Long lines inside and outside of Trader Joe’s marked its opening day here in Portland at 87 Marginal Way. Customers began lining up outside the first TJ’s in Maine well before it opened its doors at 8 pm this morning. Fans of the nation-wide chain came from all over the state to take advantage of its cheap wine and low prices.
Inside Frank and Elizabeth Brockman waited one hour to get through the checkout line and enjoyed “all the moments – visiting with people.” The couple from Brunswick said they enjoyed the “festive atmosphere.” They will defintely visit the store once a week. Mary Hackenmeyer came from New Hampshire with two friends. She said: “It’s fantastic. I’ve been waiting for this a long time. I’ll come back when the lines aren’t so long. That’s probably about five days from now.” Stefanie A. came up from York. “I’m excited it’s here. I’ll come up once a month. Elaine Greene came from Freeport – out of “curiousity. There a lot of people here. That’s the fun of it, but I won’t stand in a long line. I’ll come back,” she said.
Outside there was an all day traffic jam at the corner of Preble Street and Marginal Way. Drivers were lined-up to get into the parking lot. Those who could not get in parked at lots at Gorham Savings Bank, Turner & Barker, Whole Foods and other close by lots. Trader Joe’s hired off duty patrolmen to help out with parking lot concerns. There was at least one fender-bender and a number of arguments over parking spaces according to witnesses on site.
The store will be open 7 days a week from 8 am until 10 pm.