You'd think it were Superbowl Sunday, the way crowds of people were shopping for treats at Pleasanton's new store around 8 a.m. Friday.
Some were smartly dressed, clearly on their way to work, and some had simply rolled out of bed and popped on some sweatpants. But all had carts brimming with discounted turkeys, gleaming produce and pounds of fresh seafood at the store's grand opening.
The Gateway Shopping Center, at Bernal and Valley avenues, contains the 58,000-square-foot Safeway, plus a handful of other, soon-to-be-open businesses.
The long-awaited Safeway is larger than the , and includes large wine, cheese, meat and seafood areas. It also has a pharmacy, a bank, a Jamba Juice, a larger-than-usual Starbucks kiosk and a deli seating area.
On Friday morning, Pleasanton residents took advantage of the deluge of coupons they'd received in the mail in the days leading up to the opening, loading up on pre-Thanksgiving needs.
Many ran into their neighbors and walking through the store, one could hear conversations that went like this: "I used to shop at (fill in the blank), but this is much closer." And, "Oh yeah, this one is very nice."
Safeway employees were handing out free groceries to random customers, though some didn't need it. One gentleman, who had planned ahead, handed the cashier so many coupons that his bill went from $112 to $69.
"It's almost Christmas," he said to those in line behind him.
The following businesses at the center will open soon:
- Savings Cleaners
There are other leases pending, but it's not clear what those businesses are yet, and there are some vacancies.
Pamela Ott, Pleasanton's economic development director, said the named businesses will start opening one by one soon.