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Sip while you shop at blinged-out Giant at O Street Market

Friday - 11/22/2013, 9:53am  ET

The Giant at O Street Market in Shaw combines traditional grocery shopping with the ever-growing prepared foods market in a destination complete with a bar, free Wi-Fi and online order pickup.

The store, which opened Thursday, is the first part of the CityMarket at O development to open. When complete, Citymarket at O will include more than 600 residences, a rooftop dog park and infinity pool and an 182-room Cambria Suites hotel.

The Giant, located at the corner of 7th and O streets NW, will have one of the company's largest prepared foods sections, including made-to-order sushi, a hot pizza bar and a separate section of the deli counter for fresh-made sandwiches.

Adjacent to the prepared foods section is a two-story cafe built into the historic O Street Market's tower, as well as what amounts to an actual bar.

Patrons can order a glass of wine or beer to drink in the cafe — which has free Wi-Fi — as they eat their meal. They can also take it to go — within the store, that is. All the store's shopping carts are equipped with cup holders, to enable imbibing while browsing the aisles.

There's a limit of two, however; Giant doesn't want anyone SUI (shopping under the influence).

The Giant will also have the District's first Peapod Pickup location. Giant's parent company had so far only rolled out the pickup portion of the online grocery ordering service in the D.C. suburbs.

The 72,000-square-foot store replaced the 40,000-square-foot Giant that used to be located at the site. It also incorporates the former market building, which dates back to the 1880s. In the middle of the store, the former exterior wall of the market is signified by bricked arches utilizing some of the market's original masonry. The metalwork along the ceiling in that portion of the store was redone to look like it would have at the 1880s-era O Street Market.

"We're happy to be back in the Shaw neighborhood two to three years after we closed our store here that was 35 to 40 years old," said store manager George Ross Jr. "We look forward to working with the community as it goes through this major transformation."

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.