CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Harris Teeter on Wednesday announced its opening of a new store here, with a grand opening celebration to be held May 29.
“The surrounding neighborhood and corporate Harris Teeter’s passionate anticipation for the first Harris Teeter grocery store site fostered a quest for a truly distinctive design,” stated Richard Bartlett, partner at Bartlett Hartley & Mulkey architects PA. “The area’s intense focus on the arts and numerous Central Avenue corridor art deco styled building inspired the industrial deco motif. The building profile is unmistakably unique with intricate details resulting in a rare yet delightful venue for a grocery store.”
The project to develop a new Harris Teeter on Central Avenue marked a major milestone for not only Harris Teeter but also for many customers who can still recall history of Charlotte's supermarket industry.
Harris Teeter co-founder W.T. Harris opened his first store at 1508 Central Avenue in 1936 and, many years later, announced plans to relocate the original Harris Super Market to the 1704 Central Avenue location. Harris' store on Central Avenue was the first full service-supermarket in Charlotte, the first air-conditioned grocery store and the first to stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday nights. Harris continued to grow his Harris Super Market business to eight additional locations, and in 1960 he merged with Teeter Food Mart out of Mooresville, N.C., to form Harris Teeter.
The new Art Deco location has 45,000 square feet of sales floor, and the store features a green roof system visible from an upstairs seating area. Harris Teeter also has taken reclaimed wood from Harris' original 1704 Central Avenue location and incorporated it into the ceiling planks of its market hall and seating area, as well as the produce stands in the Farmers Market.
The Company commissioned Charlotte-based painter, mixed-media and mosaic artist Tom Thoune to design mosaics for the side of the building using whole or broken pieces of porcelain and ceramic pottery donated by community members, as well as British-born artist Shaun Cassidy to create four sculptural bike racks inspired by the building's Art Deco style to promote a bike friendly community.