Aug 01

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Grocery Outlet to Replace Fresh & Easy

The cat is out of the (Grocery Outlet) bag

The cat is out of the (Grocery Outlet) bag.

The cat appears to be out of the bag when it comes to the fate of the now vacant Fresh & Easy space.  A topic that has gripped the Portola with speculation, debate and prayers for a Trader Joe’s on the various online forums.  Noticed by an eagle-eyed resident, a liquor license permit application sign has been spotted on the property.  The application outs the Grocery Outlet as the proposed new tenant for the space ahead of any official announcement from the city or grocer.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit A.

So what exactly is Grocery Outlet?  Rumors are already circulating that they sell merchandise from other markets that is nearing expiration but thankfully this isn’t the case.  According to their website, Grocery Outlet only buys directly from manufacturers.  The products are excess inventory which can result from issues such as production overruns or packaging changes.  Basic items such as milk and eggs are purchased through conventional distribution channels so that they always stock the basics. These items are not as deeply discounted as the overruns but they claim to check local prices to undercut all nearby competitors.  On the management end of the business, each location is independently owned and operated, the company looks for local residents to own, manage and staff each location so that every store has a “local personality”.  I’ve been told by my sources within the PNA (me, I am a PNA board member) that the store is currently looking for someone within the Portola or S/E San Francisco to own and manage this location.  The Portola location would be the 6th on the Peninsula, joining Geary Blvd in the Richmond, Visitacion Valley, Redwood City, South San Francisco and Palo Alto (fancy!).

Architectural Rendering

Unofficial architectural rendering of proposed store

Despite my desperate pleas to Trader Joe’s HQ, I’m pretty satisfied with this news.  We were turned on to Grocery Outlet while shopping for Burning Man supplies last year and we have been relying somewhat on the Bayshore location since the closing of F&E.  Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive which was a surprise to us as admitted Trader Joe’s and Rainbow Grocery fanatics.  At the Bayshore location, there is an entire aisle dedicated to organic products and produce, a large beer & wine section with local brands such as Anchor Steam and Speakeasy Brewery and household items such as 100′ garden hoses for $15, perfect for the Garden District!

This being San Francisco and all, there will be at least one community meeting where we will all have a chance to dust off our pitch forks and light our torches to demand changes to the building and proposed business.  My secret source at the PNA tells me that an official announcement should be expected soon and this will include community meeting dates.  I plan to suggest they plant trees along the backside of the building to soften the large blank wall that runs along Somerset and perhaps add some murals on the blank Somerset and Silver Ave. facades.

What would you like to see with this new store? Once the grief passes for the TJ’s that never was, share with us in comments.

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2015/08/grocery-outlet-to-replace-fresh-easy/


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  1. Vince

    Thanks for the update!! Keep them coming please!! 🙂

  2. Angelina

    When is the store opening?

  3. Alex

    Last I’ve heard late summer/early fall for the store opening. There will be a community meeting this Thursday 2/25/16 at 6:30pm at Family Connections on San Bruno and a rep from G.O. will be there to answer questions.

    1. Angelina

      Oh wow I thought the sign outside said early 2016?!…Summer/fall is so far away!!! 🙁 I’m so tired of shopping at Foods Co…I hate it!

    2. Angelina

      Any word on the date of opening for this store yet by any chance?

  4. Kenneth Hong

    August 16, 2016 is their official Grand Opening! 😉 👍

  5. Angelina

    No way that’s right around the corner!!! So happy to hear this thanks for the update!!!

  6. Kenneth Hong

    Yes, it’s certainly been a long time coming, but it’s fast approaching now!

    Just drive by the location. Their parking lot is full of cars and just bustling with activity.

    GO was originally slatted for opening in early spring 2016, but got pushed back a bit.

    Hopefully August will be “D-day” for the Portola neighborhood!

    Like you, can’t wait to check it out!

    Best regards

    Ken Hong

  7. gena

    called and they said aug 15 but I still don’t see any work going on.
    what’s the hang up

  8. Kenneth Hong

    Now August 15th, huh? We shall see.

    A previous Portola poster mentioned their corporate headquarters as opening towards the end of this year.

    Yes, talk about delays here….

    Best regards

  9. Angelina

    Wait so it’s not opening Aug 15-16 anymore? What the heck is going on here lol

  10. John

    Hi this John from Grocery outlet. The soft opening date for this location is on Nov 17 2016. hope to see you all there.

    1. gena



    2. Emma Comeau

      Hi John, is Nov 17 still your open date? Would love to have a store in the neighborhood before Thanksgiving!

  11. Sussana Lee

    I now shop here first. My recent find-McCormick matcha tea- ginger seasoning and tea. Plus coconut butter. I went back and bought 2 more. Braggs Amino Acids now replaces my soy sauce. Real olive oil, flax, avocado, hemp. They all muscle test strong. A bag of 8 small avocados only $1.99. Sometimes kefir, kombucha, Braggs, organic milk, backyard eggs. I love it!

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