Smart & Final market to open in Paso Robles

Bulk-product retailer Smart & Final is giving Paso Robles another go.

The company has announced plans to open in the former Scolari’s space at 21st and Spring streets, according to a city news release issued Wednesday.

Smart & Final tried to open in the former Farmers Alliance building along Riverside Avenue, but in 2006 was denied a permit to knock down part of the landmark pink building. That year, the retailer ended its plans to build a store there because executives said it was too expensive to maintain part of it within the historic guidelines.

Now with a lease for the former Scolari’s spot further north, the new store will be called a Smart & Final Extra, an expanded business model that also carries items like produce, dairy, beauty products and diapers.

Smart & Final Extra stores range in size from 25,000 to 40,000 square feet - a larger footprint than the typical 17,000-square-foot Smart & Final warehouse stores, according to the company's website,

The Paso Robles lease is for about 28,000 square feet of space, leaving about 8,500 square feet still available for other tenants.

Scolari’s announced in April that it would close its supermarkets in Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara after more than 60 years on the Central Coast.

Local developer Nick Tompkins of San Luis Obispo-based NKT Commercial purchased the properties in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara from Joe Scolari, who did not own the Pismo Beach property.

There are currently two other Smart & Final locations in San Luis Obispo County: one in San Luis Obispo and another in Arroyo Grande.

The number of employees the retailer will hire in Paso Robles was not immediately available.

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