow. I’m not sure if regular Safeway-ers headed over there, or if they’ll come back with the re-opening. Side note: This also makes me wonder how Save On Foods on Cambie will be affected when Whole Foods opens up across the street.

I’ve kind of missed the Safeway although with it being gone we have been encouraged to check out many more small, independent grocers. We love the Robson Market for produce, and also get meat at the butcher shop, then there’s also a European deli on Bidwell. I don’t think we’ll stop going to these places at all when the new Safeway opens up – it’s just nice to have options.

Update: The store will be open in “preview mode” December 18th at 4:00pm and will have its official opening Friday, December 19th.

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  1. Tyler Ingram says:

    We do our big shops at Safeway on Davie. We do smaller shops (like 1 or 2 items) at the No Frills (Yellow Store) in Denman Place mall.

    We like to hit Kim’s on Davie for veggies once in a while. There is a small butcher on Denman I like to hit up once in a while. There is a nice fishmonger on Robson (1 block up from the new Safeway).

    Capers (Whole Foods) on Robson has a couple items we cannot get from the other grocers in the area.

  2. Miss604 says:

    I think it was an Extra Foods (part of Superstore) but I think it’s even less ‘no name’ now.

    The Capers is good but sometimes just a little too pricey ie. $11 for tomato bocconcini salad at the deli or $11 for the same cherry tomatoes in the produce section to go make your own salad.

  3. Tyler Ingram says:

    Yea it is an Extra Foods just re-branded as No-Frills 🙂

    And yea Capers can be expensive too lol.

  4. John says:

    Mostly of my groceries come from Spud, which is an online organic grocer. It’s cheaper and more convenient than Whole Foods, though I do shop there and the other West End stores for a wider range of goods, including the cozy Euro Deli, Tango’s and my corner fruit and veggie market — which has some great deals!

    I’m looking forward to the new Safeway, but mostly because that last one looked like it was on its deathbed, and more importantly, one of the anchor stores is a full-fledged Vancity! 😀

    If anyone wants a coupon code for Spud, email me and you’ll get a discount when you sign-up. It’s awesome!

  5. John Heil says:

    I’m excited for this new store…’s so rare that something so new hits the west end. I do love my no frils, but it’ll be nice to have a new shop in the hood!

  6. Adelaide says:

    It’s awesome you have an old-school pic of that Safeway. Such memories…of when I was a pre-teen (before the driver’s license hit)…we’d take the bus down and walk up Robson and Denman. Not that we actually went IN the Safeway…but it was always an eye-landmark.

  7. Duane Storey says:

    I like Urban Fare, but it’s so ridiculously expensive that it’s hard to spend money there in good conscience.

  8. Stephen Rees says:

    My only reason for shopping at Safeway was AirMiles. One the whole, I have found better food elsewhere – and prefer that to the loyalty program. Indeed I begin to suspect that loyalty programs are used to cover up more important deficits. For instance, I would never go into a BMO again.

    I also enjoy farmers’ markets. I can’t say that for ordinary grocery shopping

  9. wyn says:

    The Cambie street situation fascinates me to no end (since I live close to there). The Whole Foods will be kitty corner to the RAV station but it’s “gourmet” while Save On and Safeway are further, each 2-3 blocks away. A new Capers and older Choices are ~7 blocks and halfway between the Broadway/City Hall and King. Ed. RAV stations.

    It will be infinitely interesting how the Cambie/7th area currently housing Best Buy, Save On, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Homesense and City Square (that oddly recently got a coveted Beard Papa’s) will fare/flourish in the coming years. There’s going to be three RAV stations within 23 city blocks in that area!

  10. carolyn says:

    Does anyone know when the new safeway actually opens??

  11. Glenn says:

    last time I was in the Safeway on Robson they told me the new one was opening December 19th. They’re going to have 19 checkouts, with 4 of them being self serve.

  12. Bruce says:

    I live in Oregon but have a residence right up the street on Robson, so could someone please tell me when the grand reopening for Safeway is?

    Please email me at



  13. […] new shops opening up, including an electronic annex to London Drugs, Lids, and hopefully very soon, Safeway. Tweet This Digg it Add to Stumble it Add to […]

  14. derf says:

    safeway opens this thursday (dec18) at 4pm

  15. Noah Vail says:

    I miss the liquor store.

  16. tyfn says:

    I don’t understand why there aren’t Food Basics (A&P/Dominion) or No Frills (Loblaws) supermarket equivalents here in Vancouver like in Ontario. I would have expected that Safeway would have Safeway Lite stores where they offered cheaper bulk food throughout the city, rather than a big superstore somewhere.

  17. Karen says:

    tyfn, there is a No Frills on Denman Street. As a former Ontarian I was very excited when it opened this year! It used to be a pretty crappy Extra Foods, but the price and quality have both improved significantly since the changeover. For example, my favourite ice cream (Breyers) costs $2.99 at No Frills, and $8.99 at Safeway!

    No Frills has become our regular grocery store for pretty much everything except produce and baked goods. We get our produce from Kin’s or the little market at Davie and Bidwell, and our bread at Safeway (although if anyone can recommend a decent west end bakery I would love to hear it!)

  18. Noah Vail says:

    Well, I needed a quart of milk, so I decided to check out the exciting new Supermarket. While looking for the entrance I discovered that a large expanse of the gleaming new building has been dedicated to parking. As if people living in the West End needed to drive to do their grocery shopping. (Of course, I understand: six blocks in the rain, and those bags are sooo heavy–and driving is so much fun.) Apparently a new liquor store is in the offing, though, so drivers will be able to make a payload, at least. And us carless losers will have some consolation, too.
    Inside, the supermarket turned out to be pretty much a replica of its sister store on Davie St. I didn’t enquire for the resident sushi chef— I do like sushi, but somehow felt inclined to look for it elsewhere.
    Especially after noting that the quart of milk (and everything else I glanced at in passing) was available for a lower price at the Brand X store closer to my home.
    I’m afraid my cool plastic membership card is doomed to go unused.

  19. Dave says:

    We shop at T&T – 99c/lb chicken wings is my favourite special 🙂

  20. Mom604 says:

    I like that they have T&T at Surrey Central.

  21. […] to The Keg. However probably the most attractive impulse buy item for me at either Save-On-Foods or Safeway is the iTunes gift card (or some of that 70% cocoa dark chocolate […]

  22. greg says:

    I found the new Safeway on Robson to be a boring disappointment. Inside, it feels plain and unimaginative compared to the inspiring glass facade frontage on Robson. And their PA system is highly annoying – an auto-switchboard voice constantly announces incoming calls to the entire store.

  23. Miss604 says:

    @Greg, I hear ya. It’s great to have it back but for such a huge building it seems really crowded inside.

  24. Maxam says:

    I like IGA. But hey,I wax a little nostaligic now and then and seeing the ol’ Safeway gets me dreamy.

    Just kidding, am having a second thought here about that.

    You think though shoppers will have to “pay” for all that
    impressive architecture through high prices?

    And another thing , I am desperate to know the name of
    the restaurant across the street where Capers currently is.

    Does anybody remember what it used to be called before Capers
    moved in?

    Please help…

  25. just me says:

    I am not sure if you realize it… Safeway Warehouse is so much cleaner than the other stores warehouse…
    I would never shop the other large stores for that fact.

  26. BB says:

    Hey did anybody hear if or when the new liquor store is coming back?

  27. […] a Safeway but due to delays in that project, the liquor store building lay vacant for years. When the new Safeway was finally built on Denman and Robson, welcoming ground-floor tenants such as CIBC and Vancity, […]

  28. Rita D says:

    I am not impressed with the new Safeway at all. I’ve shopped there 3 times and never again! The first time I went, I had what was possibly the worst service I have ever encountered at their deli. A young asian boy of about 18 who obviously doesn’t like his job very much. The second time I went I was dealing with the customer service desk and could barely even communicate with the person working due to their annoying intercom that most have been located somewhere near there and on full volume! The third time I went it took me ten minutes to find someone to help me find the item I required. Only plus I could see in the whole store was the polite nice looking guy (late 20’s early 30’s) with brown hair and beautiful blue eyes stocking shelves, but i’m sure I could just bump into him in the neighborhood rather than go back to that understaffed nightmare of a store.

  29. Tommy F says:

    The new Safeway is beautiful, but the price are too expensive compare to No Frills and Save On Foods. I think the price should be reduced. I am not satisfied their service because one night i needed someone to carry the bags to the parking lot for me. I had to wait for 5-10 minutes to get someone to help me. I will never shop at the new safeway.

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