Magnificent melons: Locals go giddy for new Gaint

By Rebecca Beirne

Charlottesvillians turned out en masse on May 23, 2002, for the grand opening of the new Giant on Pantops. In the big, bright, brand-spankin’ new store, the first day of business was festive indeed, with lots of balloons, a banjo player, colorful banners, and grocery shelves stocked with every food item anyone could ever want.
Shoppers seemed pleased with the bevy of choices, while managers milled around meeting and greeting, ready to help with any question. General Manager Mike Greller had fun even though he ended up holding the mop, so to speak. A co-worker, within Greller’s hearing, opined that this would be the only time he’d ever do any mopping; we all laughed.
But is Thomas Jefferson laughing? Maybe. Monticello, which looks down on the new shopping plex, won roof-color concessions from the developers. We didn't check out the view from the mountain, but the view of the mountain is as sweet as the melons.

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