Crowds Descend on New Publix in Downtown Lake Worth

It was a long opening day.
It was a long opening day.
by Lisa Rab

The new Publix opened today in downtown Lake Worth, and I could not wait to check it out. Finally, instead of

driving west of I-95 for a decent loaf of bread, I could walk to a

place in the neighborhood, like they do in real cities!

I ambled over to Dixie Highway around 1:30 p.m., toting my little cloth grocery bag, feeling smug and proud and... holy s**t, where did all these people come from?

From the outside, the art-deco design of the store makes it appear very spacious, futuristic, and Jetsons-friendly. But inside, the surprisingly narrow aisles were jammed with carts and customers. I abandoned my cart for a few seconds in the produce aisle and turned around to find a strange man trying to commandeer it. Not by grabbing and stealing it but by pushing it away with his cart!

Futuristic outside, cramped inside.
Futuristic outside, cramped inside.
by Lisa Rab

There were plenty of uniformed, smiling employees in the aisles as well, offering a "Hi, ma'am, how are you today?" every time I passed. But when I asked one man where to find the tortillas, he led me on a befuddled quest. Finally, he asked me to wait at the end of the bread aisle while he forged ahead, chivalrously braving the crowds.

The store's selection was less-than-spectacular. The building is small, with a layout similar to the Publix on Clematis Street, so there's not a whole lot of room for extras. The sushi/seafood counter is tiny, and you must be vigilant about defending your personal space if you pause too long to browse the fancy cheese area.

At the checkout counter, they were giving away free, reusable bags. This was exciting, except they still inexplicably packed one bag with heavy canned goods and produce, the other with lighter paper products (why, why does this always happen?), so I was forced to rearrange them for my environmentally friendly walk home.

Still, it's a luxury to have a real grocery store in the neighborhood. And I will be back, probably tomorrow.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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