I'd give this weekend's Greenville Avenue Trader Joe's opening a disappointing 5 out of 10 on the dramameter. When the Ft. Worth location opened just over a year ago, I was all for freaking out and being prepared. I faked an illness to drive to Cowtown and fight the crowds. But all I really ended up fighting with was a rent-a-cop/parking attendant who led me down the wrong parking path. I still haven't forgiven that guy.
Now I'm a year older, a year wiser and much more pregnant. So instead of going first thing in the morning, I took my sweet time and headed in shortly after 3 p.m. opening day.
Continuing team coverage of this important news event: - I Braved the New Trader Joe's Only to Discover That They Have Zero Cold Beers - 10 Things I'm Excited About Buying When Trader Joe's Opens on Greenville Today
First item of note: no line out the door. Secondly, there was actual parking in the actual lot where the actual Trader Joe's sits. Which meant no parking across the street and no yelling at any damn rent-a-cops.
The insides of Joe were busy, but not crazy so. Nobody was going to crotch-punch anyone else over the last bottle of Chuck. They were, however, out of Cookie Butter when we got there. (GASP!) So there's your drama, sirs and ladies. Oh, and I suppose when a total stranger asked to touch my belly. But that was more traumatic than dramatic.
Here's the thing about Trader Joe's: even if it had been crazy, the people crammed inside would still have been happy. It's a happy place for happy people. Nobody is there hastily running in for something they desperately (as in, actually) need. Everyone is either searching for their old TJ's favorites or discovering something new. Or both, probably several times over.
In fact, Trader Joe's merchandising model involves testing products out for a few weeks to gauge their popularity in the wild. So as a customer, you're basically a shiny, happy member of a focus group you happily pay to be a part of.
As I made it around to the far end of the store, I noticed a long line forming, like a glorious double rainbow of drama! It was, indeed, a line for the registers. At last, there was a bit more drama to be had after all. But alas, it was a drama mirage. Really, it was just a line allowing the staff to efficiently direct each customer to the next open register. Ugh. What kind of fun is that?
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And there you have it. The first official Dallas-proper Trader Joe's is open and it's kind of a big deal and no big deal, all at once. Go, or don't. I don't care. I'll be back again and again though. And I'll make my own drama if I have to.