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.