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With the Jan. 22 opening of its newest Pittsburgh-area Market District at the Waterworks Mall in O'Hara Township, Giant Eagle unveiled the region's first table-service restaurant inside a supermarket.
And it was only fitting that Ted Allen, host of Food Network's "Chopped," was on hand for the grand-opening festivities of Giant Eagle's 12th Market District, which marks the regional retailer's fifth such food-focused format and the third thus far to feature an in-store restaurant. While mingling with shoppers and sharing recipes and tips from his new book, “In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks,” Allen conveyed his admiration for the new supermarket, "which vastly enhances the food-shopping experience with a sense of adventure and 'kernels of discovery' around every bend," which is increasingly appealing to today's growing base of food enthusiasts.
"Food stores like Market District continue to evolve beyond the traditional grocery store experience, featuring fine cuisine with offerings that cater to both the meal planner as well as the seasoned diner," said Market District SVP/GM Tom Devries. "The introduction of the heightened in-store restaurant experience at our fifth Pittsburgh-area Market District reinforces our goal of being a purveyor of both the world's latest culinary trends as well as classic recipes with a modern twist."
At the in-store restaurant, customers can choose from an array of delicious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with seating for 180 patrons. Sample menu offerings include Asian barbeque chicken salad, hand-rolled sushi, herb-roasted salmon, prime rib and French dip sandwiches, as well as burgers, sandwiches and wraps served to tables via an electronic direct table delivery service.
The restaurant is complemented by a beer department with 800 varieties of domestic, craft and imported beer and a full-service wine and draft beer bar featuring 18 beers on tap and wine by the glass.
"We are very pleased that we're the first Pittsburgh-area food store to offer a restaurant with the ability to serve customers their beverage of choice, whether it is a fresh cup of tea, specialty soda, craft brew, or glass of fine wine," Devries noted.
In addition to a greater selection of fresh and prepared foods and expanded departments and items on the shelves throughout the store, the new Market District aims to enhance the atmosphere and create an inviting environment that encourages both exploration and relaxation."
The expanded Waterworks Market District store also enables guests to expand their cooking education in the demonstration area, where in-store chefs will share recipes and cooking and preparation tips daily. The store also features Market District's take on more traditional departments, such as bakery, dairy and a health, beauty and wellness department complete with dieticians and a drive-through pharmacy.
In addition to specialty and unique offerings, the Waterworks Market District also features many of the traditional products, convenient services and other savings opportunities Giant Eagle customers have come to expect. The store also features an in-store Starbucks and Citizens Bank branch.
The new 24-hour store has been expanded to 103,000 square feet and employs approximately 420 team members, many of whose primary focus is on product knowledge and food know-how.
With approximately $9.9 billion in annual sales, Giant Eagle Inc. operates 232 supermarkets and 195 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.
Photos of the latest Market District can be found on PG's Facebook page here.