Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fresh & Easy keeps quiet about Echo Park store

Former Save A Lot store next to Walgreens

It’s been more than a year now since the Save A Lot discount grocery store in Echo Park shut down, leaving behind a large empty space next to a Walgreens drug store. Now, it looks like the Fresh & Easy grocery store chain has scooped up the space at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street.  A real estate executive with Walgreens, which handles leasing for the building, informed city officials earlier this month that  Fresh & Easy had signed a  lease and was preparing to file for permits with the city in  anticipation of opening a store in as soon as six months, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The Eastsider contacted the Walgreens executive as well as Fresh & Easy officials for more details.  But several phone calls and emails have not been returned. Last July, a Fresh & Easy spokesman said the chain was “looking at the site but can’t confirm anything past that at this point.”

If  Fresh & Easy does open a store in Echo Park, it will join Vons as the second chain supermarket to operate in Echo Park.  Fresh & Easy would operate out of the same building  that was once home to Pioneer Market, which closed in 2004 after more than 60 years in business.

El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy operates about 200 stores that feature prepared food and self-service check out aisles.  Despite growing rapidly, the chain  has failed to turn a profit  for its British owner, Tesco, which has invested about $2 billion since it established Fresh & Easy about five years ago.  In addition to failing to meet financial targets,  Fresh & Easy has also been criticized  by unions that have been trying to organize the company’s workers.

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  1. yay!! now if we could only get rid of the walgreens, and ceasars pizza and we’ll be on our way to a nicer community!!

  2. yuck. that place bums me out. then there’s the fact that they only put them in the ghetto.

    • Yes, the ghettos of Burbank have really deteriorated even further since they moved in so close to that haven of crime known as Disney Studios….

    • Yes, the border of San Marino at Lake Street and California Ave is a hot bed of graffiti and crime. Don’t comment if you do not have a clue about the topic at hand.

      • Now hold on, EP4ME. You’re asking 95% of the people here to stop commenting, including me. What’s the fun in that?

    • Fresh and Easy is coming into all types of neighborhoods and making their anchor stores look very nice. How is this a bad thing for the community?

      • i was making a bad joke. they tend to put their stores in neighborhoods that are gentrifying, and my bad joke was basically saying that EP hasn’t gentrified enough for a nicer grocery store. sorry, that was unclear. Better than that empty building (or the store that used to be there), but I was really hoping for something a little more upscale. we have a bunch of low end grocery stores in the neighborhood as it is.

        I do stand by my opinion that the place is nasty. the one in Eagle Rock is a bummer. no staff, weirdly understocked shelves and freaky saran wrap packaging. I feel like I’m wandering around in a deserted stockroom.

        • I agree that the Eagle Rock Fresh and Easy is (often) a bit unkempt and understocked – and I don’t like the fact that they allow all sorts of salespeople in front (I don’t care if they’re Girl Scouts or Greenpeace activists, they’re salespeople) – but if you travel northwest about eight miles to Tujunga, there’s a beautiful, well-stocked, brand-new Fresh and Easy location on Foothill, a bit east of Lowell. I find myself visiting Fresh and Easy a lot more than Trader Joe’s because there’s rarely a line, and parking is always much easier.

    • Oh yes, Manhattan Beach is SO ghetto.

  3. My stomach loves this; my eyes, not so much. That strip mall has created a black hole in the center of Echo Park thanks to its setback and massive walled parking lot (not to mention the ugly stucco facade). I’ve always fantasized about the whole thing being torn down and having a new development come all the way up to the sidewalk.

    • What’s funny is the original Pioneer Market was built that way, matching the rest of the neighborhood. Unfortunately the owners tore it down to expand the lot into a suburban style supermarket in the 80’s… here’s a link with a little history on that: http://www.historicechopark.org/id72.html

    • Matswaltin: I completely agree! That and the missed groundfloor-retail at 36 on Echo are two things I would love for EP to have had! For 36 on Echo, it would’ve made that triangular section much more vibrant if there had been retail planned for the ground floor at those new condos.

  4. good luck fresh& easy. all those taggers in echo park will tag those windows . i see a lot of tagging on sunset on the stores windows thats a shame”

  5. Matswaltin, I echo your thoughts regarding my hopes for the redevelopment of the site. I hope that F and E will at the very least repaint, put up a nice sign, and repair and maintain sidewalks on Logan Street and Sunset and do something about the horrid urine stench and litter.

    Aside from my gripe about the existing eyesore of a shopping center, a grocery store that offers affordable organic produce is a HUGE step up from a vacant storefront and I’m thrilled that we’re getting something reasonably priced within walking distance.

  6. What ghettos are inhabited by Fresh and Easy?

  7. this will be a parking and traffic flow nightmare. that parking lot isn’t nearly big enough for the traffic that fresh & easy will bring to this already busy intersection

  8. I am soooo looking forward to Fresh and Easy opening up.

  9. Trader Joe’s would have been my first choice but this will do… I’m sure they’ll have better choices than the Bon’s on AlBarado!

    • There are a few places where Trader Joe’s should be going and I read they won’t expand into certain places right now. Is Fresh and Easy coming in first and scooping up all the good locations to lock everyone else out?

      • They would be smart to do so. Trader Joes is too “conservative” in its expansion; Fresh and Easy is going to scoop them.

  10. I really hope the neighborhood supports this type of business, so other businesses will be enticed to move into the neighborhood! Nice to see new options in the neighborhood! Trader Joe’s next please…..!

  11. Oh happy day! We need access to healthy, affordable food. Vive le Fresh & Easy!

  12. This is great news. It’s a great fit for the area, as the flow of pedestrians can support the grab & go type products that they sell. Most of their prepackaged food is decent, and priced well.

    Although the walled in parking lot is horrible (esp. for pedestrians who have to go all the way around to enter), I kind of like the openness that it creates. It would be great if this became a little park, maybe the Little Caesars can become a little police substation. This would make a perfect central town plaza.

  13. Jezzz dont you winers ever stop???

  14. So excited I’m not moving. I live across the street and the only thing missing was walking to a quick market in the area.!!

  15. i love that some people would rather have a huge empty store right on sunset blvd., than a fresh & easy. yes, the shopping center leaves a lot to be desired. there isn’t a whole lot we can do about that. trader joe’s would have been better. but, since they said they are not moving into echo park, oh well. i will take fresh & easy any day of the week over an empty store front. it can’t open soon enough actually. now if we can get senor fish across the street to get new windows and paint the outside , we’d be all set. it’s like they forgot the outside of the building.

    • I’ve been wondering about señor fish too! The facade needs a quick makeover! You barely even know they exist!

  16. I am all for Fresh and Easy – somewhere more affordable than expensive Vons. I am exceedingly wealthy but I am always shocked at the prices at Vons. Whole Foods is actually cheaper if you don’t buy specialty foods, but who wants to drive to Glendale or Pasadena.

    I will be shopping at Fresh and Easy constantly.

    • Haha! Thanks Henry for letting us know how exceedingly wealthy you are. Everyone would have thought you a poor sap and wouldn’t care about your opinion. Now that I know a man named Henry is a wealthy man and approves this opening, I shall concur as well!

  17. Echo Park Newbie

    Great news. I work across the street from F&E at Hollywood and Sycamore. It is always busy with residents, tourists, office workers and folks from the LA Fitness above so all sorts of demographics. Its the perfect store for that space, price & quality are decent; selection is not bad for a store that size. One less vacant spot is always a good thing. Maybe one day TJ’s can snap up some property along sad Glendale blvd.. that strip has so much potential.. and should be a (welcoming) gateway to EP and not the run down street it is today.

  18. Why dont all the hipsters just knock everything down that they dont want to see and build why they want. Afterall they have deep roots in EP, 5 or 6 years now.

    • Tired and lazy comment.

    • Yes pchee, the “hipsters” have begun to revitalized in 5 or 6 years what you’ve managed to go to shit under your watch the last few decades.

      • Yeah Clueless, I wonder what is was like back in that one horse town. The sH*t here in the last few decades must be appealing to you, otherwise you would not be strumming the streets of EP.

        • pchee,
          WE didn’t come for the environment YOU created but rather to invest in the cheap real estate because of the BAD ENVIRONMENT you created. So for that I say Thanks. But it is because of ME and the “hipsters” I rent to that EP is becoming more attractive… so now that WE are here YOU can leave.

          Thank you.

          • Clueless Dude,

            EP has been here long before YOU. Its beautiful century old homes, lush hills, the iconic Lake, the legacy of the Studios and the “shit” that lines the boulevard as you say will be here long after YOU are gone. It has been here long before you and it is better than YOU. Any “legacy” that YOU bring to EP will “disappear like a fart in the wind” some day. Any real estate that you think you own, the bank probably owns.

            See you at Doggie Yoga. I am the guy with the Chocolate Lab/Beagle mix that refuses to get into Dog Facing Down.

  19. Bring back PIONEER Market!! how I miss that market, fresh produce, fresh meats, fish; the butchers were always helpful; the staff were always friendly (and some of the guys were cute too!). Its too bad the overhead charges drove the owners to close down Pioneer market.
    But I am ready for a F & E, Trader Joe’s, damn, I’d even take an ‘upscale’ Ralphs (like the one in Westwood), even a WholePaychecks too (the Westwood one is not too pricey).
    The RALPHS on Glendale Blvd blows…they sell expired meats/dairy. Yuck. Its too small!
    Vons on Alvarado is creepy too, even my mom didn’t like it (I prefer the one on Sunset/Virgil)
    Let the Good Times Roll, and let’s embrace a new market.
    -Rachel living in EP since the late 60’s (like when I was born!)

  20. I’m sure F&E will make a fine tenant. I for one will be glad not to have to drive to Eagle Rock to get their fine, cheap beer and other inexpensive goodies. Hey, wait: Maybe Garcetti will oppose this business too!

  21. FRESH is EASY!

    Try the Echo Park Farmers Market on Friday ( 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM) located
    between Echo Park Avenue and Logan Street on the Municipal Parking Lot just 1 block South of Sunset. Delicious prepared foods, lots of great produce, coloring
    table activity for kids, live music ( often) and great people and atmosphere to be around. Reasonable prices too!
    Check this GREAT local business and support its many small businesses!

    • I wish the EP Farmer’s Market was located in a more visible/nice location, instead of in that backlot strip 🙁

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