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black and white postcard view of Washington Avenue, facing north, with a red arrow pointing to the Safeway store
Safeway's original location in Golden, at 13th and Washington - Click to enlarge

90 Years Ago
Safeway opened their first store in Golden on June 21, 1934. The national chain brought a new kind of grocery shopping to Golden. In traditional stores, the groceries had been kept behind the counter, with store employees assembling and packaging an order.

Safeway put the merchandise within reach of the customer: "Broad, Low Display Shelves Allow Shoppers to Leisurely Examine All Goods, or to Choose Quickly and Save Time." The company stated that their modern refrigeration equipment would ensure the freshest perishable food.

The store manager's home, 1205 12th Street - Google Street Images

The new store was such important news that the Transcript named each of the employees, even supplying the store manager's home address (1205 12th Street, in the Pines apartment).

The June 21, 1934 Colorado Transcript, with both Safeway and Koenig Mercantile featured on the front page

Not to be outdone, Golden's 75-year old Koenig Mercantile store "Refurbished, rearranged, departmentized, modernized, beautified and made up-to-date in every particular." These changes also made the front page of the Transcript. The writers may have shown some partiality as they reminded their audience that the store had "served three generations--the pioneers, their children and great grand children."

The two grocery stores co-existed in Golden for more than 40 years.

Safeway sign at 1109 Ford Street - Golden History Museum Collection

Safeway certainly thrived. After their 1934 opening, they remodeled and doubled in size in 1942, then moved to 1109 Ford Street in 1950. The new store was larger than the old, and–more importantly–had its own parking lot, designed to hold 70 cars. The parking shortage in downtown Golden had grown increasingly drastic over the previous two decades, and close parking is particularly necessary for shoppers with large grocery purchases.

Brick Safeway grocery store, with posters advertising steaks for 79 cents/pound and cantaloupe 4 for $1
Safeway's 1951 store - Golden History Museum collection

In 1961, Safeway built a new store–still larger than the 1950 model–on the same lot. The new store had spaces for 122 cars.

modern Safeway store with cars parked in front and Castle Rock in the background
Safeway's current location - Google Street Images

They moved to their current location on Jackson St. in the early 1980s. The much larger store has a parking lot for well over 200 cars.

If you shop at Safeway today, wish them a happy 90th anniversary!

The Golden Transcript (originally called the Colorado Transcript) has been publishing since 1866. The Golden History Museum has been working on digitizing the historic issues. You’ll find old Transcripts online at