Euclid Kroger set to open after year-long absence

Kroger goes through final preparations before a grand opening on Euclid avenue in Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Krueger

By Cheyene Miller

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The revamped Kroger on Euclid Avenue will host its official grand opening Thursday morning after nearly two years of planning. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be performed by UK head coach John Calipari, who will be joined by the UK cheerleaders and band.

The new facility, which will open at 8 a.m., takes up 63,000 square feet – a 25,000 square foot increase from the previous facility. It will also include 125 rooftop parking spots, and 84 ground parking spots.

Kroger pharmacy employee and UK dietetics graduate Tina Trieu, who worked at the former Euclid Kroger, said that she wanted to return to work when the new store opened.

“I just wanted to come back,” said Trieu, who graduated from UK last month. “It was like home for me. I wanted to come back to my community.”

According to Kroger manager of public affairs Tim McGurk, complaints about the parking lot at the previous Euclid Kroger were considered when developing the rooftop parking lot. The entire store cost around $20 million to make, said McGurk.

“Parking was definitely an issue at the old store,” said McGurk, who noted that appealing to UK students, who make up a large portion of the store’s consumer base, was also a major factor in the new facility’s development. “That was an issue we had to get resolved. It was a big consideration in our plan.”

According to McGurk, UK PLUS accounts will be accepted at the store.

Features of the new Kroger include a Starbucks, a Murray’s Cheese shop, a Nature’s Health Food section, a sushi bar, a walk-in beer cave, and a soup and salad bar.

The store also features a second entrance/exit on the side towards UK, which McGurk said was intended to “make it really convenient for (UK) pedestrians and cyclists.”

Shoppers will also have access to escalators and elevators to ease their walk from the grocery section to the parking lot.

Several pieces of artwork are displayed throughout the store that were part of a selection process handled by Kroger and LexArts. McGurk said that nearly 50 participants entered the contest to have their art featured in the store.

The murals, one of which is by UK associate professor of architecture and artist Liz Swanson, portray the culture of Lexington and central Kentucky, which was a goal of the entire store design, according to McGurk.

“Every decision that went into this entire store, the thought process behind it was ‘how can it be the best neighborhood store it can be?’”