Openings

Trader Joe's Midtown Miami Store Will Open July 1 UPDATED

A peek inside the soon-to-open Trader Joe's in Midtown Miami.
A peek inside the soon-to-open Trader Joe's in Midtown Miami. Photo by Laine Doss
Updated June 21: According to a press release, Trader Joe's Midtown will open Friday, July 1, at 8 a.m. The store will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The store will also validate parking (in the attached parking garage at the back of the building) for 90 minutes.

The tension is mounting in Midtown Miami as shoppers prepare for the imminent arrival of Trader Joe's.

When it opens at the Gio Midtown Building at 3191 NE First Ave., the store will be the nearest Trader Joe's for residents of downtown Miami, Edgewater, MiMo, Midtown, Wynwood, and Allapattah.

The California-based grocery chain with an island castaway theme has existing locations in Pinecrest, Miami Beach, and Coral Gables, as well as a handful in Broward County.

The Trader Joe's website confirms that the store will open opening soon but provides no additional details. A visit to the Midtown location, however, provided a few hints.

Most of the shelves are fully stocked. Only the plant and flower stand, located just inside the entrance, seems empty of product. The store looks as though it might open any day now.

Here's what we learned after snooping around for a bit.

Local Art
Each Trader Joe's is decorated with murals that depict the neighborhood in which it resides. Wynwood is Midtown Miami's colorful neighbor, and the store is decorated with murals by artist David Le Batard, known as Lebo. At the entrance, a colorful Lebo sign welcomes shoppers. The art continues up the stairs to the second floor, where a giant Lebo mural greets you.

Modern Design
The store's design has a distinct industrial feel, with exposed ductwork and black metal trim — a departure from Trader Joe's trademark tiki huts and bamboo.

Parking
Miami remains a conundrum for motorists: You can't get anywhere without your car — yet you can never seem to find a place to park it. Trader Joe's Midtown provides parking for shoppers in the adjacent Gio garage.

A Wine Shop
The second floor of Trader Joe's will have a dedicated wine shop. Before you mock the idea, the Trader Joe's Wine Shop in New York City's Union Square has a four-and-a-half-star rating on Yelp, with picky New Yorkers giving it rave reviews for its selection and knowledgeable staff.

A Spirited Shopping Experience?
It also seems as though the Midtown Miami location will have the first liquor store in a Florida Trader Joe's. (The Lebo welcoming mural says "liquors," tipping off the possibility.) Many Trader Joe's locations in other states offer liquor. Florida doesn't seem to be listed in this Aisle of Shame directory of states that allow Trader Joe's to sell spirits, but the sign appears to suggest otherwise.

Need a Job?
Trader Joe's is hiring. According to a sign on the door, employees make $15 to $18 an hour and receive discounts of up to 20 percent. The store offers benefits and promotion opportunities. According to its website, more than 75 percent of Trader Joe's "Mates" (i.e., managers) were promoted from "Crew" posts. Apply at traderjoes.com/home/careers.

Trader Joe's. 3191 NE First Ave., Miami; traderjoes.com. Opens on July 1.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss