ECHO PARK — Passersby pressed their faces up against the windows to look in disbelief into a dark interior, where display cases and shelves were still partially stocked with groceries. This was the scene this week outside the LG Market, aka La Guadalupana, one of two neighborhood groceries that closed recently, marking the ongoing decline of low-cost stores that catered primarily to working-class customers.
In addition to LG Market at 1624 Sunset Boulevard, the Super Save, housed in a lime-green building at Temple and Union streets, also closed within the past few weeks, say shoppers.
Neighboring shop owners said that LG Market closed late last month. Many had noticed that the merchandise at the market had grown thin in recent weeks. But when asked about the depleted shelves, clerks said they did not not know what was going on. While Guadalupana was worn and dingy, it was a convenient spot for many to buy low-priced groceries or Mexican-cuts of meat at the carniceria or butcher shop in the back of the store.
On Monday, a man who said he owned the building stood in the doorway of LG Market as a worker changed the locks. The landlord said the market owners had been behind on their rent for several months when they closed without notice.
Now, the landlord said he was going to clean up the approximately 7,000-square-foot space — which has over the decades operated as a movie house and bank — and start the process of looking for new tenants. “We are open to suggestion,” said the landlord, who did not want provide his name.
Meanwhile, on Temple Street, the former Super Save store — which once operated as a Vons in the 1940s, according to building permits — also sat empty. Fluorescent lights glowed above a concrete floor. At one end above an empty produce display stand, a beer poster featuring a woman in a bikini hung over a sign that read “Farm Fresh Produce” and ” Lowest Prices in Town.”
Seth Eklund, who snapped photos of the empty interior late last month, said a cleaning person told him a recent rent increase had forced the store to close. The Eastsider was not able to contact the owners of either Super Save or LG Market for comment.
The closure of the two markets comes less than a year after Echo Park lost another ethnic market, the A Grocery Warehouse (known to some as the A1 Market) that stocked a wide variety of Asian groceries.
“I used to get my carne asada at Guadulapana and my salmon steaks at A1 [Market],” said Eklund. “I only stopped in the Super Save a few times, but the cashier was always friendly enough. “I’m bummed the neighborhood has lost these 3 markets.”
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Jesús Sanchez, Publisher
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