Scolari’s Closing All Four Central Coast Stores

Milpas Street Market Will Shutter Within 60 Days

Originally published 2:00 p.m., April 13, 2012
Updated 2:30 p.m., April 13, 2012
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

The Scolari’s Food & Drug Company market at 222 North Milpas Street is closing within 60 days, company representatives announced Thursday. The independently-owned chain will also shutter its stores in Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles, erasing its presence on the Central Coast and shifting focus to its 14 remaining markets in northern Nevada.

The Milpas Street market will shutter within 60 days.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

The Milpas Street market will shutter within 60 days.

“This was a gut-wrenching decision,” said Joey Scolari in a prepared statement. He co-owns the company with his brother Jerry. “The economic downturn hit us hard as far back as 2009, but we put off taking this action as long as we could because of the negative impact on people’s lives.” In the same statement, Jerry added the decision was especially tough because they grew up in the area, and their parents and sister still live nearby. “Our family has been in business here since the late 1940s,” Jerry said. “But there comes a time as a business owner that you have to face the reality of your situation.”

The three grocery store properties in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles were sold to NKT Commercial. The San Luis Obispo-based family business is reportedly in discussions with other retailers and grocers interested in leasing the properties.

The 120-mile distance between the Scolari’s in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles, and the 400-mile gap between the Central Coast cluster and the Scolari’s headquarters in Nevada presented significant logistical challenges, the brothers said. “We have exceptionally hardworking and competent management and staff in the stores, but without regular guidance [from corporate] it’s difficult to maintain your operating standards,” said Jerry.

No specific date was given for the S.B. market’s closure, but the store will likely start liquidating its inventory soon.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

And no other markets are going to take over? How can this be?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
April 13, 2012 at 2:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sad. Maybe Stater bros will move in. Albertson's kinda sucks, Vons is less than thrilling and Ralph's is all over! Personally I prefer Trader Joe's.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 13, 2012 at 2:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Very sad, I am going to miss Scolari's! Good prices, good produce section, and friendly staff. Love the little Mexican baked goods cabinet too and their scones.

The new Fresh & Easy one block up @Milpas/Gutierrez is almost ready to open. But its a smaller store and not locally owned. Fresh & Easy is a subsidiary of UK-based Tesco, the world's 3rd-largest retailer.

Interestingly, Tesco has been closing some Fresh & Easy stores in Nevada, where Scolari's still has a presence.

Finally, Fresh & Easy is big on having energy-efficient stores. I wonder if they could have retrofitted the Scolari's store rather than building their new store (and wiping out Whitefoot's butcher shop in the process). Too bad the timing didn't work out.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 13, 2012 at 3:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was in Scolari's a few days ago and found unrefined raw sugar "Alzucar Morena" for $1.99 a two pound package. Same type of sugar at TJ's costs almost double. Don't know how much at Whole Wallet or Pricy Acres, I can't afford to shop there.
Plus, everyone at Scolari's was nice and helpful, the store is clean, much more appealing than Ralph's or Albertson's.
I'll miss it.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
April 13, 2012 at 10:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm under the impression that Fresh n Easy is targetting the Whole Foods crowd...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 13, 2012 at 10:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It is with great sadness hearing the news of our beloved Scolari's closing. The wonderful people that have worked there for so long are our friends. The products that are provided go straight to the heart of the communities needs. The store set up and displays are picture-perfect. I can always depend on fresh and available. A few weeks ago, I had made a vow to the staff that I would never step a toe into Fresh 'n Easy (I never will even with the close of Scolari's). Scolari's has a personality, a welcome feeling like no other. And the staff is the main reason. We are losing people that we need in our lives. For many, this is the only human contact and interaction they have all day. It is a pleasure to go to Scolari's. It has everything I need there and I am mourning it's passing. "Hard to manage at a distance" the brothers say? Not hard at all. This staff is state of the art. We need employment not displaced people and another behemoth vacant building in Santa Barbara. This is the store where I could make Tab Hunter sightings, buy a Christmas tree, joke along with all the upbeat employees, get beautiful balloons and bouquets, use the pharmacy, get the bread we like, spices, fresh fish, amazing produce and buy Coca Cola made in Mexico - the good kind made with sugar cane.
Is there anything we can do as a community to turn this around and encourage the brothers to keep our neighborhood nourished and the staff employed? Anything? I'm ready for action.

PmaT (anonymous profile)
April 14, 2012 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Big shout out to FoodLand on Micheltorena, cool store!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 14, 2012 at 11:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Bring on the food retail Oligopoly!

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
April 15, 2012 at 8:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a bummer, we shop at Scolari's more then 2 times a day as the store is across the street. Every one at the Store from Vern the Store Director to Becky checker knows us Carlos is way cool and the staff goes out of there way for us and I am hurt to get this news! Sometimes the store is a little higher then Von's or Albertsons but we still shop at our store. And how can they do this to us we spend at least $700.00-$800.00 a month Spencers is Gross and the store smells bad and is not cheep. SO, please reconsider Closing your Pismo Beach Store.....

hotelman805 (anonymous profile)
April 15, 2012 at 6:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe a Vallarta wouldn't be a bad idea?

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
April 15, 2012 at 8:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Once again...more businesses hemorrhaging out of California. It is too expensive and just too much of a pain to do business here, so we lose yet another important business providing jobs and AFFORDABLE goods to REAL people.

Guess the message here is if you can't afford to shop at the pricey stores and overpriced convenience marts, then too bad.

This is a huge loss for the neighborhood and ultimately the entire community, on several levels.

Holly (anonymous profile)
April 16, 2012 at 12:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not convinced it's entirely a California thing ...

The grocery business is very competitive and the big guys have lots of distribution advantages that the smaller Scolari's does not have ... read the next-to-last paragraph of the article.

Many people say Nevada has a more "business-friendly" climate than California. And yet Fresh & Easy is closing down grocery stores in Nevada.

More reverse-ideology ... I believe Scolari's employees are not unionized. So you can't blame the unions either.

Anyone ever been to the Scolari's in Tonopah? That store will never close, it *is* the town!

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
April 16, 2012 at 12:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)


FAKE people would never buy UN-AFFORDABLE goods in Cali...wait, "The Shahs of Sunset" just came on...

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 9:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ugh, The Shahs of Sunset are NOT representative of the majority of Persian-Americans.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 10:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Whew. False alarm. It wasn't "Shahs". It was, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians".

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Kardashians are not representative of the majority of Armenian Americans! Did you know the source of Kardashian wealth is OJ Simpson? Robert Kardashian as his first lawyer (for years); he was the one with the suitcase that's never been found.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 2:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oops. Turns out is was, "The Real Houseswives of Orange County". That show surely represents what life is like for the average Californian...

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 6:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The Real Housewives of Orange County" is representative of the majority of housewives in Orange County; but not the average California hausfrau.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It was actually a re-run of "Santa Barbara".

It's rumored that members of both the Capwell and Lockridge families shopped at Scolari's.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 7:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm completely outta my league now Kingprawn, I am only aware of these shows I've never watched them!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 17, 2012 at 7:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Kingprawn and Ken_Volok. If you're into shows about Santa Barbara, and go back about four decades, let this refresh your memories.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 3:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks Bill,

Your reference, while appreciated, looks as though it was an attempt to portray Californians as real people who had regular jobs and lived modest lives. Totally unrealistic. :-)

I have a tough time swallowing the argument that over-regulation of businesses is why Scolari's is bailing. California is the eighth largest economy in the world. Most big consumer driven businesses can't afford NOT to do business in CA. There are a lot of consumers here with a lot of to spend.

It seems more likely that small businesses would leave due to competition while larger businesses move out-of-state all but bare bones operations in order to maintain the largest possible share of the CA market they can legally.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 4:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Kingprawn: Bear in mind that the show started back in the early 70's and Santa Barbara was much different then from what it was today.

Per the other part of your comment, while you raise a good point, from what I hear, businesses are leaving California in droves. Why is this?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
April 18, 2012 at 7:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)


If true, the reasons businesses may be leaving CA could include cost of living, cost of labor, regulation of business practices, steep competition, downsizing...there are probably dozens of others that I can't think of or don't know about.

Businesses move around. They always have and always will and the sky somehow hasn't fallen. I don't believe that it will this time either...if businesses really are leaving in unspecified large numbers.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
April 19, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: