Posted at: 05/15/2013 7:08 AM
Updated at: 05/15/2013 8:36 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion
Thousands have been waiting for it and now the grand opening of the new Wegmans on East Avenue is just days away.
Big crowds are expected on Sunday, but are employees at the new Wegmans ready for the big rush? And will there be enough parking?
After months of training, employees seem pumped and ready to go. After months of traveling to other stores, people are ready to shop. News10NBC saw many try to get inside for a look, but they were actually turned away because the store isn't completely stocked yet.
For a store that's just about to open, the East Avenue Wegmans may look a little empty, but according to officials, it is actually half full.
Tony Carnevale, store manager, said, “Employees can't wait. They've put in a tremendous amount of work into getting the store ready for the grand opening on May 19.”
Manager Tony Carnevale says the store is already stocked with non-perishable food items. Meats, bakery and produce will be stocked at the very last minute.
So what will make this Wegmans different from the last? Well, it is double the size, which means double the food including 13 self serve food bars.
Andy Golden, executive chef, said, “We will have Indian, Asian and Thai cuisine to go along with the rest of the stuff our customers love and keep coming back to us for.”
The store has added six more registers and expanded their pharmacy. Not to mention extra seating with a fireplace and a little touch of history.
Carnevale said, “When they come in, they will see a lot of friendly faces they've probably missed within the last 12 weeks. But also I think the community accepted the store and there's actually a lot of input they've had to the design of the store.”
But what about the parking lot?
Carnevale said, “The parking lot is actually double from what we had in the old store or a little under that. So even though it's a bigger store, hopefully we'll have enough parking to satisfy the customer's needs.”
The store has built an employee parking lot with 122 spots. The front will be dedicated to customers only, but with a 87,000 square foot store and only 350 spots. Will it be enough?
News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion said, “The lot doesn't look that big. Are you guys willing to look at other areas in the future, if that's the case.”
Carnevale said, “If we have to, we always change and we always look for innovative ways to service our customers. I'm sure we'll figure it out in the future.”
The only thing that's need a little more time is “Amore”, the Italian restaurant, which will open in about a month. Other than that, come Sunday, it is show time.
Golden said, “We are really excited to kind of welcome back our East Avenue customers. I know the family and I are ready to be back and our customers will not be disappointed.”
Traffic on Probert Street, which used to be a two-way street, is now only one-way. The traffic light that used to be on that road is now a block away.
The new East Avenue Wegmans opens at 7:00a.m. Sunday. Wegmans officials say they expect to be busy all day long. They will also open up another parking lot on the other side of the store just for the big day.