After delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, H-E-B has opened its newest Austin location, which is part of a multimillion-dollar investment in South Austin.
The 130,000-square-foot supermarket at 8801 S. Congress Ave. — near the northwest corner of Interstate 35 and Slaughter Lane — opened its doors to shoppers on Wednesday.
The store, initially scheduled to open in March, includes a barbecue restaurant called True Texas BBQ, which has a drive-thru, indoor and outdoor seating and the company’s first indoor playground area.
Other features include a large pharmacy with drive-thru lanes, self-checkout options and curbside and home delivery services.
The new location is part of a $200 million investment in South Austin by the San Antonio-based grocery chain.
Expansion plans include a new store at South Congress and Oltorf Street.
H-E-B had planned to close the South Congress H-E-B on March 22. The building was to be demolished to make way for a 130,000-square-foot multi-level store with underground parking, a beer garden, a food hall and a stage for live music.
H-E-B spokeswoman Leslie Sweet told the American-Statesman last month that the postponement was due both to the coronavirus and some previously announced construction issues.
“In the coming months, H-E-B will take a fresh look at the design to ensure it meets evolving shopping patterns and customer expectations as a result of COVID-19, as well as achieves the company’s own high standards,” Sweet said.
H-E-B said it doesn’t have a revised timeline for the design and construction of the new South Congress store. The existing store will remain open until construction starts.
Other H-E-B expansion plans in South Austin include construction of a 90,000-square-foot Oak Hill store at U.S. 290 and FM 1826. It is slated to open in 2021, according to the company.
In West Austin, H-E-B is at work on a 110,000-square-foot store at Lake Austin and Exposition boulevards that will have a multi-level design, underground parking and a True Texas BBQ restaurant.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Slaughter Lane H-E-B held off on celebrations that typically accompany a new store’s opening. But to mark the grand opening, H-E-B said it has donated $50,000 to Treefolks for a new watering truck to support tree planting and restoration projects across Central Texas.
Other donations included $3,000 to River City Youth Foundation to support youth programming surrounding wellness, college and career readiness. Nearby schools — Akins High School, Paredes Middle School, and Blazier, Casey, Kocurek, and Williams elementary schools — will receive $15,000 in gift cards to support back-to-school efforts.
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