A postmortem in-Spec’s-tion of Rice Epicurean

Although it never looks like it, I promise this is a new photo of Rice, taken for this article… I swear!

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today we’re checking in on the former final Rice Epicurean. After closing late last July, Rice left nearly everything in the store without their name on it, for new tenant Spec’s. While I attempted to reach out to Spec’s about plans for their future store, I did not hear back. At the moment, nothing has been changed structure-wise, and as of this article, I couldn’t find any permits to suggest that any construction will occur. The biggest modifications so far seem to be the movement of fixtures and updating of shelving. The shelves are being modified and, I presume, reinforced to handle the new weight. Many of the deli cases have been moved out to the front of the store. Looking at online job postings for this location doesn’t reveal any deli openings, which is unfortunate given their possibilities here. Chances are, shelving will be installed to ‘wall off’ unused sections. Interestingly the See’s Candy section remains; however, as a vendor, they may need to arrange pickup of their property. While Rice’s sign still hangs out front, it’s obvious that Spec’s is moving in, with their Point of Sale software already running on Rice’s checkouts. Based on past experiences hopes are high that Spec’s maintains some of the Rice aesthetics. The shallow carts will definitely remain, with the old Epicurean handles already being removed.