Some Love for the Columbia Heights Giant

ch giant
1345 Park Road, NW

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“Check out the new and expanded self check set up at the Columbia heights giant! I also noticed that they have a thing where you can build your own six pack from a small selection of beers and ciders. I know everyone hates that Giant, but it seems like they are trying to step it up a bit!”

18 Comment

  • I haven’t set foot in there since the Petworth Safeway opened, even though the Giant is closer to my apt. Maybe it’s time to give it another try. Maybe.

  • Yes! I was there last night and was so happy to see this improvement. No one knew where to go with the old two different(ish) lanes/people would randomly walk up and cut you in line, Now there is now one dedicated lane to wait. They also had one dedicated employee to assist with checking IDs, etc you could easily locate! (It’s the little things 🙂 )

  • Much welcomed addition! Although I don’t think that Giant is quite as terrible as everyone says it is… I think a lot of the hate comes from it being an urban grocery store with a lot of traffic. When I used to live in Arlington, the Pentagon City Harris Teeter, which was walkable, was the bane of my existence for the same reasons this Giant sucks; I’d always pull out the car and drive to Potomac Yard, which was infinitely better.

    • Yes it is. Plenty of other busy urban supermarkets in this city that aren’t consistently as awful. It’s kind of like absinthe. Every once in a while I give it another try and soon regret it.

  • I’ve lived in the neighborhood a couple of years now and while the store isn’t luxurious (you have to really pick through the produce to get something good, but I always chalked some of that up to my shopping at peak times when stuff hasn’t had a chance to be restocked), I’ve never really understood the hate for it that some people have. It’s a busy store so it can get frustrating to shop there, but they have definitely been stepping it up lately-more thoughtful layout of produce section, and now this for the checkouts…it’s reassuring to see management is paying attention and making improvements. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • O St Market is pretty much my favorite of the “Mainline” DC Grocery stores. We go there for Holy Guacamole and their religious candles. But seriously, local beers at cheap prices that I can drink while shopping- sold. They are trying, and doing a great job employing local folks.

  • Good for Giant, glad to see they’re upping their game.

    May be some time for some real talk about the new Petworth Safeway though. Store’s been there for less than a year, and it’s already falling apart. Half of the self checkout stations are usually broken, they still haven’t set up any kind of line system for it yet (every time I go in, it’s a different set-up, one line, two lines, etc.). The quality of the produce has been dropping, despite vegetables coming into season. I bought some cod the other day that was definitely way off, despite the label saying it was fresh. The staff seem to have already pretty much given up pretending to care about their customers.

  • The lack of love is mostly whining. This is not a fancy store like the one at 8th & O and not a Whole Foods, but it is a high volume store that’s usually well stocked and serves people from all walks of life. I suspect it’s the latter point that annoys people although they won’t say so, but the sentiment is evident from the general complaining about the Col Hts business district, DCUSA, etc.

    • Not quite. For years they refused to hire enough checkers to keep lines under control, you’d end up waiting 30+ minutes to check out because half the lanes were closed during predictably busy times. I’ve seen some improvements recently, but it’s a hard reputation to shake. The store is usually pretty well stocked, but the produce quality is typically fairly abysmal and it often smells really weird in the store. People of “all walks of life” use Target and the Petworth Safeway too and you generally don’t hear the same types of complains about those stores.

  • I posted this over on the rant/revel this morning:
    Rant: The Columbia Heights Giant. It’s never been great, but I know that and accept it. It’s not particularly clean, and it takes forever to checkout, because I live a block away so I just get my staples there and go elsewhere for good stuff. But last night… A stock guy in produce walked by the bell peppers and one fell splat on the ground and rolled across the aisle; he accidentally kicked it, then he picked it up and threw it — from a distance of like eight feet — back onto the pile. Which explains the state of their produce. Then I head down to the dairy aisle, open the cooler door to get some milk. And the containers are sweating, and — oh, okay, the fridge is warm. And you know they’ll just fix it and turn it back on and not replace any of the now-unsafe products, so beware anyone buying milk for the next week. Then it took 20 minutes for me to check out despite my being the second person in line. DAMMIT GIANT.

  • No Giant (and employees) is as bad as the Van Ness Giant. That place is The Pits!

  • I’ve been getting some pretty tasty peaches there lately. I don’t think it’s so bad.

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