Ohrbach's Department Store

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Jeff
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Ohrbach's Department Store

Post by Jeff » 02 Sep 2006 23:36

I remember them well. They closed up shop here in LA in 1986. They had only a couple of locations here.

- Los Cerritos Center (still standing, became Mervyns in 1987)
- Wishire Corridor (still standing, today is the Petersen Automotive Museum)
- Del Amo Fashion Square (still standing - upper level is TJ Maxx, lower level is Marshall's)
- Glendale Galleria (its there, it became part of the mall and was subdivided into shops. The elevators in the center are still there too)

I drive by the Cerritos location daily and its funny, you can still see on the tiles where the O H R B A C H S once was hanging. 20 years later......

I found this picture on the LA County archive pages of the Cerritos store in the 70's. The store still looks like this today, still looking ultra modern for the mall. The only change is that a new mall wing was added next to the store.

Image

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Post by OCRedCub » 02 Sep 2006 23:55

WOW! I always assumed that the reflective facade of Mervyns visible from the 605 freeway was something added in the 80s. It is strangely modern and doesn't match the rest of the mall at all.
I never set foot in an Ohrbachs. What kind of store was it? Would you compare it to a Mervyns? The old Broadway chain?

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Post by Groceteria » 02 Sep 2006 23:59

OCRedCub wrote:I never set foot in an Ohrbachs. What kind of store was it? Would you compare it to a Mervyns? The old Broadway chain?
I imagine they were more high end, as they supplied clothing for numerous TV productions. In fact, seeing their name in TV credits is about the only knowlege I'd ever had of the chain.

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Post by Edric Floyd » 03 Sep 2006 01:41

Ohrbach's was in the NYC area as well. The only store I was ever in was at Queens Center Mall in (where else?) Queens, NY. I lived there in the early 80's.

The store seemed as equal to Macy's and Bloomingdales at the time. Queens Center was anchored by Abraham and Strauss (A&S) and Orbach's.

Sometime after I moved back to my childhood hometown in Florida the Ohrbach's store became Steinbach's and is now a JC Penney. The A&S became a Macy's after Federated merged with A&S and converted the stores in the early/mid 1990's. Macy's had a store a few blocks away on Queens Blvd. It was a round building. Macy's took over the A&S space in the mall and the old Macy's is now split into a Target and a Best Buy

Rowan and Martin's Laugh In was one of the TV shows that you would see the Ohrbach's name in the credits for providing fashions. I think Flip Wilson was another.

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Post by steps » 03 Sep 2006 04:30

Pavilions, the new, the unusal, the BEST of everything!

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Post by Groceteria » 03 Sep 2006 10:43

Edric Floyd wrote:Rowan and Martin's Laugh In was one of the TV shows that you would see the Ohrbach's name in the credits for providing fashions. I think Flip Wilson was another.
"Dark Shadows" was one I remember specifically, with Joan Bennett perpetually dressed to the nines. I'm glad you metioned they were also in New York, as it seemed a little odd for a soap that was shot there to get its fashions from an LA store.

I'm pretty sure they were rather upscale, and the ads actually make me more certain of that.

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Post by runchadrun » 03 Sep 2006 11:28

Before the Miracle Mile store was an Ohrbach's, it was a Japanese department store whose name escapes me.

The Del Amo store was a Stør for a few years in the late 80's/early 90s. It was a competitor to Ikea, which at the time only had stores in Burbank and Fontana (which has since closed). Stør had that store and one in Industry and at Tustin Ranch, and apparently one in Houston. Ikea bought them out and the Industry and Tustin Ranch stores (Størs?) became Ikeas and they have both since been replaced by stores in Covina and Costa Mesa. Ikea never took over the Del Amo Stør because they were in the process of opening up their new location in Carson, which was a former department store (Broadway or Bullocks I think).

Here's the brief wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stor
Last edited by runchadrun on 03 Sep 2006 11:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by greebs » 03 Sep 2006 11:35

There was one in Panorama City on Parthenia and Van Nuys which is now a Swap meet, and also Topanga Plaza in Canoga Park.

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Post by Jeff » 03 Sep 2006 13:04

OCRedCub wrote:WOW! I always assumed that the reflective facade of Mervyns visible from the 605 freeway was something added in the 80s. It is strangely modern and doesn't match the rest of the mall at all.
I never set foot in an Ohrbachs. What kind of store was it? Would you compare it to a Mervyns? The old Broadway chain?
It was kind of a cross between a Mervyns and Broadway, lower end with some higer end.

One day when driving by, get off and look at the old label scar for OHRBACHS on the facade. You can cleary see where it was. I beleive they redid the metal on the facade. Also, inside the mall you can see that it had a 2nd level window open into the mall, that Mervyns kept.

I forgot about the one in Panorama City. They tore down this location didn't they? I thought it was right across the street from the mall.

As far as I know, Topanga plaza only ever had Broadway, May Co and Wards, later adding Nordstrom.

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Post by Jeff » 03 Sep 2006 13:14

runchadrun wrote:Before the Miracle Mile store was an Ohrbach's, it was a Japanese department store whose name escapes me.

The Del Amo store was a Stør for a few years in the late 80's/early 90s. It was a competitor to Ikea, which at the time only had stores in Burbank and Fontana (which has since closed). Stør had that store and one in Industry and at Tustin Ranch, and apparently one in Houston. Ikea bought them out and the Industry and Tustin Ranch stores (Størs?) became Ikeas and they have both since been replaced by stores in Covina and Costa Mesa. Ikea never took over the Del Amo Stør because they were in the process of opening up their new location in Carson, which was a former department store (Broadway or Bullocks I think).

Here's the brief wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stor
I remember STOR at Industry, this was thier largest location.

Ikea at Carson was a former three-level Broadway store, and is today the only three-level IKEA store. You go up some outside escalators up all the way to the third level and then go from there all the way down to the bottom. If you are in the center of the store, you can see where they removed the escalators from the Broadway. This IKEA also opens up into the mall. They built this Broadway identical to the Puente Hills Broadway store (that was torn down for an AMC Theatre in 1997)

I beleive the STOR in Del Amo was located next to the Ohrbachs location. They took out basically the entire wing of the mall for this project (hence why this part was always dead, sans Wards and the UA Theatre).

If you look at a birds eye view on Windows Live Local ( ), you can see the entrance I am talking about. Type in Torrance, CA and zoom in till you get a birds eye view (around 80 yds). Between the Mall Entry (next to wards) and the Ohrbachs store, there is a large add on to the mall for a new entry. Unless they used the ohrbachs store as the entry and this the exit. I dont remember. This entire wing of the mall, minus the old Ohrbachs store, has since been torn down for a new entertainment wing. Goodbye old food court!

On a side note, the Ohrbach's in Del Amo was the same design as the Cerritos, except that the Cerritos has purple tile, and del amo blue.

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Post by mgrmk » 03 Sep 2006 14:43

The Panorama City location was across from the mall up the the block from Montgomery Wards, directly across from the mall was Robinson's which closed when they opened a store at Northridge Fashion Center shortly before the Robinson's / May Co merger. The Robinson's building is the one that has been torn down.

As for Ohrbach's in Canoga Park it was near Topanga Plaza off Vanowen near Canoga Ave. - Both locations became indoor swap meets, I don't know what the current status is.

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Post by Jeff » 03 Sep 2006 15:41

So that was the Ohrbachs store. I always thought it was the Robinsons store.

As far as I know, the Ohrbachs in Panorama City is still there as the swap meet. Looking at live local, i can really see this now.

As for the Canoga Park, I cant locate it period, hence this location is probably the only one actually torn down.

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Post by rich » 03 Sep 2006 16:25

Ohrbach's sold cheap knock offs of trendy fashions. They must have used their product placement on tv shows (lots of sitcom moms had Ohrbach clothes) to cultivate an image for the tourist trade. The New York stores closed before the ones in LA and I think there may have been some differences in ownership. In New York, their main store was off Fifth Avenue, but I think further downtown than Lord Taylor, perhaps near Altman's around 34th Street. Alexander's, which was across from Bloomie's, essentially filled the same niche in New York. The rise of off-price retailers pretty much killed off that niche by the 90s.

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Post by runchadrun » 03 Sep 2006 17:17

Jeff wrote:I beleive the STOR in Del Amo was located next to the Ohrbachs location. They took out basically the entire wing of the mall for this project (hence why this part was always dead, sans Wards and the UA Theatre).
I'm trying to think if I ever went in that Stor, and I'm pretty sure I had and it was in the Ohrbach's but I could be wrong. In any event, I do remember that the sign was on the Ohrbach's building so that could be the source of my confusion.

That whole end of the mall was very confusing to get around and find the rest of the mall and if they tore it down, all the better.

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Post by Jeff » 03 Sep 2006 18:34

yes, its gone. All of it from what used to be the food court to the Wards is all outdoor now.

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