Metal store

Trader Joe’s Midtown Miami store opens July 1

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 adjoining parking lot at the back of the building) for 90 minutes.

Tension is mounting in Midtown Miami as shoppers brace for the imminent arrival of Trader Joe’s.

When it opens in the Gio Midtown Building at 3191 NE First Ave., the store will be the closest Trader Joe’s to residents of Downtown Miami, Edgewater, MiMo, Midtown, Wynwood and Allapattah.

The California-based grocery chain with a castaway island 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 the store will open soon but provides no further details. A visit to the Midtown location, however, provided some clues.

Most shelves are fully stocked. Only the stand of plants and flowers, located just inside the entrance, seems empty of product. The store looks like it could open any day.

Here’s what we learned after poking around a bit.

Local art
Each Trader Joe’s is decorated with murals depicting the neighborhood in which they reside. 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 buyers. The art continues up the stairs to the second floor, where a giant Lebo mural welcomes 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 tiki huts and bamboo.

Car park
Miami remains an enigma for motorists: you can’t go anywhere without your car, but you never find a place to park it. Trader Joe’s Midtown offers parking for shoppers in the adjacent Gio Garage.

A wine merchant
The second floor of Trader Joe’s will have a dedicated wine store. Before you scoff at the idea, Trader Joe’s Wine Shop in New York’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 lively shopping experience?
It also looks like the Midtown Miami location will have the first liquor store in a Florida Trader Joe’s. (Lebo’s welcoming mural says “liquors,” indicating the possibility.) Many Trader Joe locations in other states offer liquor. Florida doesn’t appear to be in this Aisle of Shame directory of states that allow Trader Joe’s to sell spirits, but the sign seems to suggest otherwise.

Need a job?
Trader Joe’s is hiring. According to a sign on the door, employees earn between $15 and $18 an hour and receive discounts of up to 20%. The store offers benefits and promotion opportunities. According to its website, more than 75% of Trader Joe’s “Mates” (aka managers) have been promoted from “Crew” positions. Apply at traderjoes.com/home/careers.

Trader Joe’s. 3191 NE First Avenue, Miami; traderjoes.com. Opening July 1.