Six years after a bankruptcy filing that led to last year's acquisition by Safeway, the Sunset Andronico's will officially—in name, as well as ownership—be called "Safeway Community Market" in the near future.
The store, which opened in 1959 as an extension of Berkeley's 1929-vintage "Park and Shop," was dubbed "Andronico's" in 1994.
As part of the reversion to control by Safeway—announced a year ago and executed with updated internal signage at the beginning of the year—employees at the Sunset store have retained their union status and pensions.
When the 20,000 square-foot market opened in 1959, it was touted as an innovation with then-upscale offerings like counters serving BBQ chicken and pizza, gourmet foods, a coffee shop, and a "completely refrigerated produce department!"
While some neighbors have held out hope that the market's name would linger on as a testament to its legacy, Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutshall confirmed this week that the Andronico's brand has reached the end of its shelf life.
"We value feedback from the community," she wrote in an email. "Their input is important to us." But "similar to Berkeley, San Anselmo and Los Altos, we plan to brand the Irving store to 'Safeway Community Markets.'"
Still, she added, "we continue to offer a variety of unique items that Andronico’s was known for to keep the local heritage of a community market store alive."
Gutshall said the store's community engagement would continue past job and pension retention.
"Based on the feedback we have received from the neighbors, we are exploring new paint colors and exterior signage that eliminates glare."
For neighbors with other concerns, she said, liaison Natalie Mattei (Natalie [dot] Mattei [at] Safeway [dot] com) is fielding local concerns for the market.
"Through the city permit process," she added, "there will be public notification of meetings in the future and the community will have an opportunity to provide input to the Planning Commission."
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