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Cefiore's 7th Street Competition: The Drug Store

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2008, at 04:41PM
Carrier Center Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Carrier Center, at 600 W. 7th, soon to be the site of an unlikely dessert competition.

Frozen yogurt chain Cefiore is expanding into the Financial District, looking to open its second Downtown location in the Carrier Center at 600 W. 7th. When it does, its main competition won't be rival chains Pinkberry, Yogurtberry, or any of the other fro-yo chains that have popped up in recent years. Instead, Cefiore will be up against an oddity of merger history: the Thrifty ice cream counter at Rite-Aid.

Cefiore, owned by seafood and sushi buffet company Todai, opened its Little Tokyo location in 2006. In the time since, the chain has opened stores in California, Hawaii, Kentucky and Nevada. The 7th street location will join a half-dozen in the Los Angeles area. A PR representative today said that the firm expects the store to open in late May.

While Little Tokyo has seen perhaps more than its share of yogurt places open since Cefiore, 7th street and the Financial District hasn't seen any. It does, however, have some ice cream history.

Next door to Cefiore's new location is a Rite-Aid, one of the chain's three stores Downtown. One of the store's most popular features is its ice cream counter, serving a handful of hand-scooped flavors under the Thrifty Ice Cream brand. The ice cream counter is all that survives of the Thrifty drug store chain, once a 500-store institution on the west coast. Rite-Aid bought the chain in 1998, but kept the beloved ice cream brand and counter.

When Cefiore opens, the big drug store and the little yogurt shop will make an unlikely pair of neighbors. Thankfully, those looking for a little frozen refreshment on 7th street stand to win either way.

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