Trader Joe's will be opening a store on Nob Hill at the corner of California and Hyde streets next year, replacing the existing Cala Foods. Real estate development company Prado Group is renovating the existing store, and the new Trader Joe's should open sometime in mid-2012.
Cala Foods, which was supposed to close in December 2010, was able to extend its lease last year while Prado Group's original 107-unit condo development stalled. The multi-use project has now been scrapped, but Cala Foods is still closing after having operated at the location for more than 50 years.
Store manager Jeff Barrett said that employees themselves are not sure exactly when the store will close, as they have been given three different dates. The lease officially expires on Dec. 31, and he could say only that the store will be closing sometime between December and January.
Renovations of the site are scheduled to start in January 2012. Trader Joe's representative Alison Mochizuki says that no date has been set for the grocery store to open. Prado Group president Dan Safier estimates that renovations will take six months.
Starting January, then, Nob Hill will be without a grocery store. "Some ideas are being discussed to minimize the impact to the neighborhood," says Safier, but it seems that in the interim, the 100,000 customers who regularly shop at Cala will have to trek to Whole Foods or Chinatown for groceries.