What would make supermarket shopping less of a chore and more of an adventure? How about an in-store bar? Uber-market Wegman’s, which has a devoted - okay, fanatical - following among a certain ilk of supermarket shoppers, has opened a new 132,000 square-foot store in Collegeville, a distant suburb of Philadelphia, that includes The Pub, an onsite tavern and restaurant. Because who doesn’t need a drink before, during and after getting groceries?
Wegman’s spokesperson tells BNET that the company is testing the restaurant concept in Pennsylvania because they already had a liquor license in the state - not the easiest thing to acquire due to Pennsylvania’s draconian liquor laws - and decided to put it to good use. A second Pub is scheduled for an upcoming Wegman’s in Malvern, another suburb of Philly; if both restaurants are successful, then the company will consider expanding the concept to other locations in New York and New Jersey. The beer list won’t win any awards, but is certainly respectable for a pub in a supermarket, with Victory’s Golden Monkey on draft and selections from craft brewers Stoudts and Weyerbacher both available in bottles. Check out the food menu and beer menu.
Philly seems to be ground zero for food testing these days. Target is renovating most of its stores in the Philadelphia region to incorporate a “P-Fresh” section, which includes perishable foods - to see how the concept works before launching them nationwide. Why Philly? A Target spokesperson tells the Inquirer:
“Its total sales and food sales exceed company averages,” Hornbacher said. In other words, a lot of locals already buy food at Target.
Finally, crappy liquor laws and spending a lot on food puts Philly at the forefront of something. Now if we could just get Wegman’s to open a supermarket in the actual city, our work here would be done.