Chestnut Hill Wegmans to start selling liquor next month; food in April

Wegmans

The new supermarket, built on the site of the departed Omni Foods on Rte. 9, holds its grand opening on April 27. However, the liquor-store part of the supermarket opens March 29.

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Oh boy

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Traffic will be an absolute sh!tshow around there for weeks. Great store though. The one in Northboro is impressive.

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Maybe

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It's kind of amazing the amount of work that went into reconfiguring Rte. 9 and West Roxbury/Hammond Pond Parkway there (part of which probably has to do with the lower Chestnut Hill Mall redo).

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Wegmans and Traffic

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For weeks? Try for-ever. Ever since the upgrade of the Lower Mall (a.k.a. "The Street") the eastbound traffic in the evenings has been a #$%^show (it routinely backs up past Hammond Pond Parkway, which never used to happen - and the heavy traffic condition extends much longer).

The addition of Wegmans at this further west location is going to back up the traffic still further west. And just wait until baseball season! Every time the Sox have a home game, you will hear about "Route 9 is backed up from Brookline Village to 128". While the addition of the lane between John St. and Hammond Pond Parkway has helped (particularly westbound in the morning), the failure to add that lane all the way east to Hammond Street (I understand that this would have required reconstruction of the Hammond Pond Parkway overpass, removal of the median and turning lanes at the Lower Mall, and also the taking of several feet on the northbound side of the roadway, which was probably cost prohibitive) has created a bottleneck.

On a different note, I don't understand this near religious zeal associated with Wegmans (except by the western NY expats - but I have to discount that view since they speak the same way about Syracuse and Rachacha, notwithstanding the fact that they left and live here now). Its a nice store. We already have others around here.

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Oy.

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This is my commute, too, and I've been puzzling at the backups that happen at Hammond Street now. It doesn't seem like there has been an uptick in traffic, but Hammond Street backs up past Hammons Parkway by 4:00 every night, which never used to happen. Part of it has been the neverending construction on Route 9 (how many WEEKS were the DPW guys down in a hole in the middle of that intersection?), but I also think they've mucked with the light timing up there in anticipation of heavier traffic to the Wegman's plaza.

I weep for the April opening, and the following summer of awful traffic at all hours. It'll be just as bad westbound, even with the two extra lanes for a left turn into the plaza... the two lanes are only a hundred feet or so long, which means the left lane will back up past Hammond Street and make the westbound congestion even worse.

Also, both my parents went to college in Rochester, right across from the original Wegman's, and both of them are thoroughly confused about the excitement surrounding what was apparently a pretty pedestrian grocery store in upstate NY.

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Not DPW in the hole - it's Grid

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I don't think that it has been anyone from Brookline DPW or MassDOT down in the hole at Hammond - I think that it is National Grid, and truthfully, I'm happy about it because I have been smelling natural gas around there for some time. I'd rather have the traffic than a boom, but your point is taken - it is taking quite a long time to fix.

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I think Wegmans falls into

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I think Wegmans falls into the same category as Yuengling beer, people love to hype it up because it's not widespread here.

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Analogy

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so your analogy would equate Wegman's to Walmart

(since we know Yuengling beer is nothing more than hipster Budweiser aka cat piss in a can)

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Wegmans has changed a bit since your parents were in college...

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...unless you are, like, ten. Then I got nothin'.

I agree the frenzy is a little crazy, but when I moved here I was extremely disappointed by the grocery situation in Boston. Shaw's? Stahmahket? Ugh, gross. Whole Foods? Nice, but it seems like half the store is taken up by homeopathic remedies. After about ten years of going shopping all over the area, I feel like I am qualified to say that a *full-sized* Wegmans = Wellesley Roche Brothers + West Roxbury Blanchards + cheese and meat counters at Russo's + quality store brand products of Whole Foods. Hopefully the Chestnut Hill store will just be a smaller version of this, but I don't know if I'm willing to sit through half an hour of traffic to go there.

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me Neither

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Then again, I am a Market Basket Fan.

I've been to the one in Metro West, not sure the big deal is.. its a super market thats kinda on the pricey side. So what that it has fresh food? So does any super market..

Reminds me of the nice new Krogers that are being built in the south. But again its just a super market..

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Brands

Specifically, brands that Stop-n-Shop or Shaws/Star or Hannaford stopped carrying.

I'm looking forward to the new MarketBasket in Waltham; between it and Wegmans, I have a prayer of finding stuff I haven't been able to get since last summer, or have to plan an all-day-trip to find.

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And size

But, does size matter? ;-)

Simply put, the Weggies in Northboro is a huge store, bigger than any super market I've ever seen. One of their marketing points for that store was that they carried N items, where N was at least double what other stores carried. Just the one section of the store that has the prepared foods, bakery, deli, meats, etc. is larger than some markets. It's big. A bit on the pricey side, too.

If the Market Basket in Waltham is like the new one in Hudson, you're gonna like it. Again, it's a big store and a nice one. I've been in some MB's - older stores - that are pretty scruffy inside and some can be on the smaller side, but still good stores, just limited. They seemed to have upped their game.

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supermarket

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Why does a Market Basket cheerleader have to come into the picture everytime a supermarket article gets posted in Eastern MA? Their 4% off deal throughout the year, which I think is a combination of releasing their foot off the gas pedal on sale pricing (their ad isn't that different than the suburban Shaw's ad these days) and lower cost of goods as there was some wholesale deflation in recent months in groceries. I think there's no way they would risk cutting profit margin especially with how events are unfolding in that company and their employees defending their CEO thinking they get treated like the cat's meow. Only competitor that is significantly below them is Stop & Shop; Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Hannaford are all above them. I've been going back and forth between Market Basket and a suburban Shaw's and I don't notice much difference shopping for mid-end food on average once I factor in a $5 off $50 coupon available on recyclebank.com in minutes. What Market Basket tells me is there's a lot of people that shop for highly processed low end foods in the economy because that's where they are clearly the cheapest. Trader Joe's blows them out of the water on price for items carried in both stores (there's a few items MB is still better on but there's much more that's better at TJs. Hannaford just blows a smaller MB out of the water on selection unless you go to a 90k sq foot+ MB, and even then, MB has a lot of redundant selection. I can do my shopping much faster in the 30k square foot Hannaford right next to me than drive 30 minutes to the 90k sq foot MB.

Here's my take: on pricing, Wegmans is still cheaper on bulk deals on mainstream foods. Wegmans also caters to an even more higher end market vs MB, Trader Joe's, or Hannaford. They use the bulk packed items as loss leaders.

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I think the traffic is going

I think the traffic is going to be nightmare-ish around there. It's bad normally at rush hour. Add in a few hundred people who want to pick up something on their way home, perhaps detouring to Route 9 to do so, and you've got a problem.

But what about Shaws?

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How did Wegnam's get a liquor license, when Shaw's right down the road, was denied one last year due to community opposition?

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Chain laws

IIRC, each grocery chain is only allowed 3 liquor stores. If they close one, they can't transfer; they have to go through the community approval all over again.

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I believe the law is only

I believe the law is only three locations of a chain can sell liquor, and this applies statewide.

I suspect that many supermarkets locations get around this rule by making the liquor store a separate business, albeit one with a convenient entrance inside the supermarket.

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