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Feb 4, 2009 04:53 PM

Bristol Farms Mission Viejo closing

The OC Register reports that the Bristol Farms store in Mission Viejo is closing at the end of February. The article says the store is "underperforming."

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  1. Hmmmm...I wonder if the one in Westlake Village will face the same fate in time??

    I really like the store, but usually I am one of a handful of customers in there.
    If they close, I will miss their fresh sushi counter, among other departments including their cheese and produce sections.

    Thanks, JeffSD, for this information.

    1. No great loss, a questionable resource in this day & age. Once upon a time, way before Albertson's bought them out, Bristol offered value if not price and I was a patron along with many others. Now the prices are much higher, sometimes astronomic, and the quality inconsistent -- cheeses, nuts, baked goods, smoked salmon & the like often equal or better at TJ's or F&E for a fraction of the cost. Their take home was once tantalizing but now mediocre at best. Because their main product is pretentiousness, and wealth does not equate with taste, they continue to prosper in certain locations which need no mention.

      12 Replies
      1. re: bernardo

        "Because their main product is pretentiousness, and wealth does not equate with taste, they continue to prosper in certain locations which need no mention."

        Well put, and quintessential Bernardo.
        Haven't seen you around in a while.
        Welcome back!

        1. re: bernardo

          Yes, the Westchester location will also disappear this year, and in fact, I am surprised it is even open as I type!!!
          There are certain markets where it could do well, but it has obviously not found the proper location.

          1. re: carter

            I completely disagree. It's a great loss. TJ is fantastic in it's own right but the comparisons aren't fair. I'm not looking for good nuts or smoked salmon. Where else can you get foie gras, meyer lemons, blood oranges, truffle butter, duck confit, anywhere in Orange County? Certainly not TJs nor Whole Foods for most of that list. Bristol Farms wasn't about what you can get anywhere else. It was about world class difficult to find offerings without having to drive 100 miles up to LA. At least the Newport location still exists.

            1. re: david t.

              Just think, not so long from now we will have a Dean & Deluca in Newport as well.

              1. re: david t.

                A couple of years ago, at this particular store, I spotted some good-looking fresh ricotta and asked if it was sheep's milk or cow's milk. (I wanted sheep's milk so that I could make Judy Rodgers's Zuni Cafe ricotta gnocchi.) The young guy holding down the counter didn't know, but without fuss or bother he opened a container, presented me with a spoon, and invited a taste-test. It was obviously cow's milk, and I didn't make the purchase, but I was impressed by the customer-oriented reaction from even the least-experienced employee.

                The Mission Viejo BF was in a difficult location for many shoppers, because you had to park in an adjacent, often-tight garage (and couldn't see from the street how packed the store was), but I am also sorry to see it go.

                1. re: sbritchky

                  Went there for years and it was NEVER packed. That garage is a huge problem at night, though they did try to enforce short-term parking neat the BF entrance.

                  There was another BF in Mission Viejo (on the lake) that closed several years ago. I've been told, by someone in the chain restaurant business, that the demographics in the area are good but the population is just not big enough to support certain business models. This appeared to be one of them

                  I've been told that Whole Foods has been negotiating for a site in Foothill Ranch. I wouldn't presume to tell them what to do but that has failure written all over it. Nothing against that community but it is really still rather isolated geographically. We have Gelson's (in Monarch Beach), Marbella Market in San Juan) and you might be able to add Mother's (in Laguna Hills), but otherwise the Persian markets are becoming a go to place for many thing in this area.

                2. re: david t.

                  I agree! I don't shop Bristol for normal groceries (I don't at TJ's either!)...but for the specialty item it is very their staff in the fish and meat departments are excellent...never led me astray!

                  1. re: TravelPath

                    Albertson's owns Bristol. The fresh Alaskan halibut filets at the Albertson's Seacliff store near me are incredible, thick, flavorful and glistening fresh, perfect for grilling at $10/lb this week. Or you could pay more at Bristol if those're your druthers.....

              2. re: bernardo

                'which need no mention'.

                Well BH and Sunset location are the two that come to mind.
                While TJ's is fine for many things it's not Bristol Farms.
                I agree Albertson's buy out was the cause of some turmoil and quality control for awhile personal service and personal chefs abound at one of the locations 'which need no mention'.
                Produce is one of the main draws at this location and TJ's doesn't come close nor does the lox and cheese department nevermind the top quality meats.

                1. re: bernardo

                  I really appreciated this. Thank you.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      When we children approached grandma with questions such as : "Where babies come from", she would reply "Ask me easier questions".
                      [ Or in the original Yiddish -from Ukraine-, "Fragt mir gringere kashes" ]