On Wednesday, November 4, Whole Foods opened its first location in Downtown Los Angeles, on the corner of Eighth and Grand. Besides it’s colossal size of 41,000 square-feet that are decorated in bright colors and touches Art Deco design, the store — which the company has dubbed a “retail destination” — is also impressing customers from the surrounding historic and fashion districts with amenities and offerings that sets it apart from previously opened locations in the metropolis.
In a partnership that’s the first of its kind for Whole Foods, local chef and restaurateur Roy Choi’s Chego operates a counter in the prepared foods section that offers his signature dishes, like the Chubby Pork Belly Bowl and Ooey Gooey Fries. Other prepared foods include bacon-wrapped hot dogs made of nitrate-free, sustainably raised meat, and a slew of vegan and vegetarian options.
Whole Foods has also made it easier to shop for these items with the brilliant installation of kiosks at which customers can place their order for prepared pizzas and the like and pick them up after finishing their other shopping or chilling in the vinyl station.
That’s right: There’s a vinyl listening station where shoppers can take a break, which is a great partner to the store’s souped-up extensive coffee and juice bar. As in some other locations, there’s cold brew on tap; coffee enthusiasts will be pleased with the selection of brewing and other coffee-related contraptions, along with the available iced coffee-filled growlers to-go.
As if this all wasn’t enough, there’s The Eight Bar, the on-site restaurant and bar that seats 220 in an indoor/outdoor venue. During its daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., customers can enjoy $4 bar bites like nachos, 16 local brews and 20 other domestic and imported beers on tap, and cocktails made with Greenbar Collective spirits, which are distilled right down Eighth Street. You can even eat your drink with Nancy Silverton’s line of booze-infused ice creams like her chocolate whiskey.
If you live within a three-mile radius of this Whole Foods, you have one too many at The Eight Bar, and can’t carry any of its more than 350 hand-cut cheeses home, never fear: it’ll deliver your spoils home via bike. Ah, easy California living, right?