Some supermarkets are big and fancy – others are just plain big. Big enough to fit an antique car inside, to have an in-house cafe, and maybe skirt the local liquor laws a little.

Kinsley’s Shoprite in Broadheadsville, Pennsylvania closed its 53,000-square-foot store last night, and opened a 95,000-square-foot version this morning. The store bills itself as “The World’s Largest Shoprite” – beating the next largest building in the 200+ store chain by a few thousand square feet.


The new store features the aforementioned cafe, and a collection of antiques that includes a Model T Ford. But unlike other new superstores that feature such non-grocery amenities as health clinics, cooking classes and cheesemongers (read: St. Louis’ Souped-Up Supermarkets), Kinsley’s Shoprite devotes most of its square footage to actual groceries. There’s an expanded organics department, more prepared-food offerings, 24 checkout lanes and wider aisles that can accommodate three shopping carts across. The store owners say they didn’t set out to build a giant supermarket – it just turned out that way, after they realized how much space they’d need to fit everything they wanted inside. “It just kept growing,” the co-owner told the Pocono Record newspaper.

The 125-seat cafe features comfy seating, a fireplace and a flat-screen TV – but its most notable offering is beer. That’s not a big deal for shoppers whose states allow supermarkets to sell beer. But Pennsylvania’s state liquor laws forbid alcohol from being sold in supermarkets. In fact, beer can be hard to get a hold of – it can only be sold by the case or keg from distributors, or by the six-pack from licensed beer stores, bars or restaurants. Restaurants, just like the Kinley’s Shoprite cafe. In March, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with thirsty shoppers by upholding the legal loophole that allows supermarkets and convenience stores that serve food, to also sell beer.

“Each ShopRite has its own flavor and adapts to what its customers want,” a company spokesperson told the Pocono Record. So those fancy supermarkets can keep their cooking classes and cheesemongers. Kinsley’s customers would rather have lots of room, plenty of choices – and beer. Cheers!

Image source: Kinsley’s Shoprite Facebook page.

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