Sunday, August 15, 2021

Former Albertsons #4319 - Oakland Park, FL

Albertsons #4319 / Safeway #4319 / Publix #1662
950 East Commercial Boulevard, Oakland Park, FL

     Hello everyone, AFB is officially back in action today! I hope everyone had a good summer, as I sure had my fill of adventures these last few weeks. I figured what better way to mark my return to the blog than share a little sampling of my summer adventures with everyone today. I saw a lot of interesting, unusual, and endangered stores this summer that I'll be sharing with everyone as time goes on, but today, I decided it would be best to share this funky Publixsons with everyone. However, to most longtime readers of the blog, you probably already know the significance of this store from the title of the post - the Oakland Park Albertsons was one of the three Albertsons stores in Florida that held out to be converted over to the Safeway name in 2016, just for those Safeway stores to be sold off to Publix two years later. While the Oakland Park Albertsons/Safeway was talked about quite a bit through the blog's tenure, today will mark the first time we see pictures of the place on the blog. Myself and other blog contributors have taken plenty of photos of the Altamonte Springs and Largo stores through the years - from the Albertsons to Safeway to Publix days for both of those locations. Both of those stores managed to get documented well during the blog's tenure, however, poor Oakland Park never saw much love. I attempted to visit the Oakland Park Albertsons myself during its remodel to Safeway in early 2016, but car troubles on I-95 about halfway there thwarted my attempt to visit. Unfortunately, it took me until this past June before I could finally make it down here for a visit, which was well into this store's new life as a Publix. As nice as it would have been to see this place as either Albertsons or Safeway, at least it's finally documented, and we can now see what this store is like. We'll begin the tour in a little bit, but first, a little background on the history of this store, complete with some older photos of the place I dug up from around the internet:

Photo courtesy of Edric Floyd on flickr
     Albertsons #4319 was the second Albertsons store to open in South Florida on March 30, 1977, following the opening of the area's first store a few months prior in Lauderhill, which is a few miles to the west of here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, Oakland Park is a city located just north of Fort Lauderdale, a rather typical mid-century suburb with some pockets of light industrial thrown in. With how crazy the population of South Florida has grown since the time this Albertsons store was built, Oakland Park has become just as busy feeling as Fort Lauderdale to the south, but minus all the skyscrapers of its more famous southern neighbor. While this is an area that's only gotten busier through the years, I really can't pinpoint why out of all the Albertsons stores in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, this one was the lucky one to survive all of the company's woes, lasting for 38 years under the Albertsons name.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     Like many of these older 1970's/early 1980's Albertsons stores throughout Florida, this store received a nice refresh in the early 2000's. While not as extensive as some remodels Albertsons did at the time, the Oakland Park store got a dressed-up exterior, an expanded liquor store, and a modernized interior out of that remodel, giving this store the early 2000's Industrial Circus decor, which was retained until the Safeway remodel in 2016.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     In late 2015, the Oakland Park Albertsons began its remodel to refresh the look of the aging store, a remodel that eventually involved the conversion of the store over to the Safeway name. While it still is (and probably will still remain) a mystery as to why Albertsons bothered to remodel and convert their last three Florida stores, it was still an interesting experiment to witness. Safeway had a lot of promise, although I'd love to know if Albertsons was actually experimenting with regaining a position in Florida through Safeway, or if it was all just a game to tempt Publix or SEG into buying three dressed up stores for more money than three older stores would have brought in.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     All polished and cleaned up, the Oakland Park Safeway held its grand opening on May 25, 2016 - the same day the Altamonte Springs and Largo Albertsons stores made the switch to the new name.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     It's a bit sad to think that all the money Albertsons dumped into these stores for the Safeway conversions was a bit of a waste, as only two years later Publix would come in and rip everything out that Albertsons had just installed. Like the situation in Altamonte Springs and Largo, the Oakland Park Safeway building just happens to be across the street from another existing Publix, which now co-exists with its counterpart on the other side of Commercial Boulevard. If Albertsons was just dressing up these stores to get a higher price for them, it would have been nice if SEG was the one to take the bait instead of Publix. At least SEG and Winn-Dixie would have had some buffer between stores had they bought the old Safeways instead, but Publix has deeper pockets and took the first bite.

     After closing as Safeway in August 2018, Publix swooped in and wasted no time in getting this place reopened. Following a quick repaint and refresh of the interior, Publix #1662 was up and running by the end of 2018. I believe Publix wanted these stores open in time for the holiday cooking season in late 2018, so the bare minimum was done to get these former Safeway buildings up to Publix's standards.

     While the initial conversion and remodel was a bit hasty, Publix did promise they would do a more thorough remodel later on once the store had been established and the busy shopping season was over. I had actually expected to see the more thorough remodels happen sooner, however, it wasn't until early 2021 that Publix decided to start the more thorough remodel here in Oakland Park. While it seems like Safeway's exterior will continue to live on in its current form, Publix did begin moving things around inside and has remodeled some of the service departments to be more to their liking.

     So that's the background information on this Safelixsons store, so let's head inside for a look at what remains in there...

     As I mentioned before, Publix did a really quick remodel after buying this store in 2018. Besides some new signs and a quick repaint to the Classy Market 3.0 decor, things like the Safeway layout and flooring were retained, however...

     …come early 2021, it was finally time for a change. My visit to the former Oakland Park Albertsons happened about three-quarters of the way through the store's more thorough remodel, at which point Publix began to make themselves feel at home. While most of the work was done, Publix was still working on shuffling some aisles around, and the new floor was not yet fully installed. However, Publix's new Evergreen decor was mostly in-place by the time of my visit, so we'll get a look at how that decor translates into one of these older buildings, which is something I've been wondering about since that decor made its debut in late 2019. These last two photos are glimpse into the store after entering through the right side doors, as seen just after Publix opened, and also following the recent remodel.

     Like most older Albertsons stores, the deli department is located in the building's front corner, the front right corner specifically at this location. Publix has the department arranged where the cold cuts are located at the counter immediately in front of me (which is the side wall), with the Pub Sub counter and prepared foods around the corner on the front wall.

     Here's the entirety of the deli department, with the prepared foods portion visible here. That green patch above the deli counter was the last trace of the store's previous Classy Market 3.0 decor left on the walls, some scars left behind from the old deli sign that was once there. Besides that patch, it seemed like the rest of the new Evergreen wall decor had been installed.

     Produce is located in front of the deli and bakery departments, creating the store's "grand aisle".

Photo courtesy of

     Above is one of two interior photos I was able to track down of this store during its Albertsons days, taken as the store was remodeling to Safeway. Besides three decor swaps over a span of 5 years, the grand aisle hasn't changed much in layout. One of Albertsons' Industrial Circus signs is partially visible in the above photo, with the walls transitioning to their new Safeway decor.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     I couldn't find any spectacular photos of the grand aisle during the Safeway days to do nice overview comparison, so these photos above and below will have to suffice. The above photo looks down the grand aisle from the deli, with the bakery and produce visible in the background.

     This picture shows off those cookies better than the salesfloor, but you can still get an idea of the grand aisle from this overview (and probably a sudden craving for cookies too - they do look good, and we all know Albertsons was famous for their cookies!).

     Moving further down the grand aisle, we enter the bakery department. One of the largest modifications Publix made during the Evergreen remodel was completely reconstructing the bakery. In the photos from the Albertsons and Safeway days, the bakery department was flush with the side wall. Publix rebuilt the bakery to jut out from the wall with the lower curved ceiling, much like you'd find in a new-build Publix store. It's fairly common for Publix to rebuild the bakery departments to something more of their liking in buildings they take over, so Publix must have some particular standards they need to upkeep for their bakery departments!

     Here's a front view of the remodeled bakery department, in its new Publix-ified form.

     Leaving produce, we find the wine department in the store's back right corner.

     The wine department included some cloth panels featuring food and other random designs. The designs don't exactly correlate with the departments they're placed in, but they do provide a nice pop of color (specifically green) to the otherwise gray walls. If anything, these small pops of green help the decor better live up to its name of Evergreen!

     Since the original Safeway to Publix conversions were a bit rushed, Publix never bothered to rip out Safeway's old flooring. Even if Publix leaves most things the same, one thing they normally do before reopening in a building they take over is rip out the floors for something new - usually installing a faux terrazzo linoleum or a checkered tile pattern. That made the Safeway conversions a bit of a strange sight for Publix, as the flooring was a glaring relic from Safeway. Publix has never used faux wood flooring in their stores before and probably never will due to their legacy affinity for terrazzo, so seeing this flooring was certainly a rarity in a Publix! However, three years in, all that new flooring Safeway installed was getting ripped up by Publix, as you can see in the photo above. Interestingly, Safeway only installed their new flooring over Albertsons' old tile, which was exposed back here as the faux wood began to get ripped up. Later in this tour we'll get a glimpse of what new floor Publix was installing, and what will eventually become of the faux wood in this part of the building.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     Switching back to the Safeway days for a moment, here's a look at the store's former Natural and Organic food department, which was located at the end of the grand aisle between produce and wine. While Safeway kept these products in a special area, Publix integrates organic foods into the main grocery aisles alongside the standard products. Therefore, Publix ripped out all these aisles after taking over this building and recaptured this space to expand their own produce department.

     Exiting the grand aisle, we find the meat and seafood department in the back corner, immediately following the wine department.

      Here's a photo showing the meat and seafood counter in its entirety, as well as the new signage.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     While not identical in any way, there are many more similarities between the old Safeway decor and Evergreen than the Safeway decor and Classy Market 3.0. I think that's because the Evergreen department names are mounted to a shiny back paneling much in the vein of Safeway's design, with sleek, thin sans-serif fonts used for lettering.

     Moving into the grocery aisles, we find some funky flooring transitions as a result of Publix shuffling things around. The faux stone flooring was a remnant from the old organic foods department, which transitions into a beige tile that Safeway used for the remainder of the sales floor.

     Looping around into the next aisle, we catch a glimpse of the windows into the upstairs offices. Those offices are located on a mezzanine level above the back service departments.

     The back of the store is home to the meat coolers, which transition into dairy heading into the back left corner. The walls in this part of the store are looking a bit blank, although I can't say for sure that's the final design. As we saw back in the wine department, some cloth panels were installed to break up all the gray, so I don't know if more of those are going to be installed over here before the completion of the remodel or not.

     Frozen foods are located in the middle of the store, taking up this whole aisle as well as half of the next one.

     The frozen food aisle didn't look much different now compared to the Safeway days. The primary difference is that Safeway used the tops of the coolers to sell beach chairs and umbrellas (which is a very stereotypical Albertsons/Safeway trait), while Publix keeps the tops of the coolers free of merchandise.

     Continuing our journey across the store, we've hit the halfway mark. Here's a quick peek across the front end looking toward the pharmacy counter, which we'll look at a bit closer toward the end of the post.

     The remainder of frozen foods spill over into aisle 5, as seen here, before the dry grocery items pick up again.

     With 55,000 square feet to work with, Publix had enough room to create some wide aisles as they moved things around. While this was a spacious store with plenty of breathing room in the aisles, Publix was able to use the extra space to their advantage, rather than leaving strange open gaps in the salesfloor where Publix was at a loss for how to use all the extra room they inherited.

     Moving closer toward the left side of the building, we see what the flooring in the store will eventually look like throughout. In the Safeway remodel, Albertsons' old tile was covered over with new tan/beige tiles across the majority of the salesfloor, which Publix has now ripped out in favor of this shiny beige flooring. I believe this shiny flooring is some kind of tile, but I really didn't look to closely at the floor while I was here to see exactly what it was. The flooring goes well with the decor though, tying everything together.

     Here are a few more grocery aisle shots as we make our way toward the pharmacy counter...

     The pharmacy is located in the store's front left corner, relocating to this spot during Albertsons' early 2000's remodel. Originally, we'd be looking at the store's side entrance here, with the pharmacy located in the back of the building. Closing off the side entrance allowed for this larger and more convenient pharmacy location, as well as a much larger liquor store to be added onto the side of the building.

     Staying in the pharmacy corner for a moment, here's the only interior photo of this place I could find as an Albertsons prior to the Safeway remodel beginning. It's not the greatest overview of the old Industrial Circus decor, but some of the tell-tale traits of that decor can be seen here, such as the aisle marker and the wall detailing.

     From Industrial Circus, it's back to Evergreen for the remainder of this tour. While the bulk of the pharmaceuticals are located in the short aisles in front of the counter, the remainder of those products and some other health and beauty items reside in the store's second to last grocery aisle, aisle 11, seen here.

     Stepping out of aisle 11, here's one last look across the back of the store, toward the meat counter and wine department.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     And another overview from a similar perspective, but from the Safeway days.

     The store's dairy coolers are located in the back left corner of the building, wrapping into the last aisle along the left wall. Unlike all the other department signs in the rest of the store, the dairy signs aren't attached to the wall - they're actually separate panels hanging from the ceiling.

     Turning the corner, here's a look down the store's last aisle, aisle 12. Dairy coolers run the length of the wall to my right, with candy and some other dry groceries located to my left.

     Emerging from the aisles, here's a nice overview of the store's front end, as seen from the pharmacy counter.

     You can see the deli department in the background of this image, as we near the front checklanes.

     Interestingly, while most Publix stores have been installing self-checkouts as part of their Evergreen remodels, this store didn't. Instead, this store has eight regular lanes, and it didn't look like any of these were getting taken out, as the counters had all been replaced with new ones as part of the remodel.

     In front of the check lanes is the dining area and the rather rare-for-Publix in-store Starbucks kiosk. The Starbucks kiosk was inherited from Safeway, and Publix retained the kiosks at all three of the Safeway stores they bought. Publix has installed Starbucks kiosks at a handful of high-volume locations on their own in recent years, but it's still a very uncommon sight.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     The Starbucks kiosk hasn't changed a bit following Safeway's demise, however the dining area next to it has. As part of the local flare element used in Safeway's decor, Safeway decided to give their cafe the name "The Floranada Cafe" - Floranada being a nod to Oakland Park's original name, the history of which you can read about in more detail here. While this was the best photo of the old Floranada Cafe I could find on Yelp, I apparently saved a much better photo of the cafe in a post I wrote a while back, taken from Google Reviews before all their photos of the Oakland Park Safeway disappeared.

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     While Yelp didn't give me many results for a good photo of the front of the cafe, I did find this nice shot of the cafe's interior. The inscription on the wall and the graphics were generic ones used in all three of the Floridian Safeway remodels, only the names of each cafe getting swapped out respectively. It's still interesting to see Safeway dig deep into local history to come up with the names for these seating areas. The Largo Safeway had its cafe called "The Citrus City Cafe", another reference to a former name for the area that had long since slipped out of usage. Altamonte Springs' "The Roost" was just a reference to a nearby park, but still a unique nod to the city, and much more interesting than a gray painted room with a 'Dining' sign on the front!

     Looking away from The Floranada Cafe Publix's generic dining area, we see the service desk coming into view after Starbucks.

     Just beyond the service desk is the exit, through which we will now pass as our tour nears a close...

     Exiting, here's a look toward the liquor store, which was carved out of the front left corner of the building during the early 2000's remodel. Closing off the old side entrance allowed for the liquor store to grow in size, and find itself a more prominent entryway on the front of the building.

     Here's a better overview of the liquor store's facade...

Photo courtesy of Yelp

     …and a comparison of how this part of the building looked in the Albertsons days. Interestingly, this store placed an Albertsons logo above the liquor sign, something that wasn't very common to see.

     Looking down the left side of the building, we can see it hasn't been touched much at all since the store was built in 1978. The river rock panels, which were stuccoed over on the facade during the Safeway remodel, remain in-tact to this day on the side of the building. Even the location of the former side entrance is still obvious, including where the doors into the main store and original liquor store were sealed over.

     This last overview of the exterior completes our ground coverage of the former Oakland Park Albertsons store. We'll wrap up this post as usual with a variety of online satellite imagery, courtesy of Bing Maps and Google Earth. First up, the Bing Maps Bird's Eye aerial images:


Right Side


Left Side

     And now some historic aerial images, courtesy of Google Earth and

     Before we get to the actual historic aerial images, I wanted to post the above image comparing the location of the Safelixsons with the next closest Publix store, located an excruciating 0.3 miles away in the shopping center across the street. The Publix across the street in Northridge Shopping Center has been around a long time, dating back to the wing store era. In the late 1990's, Publix replaced their original store in Northridge Shopping Center with a new one located at the site of the plaza's old Target (nee Gold Circle) anchor, after Target relocated a few miles away to a new store. I still feel having a Publix across the street from another Publix is redundant, but that's just Publix for you. Anyway, back to the historic aerial imagery:

Former Albertsons #4319 - 2021

Safeway #4319 - 2017

Albertsons #4319 - 2014

Albertsons #4319 - 2007

Albertsons #4319 - 2003 - The building as it looked before the Industrial Circus remodel.

Albertsons #4319 - 1995

Albertsons #4319 - 1980

Future Albertsons #4319 - 1969

     After way too long, it's nice to finally have comprehensive coverage of the former Oakland Park Albertsons on the blog, especially since this was one of Florida's longest lasting Albertsons stores. I spent a decent amount of time in South Florida this summer, so we'll finally begin to see more stores from that part of the state find their way to the blog in the future, with more to come from that way as soon as next month, actually. While September's posts will be fun, we still have one more post to come in August, where we'll check in with Florida's other supermarket chain to see what more they've been up to. So that's what you have to look forward to in two weeks! Lots of good stuff to come as we enter the latter half of 2021, so be sure to keep coming back for more!

So until the next post,

The Albertsons Florida Blogger


  1. Great post as always! I'm glad you were able to explore more of South Florida this summer, especially this Albertsons-turned-Safeway-turned-Publix. While I agree it's very redundant to have a Publix right across the street from another Publix, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think this remodel turned out well... I think Evergreen looks much nicer in an older store like this than what we've seen of it in newer stores so far. And good comparison of Evergreen to Safeway's décor, too. I definitely liked their package, and it's a shame so much time and effort (and money!) was spent on that remodel, only for Publix to so cheaply and temporarily throw up some Classy Market 3.0 on the walls in the interim. Like you said, I suppose we'll never know Albertsons' true intentions behind the Safeway Florida conversions, but at least for the very short time they were around, they look to have been very nice stores. Great finds on all of those Albertsons and Safeway interior photos too, and since you mention Google's old photos having disappeared, I might be able to dig some of those back up... I'll leave a reply to this comment if I'm successful. Looking forward to all the blog has to offer this fall!

    1. Found 'em! Here are the Safeway pictures (apologies for the long link):,-80.1348652,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipP6_hPIW1OZGGiTc0qrwTNoEDft_FMKWON4TgbU!2e10!3e12!!7i2576!8i1932!4m9!1m2!2m1!1ssafeway+oakland+park+fl!3m5!1s0x88d90231aadeaca3:0x615f95fad80e021a!8m2!3d26.1878943!4d-80.1348652!15sChdzYWZld2F5IG9ha2xhbmQgcGFyayBmbCIDiAEBWhkiF3NhZmV3YXkgb2FrbGFuZCBwYXJrIGZskgENZ3JvY2VyeV9zdG9yZZoBI0NoWkRTVWhOTUc5blMwVkpRMEZuU1VSQmRVOVVNRWhuRUFF

      Unfortunately, I couldn't find a similar link for the old Albertsons at that spot, nor are there any Albertsons pictures at the Safeway link. However, there do appear to be some exterior pictures during the Publix conversion there.

    2. Thanks! I’ve been long overdue to break south of Palm Beach County for blog coverage, especially since that area is just a straight shot south on I-95 for me. There’s lots of neat stuff down there, and I’ve only scratched the surface so far! I’ve seen Evergreen in two older Publix stores so far (this being one of them, the other example also a Publixsons), and I really think Evergreen looks better in these older stores too. I think the lower ceiling and the white color of the ceiling tiles does something to make the décor look better, as I think the signage and splashes of color on the wall pop more with the lower white tile ceiling. Crazy that Evergreen looks better in the older stores than the ones that were built with Evergreen in mind, but Publix can make any décor look good in any building it seems!

      What’s even worse about Publix ripping out all the Safeway décor so soon is that these three Florida stores were the ones to prototype the new look, so they all got the more extensive and detailed versions of that décor. I believe nwretail has mentioned Safeway’s remodels in his area to the new décor have been pretty cheap, and lack (in most cases) things like the local flare and street names on the aisle markers.

      And thanks for digging up that old Google photo album from this store! I wanted to use those photos for the post, but had to settle for the ones on Yelp since I couldn’t pull that link from anywhere. Oh well, at least the link is here now in case anyone is interested in seeing more from this store’s Safeway days.

  2. It is great seeing some new content on here and it is also great to hear that you made it down to South Florida. It'll be interesting to see what all you explored down there. As for this Safelixsons across the street from another Publix, wow. This makes the two Publix stores in St. Pete look logical, lol. Looking at the aerial image, it's hard to tell which store is busier due to the original Publix being in a shopping center with other big name big boxes nearby. The Safelixsons does seem to have a rather small parking lot though for such a large store. I could maybe understand Publix needing a reliever store if their original store had such a small parking lot, but the store with the small parking lot is the 2nd Publix so, hmm, I don't know!

    Looking at the user reviews of the two stores, they both get a 4.3 rating. Honestly, 4.3 seems a bit low for Publix. The nearby Aldi (in a former Winn-Dixie maybe?) gets a typical Aldi rating of 4.5 Maybe the Safelixson's average will move up or down now that it has been remodeled. Judging by some recent user reviews, it looks like Publix might be slipping up a bit. Looking at the Safelixsons, user 'Seth William' mentions this Publix selling rotten produce and has photos to prove it. Yep, that's certainly rotten produce. Seth then went on to say, "Never thought I would miss Safeway which was a much better store."

    Oh dear! With Kroger really promoting the 'freshness' of their online options, I could see some FLL residents who might be pushed to investigate such options! Oh Publix, that fruit really does look like something from my visit to a Winn-Dixie in 1997.

    On the topic of rotten fruit, we now move to the decor, lol. I agree with Retail Retell that this implementation of 'Evergreen' looks better than implementations of Evergreen we saw elsewhere in newer stores. I also do like the flooring Publix is using here even if I think it's a shame that Publix is pulling up the faux wood that also looks nice. This is about how far my compliments for this decor will go though. This store looked better in all the other versions of it that you provided photos for (great photos though, no complaints there!) whether it be Albertsons Industrial Circus, Safeway Modern, or even the kind of Classy Market, lol. The long stretches of dull grey make this a depressing store to shop at. It's great that Publix has put in nice flooring, but what good does that do if the walls look like bare concrete?

    Given Publix's problems here in modern times, I'm inclined to give them, and especially this decor, the name 'Nevergreen'. It's still miles ahead of HEB even if HEBs are more colorful. At least there is that!

    I took a look around at local Winn-Dixies and maybe the Commercial Blvd. location in Tamarac is the closest location? Either way, that location, wow. No wonder Publix feels they can let themselves go and get away with it! Link:

    It looks like Winn-Dixie could use a handyman and a hardware store. Ironically, did you know that Winn-Dixie owned a chain of home improvement stores in Texas? It looks like they acquired this when they acquired the Buddies chain in the late 1970s and maintained these stores for some years in North and East Texas. Did Winn-Dixie have hardware stores in Florida or anywhere else? Here's an ad for their hardware stores:

    1. I’ve been long overdue to cover more of South Florida, so I spent quite a bit of time down there this summer to document some stores, many of which don’t have much longer left in this world for one reason or another (that fact prompting me to finally go down there and see some of these stores before they’re gone). And there are many more examples out there of a Publix across from another Publix – this situation is much more common than it seems, and not all instances are because of Publix buying the former home of a competitor – Publix has built two stores across from each other on their own! The parking lot at this store was pretty full when I was here, but I didn’t venture across the street to the other store to gauge how busy it was, but hopefully it gets pretty busy to justify having another location so close by! (Although no matter what the reason, having two of the same store across the street from each other is pretty ridiculous!) I’m not surprised there are people out there who miss Safeway. I know Safeway is considered pretty meh in most other places, but Floridians seemed to love it, as it was different, and the prices were pretty competitive compared to the one who has to put stores across the street from already existing stores!

      I agree Evergreen looks nicer in these older stores than the new ones, and I think (at least in this store’s case), it’s a step up from the prior CM 3.0 décor. Publix put the absolute cheapest version of CM 3.0 in here, as that décor was never intended to be permanent. It was just painted walls with some letters on them, and lacked the usual flare of that décor. It was more colorful, but still pretty bland, and a big step down from what Safeway installed only two years prior! At least Evergreen has some decorations, even though those were mostly confined to the wine and produce departments. It would have been nice to see those decorations extended around the rest of the perimeter to break up all the blank gray areas, but it is what it is I suppose.

      Yes, the Tamarac Winn-Dixie is the closest one to this store, although there is a much nicer Winn-Dixie just a little bit further away heading southward in Fort Lauderdale, which is a rare early 2000’s-built Winn-Dixie that remodeled to Down Down. I did visit the Tamarac Winn-Dixie during one of my trips down this way, and I will confirm, it’s not a shining example of Winn-Dixie recent rebirth. A great relic, but definitely in need of some work. I visited that store in between breaks in a rain storm, and there was a big roof leak in the produce department, which was all roped off with buckets everywhere.

      I never knew Winn-Dixie was involved in the hardware business, and I don’t recall any Winn-Dixie owned hardware stores in Florida ever. Certainly an obscure part of the chain’s history!

  3. Talk about a quick Evergreen model, almost as quick as a West Miami store that turned to Evergreen which was also pretty new but that looks better than that and other newer ground up built stores (their darker ceilings, yuck) and also where things are placed tended to look unique rather than your stock Publix layout (like the New Spanish Plains #1581). I'd like to see you do the store across the street, Northridge as that store had a rather long Publix run dating back to the 70s (though the new store opened on 12/07/00, the exact same date as my local store #753 though the two have different models with Northridge having Early 2000's and 753 having mid-range model)

    1. I knew the three former Safeway stores were supposed to get more extensive remodels, but I wasn’t expecting to visit this one right in the middle of it! Publix only did a quick remodel from the start, so it was expected these stores would see a second remodel in pretty quick turn. I didn’t venture across the street to the Northridge store (although I do like the rounded exterior). I believe the original store was torn down when the big box strip on the plaza’s south end was added too.

    2. I saw a website where it said the new Publix was built on top of an old Target so the old Publix would have been around the west area.

  4. Nice to see you back at work!! 🤓 I'm looking to see if you did the Publix across the street. Did you ever do a posting of Sweetbay in East Tampa, next to a Cooks, now a charter school?

    1. Glad to be back! I don't have any photos of the Publix across the street from here, and I haven't been to the East Tampa Sweetbay yet.

  5. I agree with everyone else that Evergreen looks good in this old Skaggs model store. To me Evergreen doesnt look as good in a superstore model as it does in these higher drop ceiling older Albertsons stores.

    If I remember correctly, when Safeway operated here it was getting 4.4/5 stars on Google, so people around here liked Safeway.
    And you're right about other parts of the country not be enthusiastic about Safeway. Out in Oregon their stores tend to average between 3.8 and 4.2 stars. The Florida stores were something special and it's a shame that Abertsons wasnt able or willing to come up with a better distribution network and more store locations.

    Nice photos in this post. I think these 53,000 square foot Albertsons were the perfect sized stores.

    1. I think the contrast of the gray walls with the white ceiling tiles makes Evergreen pop more. Based on my two experiences of seeing Evergreen in older stores, Evergreen looks much better with lower ceilings than with higher ones.

      I know a lot of people liked the Floridian Safeways because they were different, and because the prices were very reasonable (although people in other areas complain Safeway is too pricey, but I don't recall that being a big issue here - either Safeway's high prices elsewhere looked cheap here, or Safeway was actually trying to be really competitive in Florida). I really wish Safeway had stuck around, but everything about Safeway Florida just seems like a big mystery.

      And thanks, glad you liked the post!

  6. It would be a shame if Publix did nothing with that ugly fluorescent light albertsons ceiling.
    These stores look sso much better with a Publix drop ceiling.