Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When can a grocery store be more than a grocery store?


  • When it’s opening up in a historic, high profile, but unlikely location (East Ninth and Euclid Ave).
  • When citizens work to shake visions of wild new upgrades (a JetPort in the Lake? A dome on Municipal Stadium? A world champion in a major league sport?) that never materialized.
  • When vacant is replace with vibrant; when something new builds off something old and something trusted.

And when a region rides a string accomplishments (new major league facilities - including a convention center and Med Mart, a revived downtown, the incomparable Playhouse Square, a cleaner river and lake, a burnished national image) with promises of more to come - a dramatic Public Square makeover, a national political convention, a bridge from downtown to the Rock Hall, yet more dramatic new housing; confidence gradually replaces cynicism.

Recently, many would have greeted a development like this with skepticism and sarcasm. From the first talk of this project, though, mostly I heard, “It’s going to be great.”

So, here’s to the new Heinen’s Fine Foods opening at 10am tomorrow. Never thought we’d be capturing gigs of video of a grocery store grand opening amid concerns too many people attending.

But then again, never thought in my lifetime I’d gaze out a window in inner ring suburb Euclid to regulary see herds of deer . . . or (willingly) attend an outdoor music and arts festival in Cleveland. . . on a cold, snowy evening in February – and have a lot of fun doing so, too.

I expect to have a lot of fun tomorrow, too.

 At a grand opening - in a grocery store – in the middle of downtown Cleveland.