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November 15, 2008
Urban Fare Opens at the Shangri-La

The 3rd Urban Fare opens today for business and there will be food, lots of it, and hardly anything priced for a recession. But it if you move fast, we'll tell you how you can score some ace gourmet freebies.

As you can see in these photos, the massive luxury grocery store located within the Shangri-la Hotel and Residences complex at 1133 Alberni Street (bigger than #2 at Coal Harbour, but not quite as large as the original Yaletown branch), is filled to its trendy, high, industrial ceilings with freshly stocked shelves and eye-popping displays. Everything is standing at its smartest - even the cabbages looking buffed up to a Symonized shine.

Of note are a few new attractions that you won't find at the Davie street location. Among them:

*  a cheese cave offering a selection of over 200 international varieties of cheese.
*  a glassed in central meat cooler displaying air drying legs of prosciutto and other deli meats
*  a hot self-serve take out buffet
*  a pizza oven with several styles of pizza (both savoury and sweet) available for purchase by the inch - including a delicious "bagels and lox" version for breakfast.
*  a chocolate Christmas tree created by master pastry chef, Thomas Haas (and safely protected from sticky fingers in its own plexiglass display cube.)
*  400 varieties of fine chocolates from around the world
*  a "mushroom tree" in the produce section (see the photos)

And a whole lot more ... including a machine where you can check your blood pressure at the back of the store. However, this should really be positioned near the check out area for shoppers to use before the final tally shows up on the register screens, because none of this is priced for recession-style budgets.

But being that this is an opening celebration, taste-size freebies are flowing. All day long today at the store, and if you tune into Kasey Wilson and Anthony Gismondi's Buzz on Food and Wine show at noon today on CFUN 1410 radio, you could snag one of their five give away gift baskets.

The big tip however, is that next November 21-23, Urban Fare will be holding a huge tasting party in the store with free samples of gourmet food handed out by approximately 30 of their suppliers. Hours on this are yet to be announced.

If you can't make down for that scene, the store will be open and ready for you, seven days a week, 6 a.m. to midnight.
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