The store replaces Publix, which didn't renew its lease and closed Dec. 28.
The Gateway Town Center in Brentwood is home to an operating grocery store again, as of 8 a.m. Feb. 12.
Customers lined up around the building, nearly out to Norwood Avenue, for a chance to be one of the first 500 customers at the store and receive a gift card for up to $500.
Some lined up at the store as early as 5 a.m.
Publix Super Markets Inc. announced in October it wouldn’t renew its lease in the shopping center after being there for 20 years.
In November, Winn-Dixie announced it would lease the 28,120-square-foot space at 5210 Norwood Ave., and received $850,000 in city financial incentives to offset costs associated with redeveloping the property.
Build-out for the store began in early January, soon after Publix closed Dec. 28. Winn-Dixie would not disclose the build-out cost.
It is Winn-Dixie’s first store opening in seven years, said Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker at the store’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 12.
“While other grocers would desert Brentwood, Councilman (Reggie) Gaffney called up and said, ‘Would you prevent this from turning into a food desert?’ We said absolutely,” Hucker said. “This is our home … We are proud to invest in this community.”
The store includes a produce section, a deli with grab-and-go options, a hot bar with rotisserie chicken, a wing bar, an expanded bakery section, gluten-free and organic products, a full-service meat department, a seafood section, beer and wine, a health and beauty section and a floral department.
Winn-Dixie hired 120 workers to staff the store, of which 108 are new Winn-Dixie employees.
The store is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.