Trader Joe's, a gourmet neighborhood grocery store, confirmed Friday in a news release that it will open a Lexington store next year at 2326 Nicholasville Road, the former site of Joe's Crab Shack.
The 12,000-square-foot grocery will have a separate wine shop of about 3,000 square feet. According to a development plan filed with the city, the site will have fewer than 90 parking spaces and will be accessible from Nicholasville Road and East Lowry Lane.
Fans of Trader Joe's, which is known for its private labels, reacted with delight.
"I'm ecstatic," said Marilyn Kitchens Cecil of Versailles. "I've been waiting for this since I moved here in 1995 from California, where I shopped weekly at Trader Joe's in Modesto."
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When Cecil first moved to Kentucky, friends would ship her boxes of Trader Joe's items, such as chips and pasta. Now she drives to Cincinnati regularly to shop at the store there.
"Actually, I went just a few weeks ago. My husband surprised me with a trip up there on a Sunday afternoon," she said.
This will be Trader Joe's second Kentucky location. The chain will open a store in Louisville later this year at 4600 Shelbyville Road.
Rumors have swirled for several years that the popular store was coming to Lexington. Earlier this summer a notice was published in the classified section of the Herald-Leader stating the company intended to apply for liquor licenses by July 11 for a store on Nicholasville Road.
At the time, the company declined to comment.
Trader Joe's gained its name for the way the company searches the world for distinctive products. Employees wear brightly colored tropical-print shirts, adding to the lighthearted mood of the stores.