Fresh & Easy coming to Echo Park? Your guess is as good as mine

The guessing game about what will replace the Save A Lot market in Echo Park began shortly after The Eastsider reported last month that the Sunset Boulevard discount grocery had closed its doors. It’s not clear if the space is even available but a resident has started a Facebook page to encourage Trader Joe’s to open up shop in the now vacant market next to the Walgreens at Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue.  But several others have suggested that Fresh & Easy – a relatively new and expanding chain of British owned markets – is a contender. The Eastsider contacted Fresh & Easy to see if they were interested in opening a store in the Save A Lot space.  Company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott replied via email:

I can confirm we are looking in the area but don’t have any other details at this point.

Let the guessing game continue.


  1. Maybe Fresh & Easy would be fresher and easier than Trader Joes. Especially since there’s a TJs in nearby Silver Lake already.

  2. I, for one, would be very happy to see this happen.

  3. I perfer a Trader Joes vs. Fresh & Easy. The TJs in Silver Lake is sooo crowded and the parking situation is great over here, this would be nice for Echo Park. Also, how about a Starbucks.

  4. TJ’s stores are much bigger. This space is too small for them. I’ve also been told that they will not rent store space; they only operate out of store buildings they own. If Fresh ‘n Easy would come, I’d be glad.

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Fresh & Easy reminds me of a cheap, no-selection, unhealthy brands store like Aldi growing up in the mid-west… might as well have stayed Save-A-Lot if it becomes a Fresh & Easy. I often think these people that clamor for one have never actually been to one. Go to Eagle Rock and find out just how disappointing it is after all the hype. I’m hoping for Trader Joe’s… otherwise, the left side of Walgreen’s remains dead to me.

  6. LJ, Fresh & Easy is certainly not as nice as Trader Joes, but it is WAY better than Aldi or Save-A-Lot. I can find some decent stuff pretty cheap there, and they offer a $10 off coupon if you spend 50 bucks, which helps financially!

  7. I would definitely prefer Trader Joe’s to Fresh & Easy. F&E is a good option compared to what was there, but their food isn’t very tasty (and pretty unhealthy). I like their deals on produce but that’s about it. Trade Joes on the other hand has LOT that I buy. It would be SO GREAT to have a TJ’s within walking distance of my house!!!

  8. I’m hoping for a Trader Joe’s and emailed Sprouts to suggest this location. They’re expanding and just opened several new stores in So Cal. Sprouts is a nice hybrid between Trader Joe’s and Fresh and Easy.

  9. My Troubled Conscience

    Bring on the union-busting F&E! If you care about such things as workers’ rights, please have a look at the chain’s record, and think about whether Echo Park needs ’em.

  10. Fresh & Easy would be great here!

    I don’t understand how people can say that Trader Joe’s food is much tastier than F&E’s. They both have things that are better than the other. For example I find TJ’s pizza to be not very good, while F&E’s pizza is pretty tasty. TJ’s has a lot more frozen foods, but F&E has more non-frozen prepared foods.

    And TJs doesn’t have bangers & mash like F&E does (and it’s pretty good too)!

  11. I also have a troubled conscience about F&E. Their food is not high quality, their produce packaging is deplorable, and their business model is downright offensive. They keep their prices so low because they have a store staffed by two people. We have somehow gotten so used to the idea that food should be dirt cheap that we don’t even question it anymore. Food shouldn’t be cheap, unless you want to eat garbage, which frankly is what you get at F&E and TJ. If a F&E came to Echo Park, it would create VERY FEW jobs for the community. The best option would be for an independent market to go in there, but since the one that existed for years closed to allow for SaveALot, that’s not going to happen.

    Over the past ten years TJ has devolved into sad lonely guy microwave dinners. Even the stuff you cook is highly processed. The main difference between TJ and F&E food is that TJ does a better job marketing itself to yuppies. I will say that I would support a TJ just for their high levels of employing people and taking fairly good care of them. You just have to keep in mind that the cheaper your food is, those costs are being cut somewhere. In the case of F&E it’s in the labor costs. That place is about 2 human beings away from being run by robots.

  12. I’m voting for Aldi’s the TJ parent company that runs a lower-end chain, mostly in Europe, but just opened one in Queens and would do great here in EP. My wife is voting for Sprouts. F&E, TJ, Aldi or Sprouts is fine with me, any groceries in that space would be very very welcome. I love Cookbook but can’t afford it, and I am willing to shop at Vons or drive to TJs in Silverlake since I have to, but this space would be an ideal decent-but-not-too-expensive-grocery spot for a lot of local residents like me.

  13. Did someone really request another Starbucks??


    I’d rather see TJs or Sprouts, but it’s not about me — it’s about the people. Given the neighborhood demographics, I think Fresh and Easy is the better choice. I’m not a huge fan, but it at least provides (fairly) healthy and fresh alternatives to middle-to-low income families at affordable prices. TJs is reasonable, but F&E can truly serve all.

  14. Bring back Liquor Barn!

  15. Starbucks? Are you serious? There is already a Starbucks 4 blocks from there!

    I am all for amTJ’s I probably wouldn’t shop at a F&E. I don’t really like the one in Eagle Rock. Their food all seemed to be the same crap you get at Vons and with no staff, it seemed so impersonal. And I HATED sav-a-lot. I want healthy, organic & a bit gourmet. What’s this Sprouts? I’ve never heard of it. Sounds intriguing…

  16. I’m not a fan of fresh and easy, but I wouldn’t mind if Vons had a little more competition in the neighborhood. It’s overpriced!
    What about a TJ’s pickup spot? Order online and pick up your stuff there? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  17. I vote for Sprouts!!! Just went to one for the first time last week. Loved it. Tons of fresh produce, healthy and interesting snacks, vitamins/herbs, inexpensive pre-made sandwiches/salads/meals, rows of bulk bins of snacks, nuts and grains, lots of gluten-free products, nice looking meat counter w/ grass fed beef, etc. Couldn’t believe how reasonable the prices were. A steal, actually! Especially on the produce – much of which is apparently locally sourced.

    The TJs we have (albeit sometimes a nightmare) is close enough and Fresh N Easy is not so fresh so Sprouts for the win! Fingers crossed. I think I’ll email them the suggestion too. Good idea MS!

  18. @Cindy – Another Starbucks, that is sarcasm right? Because you know, Fix, Changos, the bookshop are too nice right. Fresh & Easy, it’s great for the cheap basic’s, although you still need TJ’s for nice stuff and Super King for fresh things.

  19. Why does everyone want some garbage-food chain to move into that space? Are there really only two options on EP residents’ minds? You might as well be asking for a McDonald’s to move in there. Why does it have to be a grocery store at all? I vote gun store.

  20. I would be thrilled if F & E came in. Employees are all local, they know your name from day one and they donate to local schools – several thousand to Elysian Heights Elementary over two years. I also love that of their own accord they go into all kinds of neighborhoods, not just affluent ones (are you hearing me Trader Joe’s???).

  21. Close down cvs and bring back pioneer market. N pioneer chicken as well as pioneer pizza and the pioneer bank… bring back the old roots we once had in this neighborhood. Too much change isn’t always a good thing…

  22. Store Shopper Hopper

    Am I the only one that liked Save a Lot?? I have to drive over to Super King to get my produce now. Go to Vons or Ralphs to use my WiC checks. Go to Trader Joes for my cheap tequila, Costco for my bulk items, Target for toiletries, and then over to Fresh and Easy for everything else because of those coupons!! Oh, I dream of a store that has it all!!

  23. I think F&E is the healthiest and cheapest option for that location. I love all their food !!! Their products are amazing! I’m only seven years old and I feel strongly that this should become a F&E!

  24. I hope they open up a tattoo parlor because we NEED more of them. Or they could open up one of those combo Taco Bell/KFCs because really we also need more taco options in Echo Park.

  25. I think some people here might be judging Fresh & Easy by one store: the kinda terrible Hollywood location. Try the F&E in Eagle Rock. I love Trader Joe’s. But I also love Fresh & Easy.

  26. forget both of them!

    farmer’s markets
    south padadena (meridian & mission) Thursdays 4-8
    echo park (sunset & echo park blvd south of sunset) Friday 3-7
    studio city (ventura & radford) Sundays 8-1
    atwater village (glendale blvd & larga) Sunday 10-2
    hollywood (ivar & selma) Sunday 8-1
    silverlake (sunset & edgecliff) Saturday 8-1

  27. Anything is better than Vons.

    I love super king. I vote for a mini Super King.

  28. TJs? Their produce is way over priced and lets not forget that MOST people that live in Echo Park are not yuppies and still live off a low income. You want gourmet snacks and organic produce go drive to Silverlake you can afford the high gas. I vote F&E.

  29. Fresh and Easy is lame. The newest ad promotes a woman who is “making some fresh lambchops” which is disgusting and cruel on so many levels. Trader Joe’s at least isn’t obnoxious about ads and uses fresh products as well.

  30. a Fresh and Easy in that spot sounds good to me.

  31. how about a paint store / or magic marker place …so EP gangs can tag more?

  32. I am also in favor of the gun store idea, proposed by Randy. I also would not mind a strip club, seeing as the one near Fix is getting a little bit run down. We need a bigger space!

  33. I would be happy with either one..As long as we can get some more good business in this neighborhood.

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