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Al Atallah's Pine Valley Store
28820 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley
619-473-8723

Talk to the old folks, and they lament the loss of the old general stores, where you knew Al and Al knew you, and he had just about anything you needed, or he'd get it for you. Well, they're not all gone. Six years ago Al Atallah took over a deli-pizza-gift shop in Pine Valley, ditched the gift shop, and "jam-packed it with stuff people out here actually need." Gasoline, for starters. Groceries, wood, butane, sleeping bags, winter clothing such as gloves, hats, socks, helmets for mountain bikers, National Forest passes, diapers, toothbrushes, compasses, basketballs, thermometers, maps, auto parts, liquor, sandwiches, and yes, he still makes the piping hot pizzas. "Half of it's for travelers and campers," he says. "But we have 1500 people living up here. We don't have supermarkets. They need a traditional general store. Guess I've become it."

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