The newest incarnation of groceries stores has been born at 5100 Belt Line Road (southeast corner of Belt Line and the Tollway). As all other Whole Foods locations, it offers local, organic and sustainable groceries and plenty of ready-to-go meals, drinks, coffee, etc. And, of course, there's that bar in the middle of the store.
This new 40,000-square-foot store offers an entertaining if not fruitful shopping experience. It's not as big as some other stores, about half the size of the Park Lane store, but that just means if you forget cilantro it's not a half-hour trek back to the other side of the store.
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- This is the fourth Whole Foods in the area that has a full-service bar inside the store where you can buy a local pint, glass of wine, root beer or cold press coffee on tap to drink on-site.
- Customers can also buy a bottle of wine off the rack and imbibe immediately.
- There are 25 beverages on tap: 17 beers; 6 wines; 1 root beer; 1 cold-brewed coffee.
- The Wine Geek Program is new at this store and is a collection of suggestions from a variety of chefs, sommeliers and customers on their favorite bottles of wine along with some insight as to why they like it. Look for the Wine Geek tags.
- WF Addison offers a concierge service. Simply put, you send them your list, then they'll do all the work and even bring it out to your car. Now, you can't call them en route with an order. They need a 24-hour heads-up. The service is $30 an hour, but typical rates are $7 to $15 because the partners know where everything is. Bonus: The first time it's free. The email address is SWADNconciergeorders@wholefoods.com.
- Back to that bar. It's not all local beer, but has a strong emphasis on local. The same goes for produce and food. (Am I focusing on the bar too much?)
- Kegs! Of local beer! For you to rent!
- Yogurt. There's just so much. And right smack dab in the middle is Noosa Yoghurt, an Australian-style yogurt out of Colorado where happy cows put all other yogurts to shame. It's so good, it hurts.
- I always like that Whole Foods offers a few random CDs at checkout. Old-school.
- There's ample dining space, both downstairs and upstairs. The upstairs is spacious and good for crowd-watching.
- The bar has a growler program that also includes the wines on tap.
- The bar employs a Buy a Buddy a Beer board. Like, Allison who bought a cold one for Chuck Norris. You'll need to be able to verify that you're the intended recipient though. So, if you're Chuck Norris, you'll need to be able to crush a keg with a swift roundhouse.