What you’ll miss about Safeway on College Avenue

Derek Remsburg/Senior Staff

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You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Those words never rang more true until we heard that the Safeway on College Avenue closed its doors yesterday, July 8. The grocery store, located on the Berkeley-Oakland border, will stay closed for a year to make way for a newer, bigger (and better?) store.

Meanwhile, Cal students who frequented that Safeway are going to come back in August not knowing what to do. While there certainly are alternatives, such as Trader Joe’s, some of us grew attached to this store. Maybe this is why:

Bus access. If you lived in Unit 1 or 2, you could easily hop on the 51B, get down College, buy your groceries and miscellany and get back to your dorm in an hour (in that idyllic realm where AC Transit schedules and express checkout lanes collide — it has happened). Now you have to figure out where the other grocery stores are around Berkeley. We challenge you to find the easiest bus route to them.

Shopping dates. Whether it was planning a meal with someone special, stocking up with your roommates or buying that tub of ice cream by yourself, Safeway was a sweet escape on those Sundays when you had nothing better to do than study. College does crazy things like that — turning chores into fun. And it was once so easy with that bus route.

Frat boys will flounder? We’re not sure where you party planners will stock up on “supplies” now. But being the resourceful Bears that you are, we imagine you already have alternate sources of spirits lined up.

Living on the edge. You liked to tell people that you ventured over to Oakland for the day even though Safeway was in a relatively safe place during the day. Also, it wasn’t really that far into Oakland anyway. It was on the border, after all.

But there are a few things you probably won’t miss about this Safeway. Like the strangers who liked to hang out front and ask for money (not a big deal though — it’s Berkeley). The aisles were a little too small, but that’s typical of a city grocery store. And sometimes you might have been tempted by the Powell’s candy shop across the street. Who are we kidding? The negatives definitely outweigh the positives if you ever went to Safeway on College. Any other ideas about what you’ll miss? Let us know in the comments!

Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.