In another change for the Laurel Lane shopping center in San Luis Obispo, Laurel Lane Liquors will close Aug. 6. It will be replaced next year by a CrossRoads Liquor & Deli store, officials said.
Duane Detty, who bought the Laurel Lane liquor store in 1992 with Frank Jenkins, was told June 30 that they would have to vacate the premises by July 19 (Detty was on vacation when the notice was delivered). After speaking with a representative of developer Patrick Aurignac, who owns the property, Detty was given until Aug. 8 to leave instead.
Laurel Lanes Liquors has five employees.
“I don’t know why they did it,” Detty said. “(Aurignac) specifically told everyone he would work with them (to stay), so I don’t know why he did it.”
According to Detty, sales for the business had increased by 20 percent since February, though his rent had also increased to $2,160 a month from $1,450.
Aurignac said that CrossRoads Liquor & Deli owner Issa Abdullah, who runs the establishment at 3211 Broad St., will now lease the 2,000-square foot space on Laurel Lane. The existing CrossRoads on Broad Street will remain open as well.
“We want to make sure everyone in that area is happy, and have access to everything that they need,” Aurignac said.
Laurel Lane shopping center has been without a grocery since SLO Fresh Market closed in February following a rent increase of 30 cents per square foot to $1 per square foot (80 percent of market value). It was replaced by kickboxing martial arts school, The Pit SLO, in April.
SLO Fresh Market was too big and inefficient for a modern neighborhood market, Aurignac said. Combining the liquor store with a market will produce a neighborhood store that is more appropriate for the way customers buy goods in the area, he said.
“The new owner who is coming in will put down $150,000 to $200,000 in improvements,” Aurignac said. “The gentleman that was in there now did not have the ability to do that.”
With that money, Abdullah said he will update all of the building’s equipment, as well as make it ADA-compliant. He said he will make the new store similar to CrossRoads, as a liquor store and deli combination, but with a market component as well. The market will sell basic groceries such as milk and eggs, as well as meats, sandwiches and various deli foods.
“It will be like a mini-market,” Abdullah said. “Everything you can get at a large grocery store, just mini.”
If all goes according to plan, Abdullah said he hopes to have the new business up and running within the next nine months.
The changes in the center are part of Aurignac’s efforts to redevelop the property into a mixed-use project with commercial and residential spaces. According to previous Tribune reports, the location will also include for-sale condominiums and affordable housing units for rent, though a timetable has yet to be established for when these will be built.
The shopping center is currently home to a Mexican restaurant, a coin-operated laundromat, a clothing store, salon, barbershop and alterations business.