Page 1 of 3

Smith's Food King in Socal--with store locations

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 16:30
by runchadrun
For the purposes of this post, I'm talking about the first entry of Smith's Food King in Southern California, not the short-lived reentry in the 1990s.

According to news reports I've found, Smith's bought 26 former Food Giant/Food King markets in August, 1971, in Socal and converted them to Smith's Food King. 16 of those stores were called Food King (as opposed to Smith's Food King--no confusion there!) and 10 were called Food Giant. In February, 1972, they acquired the remaining 23 Food Giant stores giving them 49 stores. (10 FG stores in San Diego were sold to Vons at the same time.) In 1982 they picked up 6 former Market Basket locations. By 1984 Smiths sold all of their California stores to Lucky but the total number statewide was 34 stores with only 17 in the LA/OC/IE area.

I'm wondering what happened to the other stores. In doing research into the 1972 locations I've found several Big Lots (nee Pic N Save). Did they sell of a bunch of locations to Pic N Save? I know one location (Mission Hills) that went from Market Basket to Smiths to Vons. Did they sell of any chunks of stores to other chains or was that likely a one-off deal?

Also, what kind of store replacement and expansion did Smiths do, if any? For example, the Granada Hills store moved about a mile east between 1972 and 1984 and is now my local Albertsons. It looks like the store in West Covina (Azusa and Francisquito) also moved, while Upland (Euclid and 24th) was new. (It's possible those three stores were Market Baskets. The GH store does have an architecture similar to MB stores of the late 70s/early 80s.) All of the other stores from the Lucky buyout list match 1972 locations.

Now, as promised, here's the location lists from 1972 and 1984:

These stores are from a June 15, 1972, display ad in the Los Angeles Times. Smith's Food King took over Food Giant's Socal stores earlier in 1972. Smith's initially entered the Socal market by buying 26 Food Giant stores and in 1972 they bought 26 more. Fortunately the ad indicates which ones are Food King and with ones are Food Giant. Unfortunately no street addresses are given, only the intersection or shopping center name. The stores maked with *** are stores listed in a 1984 ad advertising the Lucky takeover of those stores.

Smith's Food King Stores
Katella Ave near Euclid, Anaheim--There's a bunch of stuff at this intersection--Big Lots, Savon, Pep Boys. I love the sign on the Pep Boys ... ene=182845

Wilshire near Canon Drive, Beverly Hills--Closed in early 80s ... ne=3590185

***Dale St. at La Palma, Buena Park--Albertsons ... ene=173204

Long Beach Blvd near Compton Blvd, Compton--Maybe this Super Value store ... ene=976609

Citrus Ave at Arrow Hwy, Covina--Superior Food Warehouse ... ne=6897954

***Whittier at Gerhart, East LA--Probably this empty (?) store next to Kmart ... ene=631604

Midway Shopping Center, El Monte--I think it might be this store on Lower Azusa Road which I can't identify ... ne=6918501

Sears Shopping Center, El Monte--This entire mall is now Longo Toyota ... ene=327204

Compton Ave at Florence, Florence (LA)--Superior Food Warehouse ... ne=7012433

Crenshaw at Compton, Gardena--These streets run parallel so I don't know.

San Fernando Mission at Balboa, Granada Hills--Based on other articles, this was in the Balboa Mission Shopping Center and that is my local Vons shopping center but the Vons has been there since 1960, originally in the Ross building and was moved to the other end in 1996. So I'm not sure if they were separate shopping centers at the time and there was a Smith's where the Vons is now. As of the Lucky buyout of the Socal Smiths in 1984 the Smith's had moved to the corner of San Fernando Mission and Woodley, which is now my local Albertsons and about 1/4 mile from my house.

Hollywood at Western, Hollywood--There's a Ralphs on the northeast corner but it's a new build. There's a Metro Red Line station at that corner and it's possible it was torn down for the construction. ... ne=6892400

Orange at San Antonio, Long Beach--Not sure. This sure is an interesting street setup with concentric circles. ... ne=7033458

Ladera Shopping Center, Los Angeles--This shopping center is at the intersection of La Tijera and Centinela. I'm going to guess that it's the Ross, which is the store with the white roof. There's a Ralphs which was relatively new when I lived in the area about 12 years ago, so Ralphs could have been in the Ross. The store at the far east end was a Service Merchandise and it looks like it's been integrated into the Ralphs.

Olympic at Beverly Glen, Los Angeles--This entire area is residential but there's a Ralphs a few blocks to the east ... ne=6951950

Santa Barbara at Vermont, Los Angeles--Santa Barbara is now MLK and that intersection is across the street from the Coliseum. This looks to be an independent store. As an aside, go a little to the east to see great shots of the Coliseum and the beautifully-rebuilt swim staduim from the 1932 Olympics. (The west view shows it still under construction.) ... ne=6993806

Pioneer and Florence, Norwalk--Looks like this is all business parks, schools, and parks ... ne=6524646

Ventura Blvd in Fremont Square, Oxnard--Albertsons per this page: ... 8&t=k&om=1

Beverly Blvd at Rosemead, Pico Rivera--Big Lots ... ene=666427

Sherman Way at Reseda Blvd, Reseda--No idea ... ne=3105380

Western at Caddington, San Pedro--Maybe in this shopping center? ... ne=1476089

Lincoln at Ashland, Santa Monica--I think it's this location, which is now a McDonald's. It was a Pic N Save in the 70s and I used to go there with my grandmother until they moved down the street into a former Safeway. ... ne=7000496

Irvine Blvd near Newport St, Tustin--Not sure which center, either the one with Ralphs or the one with Whole Foods ... ne=6871590 ... ene=301200

***San Bernardino Rd at Irwindale, West Covina--A church ... ne=6919413

***Santa Monica Bl at Westwood Bl, Westwood--The closest thing I can think of is the Ross on Westwood Blvd but I always thought that was an Alpha Beta. It is definitely not the Cost Plus, which was built in the mid 90's, and it's not the Bristol Farms, which is a former Westward Ho market. ... ne=3581573

Food Giant stores
Ramona Blvd at Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park--Either the Valu+ or the 99 Cent Only Store ... ene=350429

Valley View at Lincoln, Buena Park--I'm guessing it's the Big Lots ... ene=165168

Victory Blvd at Fallbrook, Canoga Park--Albertsons ... ne=3077366

Harbor Shopping Center, Costa Mesa (Northeast corner of Harbor and Wilson)--Albertsons. Major work has been done on this center recently.

Atlantic Blvd in Cudahy Plaza, Cudahy--Big Lots ... ne=7015753

Fontana Square Shopping Center, Fontana--probably this store I can't identify ... ene=720432

Chapman at State College, Fullerton--Here we have our choice of Big Lots or Drug Emporium ... ene=374529 ... ne=6648482

Hawthorne at 131 St, Hawthorne--Big Lots ... ene=876923

Crenshaw at Imperial, Inglewood--Ralphs ... ene=902207

Imperial at Meyer, La Mirada--no match for this intersection

***Amar Rd at Puente, La Puente--Something in this strip mall? ... ne=6957413

***Rossmoor Shopping Center, Los Alamitos/Seal Beach--I think it's this Albertsons ... ene=244394

Crenshaw near Rodeo, Los Angeles--Ralphs ... ene=562175

***Hillhurst near Los Feliz, Los Feliz Hills--Albertsons (Actually, Hillhurst and Franklin per the 1984 Lucky ad) ... ne=3403274

Century Blvd at Bullis, Lynwood--I can't find this. Those streets don't intersect.

***Sepulveda and Marine, Manhattan Beach--Closed now, but it was a Lucky. I think it closed before it had a chance to become an Albertsons. The brother of a friend of mine in college worked there. ... ene=879999

Atlantic Blvd near Randolf, Maywood
Sepulveda and Devonshire, Mission Hills--Vons, currently undergoing a Lifestyle remodel.

Webb and Lankershim, North Hollywood--Food4Less, probably a replacement store ... ne=3155934

Laurel Canyon near Ventura Blvd, Studio City--Vons. Was a Ralphs but when they merged with Hughes they divested this store. This is probably one of the higher-grossing stores in the chain. ... ne=3376775

"Magic Chef" Del Amo Center, Torrance--Not sure. Magic Chef owned Smiths for a while so they must have some kind of crossover store. Unrelated but across the street from Del Amo, I love this bank: ... ne=1193277

West 190th St at Inglewood, Torrance--HOWS Market ... ne=7031066

***Sepulveda and Sherman Way, Van Nuys--Jons Market, former Lucky and briefly an Albertsons. I almost bought a house behind this store. If you look at the north view you'll see the center before it was remodeled. ... ne=6751453

****Westminster Ave near Golden West, Westminster--Probably the Albertsons in this large center ... ne=6843900

These stores weren't in the 1972 ad but were listed in the 1984 Lucky ad:
San Fernando Mission at Woodley, Granada Hills--Albertsons ... ne=2987609

Balboa at 31st St, Newport Beach--Albertsons ... ne=2340486

Alondra Blvd at Downey Ave, Paramount--Not sure, there's a Stater Bros and another, older, shopping center. ... ne=7028333

Pioneer at Rosecrans, Norwalk-- Norwalk Square, Former Market Basket, now Fallas Paredes mexican wear store ... ne=1035766
Vintage photo on this thread:

Euclid at 24th St, Upland--Albertsons ... ene=540023

E. Amar Rd at Nogales Rd, Walnut Hills--Albertsons ... ne=6989365

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 17:18
by Jeff
I remember three Smiths Food Kings. One was located in the former El Monte Mall (today its part of Longo Toyota) and the others are Big Lots, one in Arcadia on Baldwin and Las Tunas, and one in Pico Rivera on Rosemead and Beverly (this big lots actually closed this past summer).

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 19:01
by runchadrun
The Arcadia store was an A&P according to some ads from the 1960s. I went to that Pic N Save as a kid and always wondered what it was. I also found some Pic N Save ads from 1974 that lists some of their locations as former Food Kings.

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 19:50
by Jeff
I could be wrong. I wasnt born in 74. My mom used to tell me everything about everywhere. She most likely could be wrong. I do remember for years after the mall closed seeing the Smiths Food King in El Monte.

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 22:58
by surfingdude
To the best of my memory, Lucky aquired 34 Smith's in 1984. I have a list of Lucky South stores from early 1986, which lists 33 stores, plus one closed in Santa Barbara prior to 1986 in Santa Barbara (Milpas St).

Posted: 31 Oct 2006 23:31
by surfingdude
if you post you list I can compare it to my 1986 list

Posted: 01 Nov 2006 08:00
by javelin
I only remember one in Maywood, next door to a Thrifty's with a restaurant inside! The building was damaged by a storm around early '83 (the Thrifty's roof partially collapsed and never reopened). Smith's closed that location and sold to an independent, Alpha (not Beta). I believe the entire block was razed a few years later.

So I've had the opinion they were well on their way out before 1984. BTW, I was told it was the former site of another independent, McDaniel's Market, which burned down in the mid 60's (before my time).

Posted: 01 Nov 2006 11:00
by rich
The moderator has a pic of the Arcadia store as an A&P. I know from experience that the stiore was a Pic-n-Save from 1980 until it became another outlet store. I don't know about the 1970s.

Posted: 01 Nov 2006 18:23
by klkla
I remember the Hollywood store. It was actually about two blocks east of Western on Hollywood. It was a dump (dirty and old - not cool architecture, either).

The Los Feliz store is one block south of Los Feliz Blvd. and about four north of Franklin on Hillhurst. Smiths had remodeled it just before selling to Lucky and then Lucky remodled it again. Albertson's didn't touch it and it's very dated and poorly run (I should know it's two blocks from my house!).

Posted: 01 Nov 2006 22:15
by surfingdude
I think that most of the stores not listed in the Smith's 1972 ad but listed in the 1984 Lucky ad from runchadrun's post were former Market Basket locations Smith's aquired around 1983 when Market Basket left SoCal. I know this is true of Norwalk and Newport Beach.

Fontana location

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 01:58
by RandallFlagg
The Fontana location was located on the south east corner of Sierra and Foothill Blvd. I believe the location now is a ...what else [Walmart]. The shopping center was an L shape with a opening from the front parking lot to the rear at the base of the L. Food Giant was located facing Sierra and was the base of the "L". There were a few shops, a barber I think that lined the opening to the back parking lot. The other stores faced Foothill Blvd from Food Giant to Sierra. There was an old J.C. Penney store and a Thrify drug that I can remember.

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 02:01
by greebs
The Ralphs in Ladera Heights was a Food Giant. It is in the same location but was expanded in 2002. The Ralphs on Crenshaw and Rodeo was a Boy's Market and was converted to a Ralphs in 1995. Same for the store on Crenshaw and Imperial, but was originally a Food Giant before Boy's Market. The Food 4 Less on Webb was a Food Giant location that was torn down when this store was built. The Studio City location became a Ralphs in the mid 1970's until Vons moved in 1999.

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 20:45
by WhenenRome
The aformentioned Superior Warehouse / Covina location - on Citrus Ave. & Arrow Hwy. - technically wasn't ever the Smith's Food King store. It does sit on the same corner. But the structure was initially built as a Lucky-Savon a little less than a decade ago, and was sold as a result of the Lucky/Alberston's merger. It faces north to Arrow Highway. The Smith's Food King that sat in this center decades ago was located on another part of this lot, facing east toward Citrus Ave.

Elsewhere in Covina, there was a Smith's Food King that supplanted a then-recently renovated Market Basket when Kroger sold off that chain in 1982. This store was located on the northwest corner of Azusa Ave. & San Bernardino Road. Like the other Smith's Food Kings that went into former Market Basket locations in that era, in 1984 it became Lucky. It stayed that up until the Lucky/Albertson's merger, as it suffered the same fate as the Citrus/Arrow Lucky store. (There was already a huge Albertson's - ironically a former 1990's-era Smith's store - in between these two, on Azusa Ave. & Cypress Street). This store briefly became a Top Valu. Currently, it's strangely (strange, as far as the storefront appearance) divided 70/30: the 70% being Alin's Party Supply, the 30% initially being a dollar store that now sits vacant.

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 21:25
by runchadrun
greebs wrote:The Ralphs in Ladera Heights was a Food Giant. It is in the same location but was expanded in 2002.
I moved to Fox Hills in 1994 and the Ladera Heights store had just had a grand opening. I'm fairly certain that the store was new from the ground up so my guess is that it's a replacement store, but I could be wrong. You're right that it was recently expanded into the former Service Merchandise space.

I avoided that store when I could because the employees were rude. I generally shopped at the vintage La Tijera Vons across the street or the new Ralphs replacement store next to LAX after it opened.

Posted: 02 Nov 2006 22:31
by Jeff
there was a food giant on Whittier Bl in East LA, its now El Super. It was a Lucky for a long time, then shortly an Albertsons. On the side of the store, they had O D G I A N T in different colored brick. I beleive it was like this until El Super remodeled the store. El Super also took out all false ceilings and you can see the beams and roof now.