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  • mk

    Not surprised. Last time I was there I watched the employees make sandwiches with expired items, and roaches crawling in deli case. Once manager was located and informed he seemed to not be very concerned.

    • textdoc

      How did you know that the items they were making the sandwiches with were expired?
      (Not that it surprises me that they would; it just seems like it’d be hard to read the expiration date from a few feet away.)

  • Savvy Shopper

    Wish I could say this was surprising but that store is filthy. I won’t shop there unless really desperate.

  • George

    that store always has been gross. they should redo it like they did for the Stroller Safeway (… petworth!)

  • Melinda

    This is very disturbing and disgusting to hear about. I am glad the D.C. Department of Health closed the Adams Morgan Safeway due to food violations. Safeway need to do a better job addressing these issues and address the long lines in their stores. I prefer shopping at Wegmans and the Harris & Teeter because it’s a more pleasant environment to shop for consumers.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Teeter in NoMa was shut down a year or two ago for health code violations. Can’t judge a book by its cover.

      • Rich

        I’ve never gotten the Teeter love. The stores really aren’t that impressive on any dimension. The A-M Safeway has seemed poorly managed for quite a while. They have some very nice, helpful long term employees which probably means it isn’t a great environment for them either.

        • The smaller Harris-Teeters aren’t very nice but the larger stores are great. The bar is pretty low when comparing DC grocery stores.

  • chasscott

    No great surprise. After a few visits, we dubbed it the Unsafeway and never went back!

    • FridayGirl

      Haha! Yeah, I stick to Harris Teeter, which seems to be generally pretty good (except the one time my deli meat tasted like windex — I quit deli meat from anywhere after that).

    • Northzax

      The unSafeway was the old one in the Waterfront Mall. This was the Sandinista Safeway. (To go with the old Soviet (17th st), Secret (now Glenn’s) and Social (Wisconsin Ave) but that was the old DC. This one is getting classed out of the neighborhood quickly, Safeway has obviously given up on it.

      • PetlessInPetworth

        I always called the safeway on like…42nd and Chesapeake in Tenleytown the Secret Safeway. Always dead – almost in an eerie way.

        • v

          yeah, I went to high school in Tenley and the Safeway behind the Volvo dealership has always been the Secret Safeway

      • MM

        Or, the Salsa Safeway (Columbia Rd), Soviet Safeway was at 22nd (or 23rd) and K. The one on 17th was the Gayway. Unsafeway? Benning Rd

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Soviet Safeway is def 17th!

          • MM

            Well, the Safeway on K St has been closed for years so the title of Soviet Safeway can be transferred to 17th St (but it then would be known as the Soviet Gayway)

          • Anonymous

            Soviet Safeway was in Cleveland Park, on Connecticut, just south of Ordway.

          • Anon

            Def 17th street! Agreed!

        • Hill Denizen

          I hardly spend time in Dupont, and I know Soviet Safeway is the one on 17th. I thought I remember hearing that it was because there was always a line but half the shelves were empty (or maybe they hardly had any products or something like that).

          • Joysbrother

            Soviet Safeway was the one on 17th. The Waterfront Mall location was beyond trifling back in the day.

  • kd21

    I’m disappointed but not surprised that the arrival of the Harris Teeter a few blocks away did not encourage them to step up their game. This, along with the Soviet Safeway in Dupont are two of the dumpiest grocery stores I’ve ever seen.

    • textdoc

      To be fair, I think the Harris Teeter’s arrival _did_ spur the interior renovation they did around that time… but unfortunately they didn’t seem to step up their game beyond that.

      • INWDC

        Also, I think this HT realized they didn’t need to maintain the usually nicer HT experience given the level of the nearby competition. Ever walk by the side of the HT where the loading dock is? It always smells like a garbage dump…and that’s where all the store’s “fresh” food comes from. The bar for DC grocers was really low when HT arrived and hasn’t raised much since.

        • west_egg

          The area where Harris Teeter keeps its garbage dumpsters smells like garbage? Quelle horreur!!

          • INWDC

            It’s actually the loading dock and holding bay for the food being trucked in. But, hey, if you like your fruits and veggies coming out of garbage dump, then more power to you.

  • Anon

    This Safeway is terrible. Every once and a while I stop in for something, almost always see roaches and/or standing water in the aisles. I won’t return until it’s entirely overhauled.

    • pee witness

      It’s not necessarily standing WATER… one time when I walked in, an old woman was standing in the produce area and asked me to go to the bathroom in the back with her because it was too dark and unsafe to go alone. I went to flag down a staff member instead, but she was annoyed by the delay and proceeded to urinate while walking all over the produce section. I asked the staff to clean it up. 15 minutes later when I was leaving the store, the puddle was still there, but had been tracked all over the place.

  • Anonymous

    Sure, I’ll chime in with my own “Not surprised!”

  • Sucker who shops at safeway

    Hooray! Hopefully it stays closed then they move on to closing up Piney Branch Safeway.

    • also anon

      What’s wrong with Piney Branch Safeway? I go there all the time!

      • Piney branch Safeway sucks

        Also has expired food and bugs crawling.

      • Same sucker

        I have picked up several items off the shelf that were expired. The list includes cream cheese, cereal, mac and cheese, and peanut butter. A lot of these typically have expiration dates long past the apocalypse, so it makes me wonder why Safeway even has these things on its shelves at all. Are they cheap rejects from other stores? I told the manager about the expired items and then noticed the same boxes of cereal remained on the shelves for many weeks afterwards. : (

        • also anon

          I have never seen bugs there but the expired food thing has been an issue at basically every grocery store I go to around DC (except for upper scale places like Whole Foods). I’ve come to accept it just sort of comes with the territory.
          What I like about Piney Branch: really easy parking, prices are good, most of the workers there are helpful, discounts are even better when you use the Safeway app.

  • Rachael

    oh no. this is my go to! may have to change that now.

  • Maiden of Mount Pleasant

    I desperately needed a bathroom one day and used the one in the back of the store. There was no soap, no paper towels, and a faucet that only dispensed a trickle of cold water. Guess their staff never washed their hands. That was the nail in the coffin for me. Haven’t been back since!

    • ^^^^ This would be one reason why the Health Inspector would close the store – quite likely if somebody tipped them off to this. They have to post this kind of shutdown notice if sanitary facilities aren’t up to code and the retailer gets caught in a spot check.

      Reminds me of a few years ago when the Whole Foods in Glover Park had to shutter due to a lack of hot water.

  • Ghosstradamus

    Well, this is the least surprising thing I’ve ever seen. Stopped going there after I saw a guy in deli attire walking through the back of the store with his hands in his pants, and then immediately walk behind the meat counter and get back to work. Disgusting, and there’s the organic market and the harris teets right nearby so…yeah. This was definitely long overdue.

    • “Deli attire” just made my morning.

    • Donald

      Right. This is exactly the same thing as the whole foods in glover park scenario…

  • safeway

    Yeah, seems like Safeway has given up on this one. They eliminated the four self-checkout stations a couple months ago. I assumed they’d adjust by having more cashiers working. Nope, still just two cashiers. The adjustment is that the customers just have to wait longer — like 30 minutes longer — in line.

    • Anon

      I’m actually surprised there are 30 min worth of customers. Admittedly I have not been there in over a decade, but I was not impressed. I actually thought it was the Unsafeway, although apparently per above that official title is disputed.

      • ReadingDC

        The 30 minute wait was the final nail in the coffin for me a few months ago. I changed my shopping game from stopping in on my way back from work a few times a week to going to the Harris Teeter on weekend mornings and doing one big shop for the week.

      • santing

        Adams Morgan Safeway has always been very busy. Even when they had the self-checkout, that line would often be 10 people deep waiting for one of 4 registers to open up.

        It’s convenience is probably the biggest reason, given Harris Teeter a few blocks away is off the neighborhood beaten path just enough. I think you’re getting a concentration of comments here from people who feel vindicated, but it’s never been an overtly problematic place to shop.

  • Claudia

    I went the safeway on Alabama Avenue SE and it closed yesterday afternoon. Wondering if health department closed it too? It too is dirty store…

  • Alexander

    This is the worst grocery store in the world. I used to live a block away and would only stop there in times of complete desperation. I’m sure Cerbeus would love to redevelop the site, but Adams Morgan has been oh so friendly to reasonably scaled new development recently…

  • Anony

    Man, I wish they would do to this what they did to the former Stinky Safeway (now Swift Safeway) in Petworth. That place is a total 180 from its former self.

    • west_egg

      To be fair, I’ve experienced my fair share of spoiled product and indifferent staff at the Swift Safeway as well. (And yet it’s still a 180 from its former incarnation. ::shudder::)

  • DT

    Though I live in Adams Morgan a few blocks away, and frequently walk there for small quantity items that will fit in one cloth bag I can easily carry, for stocking up I go to the one on Lee Highway near a Giant so I can comparison shop and get cheaper gas nearby.
    My most frequent complaint is that they don’t have enough of the small sized carts, and both sizes often have wobbly wheels that are not repaired or replaced.

  • Jane

    While we’re here, can we get a list of all the attendant nicknames for each Safeway in town? I lived around the L St Safeway for years and never knew a nickname for it; it actually wasn’t too bad, all things considered. My fiance and I call the one in the Hechinger Mall the UnSafeway due to its proximity to the Starburst Plaza, but no doubt there are other contenders to that title.

    • Here’s a list from 2009 – go to comments there as well: https://www.popville.com/2009/07/dear-pop-help-verify-safeway-nicknames/

      • Ava16

        This list could definitely be updated as it is *nearly* 8 years old. Although, as a regular customer of the Sexy Safeway, I think that name still applies…just look at the clientele that go there ; – )

      • Hill Denizen

        Oh man, that brought me back. Really cool seeing how many of those Safeways have changed.

  • ct

    hey will someone inspect the store on 17th street and Benning Rd NE it has the most unpleasant odor in and cleanliness

    • Stacy

      Last time I was there, it smelled strongly of weed. Near the dairy case.

  • Brenda Rice

    Some one need to check the Alabama Ave S.E.

  • GM

    I once bought a pound of ground meat there, and brought it home, only to discover it had expired 3 days before I purchased it. I returned it, and went back to get another, to then discover that every package they had was expired. I brought them all up to customer service, but no one seemed to care.

    They also frequently run out of staples like milk, and tell me things like “you’re not the only person buying milk today.”

    • Pleasanter

      Speaking of expired food – I’ve unwittingly bought expired food at Target more than once. Having dealt with the hassle it is to return expired items, I now religiously check expiration dates. I know that expiration dates are usually pretty arbitrary, but these items were almost a year past their expiration. Not surprising since it’s the DC Target, but still.

  • WVGirl

    Did the Safeways that existed during the 80’s have nicknames? I remember there being a very tiny Safeway across the street from Eastern Market, and another basement Safeway at 12th and E St, NW.

  • petworthEP

    As a new(ish)comer to DC, I am fascinated by all the alliterative nicknames for different Safeways. Soviet Safeway? Sandinista? Secret? I want all the origins!

  • the dude

    I actually went and pulled the safety violation. The lines were so long that people’s rears were touching the meat in the back of the store. Definitely not sanitary

  • Larry_Leonard

    So is the consensus that retail food stores in the city are universally poorly managed, or there is some infrastructure issue that makes timely delivery challenging or what exactly? The amount of spoiled/past-expiration date food on shelves across the city seems ridiculously high, no?


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