When grocery stores open in Houston—especially the hotly anticipated ones like the new H-E-B on San Felipe or the new Whole Foods at Blvd Place—it's the media that gets a sneak peek at the palatial markets before the general public does. This time, Whole Foods is turning the tables and offering an advance preview of their latest store at 1407 S. Voss Rd. to you, dear readers, on April 6. The cost of admission? A suggested $10 donation that will benefit the Houston Blues Society.
Tickets to the Whole Foods preview party are limited, so we suggest scooping a few up now while you still can. What can you expect at the grocery gala in addition to snacks, sips, and samples of various Whole Foods products? A tour of the new store, for one. It's a relocation of the store on Woodway Drive, just a few blocks away, built on the former site of the Randall's Flagship that served the Tanglewood area for decades. That was before Trader Joe's—just across the street—put the final nail in Randall's coffin. Know who's not afraid of Trader Joe's? Whole Foods, which is doubling down on the location by opening a store that, at 45,000 square feet, is twice as big as its old Woodway digs.
Within those 45,000 square feet, shoppers will find everything the modern Houstonian needs from a grocery store: a ramen station with options ranging from vegan to Texas barbecue ramen; a wood-burning pizza oven and pizza by the slice; a beer and wine bar with 20 craft beers and four wines on draft; an in-house smokehouse; an in-house sushi station; an in-house coffee shop; and groceries tucked in there somewhere, we suppose.
If you can't make the preview party on April 6, just camp out on the sidewalk outside the store on its official opening date, April 8. That morning at 7:30 a.m., Whole Foods will host an opening ceremony with coffee and pastries, with doors opening once and for all at 8 a.m. Meanwhile, the city's 10th Whole Foods is opening March 18 in The Woodlands, not too far away from the first TJ's in Houston. May God have mercy on your Hawaiian-shirted soul, Trader Joe's.