Monday, September 21, 2009

Review: Super Wal-Mart in the ghetto

Yesterday was Sunday, which meant it was time for my weekly trip to the grocery store (note: I didn’t go last Sunday, I’m so proud of myself!!). I had only a few things on my list (okay, 10-20 or so), but I didn’t feel like going to Winco, and I’m definitely on a budget this month, so Safeway and Bel-Air were out. Two weeks ago I went to Foods Co., where I’ll never set foot again, so my only option left was to try the new Super Wal-Mart.

When I lived in Midtown, I went to the Super Wal-Mart over the river (and through the woods…); it was only a ten to fifteen minute drive. Now that I’m back in the ‘Burbs, that’s not a feasible option. So, I decided to brave (duh-dunh-dunh…) the Super Wal-Mart in the ghetto.

For those of you who know me, you know what I’m talking about – for those of you who don’t, good, you’re not supposed to know exactly where I live. Anyway, this location used to be a mall. When I was a young, young child, oh-so-long ago, it was the mall we went to, even though the neighborhood was already not so great at that point. As time went on, we just stopped going there, driving another twenty minutes or so to a better (albeit not fantastic) mall in a busier part of town.

A few years ago (or has it been that long? I don’t think so) the scary-ghetto mall closed, and plans were announced to open a Super Wal-Mart on the site. There was (is?) a regular Wal-Mart just down the street from the proposed new location, and it went from new to crap in a matter of a few years, if not months. So, although a Super Wal-Mart would be cool, I had my doubts about the success of the project.

Fast forward to a month or so ago. I drove down the main road in front of the old mall, and couldn’t believe my eyes. The mall was gone, the Super Wal-Mart was up, and there were a TON of little shops in the shopping center (along with a vacant anchor store that was supposed to have been Mervyns…oops). It looked new, nice, and I was semi-impressed.

Fast forward even more to yesterday. As I drove into the shopping center, I was initially impressed by how many stores had opened here. There was everything from nail salons to cell phone stores, from a custom-frame store to, dare I say it, a drive through Starbucks! I motored back to the Super Wal-Mart and immediately found parking, a mere four spots from the front. Hm, good parking karma? I wondered what awaited me inside.

I made my way inside, and the store was…clean. And not jam-packed. I expected it to be a zoo, as it was Sunday afternoon and church had let out. There were a ton of cars in the parking lot outside, yet the store felt comfortable inside; I wasn’t crowded in any aisle (well, except one, where a mean-ass looking chick and her four million kids almost rammed my cart to reach over me and grab something off a shelf…but then again I was in the ghetto, so I was expecting something like that to happen), and when I went to check-out…NO LINE! Sure, a couple of check stands had one or two people in line, but I walked right up to my friendly checker and began unpacking my cart (my only complaint about my friendly checker was that she appeared not used to packing groceries in canvas bags…she actually sucked at it, but was very nice about it!).

Oh and the best part? There was a Golden 1 branch inside – an actual BRANCH! And, it was open at 3:51 p.m. on a Sunday. What? A bank open on a Sunday? That’s right, I said open on a Sunday. Amazing.

Overall, I was surprised and impressed by the shopping center. I will still NEVER go there at night, alone or with a fleet of armed guards in tanks, and I am a little wary of going there alone during daylight hours. However, that aside, I say take a buddy and travel to the Super Wal-Mart in the ghetto! Once you get inside, it’s not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon (but don’t blare country music from your car on the way there…you never know what could happen).

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