Downtown Modesto, get your groceries on.
The new Smart & Final Extra! opens to the public Wednesday in the site of the former Save Mart on H Street. The supermarket fills a more than three-year grocery void in the area in a space that has been empty since the chain left.
Smart & Final executives and local dignitaries gathered Tuesday morning to celebrate the grand opening. The new new store will anchor the Shops at Lincoln School complex at 17th and H streets, which also has a Starbucks Coffee, Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop and Taqueria Lagos. The new store will replace the existing Smart & Final on Ninth Street, which closed Tuesday night.
The Smart & Final Extra! will have a much wider selection than its previous location, with more than 3,500 additional items in stock from bulk to individual sizes. The fresh fruit and vegetables selection has been increased fivefold. The store will also now offer a new line of natural and organic products, fresh meat, deli items, household goods and a vast cold beer selection.
“We heard there was a hole and we’re here to fill the void. Rest assured, we are the gap filler,” said Smart & Final District Manager Jim Wood.
Wood said since it was announced the chain was moving into the site he has been overwhelmed with positive feedback, particularly from the elderly residents of nearby Ralston Tower and Tower Park apartment complexes nearby who missed being able to walk to get their groceries.
Shopper Ruben Casillas, who owns a small grocery store in Waterford, was at the preview day on Tuesday to check out the new store. He shops at the Ninth Street location two to three times a week for himself and his shop.
“I’m very excited and very impressed by this,” Casillas said. “They did a great job. It’s so great.”
The new, larger store has also hired 65 new employees and moved an additional 25 from the Ninth Street store to the new site. The Smart & Final Extra! will be open from 6 am. to 10 p.m. daily.