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What's in the old Cala at Geary & 27th Ave?

I was in the Richmond district last night and drove by the old Cala on Geary and 27th Ave. It turned into a new grocery and I think the name was Da Leno (???) but I'm not sure. Any way I'm just curious since I ust to live near by and about the quality, etc. and if they're going to set up stores elsewhere.

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  1. -the flyer from Wednesday's SF Chron is for DeLano's IGA at 6333 Geary Blvd. Is that the same address? We had IGA in the Midwest ... it looks like it also replaces the CALA at 4201 - 18th Street in the Castro. Did you drop in to check it out? I wonder if the stores are revamped and if the stock/merchandise is different now?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa

      Didn't get a chance to stop in...but it looked upscale from the view into the window. Now that I have the proper name, Delano's, I found this: http://www.gourmetnews.com/index.php?...

      1. re: Cynsa

        I think of the IGA chain of today as a ripoff of a revered name. IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, and it started out as the anti-chain. It was small family-run grocery stores bonding for efficiencies in distribution and promotion, and to shelter themselves from being run out of business by the then megachains like A&P and Canadian invader Loblaws. When I was a lad there was one in every town, no matter how small, with a name like "Smith's IGA", "Brown's IGA", "Jones's IGA", or, in my home town, "Cliffords IGA."

      2. I happened to go to the store yesterday afternoon. So far, it is the same as the old Cala. I believe there may be changes coming down the line but the name is the first thing to change. One good change was that you no longer need a Cala card to take advantage of discounted items. Frankly, its a pretty decent store for a traditional grocery store.

        1 Reply
        1. re: poulet_roti

          I was in the one at Castro and 18th ..not much change yet (they do have bagels from Bagel House (big deal!) rather than the supper puffy Cala ones)...the staff said that they would be changing recipes on the prepared foods in the near future....

        2. Anyone know what's happening with the closed-down Albertson's near that old Cala in the outer Richmond? There was a rumor about a Mollie Stone's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Laura2

            i heard a rumor that a realtor was trying to get an asian supermarket to buy the space?

          2. The Cala that closed on S. Van Ness and 23rd is now a DeLano as of last week. All I can say is the flowers are better. The rest looks a little worse, at least the deli stuff.

            1. The Safeway (7th Ave/Cabrillo) is undergoing a remodel. The Richmond Review said a state-of-the-art Safeway will re-open in the second half of 2008. I think that they even delayed the closing after the Cala closed but decided that they really needed to spiff up the store.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Kato

                I think "state-of-the-art" means the look and feel of a Whole Foods. That's where Safeway is going these days.

                1. re: Gary Soup

                  That's too bad, I really liked the old funky Safeway at 7th Ave. Any way, I just read somewhere that talked about Safeway's move upscale has paid off pretty well.

                  1. re: Gary Soup

                    Which Safeway is like Whole Foods? The best Safeways I've been to is the one in Strawberry Mall in Marin ... and that just has a better variety ... there ain't no mistaking it for anything but a Safeway ... well, about that better variety ... 50 kinds of mustard ... two kinds of milk. There's one in Freemont that has (had?) an nice artisan cheese counter.

                    I'll bet state of the art just means self-serve check-out. Hate that.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Have you been to Mission Bay Safeway (across the street from CalTrain)? Autumn colors, subdued lighting, multiple prepared food "stations" and the like. It reminded me a lot of the Columbus Circle WF in New York. When they remodeled my North Point Safeway they didn't have a lot of space to tamper with the layout but got in the subdued colors and lighting.

                      1. re: Gary Soup

                        Yep. Mean store. Dunno. Seems pretty Safeway as usual to me. Nothing state of the art there. You got your olive bar, your sandwiches, your hot deli, your cold deli, your bakery, an adequate produce section and Safeway wine/beer. Cramped aisles.IIRC, they fancied up the meat/fish counter to include butchers and fish mongers. Nasty staff ... the one difference from the usual Safeway. Andronico's is more state of the art than that. I

                        1. re: rworange

                          I don't know what your usual" Safeways are, but the Mission Bay Safeway is not the North Point Safeway , and I'd guess it's not the 7th Avenue Safeway. It's full of the kinds of asymmetries and misdirects that WF seems to like, and designed to throw stuff in your path that you didn't plan on encountering, doing its best to keep you from getting in and out with only what you planned to buy. No olive bar in my Safeway, either.

                        2. re: Gary Soup

                          i think all safeways are making changes to be like that. the one in menlo park here on the peninsula is going over a complete revamp to be more of what i call a "swanky" safeways. and i agree - very much like whole foods in its look.

                          1. re: katg

                            The newly remodeled Safeways are just less trashy looking. More hushed lighting. Different flooring. Somewhat different displays. Same wilted vegetables. I don't feel that they resemble Whole Foods in the looks department. It's like saying Anna Nicole Smith looks just like Marilyn Monroe.

                            1. re: Atomica

                              Cold ... true ... but cold ... RIP ... rest in pink ... Anna :-)

                              Yeah, with the exception of the Freemont store with the real cheese counter it is just the same Safeway stuff. Not to say I don't have allegiance to a few of those items. Even places like the Marin store ... sure they have a little coffee counter and two tables where you can eat a sandwich, but same old everthing else.

                              While they look slightly better, that isn't something that brings me to Safeway when I do go. I'm still going there for the same products I bought for years and years.

                  2. The old Safeway at 7th and Cabrillo was nasty and in great need of renovation. Shelves were frequently half stocked, fluorescent lights were out or just plain missing, and maybe a drunken bum or two loitering around the exterior - simply a horrible shopping experience. Safeways are fine as long as you adjust your expectations and don't expect the same experience as Whole Foods or Bryan's for that matter. In some cases, some excellent values can be found at Safeway, particular their own private label seltzer water. The Safeway and 16th and Potrero is an exceptionally good one when in the area.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: poulet_roti

                      Yeah, that 16th Street Safeway was my Safeway when I lived in the city. I usually shop at Safeway for the sales. They also have good house-brand canned fruit in juice which goes on sale periodically.

                    2. I had not seen a Raley's in quite a while and tonight, when I went to an Indian movie in Fremont, I stopped in to the Raley's there. It was very clean, well stocked, enormous, and so many varieties of condiments, etc. Not crowded. The usual stores in SF are crowded with people, not as large as this Raley's and it takes much longer to get in and out. Are there any Raley's on the Peninsula?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: walker

                        i can't think of any. mostly safeway, whole foods, trader joes, mollie stones and an albertsons here and there.

                        1. re: walker

                          Don't forget that Raley's also owns Nob Hill and from what I've been reading about the new Alameda store they are identical. According to the store locator there as Nob Hill stores from San Jose to Redwood City. My old store in Sunnyvale seems to have closed though.


                        2. fyi, the 7th and cabrillo safeway 'remodel' was begun with a wrecking ball. it currently resembles the back yard of helmand. the sign promises a new safeway of 28k sq ft, iirc. sexy lighting i think is a given. the cala on geary and 5th is sadly becoming another annex of the sf toyota dealership.
                          and i'm keeping my fingers crossed that the outer richmond albertsons will be a lion, marina, or ranch 99. a natural fit, it would seem.

                          this is all part of a fascinating sea change in the retail food industry that mirrors other segments of the economy. barbell retail, i'd call it. folks want value and/or quality, or at least the illusion of them, and the old middle market stalwarts just seem like too much of a compromise of both.

                          and specifically in the food industry, we also have the organic/heirloom/local foods movement, plus a wonderful acknowledgement of the diversity and appeal of international foods. i'll be the first to admit to a childhood fondness for cruising the (a)isles of safeway from the kiddie perch on the cart with my mom in tow. but after a wistful wave goodbye to those memories, i turn and open both arms to farmers' markets, ranch 99, draegers, costco, tj's, whole paycheck, and even the new sultry safeways. mark my words chowhounds. for every dead cala or albertson's, there's something new and better. i for one am counting my blessings.

                          of course the one thing the bay area still needs is a latino megamarket. (let us pray!)
                          something between oakland and hayward sounds about right...

                          1. I was going to say -- "remodel" is an understatement -- the 7th Ave/Cabrillo Safeway is a big hole in the ground.

                            Why can't we have an awesome supermercado like Phoenix Ranch Market? I dream of a place like that within driving distance.

                            1. I'm surprised there's not much love for the New Improved Safeways. I wish they'd renovate the 4 locations in Berkeley and north Oakland. The old ones are really looking tired, and even if the conversion only brings a facelift - hopefully without an accompanying price-lift - it'd be quite welcome. The "fancy" Safeways I've seen don't seem to quite have the same problems as Whole Foods (crowded, expensive, pretentious, etc.) and still offer the same regular grocery staples as Regular Safeway.

                              By the way, it seems like several Vons locations in L.A. are getting renovated the same way (it's a Safeway-owned chain)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Agent 510

                                I'm something of a Safeway fan, by default. Safeway and WF are both drifting toward twindom, and Safeway I can go into with a clearer conscience.

                                1. re: Agent 510

                                  I agree! The big one on Market Street is just tired...washed in fluorescents,................................. and overpopulated and understaffed at the check out counters....it could use a Renaissance!

                                2. There is a Nob Hill (Raley's) in Redwood Shores, on the east side of 101 closer to San Carlos than Redwood City which it is officially a part of. Nice, large store. Produce pretty good, some good buys on seafood. Normal prices are pretty high, but selection and specials are very satisfactory.