Year after year we lose key elements of our community heritage.
I’ve been around long enough to remember – quite fondly – Regular Jon’s on San Vicente, where Coral Tree Café is now. Regular Jon’s was one of those wonderful dives that served burgers, pizza and beer. You could throw peanut shells on the floor. You could talk to fellow adults in one room while the kids played pinball games or very early-stage video games in the next room.
Everything is so fancy these days. Either fancy, or a pizza parlor or a nail salon.
It was almost 10 years ago that we lost Dutton’s Books. Who doesn’t miss the place? Brentwood Stationers was small but convenient. Gone.
Earlier this year, we reported that Early World was getting ready to close in July. However, owner Nazmi has now been told he can stay possibly through September. I was there the other day and Paula, who has been there forever, said she was sad she wasn’t there the day I snapped a photo of the Early World crew. She told me I could rectify this by taking a picture just of her – included here.
And now we hear Whole Foods (which used to be Westward Ho), is going to evict Marck Sarfati’s Brentwood Newsstand, which has been here for 28 years. Marck pays rent to Whole Foods each month and even if the newsstand were gone, it’s not clear how this could solve the “parking issue” Whole Foods has cited as one of its reasons for not renewing Marck’s lease.
I really love our little newsstand. When I’m working on a big project and need to do some research or get a little shot of inspiration, I go over there and grab a bunch of titles that I know will fill my head with ideas.
It’s easy to assume Whole Foods is the bad guy here, and this whole thing does seem mysterious. But I’ve been dealing with the Whole Foods people for years and they have always seemed like terrific people – very community-oriented.
Maybe there’s some big plan coming down from corporate that even the local store managers don’t know about? I really hope Whole Foods finds a way to let Marck stay.
Maybe now, with Amazon taking over, this whole thing can be reviewed. Let’s all send an email to Jeff Bezos: email@example.com. Maybe someone will take notice and let him know he’s got a chance to come to the rescue.
Vicente Foods, as far as I know, is now the longest-surviving business in Brentwood – The Last of the Mohicans.
I can say with great confidence this terrific store in a great location, led by the always friendly and ever-efficient Bob Inadomi, won’t be leaving any time soon.
But who will be the next Early World or Brentwood Newsstand?