Open Discussion: Replace the Circuit City with a Fresh & Easy

View Larger Map

From a resident named Gia:

The heated discussion about the possible Del Taco opening at the location of the closed Pioneer Chicken has got some of us thinking about the Circuit City adjacent to it. A couple people mentioned a Fresh and Easy would be great there. I think this would be a positive addition to our neighborhood and I invite other people in the community to the Fresh and Easy website to request one for that location. They have made the process easy by having a specific page and form for doing just that!



  1. I think a wholefoods would be a much better option. Closest one to the area is Glendale. The benefits they bring to any area they enter go far beyond the food on their shelves.

  2. Del Taco?!?! Hell YES! And yes to the Fresh n easy too.

  3. I still think a park would be the best thing to go there. Given the area’s lack of adequate park space for soccer (such that people have been ignoring the “no soccer” signs going up at parks all over), you could fit two half-sized soccer fields (nothing fancy, just edge lines and a couple no-net goals so small groups of people can kick a ball around), two basketball courts, and still have plenty of room for parking and picnic areas.

    I made a diagram: http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/5974/circuitcitypark.jpg

    I’d be fine with a Fresh & Easy going there, but a park would be my ideal. Just get something there so that block isn’t such a dump.

  4. I’m a big fan of Fresh and Easy but I’m with Brian — I think a neighborhood park would be a great idea for this spot. Combine that with some street improvements/traffic calming measures (e.g. wide median islands and crosswalks) on Sunset and Virgil Place and you’d have a great gateway into both Hollywood and Silver Lake (and a catalyst to redevelop the triangle of land formed by Sunset/Virgil Ave/Fountain).

  5. I noticed a sign in someone’s yard today that said “I won’t shop at Fresh & Easy”. Had to check out the website. While I haven’t made any judgements on this information myself, I haven’t been a fan for other reasons. It’s just probably interesting information to those who wish to endorse the market.

    Even without that controversy, my vote is for a Whole Foods. I know it’s expensive and I know that they’ve had their share of controversy but I still prefer the sources & products to what F&E offers anyday. It’s true, there is no WFs reasonably close in the neighborhood. And you can’t deny, it’s a wildly popular market chain that would do very well in that spot.

    And there’s no way that space is going to be turned into a park you guys. Zero chance. You’d have better luck organizing to get the city to add more recreation space you speak of at existing parks….Elysian, Griffith.

  6. I’d like to see it turned into a live music venue. Full bar, punk and metal bands seven nights a week. The world needs more rock ‘n’ roll!

  7. By the way, I’m not sure Fresh & Easy would agree to locate themselves right there anyhow. There’s a Vons literally on the next block west of there, and Tesco (the company that owns Fresh & Easy) usually drops their stores in traditionally underserved neighborhoods.

  8. Another idea that’s been brewing would be a permanent open air but enclosed marketplace very similar to the Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax and Grand Central Market downtown. Several eating areas and a couple of bars strewn about the various stands and stalls. Strictly local, no chains or corporate clothiers. A place where maybe a few of the more successful food trucks could set up shop but you’d also have a butcher, some produce stands, a bread stand, seafood shop, vegan products specialist etc. I think it’d be a hit if it wasn’t overdeveloped to death.

  9. I think a Whole Foods in Echo Park is a great idea!! We need our own grocery store, if you what you know what I mean. I’m not too crazy about Fresh and Easy, but I’m a big fan of Sprouts. They have them in OC, but I haven’t seen too many here.

  10. I like the idea of a park. But I come from Chicago where most of the area is dedicated to parks so I’m biased. I love love love parks. A whole foods would be awesome. I never go to the one in Glendale cause I hate driving.

  11. Absolutely Whole Foods! Fresh and Easy usually does nothing for the neighborhood other than bring in cheap (not-so-fresh) food in a not-so-clean environment. We have Vons for that. Link to Whole Foods store request: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/service.php
    you can choose the topic under “contact us via email”

  12. Although I would love a park, I wonder who has the resources at this time to build and manage a park. LA City rec and parks is letting staff go. Maybe Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy? For years we were trying to get them to turn the street lighting yard on Santa Monica Blvd in East Hollywood to a park and they were supporting the idea but it all became a money issue.

    If it is retail; I would support (almost) any company that would offer employment to local residents. Silver Lake/ Echo Park has 100’s of teens and young adults who are out of high school and can not afford and/or are not ready to college who can not find work. To some folks retail may not get a suitable job but to many working class folks (which is my background) it’s a job and a good way to build up a resume.

    Of course, it will be up to the free market what does go in, the best we can hope for is they (and the powers that be) listen to the wishes of the community; all the parts of the community.

  13. Christian:

    Ditto. There’s Von’s for all that. Last time I was in a Von’s I almost slipped on a papaya peel. Who in the heck doesn’t pay for their papaya? We need Whole Foods! Thanks for the link.

  14. I would far prefer a whole foods to come into the area, despite the fact that I wouldn’t be able to shop at it.

    I hate the business model of Fresh and Easy. If we are going to have a market, have one that employs many people for a decent wage, not one that offers poor quality products on the cheap, just so they can reduce their overhead to a few employees in the store.

    A “regular” chain grocery doesn’t make sense since Vons is so close, but the closest specialty market is the Gelsons across from Trader Joes in Silverlake. It would be great to have a Whole Foods or Bristol Farms go into this spot.

  15. Why all this Fresh ‘n’ Easy bashing? We do most all of our shopping there now, avoiding the aisle-blocking cell-phone talking poseurs in TJ’s, (yes, even with the wider aisles) the over-priced Gelson’s where I got food poisoning from their sushi and Ralphs as it too is expensive with questionable freshness to produce and meats. Fresh ‘n’ Easy provides healthy, tasty fresh food and we love their pre-packaged meals. My food expenses have been greatly reduced without compromising quality now that I shop there. The store in Eagle Rock is spotlessly clean in its plain wrap style. Friendly, helpful, long-term employees and high school students are employed by F&E and if there are issues with it being from a large corporation please remember that Whole Foods is not the saint everyone likes to think it is. Trust me, I had a friend who worked at one. It would be fantastic if F&E took over Circuit City.

  16. Whole Foods or an open air market (like the ferry building in SF) would be an amazing addition to the neighborhood! I hate the Whole Foods in Glendale, and South Pas is great but so far… there needs to be something like this in NELA for sure. Please!!! 😀

  17. I put my money on fresh n easy — whole foods is WAY too expensive and in my opinion our neighborhood does not need more of that kind of fancy stuff, gelson’s is enough. F&E offers great coupons thru the mail, like $10 off when you spend $50, doesn’t go overboard with spending money on excessive store accessorizing and pricey high-end produce. Clean, easy to navigate, to-the-point shopping.
    If you’ve been to the ridiculously over-produced WF on Arroyo in Pasadena, you see a company that spending WAY too much on impressions and exclusive, expensive goods – and guess who pays for it??
    Ever since we lost the Pioneer supermarket, there’s been a supermarket-sized hole in the neighborhood — Vons on Alvarado does a good job trying to fill it, but an alternative grocery would be great.

  18. I think a Whole Foods is a wonderful idea, they are all about local and community support. They have more local vendors than any other retailer. Tesco who owns Fresh and Easy is corporate and even though they might do things in the community it doesnt compare to Whole Foods. Dont you think its time that we as consumers made our voices heard on wanting fresh, local, natural, and sustainable products for us and our families. How long are we going to allow “people” to tell us what to eat and how and where we buy our food. Its a sad sad day because we allow fast food to be cheaper than natural food 🙂

  19. 1. Roller Rink

    2. Farmer’s market (Like Fairfax or Ferry building) with a roller rink

    3. Whole Foods

  20. I’ve been to the Fresh and Easy over in Highland Park. I thought it sucked and that the prices wee high. I don’t mind if it just disappears.

    I also don’t think highly of Whole foods. While it is a decent store, it just seems way overpriced to me.

    Still, we don’t get to decide who will go there. If that location is not of interest to those stores, they won’t be going there.

    I like parks. But as a location for a park, and considering its size, I don’t see much to be had. And the talk really isn’t for a PARK but for a sports field. A tree filled park would be nice to see, but a sports field is boring. A sports field is utilitarian. I’m not against it, but with that heavy traffic there, it doesn’t seem like a very good location for such. And once you got a sports field in there, I wonder if there would be any space left for parking!

    Still, that seems like hard core commercial area there to me. Let that type of place go there, and put a park in a better location.

    As for the Del Taco — on a par with the Pioneer Chicken, I think, although my palette would prefer the chicken.

    Now, if you want to get trendy, how about a permanent farmers’ market there, kind of like the one on Fairfax? Or something of the sort. And that is something the city could get involved in so we actually could make it happen — kind of like the city administers Olvera Street. But this is just a pipe dream as the city certainly doesn’t have any spare money around just now to do anything about this idea. But perhaps some private developer does. This would be kind of like a village atmosphere to walk through, not just some big space user.

    Or, any other good ideas?

  21. Anything would be an improvement, since vacant land and rented fences aren’t bringing in any additional revenue to the city or utility to residents.

  22. I’d love to see the old Circuit City become the Echo Park Time Bank headquarters. We would make it a community center, cyber cafe, food co-op, day care center, classroom and information hub for time banking in Los Angeles. I like the roller rink idea too.

  23. Aside from the fact that the neighborhood’s demographics are right for it, Whole Foods would bring decent-paying jobs and, from what I understand, jobs with good benefits. We’ve already got Von’s so Fresh ‘n Easy would be redundant. If not WFM then Sprouts, a hybrid of TJ’s and WFM, which took over the Circuit City site in Culver City. Also, once a Whole Foods is established, it stays there which would keep out Target or Walmart. Now that the cities are strapped for $, they’re starting to reconsider those so at least let it be something decent like WF.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *