New downtown grocery store creates unique urban living environment

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 8 2012 6:33 p.m. MST

There is a United States Postal Service provider located in the Harmons City Creek store in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As downtown Salt Lake City works to create an urban living environment, one of the key features is getting ready to open its doors.

Walking through the upper level of the soon-to-be-open Harmons City Creek grocery store, you get the feeling you are in a combination restaurant/Internet café that's in the living room of an upscale loft located upstairs from a high-class grocery store.

Welcome to downtown urban living — Utah style.

Located at 135 E. 100 South, the nearly 70,000 square-foot store — scheduled to open Wednesday — will be the 16th location in the family owned chain's portfolio, and it will be the first of its kind in the city's central business district.

The new store will feature upscale, modern décor with a fireplace, free Wi-Fi with seating for 225 people on the mezzanine level, a 57-item delicatessen, a fresh sushi bar, a wok bar, a coffee bar and gelato. There's also a cooking school, a conference room and a full-service U.S. Post Office — not your typical "neighborhood grocer."

"Our pricing is going to be modeled right off of our regular stores," said Bob Harmon, vice-president and co-owner. He said that making the shopping experience affordable for a wide audience was an important component in the six-year development of the new location.

"We're still trying to sell to the full family," he said.

Among the new ideas that will be implemented are enhanced lighting and a no-plastic grocery bag policy. The City Creek location will use only paper bags or in the alternative sell reusable grocery bags for 50 cents to encourage recycling.

“The whole creation of this store has been thrilling and exhausting,” Bob Harmon said. “We’ve done our best to be innovative and meet the challenges of this special space, so that the store is really an asset to the area.”

The new grocery store is considered a welcome addition to the developing downtown, urban living landscape.

"Harmons completes the entire mixed use concept for City Creek," said general manager Linda Wardell of Taubman Inc., which manages the retail portion of the $1.5 billion project. "By having a full-service grocery store at City Creek, we're able to meet the needs of our residents … (and) office workers."

Meanwhile, the rest of the City Creek project is moving along as expected, Wardell said.

"We are right on track for our March 22 opening," she said. 

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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