Movietown Trader Joe’s Signs Off With Cookout

Trader Joe's
(Photo by James Mills)

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was first published.

After 28 years, the Trader Joe’s Movietown Plaza closed its doors for the final time Saturday, but not without holding a goodbye cookout.

“We just wanted to say thank you to the community for their support,” said Sandy Holm, “captain” (manager) of the grocery store at 7304 Santa Monica Blvd. at Poinsettia. “This has been such a great customer base for us, we wanted to celebrate their loyalty and say goodbye to them.”

Setting up a grill in front of the store, Trader Joe’s employees served hot dogs (beef or chicken) and vegan hamburgers for customers who came to the store for a final day of shopping. By day’s end, the store had served over a thousand people.

Trader Joe's
(Photo by James Mills)

“This is my favorite Trader Joes,” said Pina Goldman, who lives just a few blocks away. “I’ve come here every week since moving here, sometime three or four times a week. Everyone is so nice. I’ll miss them.”

“This is the best Trader Joes around,” said Andy Muller of Hollywood. “The store is bigger than most Trader Joes. The parking lot is big too. It’s just really convenient. I can’t believe it’s not going to be here anymore.”

The store set up white banners for customers to write farewell messages. Shoppers shared messages about their love for the store, its friendly staff and the many years they’ve frequented.

By 6 p.m., before shutting the doors for the final time at 9 p.m., the shelves were almost bare. Leftover non-perishable items will be moved to other Trader Joe’s locations while perishable items will be given to groups feeding the homeless.

None of the employees will lose their jobs, Holm said. They’re all allowed to transfer to other Trader Joes stores in the area.

Opened on Aug. 31, 1985, the Movietown Plaza location was the 15th Trader Joe’s in the chain.

The Movietown Plaza shopping center is slated for demolition late this year. In its place will go a seven-story, mixed-use development with 370 residential units (including a building of 76 units for low-income seniors) and 32,300 square feet of retail space.

Developer Avalon Bay hopes Trader Joes will be one of the tenants when the new center opens in mid-to-late 2015, but no deal has been finalized yet.

In the meantime, there are six other Trader Joes within a three-mile radius of the Movietown Plaza location:

  • 8000 Sunset complex (Crescent Heights Boulevard at Sunset)
  • Boystown (8611 Santa Monica Blvd. at Westmount)
  • 8500 Burton complex (Burton Way at La Cienega)
  • 175 S. Fairfax Ave. at 3rd (across from the Farmers Market)
  • 263 S. La Brea Ave. at 3rd (across from Ralphs)
  • W Hotel Complex (1600 Vine St. at De Longpre)

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that the Movietown Plaza Trader Joe’s was the third store in the company’s chain. WEHOville relied on multiple Trader Joe’s employees for the information, which it has since learned is incorrect. The Movietown Plaza Trader Joe’s is, in fact, the 15th store in the chain, according to a corporate representative. WEHOville regrets the error.

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jjnla
jjnla
7 years ago

The people watching in this store was always amazing, which made it the best TJ’s to patronize….stocky Russian emigrants, fem gays, muscle gays, all variety of rockers, pretty model types (both genders), trannies, glamorous Hollywood moms, and a whole bevy of average ‘Joes’…buying cereal was never so entertaining. And, best of all, this Trader Joe’s had the easiest and most accessible parking available…you could always get in and out really easily unlike the majority of their other locations. You will be missed East Weho TJ’s.

chloe ross
chloe ross
7 years ago

Gary – Others existed and the info itself may have been given at the store – not info from the office. Pronto on National and Westwood was a proto TJ’s and was open in the mid 70’s – the long drive was part of a day trip for most of us on the Westside. I would call the office in Monrovia for more accurate info. This was NOT the third store in the chain. Someone gave James the wrong info.

Gary Leonard
Gary Leonard
7 years ago

“Opened on Aug. 31, 1985, the Movietown Plaza location was only the third Trader Joe’s in the chain and the first one outside of Pasadena, where the company started.”
That statement can’t be right.

Al Peters
Al Peters
7 years ago

It was my favorite TJ! Very sad:(

Sal Gomez
7 years ago

SO sad. I’ve frequented this Trader Joe’s since i became involved in the fight to save the former Pickford Fairbanks Studios. Always friendly and so convenient. It will be missed. 🙁

Snarkygal
Snarkygal
7 years ago

I am very sad at this store closing. I have been going there since the day they opened. I’ve been to most of the others near here, but none compare to this one. It will be missed very much.

Chloe, that is a wonderful story; such warm memories to have. Thank you for sharing it with us.

chloe ross
chloe ross
7 years ago

I have to add this. It was probably the favorite store to the employees more than the customers. We were having all the fun. And @James – Pronto Market (a proto-TJ’s) in West L.A. on National and Westwood was a Trader Joe’s (store 7) before Store 40 – it was open in 1975 and was the go to store for the West side (iincluding WeHo) until 1985. And thank heaven – that was a long drive!!

Jimmy Palmieri
7 years ago

I went there occasionally , I can’t lie and said it was my favorite store. I did however enjoy shopping there. I am glad no employee will lose their job. I have heard of this closing for years. I was away when it happened, which I am sort of sad about, but I guess everything changes. I hope all have an easy transition.

chloe ross
chloe ross
7 years ago

I worked at this Trader Joe’s from 1990 until I went to open 3rd and LaBrea. and subsequently left at the end of 1997. I can honestly say that the time I worked there – weekday evenings – were some of the best I have ever spent. And I always worked Christmas and New Year’s Eve. One year I served cranberry sauce dressed in a turkey suit with pearls on the day before Thanksgiving; a New Year’s Ever I wore a tuxedo and served caviar in the wine section. I had more fun and we simply sold more food and… Read more »