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05/07/2012 - 12:14 PM
New Kroger in Elliott’s Hardware on Maple Avenue in Dallas caters to UT Southwestern
Dallas, Texas -

Maria Halkias/Dallas Morning News Staff Organic produce is one of the offerings at Kroger’s Fresh Fare store in Dallas.

By MARIA HALKIAS,Staff Writer

Published: 04 May 2012 08:09 PM

Designing a 73,000-square-foot supermarket for tens of thousands of workers, students, patients and visitors at UT Southwestern Medical Center complex — not to mention the surrounding neighborhoods — was a challenge. But Kroger found some ways at its newest Fresh Fare location.

The store, which was built on the former site of Elliott’s Hardware on Maple Avenue in Dallas, has extended deli counter service hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It also has a full-service Starbucks with designated spaces in the parking lot.

“It’s the first time we’ve tried the Starbucks spaces, and we thought this location could use it,” said Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston. And speaking of coffee, he said, Kroger’s bulk coffee bean supplier, Nature’s Harvest, made a special flavor and named it “The Medical City Blend.”

The pharmacy carries wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other expanded medical supplies, he said. And Fresh Fare stores all have larger gluten-free, natural and organics departments and more locally grown produce than a typical Kroger store.

Kroger has about 130 Fresh Fare stores nationwide and opened its first in North Texas two summers ago in Fort Worth.

The second Fresh Fare store in Dallas is under construction across from Cityplace on Haskell Avenue and will open this fall.

When the family operating Elliott’s Hardware was ready to sell its flagship store, Kroger pounced on it. Kroger’s nearest store is 3 miles away on Cedar Springs.

Kroger tore down the building and started over. Since it acquired the property in 2010, new apartment and condo developments have popped up between Maple Avenue and the growing UT Southwestern complex.

Kroger Fresh Fare opened Friday. Its regular hours are 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The store also has a Boar’s Head sandwich shop and chef-prepared meals and side dishes. The cheese shop has 100 varieties.

The store offers 1,275 varieties of wine and 400 beer options. Kroger is also testing a new feature: a clearance corner for discontinued items.