Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Thrift trader owner Jeff Clark hit by train in Little Italy

North Park and Pacific Beach stores cleaned out July 13

Owner 
Jeff Clark 
on the roof of the 
Thrift Trader in North Park
Owner Jeff Clark on the roof of the Thrift Trader in North Park

Media reports noted that a man was struck by an Amtrak train in Little Italy on June 24, but did not list his name.

PB Thrift Trader at 1537 Garnet. “He was spending crazy money on payroll.”

But his 20 part- and full-time employees soon knew.

One of them, Priscilla Garcia, says the incident that put Jeff Clark in a coma was definitely not an act of suicide.

“He did have a mild stroke a while back and his vision was impaired,” says Garcia about the accident. She says Clark is in his mid-50s. “Plus he was looking down at his phone. You can definitely rule out suicide. He always wanted to look on the bright side. I think the reason he stayed in business is that he cared so much about everyone who worked for him.”

An associate close to Clark reports that Clark has improved enough so that he is about to be taken off a breathing machine. He is still comatose.

Clark founded the Music Trader retail chain in 1987, successfully cornering the once hot used CD market. At its peak, Music Trader had 16 outlets. Clark sold it in 1999. It was reported that Clark sold the chain for $1 million. After the sale, Clark launched Thrift Trader resale stores that resold cool clothing and pop music albums and music-related collectibles to scenesters. “It was all about quirky, weird and funky,” says Garcia, who explains that Thrift Trader was more selective than, say, a Goodwill store, but not as snooty or expensive as a Buffalo Exchange.

“A lot of the other resale stores would get their stuff from Thrift Trader,” says one longtime associate who declined to be named. He explained that the Thrift Trader inventory will be stored in an Escondido storage facility. “They had to get everything out by last night,” he said on July 14.

There were two remaining Thrift Traders, one in North Park and one in Pacific Beach, at the time of the accident. Two other local Thrift Traders had since been closed. Garcia says that the hope is that when Clark fully recovers he will re-open Thrift Trader. “I want to remain hopeful but I don’t see it happening anytime in the near future…He was kind of a one man show.”

“He was spending crazy money on payroll,” says the longtime associate. “You’d go in there and see like ten people working. He took care of his employees. He’d take them all to a bar. He would hire homeless people to stand outside with signs…All the people who worked there knew how to buy stuff [for resale], but none of them knew finances. They don’t know how he paid the bills.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The evolution of Belle and the Dragon’s “Trees” video

And a lust for the perfect vegan taco
Owner 
Jeff Clark 
on the roof of the 
Thrift Trader in North Park
Owner Jeff Clark on the roof of the Thrift Trader in North Park

Media reports noted that a man was struck by an Amtrak train in Little Italy on June 24, but did not list his name.

PB Thrift Trader at 1537 Garnet. “He was spending crazy money on payroll.”

But his 20 part- and full-time employees soon knew.

One of them, Priscilla Garcia, says the incident that put Jeff Clark in a coma was definitely not an act of suicide.

“He did have a mild stroke a while back and his vision was impaired,” says Garcia about the accident. She says Clark is in his mid-50s. “Plus he was looking down at his phone. You can definitely rule out suicide. He always wanted to look on the bright side. I think the reason he stayed in business is that he cared so much about everyone who worked for him.”

An associate close to Clark reports that Clark has improved enough so that he is about to be taken off a breathing machine. He is still comatose.

Clark founded the Music Trader retail chain in 1987, successfully cornering the once hot used CD market. At its peak, Music Trader had 16 outlets. Clark sold it in 1999. It was reported that Clark sold the chain for $1 million. After the sale, Clark launched Thrift Trader resale stores that resold cool clothing and pop music albums and music-related collectibles to scenesters. “It was all about quirky, weird and funky,” says Garcia, who explains that Thrift Trader was more selective than, say, a Goodwill store, but not as snooty or expensive as a Buffalo Exchange.

“A lot of the other resale stores would get their stuff from Thrift Trader,” says one longtime associate who declined to be named. He explained that the Thrift Trader inventory will be stored in an Escondido storage facility. “They had to get everything out by last night,” he said on July 14.

There were two remaining Thrift Traders, one in North Park and one in Pacific Beach, at the time of the accident. Two other local Thrift Traders had since been closed. Garcia says that the hope is that when Clark fully recovers he will re-open Thrift Trader. “I want to remain hopeful but I don’t see it happening anytime in the near future…He was kind of a one man show.”

“He was spending crazy money on payroll,” says the longtime associate. “You’d go in there and see like ten people working. He took care of his employees. He’d take them all to a bar. He would hire homeless people to stand outside with signs…All the people who worked there knew how to buy stuff [for resale], but none of them knew finances. They don’t know how he paid the bills.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Korean War survivors, Hotel Del expels Prince Edward, Spanish Civil War vets, escape from Vietnam, tortured by Japanese

San Diego as vortex of world events
Next Article

Margaret Fuller: wrote first major work of feminism in the US

An inspiration on Walt Whitman
Comments
5

The headlines here are confusing. One line in the story describes this tragic incident as involving Amtrak. But the main headline mentions the trolley. Amtrak and the trolley are two distinctively different operations, although they run parallel north of the Santa Fe depot up as far as Old Town. Generally a pedestrian doesn't survive a collision with an Amtrak train. But then, there are not a great many pedestrian accidents involving the Trolley.

Any of the accidents that cause loss of life, or major injury, are tragic. This time it comes across as a loss to the city and to many loyal employees. Let's all hope/pray for a speedy recovery for Jeff Clark.

July 14, 2017

And why were the stores "cleaned out July 13" ?

July 15, 2017

I was told the stores needed to be cleared out to avoid another month of rent. I assume the 15th.

July 15, 2017

According to the Thrift Trader manager it was an Amtrak.

July 15, 2017

Maybe Jeff Clark got off the trolley walked behind the trolley and crossed onto the parallel train tracks not looking up from his phone because he sensed that the flashing lights and whistle were for the trolley leaving the station and not the rapidly approaching amtrack. What abt the security video?

July 27, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close