Thursday, February 24, 2005

Grand Openings Galore

With SXSW, a decent-sized rodeo and the occasional NCAA basketball tourney, March is always a jam-packed month in Austin. Adding to this year's madness is next week's slate of grand openings. By week's end, the massive Whole Foods flagship at 6th and Lamar, the Alamo Drafthouse multiplex on South Lamar and the new Half Price Books super-store on North Lamar at Koenig will all be up and running.

Some folks find the loss of the venerable Half Price on Guadalupe (as seen in Slacker) and the closing of the barely-used former Whole Foods flagship lamentable. The fact that Austin has more than doubled in size since 1990 is crazy. Wasn't it just a few years ago that Sixth and Lamar was dominated by car dealerships, or am I really that old? I can only imagine how people who lived here in the Seventies feel.

On the whole, though, I'm glad to see the Alamo bringing its edgier fare to a place with ample parking and I'm glad to see Half Price opening a store here that will rival their massive Northwest Highway flagship in Dallas. I don't get to the current Whole Foods much as it is, but I'm looking forward to at least sticking my head in the new one. If growth is inevitable, better to have these sorts of projects flourish in town than lost to suburban sprawl.


jennifer said...

It's really weird to watch "Slacker" and see the weeds growing in the empty lots at 6th/Lamar!

At least I can walk to the new Whole Foods. Driving and parking there looks to be nightmarish (the underground parking garage is high on my list of claustrophobic nightmares)...

Tim said...

And let's not forget that these are all businesses born in Texas—not national conglomerates importing from China.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the listings for this year's rodeo concerts? Charlie Daniels, 38 Special AND Nelly? It's star-studded! They should have wristbands like SXSW!

Terri R.