The clerk suffered minor injuries and did not give the robbers any cash.
About 2 a.m., two men entered the store at 100 E. Grand Ave. and demanded money from the safe.
One of the suspects grasped something in his belt, indicating he had a gun or other weapon, said Arroyo Grande police Sgt. Shawn Cosgrove. The clerk refused their demands and was struck by one of the men several times in the face.
The clerk attempted to use his cellphone to call 911, but the phone was taken by one of the robbers. He was able to break free and ran outside, calling on witnesses to contact authorities.
The two suspects, who had not been given any money, then fled the scene. They were last seen running toward Cornwall Avenue. Officers searched the surrounding neighborhoods but were unable to locate the men.