The redevelopment of Super Sam at Plac Unii Lubelskiej, completed last year, is one of those things that makes me wish I’d spent my first month in Warsaw all those years ago just wandering around taking photos of the town. Not just the interesting things but everything so I’d have my own record of how much this city has changed since I arrived, soon to be 16 years ago.
Historically (1770-1818), this place was called Rondo Mokotowskie and standing here was the Southern Gate to the city. Before WWI there were plans to redevelop but these were interrupted by war. Finally in 1962, after yet another war, Super Sam opened, Poland’s first self serve supermarket.
The supermarket was still here when I arrived and looked exactly the same as the photo above on the inside. Outside, the fine PRL architecture had been ruined by the addition of a McDonalds and advertising posters.
I shopped there occasionally and remember fondly the kurczak z rożna (spit roast chicken) from the small kiosk outside. It finally closed in 2006 and the new building – underground parking, shopping centre and offices – opened in H2 2013. There were numerous unsuccessful protests to prevent the destruction of the original Super Sam, who now operate a significantly better supermarket inside the new development. ING Bank are the main tenant of the offices having moved here from their original Holland Park, Plac Trzech Krzyży, location.