Lazy Acres will take over space formerly occupied by Petco and Smart & Final
  • Lazy Acres will take over space formerly occupied by Petco and Smart & Final
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In the shopping center at the northwest corner of I-5 and Encinitas Boulevard, Smart and Final vacated two years ago, and earlier this year, so did Petco. Both stores moved to larger space just east of the freeway, to the 400 block of Encinitas Boulevard.

Ready to fill the vacant space will be Lazy Acres, an offshoot of the high-end grocery chain Bristol Farms. The 15-store chain, based in L.A., is poised to take over all the square footage of both former stores at 150 Encinitas Boulevard.

“We’re pretty excited, “ said one employee of the Postal Annex/U-Haul store next door. Their business has been down since the other two stores left the center, which is now anchored only by a Wendy’s and a Shell gas station.

Bristol Farms, established in 1982 in Rolling Hills Estates, has two Lazy Acres stores, both in beach towns; Long Beach and Santa Barbara. Bristol Farms was purchased by Albertsons/SuperValu in 2004. A private equity firm, Endeavour Capital, and the chain's management team took the company back in 2010.

Lazy Acres will be competing for the upscale, freeway-to-the-beach grocery business with four nearby stores; Whole Foods on Coast Highway 101, Seaside Market in Cardiff by the Sea, and two newly established Gelson’s Markets in former Haggen Foods locations in La Costa and Del Mar.

Historical footnote: This Encinitas Boulevard supermarket location was one of the last new locations for the 24-store chain of Big Bear Markets. The San Diego–based chain was sold in 1993 to Albertsons.

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Comments

AlexClarke Feb. 19, 2016 @ 7:38 a.m.

Bristol Farms (Lazy Acres) like Gelson's is a great store with a lot of things that you won't find anywhere else. But, and it is a big but, you had better bring your check book. Like Whole Foods (whole checkbook) you will be paying premium prices for every item. Shopping at these high end stores is like eating at Ruth's Chris every night. Good but pricey!

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dwbat Feb. 19, 2016 @ 9:27 a.m.

That's why Bristol Farms didn't want the old Haggen site in North Park! They would have failed there. Smart & Final Extra! is the better fit.

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Visduh Feb. 19, 2016 @ 10:45 a.m.

Ken, I'd say that the Encinitas location is a gamble for anyone. While the income level is there to support a pricey operation, there are plenty of other places to drop a bundle. I'm also guessing that Smart & Final is really happy to be across I-5 in that center, with their Extra store occupying space that was Albertson's (and before that Lucky). Why? The near gridlock on Encinitas Blvd at I-5 makes the center hard and slow to access and leave. It can be supposed that when I-5 starts to get its remodel, CalTrans will design a wider Encinitas Blvd to pass under the freeway. But until then, I don't see Encinitas coming up with the funding to replace or remodel the underpass. And so, the traffic backups will worsen. That street needs to have three thru lanes in each direction, and two left turn lanes that run the full width of I-5. Now it seems to have only five lanes, and the left turn backups block the left thru lane, especially eastbound.

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