New Publix set to open at Bowman/Bass roads

The new Publix store at the Bass Plantation shopping center in north Bibb County will hold its grand opening at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The 45,400-square-foot store, located on Bowman Road, will be the chain’s second Macon location and will employ 80 workers.

The other store is on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard.

The new store will contain traditional grocery, meat, produce, dairy and frozen food departments in addition to a full-service pharmacy, bakery, deli and fresh seafood.

“What’s different at this store and the other store in Macon is first of all the color scheme is a warm palette,” said Brenda Reid, a Publix spokeswoman. “It basically has more of a retro look for the bakery.”

The store’s manager is Mike Kane, a transfer from the other Macon store where he worked for 12 years.

“I’m looking forward to building new customers,” Kane said.

Store hours are 7 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week.

The Publix on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard will remain open, according to Reid.

As Publix works toward becoming more energy efficient at all stores, the new location will have light sensors on the refrigerated cases that will light the case when someone walks near it.

The Publix anchors the 65,000-square-foot shopping center developed by Southern Pine Plantation and Alliance Realty Service.

The first 1,500 customers Wednesday will receive a free Publix re-usable grocery bag and flowers will be given to customers as they enter the store while supplies last. Also, the first 25 customers who purchase $25 or more in groceries will win a free bag of groceries valued at $25.

Children’s activities will take place 3 p.m.-8 p.m. including a magician, balloon artist and caricature artist. Another kids’ event is planned Saturday.

Publix is the first of several other tenants at Bass Planation expected to open in the next 30 to 60 days, said George Chase Jr. with Alliance Realty Services.

“We’re real pleased with that center,” especially in light of today’s economic climate, Chase said.

Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has 1,004 stores prior to this store and others opening this week, Reid said. For the 12th consecutive year, Publix was named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, she added. The company is privately owned and operated by its 140,000 employees with sales of $23.9 billion in 2008.

Other tenants opening this summer include: Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, Subway, Cuts-By-Us, Sassy Nails, Zheng’s Wok and Gem Cleaners, according to Chase.

“We are actively negotiating letters of intent for an additional 7,000-square-feet of space,” Chase said.

Also on Bowman Road, construction is under way on the Mellow Mushroom restaurant.

The Atlanta-based company is expected to open the last week of July and to employ 75-100 workers, said Mary Lou Baxter, a media representative with the restaurant.

Also, as announced earlier this month, Natalia’s, a long-time, upscale Macon Italian restaurant, is planning to build a new restaurant in Providence Village North Macon, across Bass Road from Publix. Owner Natalia del Basso-Orsini said she hopes to open the store next March, when her current lease expires at the Riverside Drive location.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.