Whole Foods is opening its fifth Austin store on Wednesday, January 15th, and there are lots of features that set the new store at the Domain apart from previous stores. Under development for over two years, the 63,000 square foot space stands at the north end of the Domain complex, adjacent to MoPac. We got a sneak peek inside a few days ago, and here are some of the interesting features that give the new store its own personality.
Fun flourishes can be found throughout the store, including a hanging refurbished wheelbarrow display at the entrance (created by Austin Roadhouse Relics), a banana tree that helps bananas ripen more evenly, and a moss and steel wall created by Austin’s Articulture at the escalator entrance.
Eco-friendy features can be found throughout the store, including skylights, rainwater collection units, doors on the fresh pack wall to reduce energy usage, and recycled construction materials like reclaimed wood and bricks.
The produce section is found at the entrance of the store and will feature 290 organic items on opening day, including a special new leafy greens bar.
For the beer lovers in the area, the Draft Shack is a very special place, indeed. It features 45 beers on tap and an oyster bar. In addition to the shack, 80 feet of store space is taken up by beer, and 4 feet of that space is full of 100 point rated beers.
The northeast corner of the store is home to the bakery and cheese counter. This particular bakery will make in-house bagels and bialys, a cookie of the day, and in-house tortillas. In addition to the more than 550 varieties of cheese hosted in the cases, there will also be a full service cheese counter where guests can get fresh slices in whatever portions they prefer.
The juice bar has moved away from the food bar areas and into the Whole Body section, allowing the staff of that section to contribute more to drink recipes. Added bonus: the bar being in a less hectic part of the store allows guests to really chat with bar staff to address their juice needs.
In addition to the sandwich and pizza bars, the Domain store will host a Texas ramen bar that features Japanese ramen with a Texas twist.
Outside the front of the store guests can find Public Domain, a recycled shipping container converted into an outdoor beer and bratwurst bar. A space for live music, washers, and a kids’ play area make this a great space to spend some outdoor time.
It all opens up to the public this Wednesday with a bread breaking ceremony at 7:30am and official store opening at 8am. Shoppers can enjoy giveaways, tastings, a photo booth, giveaways, music and other events for all ages throughout the day. Opening week will also support local organizations by giving 1% of sales to specific community charities. For more information on the store and opening events, visit the Whole Foods Domain website.
What do you think of the new Whole Foods store at The Domain? Leave your comments below.