For those curious about the reopening of the Pacific Palisades Vons on Sunset Boulevard, the wait is over. On Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a special VIP wine tasting reception will celebrate the new supermarket’s opening, with proceeds benefiting the Palisades-Malibu YMCA.
A minimum donation of $25 at the door includes wine tasting, food sampling and live entertainment. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the YMCA and the event is open to all residents.
“Palisadians have told me they are curious about what changes they will find in the new store and those who attend the event will be the first to see it all,” said Carol Pfannkuche, executive director of the Palisades-Malibu YMCA. “Plus, the wine tasting should be a real treat, since Vons has the largest selection of wines among all the stores in our community.”
The day after the reception, the official public opening begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., with free handouts for customers until 8 p.m.
Vons had announced renovation plans in January 2010 but when the doors finally shut on March 25, many customers wondered when the store would reopen and what dramatic changes they would see. After a successful eight-week construction period, the changes are ready to be unveiled right on schedule.
According to Carlos Illingworth, manager of public affairs for Vons, shoppers will see the addition of a new Starbucks and a bigger sales floor space within the building’s existing footprint. Plus, the store is adding at least 40 new employees
"Many Vons stores have in-store Starbucks and outdoor seating," said Illingworth. "This location, however, is unique in that the patio looks out onto the Pacific Ocean. We wanted to take advantage of this great setting for our customers and provide a beautiful design to showcase to the thousands that travel the PCH each day."
In conjunction with the interior remodel, the upper driveway to the Vons parking lot has been moved to line up with the stoplight at the intersection of Castellammare Drive and Sunset Boulevard. This change comes as a great relief to many local residents and the Pacific Palisades Community Council, who have been pushing for realignment for several years, in part to heighten safety around the driveway and intersection.
Vons often reaches out to the local community after renovating their stores, according to Illingworth. Choosing the YMCA was a way to help residents of all ages.
“The YMCA is very honored and pleased to be the beneficiary of this exciting community event,” said Pfannkuche.
Those interested in attending the grand reopening event can RSVP by calling (310) 454-5591, or via email CarolPfannkuche@ymcala.org