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Long lines, lots of energy greets new Kroger in MW

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By Mallory Bilger

MOUNT WASHINGTON " While thousands waited in Louisville to get the H1N1 vaccination Wednesday, hundreds of local citizens thought the grand opening of the city’s new Kroger store was an even more important place to be at 8 a.m. on Veteran’s Day.

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The line to get in to the store wrapped around the new Mount Washington Commons shopping center and some people showed up as early as 6 a.m.. Chilly customers said they came out to take advantage of the grand opening specials which included a free pack of country ham given to the first 500 shoppers.

Mount Washington, Highview and Zoneton Fire Departments also were part of the celebration and raised a flag in honor of Veteran’s Day.

“I’ve never been to a grand opening before,” said Mount Washington resident Carolyn Sparrow. “And the specials help with meals for my family. (The store) is a whole lot closer than having to go to Fern Creek.”

Many others shared Sparrow’s sentiments and said they were excited about having another grocery store in the area.

“I wanted to see this store. I’m glad they built one here. It’s more convenient,” said Mount Washington resident Linda Barta.

Mayor Joetta Calhoun and store General Manager Jeremy Wheatley cut the ribbon to mark the  opening of the 76,000-square-foot store at 234 Eastbrooke Parkway. It took about six months to construct and will employ about 150 people, according to a company press release.

Mount Washington’s Kroger is open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight and features a deli/bakery, drive-thru pharmacy with a branch of The Little Clinic, floral, produce and meat departments, a U.S. Bank branch and a “kitchen place” department that offers small appliances, cookware, bake ware and dishes.

Calhoun said she was excited about adding another lucrative business to the city.

“It took the cooperation of a lot of people. It’s brought with it 150 jobs. With today’s unemployment rate over 10 percent, that’s a remarkable thing to have happen,” she said.

The Kroger store’s opening is believed to have attracted several other businesses to the area including Fantastic Sams, Little Caesars Pizza, El Nopal Mexican restaurant and others.

The grocer’s biggest competition is expected to be ValuMarket, which is located almost directly across Bardstown Road. Many residents agreed they would shop wherever the prices are the best.

“I like to support ValuMarket . . . but I buy what’s on the fliers,” resident Lynn Weber said. She added that she would shop both groceries for the best deals.

Mount Washington resident Sonya Mattingly thought the new store would draw customers from Mount Washington, Fern Creek, Taylorsville and Bardstown.

“I think it has a tremendous benefit for the community. It should have been here a long time ago,” she said.