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Moving Toward a 24-Hour Broadway: 7-Eleven Now Open

By Rich Alossi
Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2009, at 04:21PM
7-Eleven at SB Grand, 5th and Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles Rich Alossi [Flickr]

Efforts to create a 24-hour Broadway took a step forward last week, but it wasn't the theaters leading the charge. Nearly a year after signing a lease in the ground floor of the SB Grand Lofts at 5th and Broadway, 7-Eleven opened its doors last Friday to decent crowds and late-night hours, currently from 5:00am to midnight. The store will move to a 24-hour schedule once a beer and wine license has been secured.

Neighborhood residents and shoppers now have another option for late-night snacks, drinks on the go and even light cafe fare. Fresh salads and sandwiches are arranged to-go-style along a rear wall, across from signature bright pink donuts and a coffee station.

Downtown has seen an explosion in convenience stores, with upscale competitor Famima!! aggressively adding locations to serve the business sector on Bunker Hill and in the Financial District. 7-Eleven's move is the first into the residential "east side of Downtown" market.

Despite early reports that the new location would also have a more "upscale" look with outdoor patio seating and plasma TVs, the current traditional layout should nonetheless help encourage pedestrian activity on Broadway in the evenings.

Whether it can supplant less desirable activity remains to be seen. At an August meeting of the DLANC Planning committee, members expressed concerns about planned alcohol sales at the store and discussed illegal prescription drug sales taking place on the street.

The second of two stores in Downtown Los Angeles, franchisee Matt Mattu maintains an option to open four more stores in the Downtown area. At that August meeting, plans were said to be moving forward for a store at 898 W. 7th, near Figueroa.

Watch ABC News talk to Matt Mattu about his expansion plans: Convenience Store Corners the Market

7-Eleven: 312 W. 5th Street (at Broadway), Los Angeles, CA 90013; (213) 627-2117; 7-eleven.com; open 5:00am to midnight

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