ECHO PARK — Lassens, a grocery store chain specializing in organic foods and vitamins, plans to open the doors of its Echo Park store around Thanksgiving, a company official said today. “We’re almost there,” said David Downs, a company buyer, standing under the newly installed Lassens sign on the Sunset Boulevard store.
It’s been more than a year since the Ventura County-based chain finalized a lease to fill the Echo Park space, which has been empty since early 2011 when the discount food store Save A Lot abruptly closed. Plans to open a Fresh & Easy grocery in the same space collapsed when the chain’s British owners announced they were pulling out of the U.S., creating an opportunity for Lassens to expand. The company currently operates nine stores.
The 14,000-square Echo Park store next to Walgreen’s is more than three times larger than the company’s Los Feliz outlet, which was the subject of picketing and a boycott to protest donations made by the Lassen family in support of Prop. 8. In addition to all-organic foods, the Echo Park Lassens will also have a cold-press juice bar and a full deli, Downs said.
There is no specific date for the “soft opening” around Thanksgiving. Workers continue to finish the interior and are preparing to stock shelves and cases.
Lassens 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.