The grocery store located at 3300 Montrose Blvd., fondly known as Disco Kroger, is in the throes of a revamp that will leave the previously downtrodden (in a hip way) store a jewel of the gentrified 'hood.
Launched earlier this month, this renovation isn't a mere attempt at painting the walls and adding a new shelf for organic yogurt. Scheduled to be completed in May of this year, the redo is being described as a "complete floor-to-roof makeover" that will leave the store with a second level, a new "customer-friendly" layout, cozy décor and new equipment. Instead of the rows and rows of packaged foods, the new emphasis will be on fresh produce and prepared foods.
But the real draw? A new customer lounge perched on the mezzanine.
"The Montrose area is a unique neighborhood in Houston and over the past 33 years we've been able to be part of the community by serving hundreds of thousands of customers," Rebecca King, consumer affairs manager for Kroger wrote in an e-mail response to CultureMap questions. "The store is one of our most popular locations in the Loop and it's been a few years since we've updated it.
"As the area continues to grow and flourish, the remodel presents Kroger with the opportunity to provide our customers with a better shopping experience and an assortment of food and service offerings that reflect their requests and needs."
Despite the raising of the roof, the actual grocery space is expected to remain the same. Expect expansions in the healthy eats, wine/beer and specialty cheese departments (à la the West Gray "Posh Kroger").
With the closing of Scott Gertner's Sky Bar, the Disco Kroger moniker has become somewhat irrelevant. We're scanning for new nicknames — K. Lounge and Spa Kroger are high on the list.
The remodel is just one of 11 renovations the Ohio-based company will complete in the Houston area this year, but there's still the elephant in the grocery store: Is Disco K taking it to the nines in order to compete with the impending openings of a nearby H-E-B and Whole Foods?
Those chains are going chic in 2011, and the Montrose Kroger seems to be rising to the occasion.