Grocery Outlet Coming Soon to Skyway!

Jeff, Dan and Erin McNeil attended a West Hill Business Association meeting on November 20, at Lakeside Bistro to talk about their new store.

Jeff, Dan and Erin McNeil are independent owners/operators of the very successful Grocery Outlet in the Highlands.  They are looking forward to bringing a second store to Skyway, scheduled for a Grand Opening on March 21, 2013.

The two stores will share something unique, utilizing whimsy, and nostalgic themes in their decorating. The Highlands location has a bowling alley theme, salvaged from the contents of the old building when it was gutted.  The Skyway store will have a music theme, based upon research the owners did about the history of the neighborhood, and the famous people, such as Ray Charles, that came from the Skyway area.

Plans are well underway to rebuild the old grocery market located at 11656 68th Ave. S. (Its last incarnation was 'My Eldorado'). A longterm lease has been signed by Berkeley, CA based Grocery Outlet with the Boca Raton property owner, Kin Properties.  Western Design Group is the architect.

Jeff, Dan and Erin explained that in making their decision to open a second store in Skyway, they were looking for "a neighborhood".  The Highlands store is located on more of "a thoroughfare". When it snows, for example, people stay closer to home to do their shopping.

The new owners expressed some disappointment about the outcome of the annexation vote, because they were hoping to have both stores in Renton, but they will still tie together advertising for both stores. 

The focus of the new store will be all about building relationships with residents and local businesses. The owners will be mindful of not competing with the local nursery, for example.  Grocery Outlet does the buying, but local operators can make decisions about what to select.  They hope to partner with our local food bank for donations, and they will be setting up an outdoor music venue in a grassy area at one end of the store for local performers.  They are open to inviting fundraising to these performances, and are willing to donate food in order to help.

Grocery Outlet will begin hiring in February, and they will be looking for local employees. Their hours of operation will be seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m.

The music theme will be an evolving process.  The owners are scouting for used musical instruments, while their current employees are engaged in providing decorating ideas.

Safety will be greatly improved in the parking lot with bright outdoor lighting.  LED lights and other 'green' features will be used on the interior.

Here's a link to plans, with an architect's rendering of how the store will look when finished:


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Question Mark November 21, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Although many on West Hill are disappointed that the recent election for annexation to Renton was defeated, it's acknowledged by many that West Hill will eventually become part of the City of Renton. Welcome to our neighborhood, Jeff, Dan and Erin!
ERIN MCNEIL November 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Sonja, We wanted to clarify a few points in your article regarding Grocery Outlet coming to Skyway. We attended the WHBA Meeting in order for us to see how the business community there works together in leiu of a formal Chamber of Commerce, and to get some ideas for a formal business plan that we are putting together. Grocery Outlet inc. has not begun the selection process for an owner/operator for this location. While we are hoping to be in the running for consideration of this site, we want to make it implicitly clear that we are not the new owners. That said, your support and enthusiasm for a new Grocery Outlet in the area is much appreciated! We will keep you informed when the selection process is complete. Thanks again, Jeff, Erin & Dan McNeil
Richard Bray November 24, 2012 at 12:54 AM
They did a great job with the Highlands location keeping the bowling alley theme, providing value and keeping the store up.
Sonja Bowden November 24, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Erin, thanks for the clarification. I heard you mention the final selection process, but got the impression you were most likely to be chosen, so I let my enthusiasm for your creative ideas and community-minded spirit get the best of me. Your Highlands store has a great reputation (see Richard's comment above), so we hope you are officially selected to operate the store in Skyway. Regardless, there is a lot of excitement up here about the opening of a Grocery Outlet.
Sonja Bowden January 09, 2013 at 08:21 PM
When I wrote this blog post, I over-enthusiastically reported that the owners/operators of the Highlands Grocery Outlet were slated to open our Skyway location. That was likely, but not quite correct at the time. I have just now learned that Erin, Dan and Jeff have been 'officially selected', so we want to give them a big welcome to our Skyway community. The soft opening will be March 21, the Grand Opening will happen Saturday, March 23, and job applicants can send resumes, work history and current employment information to skywaygroceryoutlet@yahoo.com.
Sonja Bowden January 28, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Charlene, we're looking forward to meeting you at the new Skyway store. Thanks so much for expressing such heartfelt appreciation for your employers. We feel so very fortunate to have such community-minded, caring owners, Jeff, Dan and Erin, opening a Grocery Outlet here. There's lots of local excitement about the opening, so you will all feel very welcome when you arrive.
Anhyel February 01, 2013 at 05:41 AM
Sonja I live in skyway around the corner from the Grocery Outlet location. I am looking for work and wondering how do i go about applying?
Sonja Bowden February 01, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Anhyel, send your resume with work history, current employment and reference information to: skywaygroceryoutlet@yahoo.com Good luck to you!
Faith February 11, 2013 at 02:53 AM
I live in near Renton and I have sent my email, so I hope that I am able to be apart of Grocery Outlet.
Sonja Bowden February 11, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Faith, I heard they have received a large number of resumes, but if you applied, I wish you the very best of luck. It's always ideal to work for a good company close to home.


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