If you live, work or play in Meridian, you've been watching construction on the newest Albertsons store for months and couldn't wait for it to open.  Well, the big day is here and we have your chance to poke around without having to battle the crowds! 

Our friend Kathy from Albertsons gave us a sneak peak of the store on Thursday afternoon ahead of Friday's "soft opening." At close to 110,000 square feet the new Albertsons Market Street store on Fairview Avenue is now their largest store in the country. When it's running at full steam the store provides jobs to 450-500 Treasure Valley employees.

Walking in, you'll notice that it has a similar feel to the Broadway location that opened last summer. While building this store they've taken the things customers loved about the Broadway store like a full bar, an incredible selection of made-to-order stone fired pizzas, burgers and sandwiches and extensive variety of dry aged beef.  There's so much happening in the store that it's a little overwhelming to explain!  Here's some of the highlights that stuck out to me.

HUGE Seafood Department

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media Boise

Just in time for Lent and not being able to eat meat on Friday! The Albertsons Market Street store has a huge seafood selection that includes items you won't find at their regular stores.  We're talking stuffed salmon fillets, lobster cakes and 24 oz. lobster tails! Rather do lobster your way? They have a live lobster tank in the store too.

In Wine There is Wisdom

This store has the largest wine selection in the entire state! At any given time there are 3,500-4,000 varieties at the Albertsons Marketplace store.  While we were looking around, the local wine selection really stood out to me.  They had bottles that I've only seen at the Sunnyslope wineries available on store shelves! They even have a sommelier in store that can help you select a wine that will pair perfectly with whatever you're dreaming up for dinner! (BTW, they also have 3,000 cheese not far from the wine for you to pair with the wine!)

Appliances in Store

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media Boise

You saw an Instant Pot recipe you wanted to try, so load up the cart with all the ingredients at Albertsons. Only problem? You don't own an electric pressure cooker to make it in. Never fear! The new Albertsons Marketplace carries a variety of appliances like pressure cookers, air fryers, hand mixers, toasters and more right there in the store!

Bulk Chopped Vegetables

I call it the "lazy person section" for people like me who love to cook but just don't have the patience to chop their own veggies. Unlike other Albertsons locations that offer a one size fits all container of pre-chopped veggies, this store lets you fill your own containers with how much you actually need for your recipe.  That way if you only need a quarter cup of onions for your soup, you don't have a huge container of leftover onions going to waste in the fridge.

Akos Medical Clinic

Gosh, I could've used this last year when we were broadcasting live from the Ashley Furniture Store next door and I KNEW I had strep throat the entire time I was on the air.  The Albertsons Marketplace has an in-store clinic near it's pharmacy where you can get your vitals taken, tell the clinic worker what symptoms you're experiencing and then they'll connect you into a teleconference with a doctor who can diagnose if you have something like strep throat, an ear infection, etc.  That doctor can write you a prescription that you can have filled right there at the pharmacy in store.

And that's just the beginning! If you want to check out the store for yourself, you can drop in on Friday for their "soft opening" starting at 8 p.m. Their official grand opening full of samples, giveaways, live music and more begins Saturday at 10 a.m.!