January 24

The New Convenience

Tired of the checkout line? The Amazon Go store is now open.

Amazon Go, the tech giant’s new convenience store, boasts no lines, no cashiers, and no registers. The store has been in testing with employees for about a year, but members of the public finally got the chance to experience it on January 22. The store is now open to the public Monday–Friday, 7am to 9pm.

In order to get into Amazon Go, shoppers must have a smart phone and the ability to download the Amazon Go app (or you must be with someone who has the app). Sign into the app with your Amazon login, and it connects to your account. Scan the barcode on the app at the gates at the store entrance, and you’re good to go. Shoppers don’t need to keep their phones out to scan items. Simply pick what you want from Amazon Go’s shelves, and the store’s technology will keep track of the items you’ve taken off the shelves via a virtual cart. Decide you didn’t want an item? Put it back, and the store removes the item from your “cart.” When you leave the store, Amazon Go charges your account for any items you’ve taken.

Amazon describes the way its store works by comparing it to a self-driving car—a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning is what makes up its “Just Walk Out Technology.”

A little less than half the store’s inventory is devoted to freshly made grab-and-go cold bites. Find quick lunchtime fare like steak Nicoise salad, chicken banh mi, chicken teriyaki, breakfast sandwiches and more. If you want to heat something up, there’s a microwave station on the way out near the exit. The rest of the store is lined with pantry items and kitchen essentials, some meats, and a selection of produce.

There’s even a small section dedicated to Amazon’s meal kits. The kits include all the food ingredients you’d need to make a meal (signage for each kit indicates ingredients in the box, and what you’ll need from your kitchen to make the meal). Choices at the time of posting were falafel patties, chili con carne with rice, parmesan pork loin, and a salmon donburi bowl.

Oh, and as long as you can present appropriate ID, you can walk right out with beer and wine, too.

Coming Soon

*Revel—The Fremont favorite from Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi is set to open February 5 in Vestal’s old space at 513 Westlake. Revel will pop up in this SLU space until its permanent home in Fremont is built out. Expect elevated Korean street food and craft cocktails.

*Renee Erickson’s Amazon projects

Celebrated chef Renee Erikcson is set to open two new spots in the Amazon Spheres. The first, a full service restaurant, will focus on Italian fare. The second is a bar inspired by high-end Manhattan hotel bars. Both should be open by early summer.

*Flatstick Pub

More fun is coming to South Lake Union. Mini-golf haven Flatstick Pub is expanding to the neighborhood in the 11,000 square foot space at the bottom of the Allen Institute. Expect an expanded food menu, some outdoor space, and a dedication to local beer and cider. Owner Sam Largent projects the new space will be open sometime in May or June.

Story and Photography by Ethan Chung.

At The Center

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