Bristol Farms Coming to Santa Monica

Upscale grocer moving into the Wilshire Boulevard building currently occupied by Albertsons, which will close next month. Do you welcome the addition?

Add an upscale market to your Santa Monica grocery store list.

Bristol Farms, the Southern California-based chain of grocery stores known for its top-grade meats, gourmet cafes, specialty cheeses and high prices, will move into the building currently occupied by Albertsons on Wilshire Boulevard.

The company did not return messages seeking comment, but a city planner said Bristol Farms has submitted an application to convert the Albertsons at 3105 Wilshire Blvd. The conversion will require construction, and there's no word yet on an opening date.

Albertsons will shutter Feb. 6.

"We are leaving that store, because we could not reach an agreement with the property owner," said Albertsons spokeswoman Lilia Rodriguez.

Plans submitted to the city by Bristol Farms call for changing the sales floor, renovating the bakery and seafood counter and building a new deli, juice and beverage dining area, according to associate planner Gina Szilak.

A proposal to redo the Albertsons facade and to add Bristol Farms signs will be reviewed by the city's Architectural Review Board in February, Szilak said.

Named after a street in West Los Angeles, Bristol Farms opened its first store in 1982 in Rolling Hills. It now operates seven in Los Angeles County, including in Westwood and Hollywood, and five others in California.

In 2010, an independent investment firm purchased Bristol Farms from SUPERVALU, Inc., the company that owns Albertsons.

The Albertsons spokeswoman said she did not know how many workers would be laid off because of the closure. "There’s always an opportunity for employees to transfer. We try to find places for all of our employees," she said.

We asked our Facebook followers if they were eager for Bristol Farms to open. Here's a selection of the responses:

Tracey O'Donnell Muldaur Right down the street from the huge Whole Foods? Not sure how well it will do..... Val Allen The more choices the better! Carla Zeitlin Sure, bring another pricey market to SM. It's already ridiculously expensive to live here, what's one more expensive market. Kevin Flick I love to go into these places and marvel at the fish prices. Then buy a coffee and leave. Karla Quiros Super excited!! Helen Zielinski Landon There are 3 terrible vons/pavillions on my neighborhood -- I wish that one of them would become a TJs! Helene Wichman What is happening to Santa Monica? It's losing its quaintness.

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Val Streit January 31, 2013 at 03:59 PM
What will be next...Gelsons? Santa Monica is clearly catering to the wealthiest that live here. We would be much better served with Trader Joes that can serve everyone and not just the affluent that live here.
Harry Chauncy January 31, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Albertson's is closing Southern California stores because it can't compete with Ralph;s and Von's in this area. The rep's remark about rent sounds to me like a fig leaf. It was my neighborhood market and my wife and I used to come home after being there and tell each other stories about the abysmal and rude service. The rickety carts are left as far as possible from the entrance,the fish are stinky and the downmarket deli is pathetic. It is a badly run market and deserves to die. I am not a fan of Bristol Farms, but it probably serves the demographic better. TJ's would have been nice.
Monica Bey January 31, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Yes, yes, yes! This is great!
Stephanie January 31, 2013 at 05:40 PM
What City Council/Developers don't understand is that there is a huge MIDDLE CLASS living in Mid-City. We own our condos and like to walk to get the groceries we need to feed our FAMILIES. None of my friends/neighbors (nor I) will ever shop at Bristol Farms - it is too expensive! Now we have no choice but to drive to stores further away to get groceries. Traffic in Mid-City will get much, much worse b/c no one who shops at BF walks there. SHAME ON CITY COUNCIL for selling out Mid-City to developers! Our previously quiet neighborhood is now dangerous to pedestrians because of the many multi-use properties being built on every corner. I witness cars nearly mow down kids walking to school every day. Perhaps if Council-people were required to live in the areas they represent we'd see more parity in the development of Santa Monica.
Tina January 31, 2013 at 05:46 PM
YES!! Hooray. I agree with the comments about having a Trader Joe's on Wilshire Blvd, but if not them, then Bristol Farms gets my vote. Sweet. From east to west I can shop Pavilions, Ralphs, Bristol Farms, and two Whole Foods. It's grocery store 'nirvana'. Now let's add a few gas stations too.
Ralph January 31, 2013 at 07:21 PM
There's a Trader Joe's on Pico, and a Ralphs on Olympic. Not all that far away.
Ralph January 31, 2013 at 07:22 PM
If the Trader's on Pico is too tiny, try the new one on Olympic
JohnCySmith.com January 31, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Dear City Council, Please make certain it has enough parking. Thank You.
Mary Sanders January 31, 2013 at 09:01 PM
I absolutely agree! You will never see a Wal Mart or Target in Santa Monica. I'm just waiting to hear when Sears is leaving. It's not just upscale marketing, it's everything!
Val Streit January 31, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Yes there is one on Olympic and going East is not always fun at specific hours. If we can have 3 Whole Foods in Santa Monica, why can't we have Trader Joes on the North side of town?
Valerie Ferguson February 01, 2013 at 12:46 AM
The Co-op is another option.
Jill February 01, 2013 at 12:49 AM
I am sure it will be great for the wealthy living N. of Wilshire, who can send their help to pick up the brown bags . If you want to visit a local institution visit Bob's on O.P.Blvd. Great meat counter, great fresh vegetables, every time you walk into the market you will find a new product on the shelves. I call them a mini Traders. AND.... they have a barbacue in the parking lot every weekend. I go to Traders for cheese, but they have become boring.
George Forte February 07, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Bristol Farms is a "star" in the upscale grocery business and very much welcome addtiion to Santa Monica. Whole Foods is great too but should not have a monopoly on upscale, sophisticated products and amazing customer service. Whole Foods in Venice has an army of securty to guard against theft and that's an unappealing sight. Bristol Farms will be located about 8 blocks from Whole Foods on Wilshire and I welcome the competition. Bristol Farms also offers a 10% discount for seniors every Tuesday. ---George Martinez
Maribell Huerta February 07, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Wish they could bring in a Fresh n' Easy or a Sprouts. And YES, another TJ's on the north side of town would be better than Bristol Farms.
Aaron Mirsky March 01, 2013 at 09:13 PM
My family lives close by and I will miss the convenience of the Starbucks and ATM machine. I actually liked quite a few of the employees but I agree the store was poorly managed. I like Bristol Farms but I agree that a Trader Joe's might have better served the larger Northside community.
Bollocks March 23, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Superior and El Super are the best markets around but Yuppieville will never entertain the thought of great quality CHEAP food.....so I will still make my weekly trip to Century and Crenshaw
Linda Rubin April 03, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Last week the cashier at Wilshire/Bundy Ralphs told me besides Bristol Farms, another Trader Joe's is coming to West L.A. and a Walmart is going in where Sears is going out. I hadn't heard Sears is closing. Have you?
michael derek mccoy April 26, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I hate walmart. Reminds of coldmining people.
Lisa Sutton August 21, 2013 at 06:59 PM
The store is beautiful and yay for there being a starbucks inside. Not everything in the store is over priced and you won't find produce any better than you will find in this store. It amazes me how people will spend more on what they wear and put in their cars than what they put in their body. I value the quality product and appreciate the reputation of a company like Bristol Farms and their Lazy Acres locations.


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