Rochester, N.Y.— When you walk into the East Avenue Wegmans, it's clear that it’s almost moving day.
Workers are moving cases. Many shelves are empty or getting bare. There are signs stating the last day the store will be open.
On Saturday, February 23, the old 43,000 sq. ft. East Avenue Wegmans will close its doors forever. On Sunday, May 19, the brand new 87,000 sq. ft. store will open for the first time. The old store will be razed to make a bigger parking lot.
Most shoppers are thrilled about the change.
Lauren Kelly lives and works close to the East Ave. Wegmans. She says the East Ave. store is “her” Wegmans and she loves it. However, she feels that it is too small.
“Despite the crowdedness at times, it's my Wegmans,” Kelly said. “The aisles are small and the parking is slim-to-none sometimes. So definitely, I'm looking for forward to the bigger store.”
The East Ave. store is the smallest Wegmans in the country, but some shoppers like the quaint size of the store.
Judy Dunbar has been coming to this Wegmans location since the 1970’s. She remembers when it used to be even smaller than it is now.
“I don't really like the really big stores,” she explained. “There is too much in it and at my age getting around the stores [is hard]. I really like the smaller stores.”
The East Ave. Wegmans first opened in the fall of 1962. Since then, it has gone through one major renovation in 1981 when the store double in size to the size it is now. It is currently the only Wegmans in the city of Rochester.
The store will close on at 6:00 p.m. on February 23. The next day the pharmacy will re-open across the street next to the Country Club Diner at 8:30 a.m.
When the new store opens, there will be more than 350 parking spaces, a full-service Italian restaurant, a bigger hot food bar and more organic and ethnic food choices.
Until they close, the store will continue to stock bestselling items. Unsold food will be donated to FoodLink.
Until the new store opens, shoppers say they will go to the Pittsford Wegmans. Others, say they will make the trip over to the Tops on Winton Road and Blossom Road.