Whole Foods Grand Opening Today

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Whole Foods, Venice CA

Ok…My plan was to run by at 9, see if it was lame or complete mayhem, leave by 9:02 and go back later at 12 for the barbeque.  But then I got sucked in.  It’s 10:16 and I just got home.  It’s that glorious.  (stop rolling your eyes, naysayers!)  And I got a free baguette.

Here are some particularly great things about the new Whole Foods in Venice:

  1. It has a wine bar.  That is my #1 favorite thing, of course.  Wines in 2oz tasting sizes that range from $3ish to $9ish.  Tapas, including a cheese plate.  (you know how I love a good cheese plate .)   Right now, it’s open when the store is open but the official hours of the wine/tapas bar will be 11-8.  Selections will rotate on a bi-weekly basis.  I think this wine tasting bar is really handy – if you want to bring a nice bottle of wine to a party or give as a gift and you don’t want to blindly choose something and hope for the best – they have some high-end wines at the tasting bar at a fraction of the cost.
  2. The wine section is great.  There is 10% off 6 bottles or more.  They plan to have a ton of wine events.
  3. Hot food choices include: coffee bar, brick-oven pizza (they have a ham and egg breakfast pizza), a Taqueria, hot food bars that always include something "international" (right now it’s Indian) and a vegan/vegetarian only hot food bar for those of us who don’t like to have our veggies in close proximity to meat.
  4. Cold food choices include:  sorbet/gelato/rice pudding bar, sandwiches made to order, olive bar, salad bar, cheese bar, smoothies and juice bars, and a bakery.
  5. Plenty of outside and inside seating – and some of the outside is designated "no-smoking"
  6. "Local Artisan Corner" in the clothing and accessories section.  Right now, the artist is Bryan Scheller from Venice who creates really interesting wall mirrors and vases
  7. They will have "Community Support Days" in which a percentage of sales is donated to a Venice non-profit community organization.
  8. They will have "Value Tours" – which will show you how to shop for healthy food on a tight budget.

Whole Foods, Venice CA

The parking lot is still pretty cramped but today they had parking assistants to point you in the right direction and assist you in backing out of the cramped space (utilizing a whistle.)  I don’t know if they will permanently have these assistants – however, I can’t help but think that they read my parking complaint and acted on it.  (The Whole Foods’ representative contacted us directly yesterday, so I know they at least read our posts!)

Whole Foods, Venice CA

Ok readers – let’s have it!  Comment away, I know you want to!

Whole Foods Market
225 Lincoln Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: 310.566.9480
Fax: 310.566.9492

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Just got back!!

    It is completely and ridiculously packed full of people – we parked up Rose and walked down after 20 minutes in the parking lot with no luck! The bbq outside is just slices of chicken sausages but the INSIDE is amazing! Beautiful and full of fun stuff they pretty much have everything you could ever want and the samples today are insane! The BBQ corner is great with pulled pork/beef/chicken and brisket. We had a great lunch. I definitely miss being able to run to Big Lots but am excited to shop here once it calms down.

  2. there goes the neighborhood!

    I will try to stick to Strohs for my Deli Delights, Blues for my BBQ, Ground Works for my black Gold, and The dirtiest Ralphs known to man just up the Street on Brooks for the rest of my needs, but its so tempting ….Fine I am going ?!

  3. yeah, it’s a chain, but they have clearly made a whole-hearted attempt to embrace the ‘community’ concept that venice prides itself on. i will definitely shop there

  4. I agree, Ariel. And let’s face it – Lincoln isn’t easy on small businesses. Between traffic, street parking, no easy U-turns, lots of distracting signage, etc…it’s easy to miss what’s actually there. Bret and I are making plans to highlight some of those small businesses along Lincoln, btw.

    Sometimes you need a big guy to make things better for the little guys. Whole Foods is bringing attention to Rose, which is a great thing. There are a bunch of small businesses starting up on Rose between Lincoln and Main. I believe this will help them become more visible.

  5. Oh, and I’d rather support Whole Foods (because of how it’s trying to work with the community) than Ralphs. Especially the Desperation Ralphs on Brooks.

    Whole Foods isn’t going to take my business away from the local shops I do go to. Just the other big supermarket chains.

  6. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend just left the last comment about Stroh’s, Ground Works, etc…he is a creature of habit…SO sad…

    I am utterly giddy about the newest addition to the neighborhood! It reflects growth and represents what we are all paying such high rent prices for…say goodbye to RV alley…

    So amazing to have somewhere so yummie to ride my bike for fresh EVERYTHING..

  7. Kate – I didn’t see one . Would it be installed at the entrance to the store, or does someone walk around with a hand-held clicker thing?

  8. The new kid on the block appears to have done his homework and implemented some ideas that make it fit to be part of the Venice “community”, I think. I totally agree about it’s opening perhaps attracting the spotlight on an area where other, smaller, local businesses could benefit from some exposure.

    Are there parking problems? I wouldn’t know. I’m a Venetian, I ride my bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now, I’m off to see what WF has on offer for breakfast.

    : D

    PS Although their meatball sub makes me keep going back, those too-cool-for-school fuckers that work the counter at Strohs are the rudest jackasses on the planet. I stand behind this statement 100% if one of you reading this actually knows one of them. You can tell ’em from me.

  9. Hey, that’s my bike!

    (wasn’t that ethan hawke’s band name in reality bites?)

    I love this whole foods. it rocks my world. I am planning my third trip in a few minutes.

  10. I went last night for the first time to grab a quick bite to eat and was so overwhelmed I left glassy-eyed and with just 2 slices of pizza in hand! It’s by far the best WF I’ve ever been in. The food stations were amazing…one just for Indian!!
    And yeah, definitely hook up those bike baskets future food runs as the parking lot is tiny–actually it’s pretty big, but the spaces very cramped. I will bike/walk from here on out.
    And speaking of new stores on Lincoln….there is a cool new clothing boutique called Pearl right next to Manny’s Bikes–very cute, fashion forward pieces at a fraction of AK prices. And Estate, what looks to be a bike & skate shop, with lots of hats for sale. And a new Slave Salon/Boutique….there used to be one on AK several years ago and they moved to Silver Lake.
    And now they are back!

  11. I planned on going in today – because it’s the community support day. (5% of sales donated to Venice Family Center.) I had to go to CVS too – the parking lot continues to be a problem. I’ll go back later with my bike – I just happened to be driving around to do errands and thought I’d include WFs. Now I know it’s going to be “pick up whatever can fit in my bike basket” kind of stores. That’s disappointing.

  12. I planned on going in today – because it’s the community support day. (5% of sales donated to Venice Family Center.) I had to go to CVS too – the parking lot continues to be a problem. I’ll go back later with my bike – I just happened to be driving around to do errands and thought I’d include WFs. Now I know it’s going to be “pick up whatever can fit in my bike basket” kind of stores. That’s disappointing.

    Oh and btw – there ARE a ton of new cool stores on Lincoln – we are going to start blogging about them soon.