Alex Hughes — February 2018…We left off where the new car wash is about to be built at the corner of East Vista Way and Williamston Street. Here there is a shopping center by the name of Vista Market Center where Fresh and Easy once stood. The grocery chain went out of business in 2015 with 97 stores in the west coast region. The cause was a lack of funds and the inability to keep operations running as seen in this report by CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/22/fresh-easy-begins-closing-down-stores.html. The store itself was great with the ability to buy foods that were healthy and priced sensibly. Unfortunately, it could not gain traction in a market with the likes of Albertsons, Stater Bros and others. The sign is still present on both the building and the shopping center marque. If you peak inside, there is still the equipment and shelving as they had left it. The checkout stations are still there too. It is as if they are planning to come back.
This shopping center is quite interesting as apart from Fresh and Easy, there is a thrift shop, a laundromat and a massage parlor. It is as if the cars left when they left. Round Table Pizza was once there, but it was replaced by a new cafe called the Breakfast Mug as was the Vista Learning Center that came in in 2017.
Crossing Vale Terrace and then crossing to East Vista Way reveals a new building in progress that will transform the old Citi Bank into a new Stanton Optical including available rental spaces: http://images3.loopnet.com/d2/dJHq7jq5hm0gF9Szt1K4G-aHL63I9_pioY_habCCg4M/document.pdf.
As for the corner 7-Eleven, a small rental space is unoccupied by what was once a dental office. The other stores include a hair salon, a check cashing institution and a nail salon. Down the street on Frances Lane, there was once a place called Family Place that sold clothes; ironically, in 2017, it was be busted for selling illegal marijuana under the name Top Shelf 30 CAP. Now, it sits boarded up with windows and doors inaccessible to those that may want to come in.
Once again, I will end on a positive note. There used to a drive-thru called Brew Me which served coffee. Now, it will become Black Rock Coffee Bar which hails from Oregon! Hopefully, it will be worth its beans.
Photos by Alex Hughes