By Ken Williams | Editor
Crowds of shoppers and curious neighbors descended upon a Target mini store that had its soft opening on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Part of the parking lot was turned into a small carnival with games for children, free food and caricature drawings.
Inside the Target — located in a building constructed in a mid-century style of architecture by Safeway, which last housed Gala Foods — store manager Robert Farrington was getting a warm welcome from customers. One man told Farrington that he was happy to see Target in South Park and had refused to sign a petition that sought to ban “Corporate America” from the hip neighborhood that’s filled with “mom and pop” shops, restaurants and craft beer pubs.
On this day, though, nary a protester was seen.
People waited patiently to have their photographs taken with Target’s mascot dog, appropriately named Bullseye.
Although the store has been called TargetExpress, Farrington told San Diego Uptown News that it will now be called Target. The signage across the front windows still sports the retailer’s bulls-eye trademark sign, plus “Express,” but he said that signage will be removed eventually.
The 18,500-square-foot South Park store pales in size to the jumbo Target store in Mission Valley, which covers a whopping 199,000 square feet.
Farrington — a native of La Mesa who attended Grossmont High School and UC San Diego — said the store’s concrete floors and exposed beams are original. The floors were re-polished, and the rafters re-sanded and stained.
A giant mural on the back wall, newly painted, features hummingbirds and a painting of the original 30th Street streetcar that once served South Park. Target has also opened a pharmacy at the rear of the store.
Farrington said the store focuses on convenience items, such as organic produce and prepared foods, local craft beer and California wines, personal electronics and cellphones, seasonal selections and stationery, beauty and grooming products.
—Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and can be reached at email@example.com or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at @KenSanDiego, Instagram at @KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.