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Welcome to Ralphs

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, July 20, 2007, at 03:35PM
Lunch Crowd Ed Fuentes

A hungry crowd lined up around the corner with coupons in hand to experience the opening day of Downtown's new Ralphs store at 9th & Flower. Thirty minutes after being told it would take only ten more, shoppers entered the new store and I had the same thought that Eric and Russell shared earlier in the day. It's fun to see Downtown LA turn into the town of Mayberry RFD, ooohing at the sight of the new Fresh Fare.

Big Cheese Section Ralphs President Dave Hirz noted that both Downtown and store employees might take a little bit to work out the kinks. "There may be a learning curve," he says. Ralphs PR man Terry O' Neil says the long delay in opening the store ended up allowing the chain to better understand what kind of market Downtown should have, resulting in the Fresh Fare upgrade. DCBID's Carol Schatz says the new grocery store will make a Downtown a community.

Special item for future downtown trivia The first spill was on aisle 17 and Ralphs employee Carrie Robbins did the clean-up honors.

Enough of that. I can hear the crowd getting impatient. Let's cut the ribbon so you can take a look at your new Ralphs. Make sure to note the picture of a Downtown resident weeping next to the stack of produce.

Update (4pm): The Times, which has really upped its game lately with mid-day updates, has posted a short piece on the opening.

See photos from Ed Fuentes and Eric Richardson in this blogdowntown photo essay on Ralphs' Grand Opening.


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