Harmons downtown Salt Lake location makes debut
The new Harmons grocery opened in downtown Salt Lake City Wednesday to a mix of the curious and those who were taking advantage of the convenience of having a big store nearby.
Although no big lines formed for the 9 a.m. opening, a steady flow of shoppers made their way through in the first hour, including construction workers taking a break from the City Creek development.By noon, the number of shoppers spiked, with an estimated 2,400 people stopping in to eat lunch, creating standing-room only space for a period of hours at the delicatessen and adjacent areas.
The store at 100 S. 135 East is built on two levels. A 50,000-square-foot ground space features a large produce department and meat counter with fresh fish. On the 18,000-square-foot mezzanine there is a deli with a seating capacity for about 300 customers.
"I've been counting the days for this opening," said shopper Jan Deguilio, who lives downtown. "The store is beautiful perfect. I'm excited."
Stacy Paget, who shops at the much larger Harmons supermarket in Farmington, said she was surprised that the downtown store was so spacious.
"This doesn't have the feel of a smaller, urban grocery store. I also like the parking garage. When the weather is bad, it's nice to walk directly into the store."
Said shopper Chris Bennion: "The selection is large. And it's great to have a store in the downtown area. It's good for the city, and it's convenient for me."
The debut of the Harmons City Creek store is a prelude to the opening of the $1.2 billion City Creek development that is being spearheaded by the real estate development arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Harmons City Creek, just off the eastern edge of the giant office-residential-retail project, is the state's first large grocery store in a downtown business district.
Brothers Bob and Randy Harmon, who run the grocery chain bearing their family's name, are counting on the redevelopment of the downtown area to give rise to a strong residential customer base for their new store.