Save Mart opened its new flagship grocery store in northwest Modesto at 8 o'clock this morning, and the parking lot was nearly filled to capacity within 20 minutes.
Hundreds of people clustered about the main entrance to the store in anticipation of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:45 a.m.
The store is at the intersection of Chapman Road and Pelandale Avenue, near the Modesto Costco store and just east of the Pelandale exit on Highway 99.
At nearly 58,000 square feet, the store will anchor a seven-store shopping center. Company officials estimated last fall that the new store would cost more than $6 million to build.
Save Mart, which is privately held, opened its first store in Modesto in 1952.
With the new store opening, Save Mart on Tuesday closed its store in the shopping center on the south side of Pelandale, opposite the new building.
Today's festivities kick off a string of promotions. On Tuesday, the Oscar Mayer "Wienermobile" will be at the store.