January 25, 2011

Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next?

1245 South Van Ness (Image Source: MapJack.com)

With San Francisco's first two Fresh & Easy locations scheduled to open their doors in Bayview and the Outer Richmond early this year, according to the San Francisco Business Times Fresh & Easy is also close to inking a lease for the (not so long) shuttered DeLano's Market at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission.

And while there's no official word on the newly defunct DeLano's Market in the Castro, according to a plugged-in reader early last month:

I heard Tesco's Fresh & Easy is interested in the closing Delano's on 18th in the Castro. Ralphs Supermarkets sub-leases the building to DeLano's. They evicted them because they owe back rent on the store plus 5 others.

Could this be one DeLano's down for Fresh & Easy with five to go?

NOTE: As a plugged-in reader adds, if you want to lobby Trader Joe's to open in the Castro (or elsewhere in San Francisco) you might start by filling out a location request form.

UPDATE: Apparently the new new rumor has it that Mollie Stones will be taking over the defunct DeLano’s in the Castro but a lease has yet to be signed. If so, perhaps that’s how Fresh & Easy is ending up in the Mission (and why we don't typically cover the changing of exisiting grocery store flags). Cheers.

Fresh & Easy San Francisco In The Outer Richmond By Early Next Year [SocketSite]
5800 Third Street Scoop: Sales, Restaurants, And Fresh & Easy Soon
Could DeLano’s Loss Be A Trader Joe’s Gain For The Castro? [SocketSite]

First Published: January 25, 2011 5:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Anyone who wants a TJ in the old Delano place (I do), you can go on TJ's website and fill a location request form: http://www.traderjoes.com/about/location-requests-form.asp

Editor, that would make a great post...

[Editor’s Note: Promoted to a UPDATE NOTE above. Cheers.]

Posted by: lol at January 25, 2011 6:57 PM

FYI people, Fresh & Easy is like a mash up of a grocery, a 711, and a morgue. Just wait.

Posted by: stucco-sux at January 25, 2011 7:19 PM

"Long shuttered"? WTF? It's been closed for a month or two.

[Editor’s Note: WTF indeed! Since rewritten. Cheers.]

Posted by: Greg at January 25, 2011 7:32 PM

UPDATE: Rewritten to reflect a plugged-in reader's comment that we shouldn't have missed early last month: "I heard Tesco's Fresh & Easy is interested in the closing Delano's on 18th in the Castro. Ralphs Supermarkets sub-leases the building to DeLano's. They evicted them because they owe back rent on the store plus 5 others."

Posted by: SocketSite at January 25, 2011 8:25 PM

I'd heard that Mollie Stone's was close to inking a deal for the Castro DeLano's space. Don't know if that's a done deal or not.

Posted by: Dubocian at January 25, 2011 9:46 PM

Trader Joe's really missed a great opportunity on this. So did Socketsite for not reporting about the closing of this store a month ago - the only major grocery store in the Mission, affecting a large part of this city. I myself did the request on the TJ site a few weeks ago, as well as talking to the manager personally at the 9th street store. Oh well, let them struggle to implement a store on Market, logistically a far less wise location.

That said, let's hope Fresh & Easy is as great a store as the rumors say. From what I've heard, it's somewhere between Trader Joe's and Whole Foods...will have to wait and see I guess. Apparently it has signed a 20 year lease!

Posted by: Schlub at January 25, 2011 10:07 PM

Fresh & Easy is going to be very popular in the The Mission and the Castro, well really anywhere in the city.

Wait, we're talking about vegetables? Never mind.

Posted by: Paul Hwang at January 26, 2011 7:57 AM

Yes, Mollie Stones is said to be coming soon to the Castro Delano's: http://sanfrancisco.grubstreet.com/2011/01/mollie_stones_to_take_the_cast.html

I've put in requests for Trader Joe's to consider the S. Van Ness location before and after Delano's took over. It is a perfect location and size for a Trader Joe's, and has a parking lot, is near transit, and has a high density of potential shoppers nearby.

If Fresh and Easy lives up to its reputation as being mid-way between a Trader Joe's and a conventional grocery store, with low prices, it will do very well at the 23rd and S. Van Ness location.

[Editor’s Note: With respect to the Castro, apparently a lease has yet to be signed.]

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 8:12 AM

I hope the rumors are true about Mollie Stones in the Castro. My one time in a Fresh and Easy was very disappointing. Everything seemed to be over-packaged in plastic. The prices were cheap but nothing seemed fresh at all.

Posted by: 94114 at January 26, 2011 8:55 AM

Please spare us from Mollie Stone's. Mediocre and even more expensive than Whole Foods.

Posted by: steve at January 26, 2011 9:04 AM

Mollie Stone's would suck in the Castro. They're almost twice more pricey than TJ's and are not very different from Safeway in choice/quality.

It would probably follow the Delano's downward spiral: expensive + too close to Safeway = low sales = impossible to lower prices and be a crredible competition to Safeway. I give them 3 years for the reality to settle in.

TJ's is on another level. Cheaper, good, more efficient use of shelf space thanks to more targeted choice.

Posted by: lol at January 26, 2011 9:10 AM

Mollie Stone's is expensive but Fresh and Easy is pathetic. TJ's is not coming to 18th Street so I'd still prefer a real grocery store with fresh fish, cheese, produce over a store that sells everything wrapped in layers of plastic.

Posted by: 94114 at January 26, 2011 9:26 AM

Does anyone happen to know if there is anything in the works for the shuttered Cala Foods in the Portola District (Silver Ave. & Somerset St.)?

I noticed that Whole Foods took over the locations in Noe and in the Haight but wondered if there was any news on the Portola location. I doubt it would be an ideal Whole Foods location but could see it as a possible target for Trader Joes/Fresh & Easy type of market. Right now food options for that district include FoodsCo (which is greatly lacking in anything fresh, or healthy) in the Bayview, Safeway & Whole Foods in the Potrero, and Safeway in the Excelsior.

Posted by: Rob at January 26, 2011 9:33 AM

I remember that Fresh and Easy at one time was supposed to be opening a store in the Portola District:

Another option not far from the Portola District by car is Manila Oriental Market in the Excelsior.

Posted by: Dan at January 26, 2011 9:59 AM

It's a deal on Mollie Stone's in the Castro.


Fresh & Easy owns the old Cala building at Silver Avenue & Goettingen. There's no work going on there though as of last week when I went by.

It appears they are focusing on the Bayview and Richmond District stores first.


And according to the same blog it looks like they are going to lease the old DeLano's in the Mission.


Posted by: Michael at January 29, 2011 2:49 PM

Glad it's not my 'hood folks are trying to put another TJ's in. Give me a bodega any day over those jerks. Not only do they refuse to take "food stamp" style assistance programs, are a non-union shop mostly hiring 0part-time workers so they can skimp on benefits, they can't keep stuff in stock, and are the least disabled-friendly grocery store I've ever dealt with. I'll stick to getting my fancy foods and cheap booze from local merchants or Safeway.

Posted by: wheelchairgirl at February 1, 2011 2:27 AM

Well, we have to look at the silver lining: at least with Mollie Stones, the block will remain as quiet as with Delano's. No extra traffic. Yeah!

Of course there will be a buzz in the first few weeks, but less so after people will have shopped there once or twice:

They sell the same things as Safeway and are often more expensive. There's no benefit to go to MS for people in the neighborhood. They'll last 3 or 4 years until they realize this is not what the Castro needs. Just like Delano's, it will be a local oddity burning through red ink.

After that, the lease will be really cheap for TJ's.

Posted by: lol at February 1, 2011 8:09 AM

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