Chino chain grocer update


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Chino chain grocer update

Post by luckysaver » 16 Sep 2008 18:28

I'm currently doing some research on the history of the Chino Valley. From the chain supermarket perspective, here's an update of what is known so far within the city limits of Chino:

12375 Central Ave (at the 60 Freeway)
first opened as Gemco, later Pavilions/Vons/Pak n Save, now Superior Superwarehouse. I believe Safeway still owns the building, since Vons Printing Services maintains an office/mini DC behind Allen Tire.

12550 Central Ave (at Walnut)
first opened in 1960's as the original Vons (never a Shopping Bag). Became Pic n Save in the mid 1980's and is currently Big Lots after the Pic n Save buyout. There
is a picture of this building being a Vons in the 1967 Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce booklet at the reference desk at Chino Branch Library.

12013 Central Ave (north of Philadelphia in Country Fair Center)
first built as Safeway and torn down later. Albertsons #6824 (without the Savon Pharmacy) is the site occupant.

12155 Central Ave (at 60 Freeway)
an earlier post stated that it first opened as Kroger's Market Basket, later Gigante, was supposed to be Superior Superwarehouse but subleased to the current occupant, Dearden's Furniture.

12170 Central Ave (north of 60 Freeway)
Currently 99 Cents Only (now known for selling groceries rather than general merchandise) and next door, Smart & Final. I don't know the building's previous history -appears to be an old Alpha Beta. UPDATE - According to one of my sources, it was an Alpha Beta which became a very short-lived Ralphs.

5318 Walnut Ave (west of Central)
Originally an Alpha Beta, listed in the 1973 list. There is a picture of this building being an Alpha Beta in the 1967 Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce booklet at the reference desk at Chino Branch Library. Google Earth puts this address at the Walgreens/Starbucks location
across the street from Big Lots (ex-Vons). UPDATE - This shopping center, anchored by Central Furniture, is in two parts - the older wings with Central Furniture in the middle and the newer buildings - Starbucks, Walgreens, and a bank. I think Alpha Beta was where Walgreens is today.

12835 Mountain Ave (at Riverside Dr)
Showed up in the LA Times archives as Skaggs Alpha Beta in the mid 1980's. Currently Ralphs/Pharmacy 615. I believe this location opened in the 1980's because of its more recent architecture. The state liquor license on display on the wall between bakery and chilled wine lists the licensee as "Alpha Beta Company dba Ralphs 615". The pharmacy's existence in this location most likely dates back to the Skaggs era, since Skaggs ran the nonfood portion of SAB stores. Mountain was originally called Palmetto Street in the old days. UPDATE - This store did open in the early 1980's.

4024 Grand Ave (Chino Spectrum)
Food4Less (Ralphs/Kroger owned). No previous history because the store was built in the late 1990's as one unit of the early part of the Chino Spectrum center. According to old aerials from HistoricAerials, Edison Ave was a straightaway towards the old State Route 71 and ended at Boys Republic, approximately where Albertsons-Savon on Grand/Peyton is today.
UPDATE - According to my source, it has always been Food4Less, since the mid 1990's.

4721 Riverside Dr (east of Ramona)
Stater Bros #52. I visited this store last week and it is one of those Stater designed and built from the 1970's. Exact layout as the former store #63 in West Covina (now Bestway Super Mercado on Nogales and La Puente Roads). Other examples include Rowland Heights (Colima/Fairway), and West Covina (Amar/Valinda). The company has a subsidiary that does only store design/architecture is called Stater Bros Development Inc.

6989 Schaefer Ave (at Euclid)
Brand new Stater Bros #184 built from the ground up on this former dairy farm, opened October 2008. Resembles the company's newer store architecture styles such as the one in Chino Hills or those that recently opened (Stater's website has PDF press releases that describe their brand new stores in detail) such as Norco-Corona. This location has the company's 24th SupeRx Pharmacy.

5832 Riverside Dr (at Oaks)
Rio Ranch Market. May have been Chino Ranch Market in the past. I don't know if it is part of a chain or if its an independent (aligned with Unified Western Grocers). This is part of a very old strip mall that probably dates back to the 1950's. UPDATE - My source says it has been Rio Ranch since the mid '80's.

Walmart Supercenter (3943 Grand, south side of the Chino Spectrum) has a complete Food Center. UPDATE - The Food Center opened around 2006. This store (#3464) first opened as a regular Walmart.

Lewis Operating Companies, developer of the Preserve master-planned neighborhood east of Chino Airport has indicated that their new shopping center (to open around 2012 as the last phase of construction) would be anchored by a grocery store. Since this is somewhat an upscale part of the city, my guess is a Pavilions/The Market by Vons or Whole Foods. The area would be served by this new market and the Stater Bros on Schaefer/Euclid, thus eliminating the need to drive out to the western part of the city or as far as Corona for a trip to the supermarket. Residents would also benefit from grocery stores in Eastvale, just east of
the Chino city limits and the Preserve.

SunCal Companies, developer of the College Park master-planned neighborhood that surrounds the California Institute for Men (state prison) and Chaffey College Chino Campus recently announced a shopping center to be built on a piece of agricultural land along Edison Ave between Oaks (Chaffey entrance) and Mountain Ave and seeing the proposed drawing on a sign off Oaks and Edison, it appears SunCal is also planning a supermarket, similar to the plans of the Preserve.

Last edited by luckysaver on 09 Jan 2009 02:00, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Chino chain grocer update

Post by Jeff » 16 Sep 2008 20:25

12155 Central (at 60 Freeway)
Between the time it was a Market Basket and a Gigante, it was a Drug Emporium.

12170 Central (north of 60 Freeway)
This originally was an Alpha-Beta that closed I beleive around the time Ralphs bought the chain. I'm sure this location replaced the 5318 Walnut store.

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Re: Chino chain grocer update

Post by mfricke » 27 Nov 2008 03:55

I grew up in this area, so I do remember all of these stores. Thank you for doing this very interesting research on my old neighborhood! Some additional notes about these stores are:

12155 Central (at 60 Freeway)
It opened around 1982 as a Market Basket. It became a Ralphs for a short while, and then the Vons from 12550 Central (at Walnut) moved in. It stayed there until it moved back across the freeway into the old Gemco store, where the company stayed and transformed from a Pavilions to a Vons to a Pak n Save. The store at 12155 became a Drug Emporium for many years, before becoming the Gigante and now the Deardens.

5318 Walnut (west of Central)
It was an Alpha Beta, and now it is a Walgreens. They tore down the old store many years ago, but the rest of the center is still vintage. Around 1980, it moved across the freeway to:

12170 Central (north of 60 Freeway)
It opened as an Alpha Beta when it moved from the old site. It became a Ralphs with the merger, and actually did stay open for a while as a Ralphs until it closed about five years ago, and is now the 99 Cents store.

12013 Central (north of Philadelphia in Country Fair Center)
It was an old Safeway, became a Food Barn for a while (while they opened a new Safeway at Philadelphia and Euclid in Ontario, now a Food for Less), became a Safeway for a short time again, and then closed. It was a Fabric King store for many years, before it was torn down to build the Albertsons that stands there today.

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Re: Chino chain grocer update

Post by luckysaver » 28 Nov 2008 03:41

Thanks for the historical notes. I could also have included notes on Chino Hills, since prior to 1989 was part of unincorporated Chino with a Chino CA address. The oldest ex-supermarket store (I think) still standing is the former Alpha Beta (now Big Lots) on Peyton and Chino Hills Parkway (opened in the 1970's to serve the old Los Serranos Lake neighborhood on South Peyton). It is also possible that the vacant grocery store (old Lucky/Vons) <Woodview Plaza> may also have been there since the late '70's or '80's.

The old Ralphs space is still grocery related. You probably know 99Cents store is now big on groceries and right next door is the Smart and Final. I believe the Ralphs closed because they had the other store on Mountain and Riverside (ex Skaggs-Alpha Beta). Some cities have 2 or 3 different locations of the same banner store. For instance, here in Chino:

Stater Bros has 2 stores (3 total if you include South Ontario):
Riverside and Ramona
Euclid and Schaefer (opened October 2008)
I consider the "South Ontario" location on Mountain and Philadelphia as part of Chino because it sits just north of the 60 Freeway (separates Ontario and Chino).


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Re: Chino chain grocer update

Post by scanman2 » 21 Aug 2010 10:48

The Rio Rancho in Chino on Riverside Drive was and independent (Certified Grocers, now Unified Western Grocers customer) called Valley Farms in the 70's and through the early 80's. I worked there a year before going to Superior and lived close by.

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