Record 3k line up before Raleigh grand opening of NC’s 1st Wegmans

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wegman’s officially opened its doors in Raleigh early Sunday morning. Some people, like Alan Cruickchank was just one of several people who camped out overnight.

“What do people in the south do? We tailgate!” beamed Cruickchank.

On Sunday morning police were out directing traffic for the record-setting crowds. Wegmans officials later said they estimated 3,000 people were waiting in line before the grand opening — a record for any Wegmans opening in the past. 

“It’s like coming to the fair this morning,” said Megan Stalls. “This is kind of bigger than Black Friday I think.”

But it’s not the state fair and it’s not a sporting event.

“I’ve been trying to come up with an analogy because people tell me it’s just a grocery store,” said Cruickchank. “It’s not just a grocery store. The only thing I can come up with is when North Carolina got a football team. Getting Wegmans is similar to landing something like the Panthers.”

It’s Wegmans.

“First of all, Harris Teeter I don’t know what that grocery store is anymore I think it’s dead to me,” said Chase Jernigan.

So what exactly is it that brought thousands of people to Wegmans? For one, there’s a food court inside with everything from pizza to sandwiches, but everyone said the big draw is the burger bar.

So naturally, CBS 17 had to check it out. We tried the maple onion burger and a side of sweet potato fries, but beyond the food, it’s the customer service.

“He was like breaking down a fish and talking to people while he’s doing it,” explained Stalls. “You don’t see that in a typical grocery store.”

Susan Spader made the drive to Raleigh from Charlotte.

“This is like Mecca” Spader said. “My husband is from upstate New York and I was introduced to Wegmans up there. There is just nothing else that compares to this experience. I’ve been counting down the days for three years.”

Spader says she’ll be back.

“There’s nothing else like this,” exclaimed Spader. “When you look at the selection, the atmosphere of this place it is worth it. We’ll be coming back here from Charlotte on a monthly basis.”

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