Vons at 3855 State Street next to La Cumbre Plaza is closed after 51 years in business and will be replaced by Bristol Farms. Bristol Farms Inc. is an upscale California grocery store chain that operates fifteen stores, twelve in Southern California, and one in San Francisco. The fourteenth and fifteenth stores operate as Lazy Acres Market on the Mesa and in Long Beach, respectively. Another Lazy Acres Market opened in 2016 in Encinitas.

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  1. Rex Of SB says:

    And there, as they say, goes the neighborhood.

  2. Chaz says:

    If only a wand could be waved to bring back Von’s Fairview. That was the best of our several Von’s.

    They should have closed the ratty Albertson’s Calle Real instead. Corporate stupidity.

  3. Tex says:

    Von’s Fairview is still open. Many of the employees from Von’s La Cumbre transferred there. The La Cumbre place changed ownership after the Lutheran Church nearby closed their doors, and the new owners (LC Plaza?) tripled the rent.

    • Chaz says:

      Von’s TURNPIKE reopened after the Haagen debacle. Von’s Fairview closed and remained so when corporate chieftains elected to keep ratty Albertson’s Call Real open instead.

      • Hoo says:

        I’d kill to have the Fairview Von’s back. That Vons was the nicest store in the area and now us that live out here are screwed. The Albertson’s is small, dingy, and never has enough checkout’s open. Sprouts is a nice little store, but can’t compare to the missing Vons. I feel that it’s only a matter of time before Sprouts closes.

    • Jim says:

      Fairview Von’s is not open, It’s been Sprouts for probably over a year.

  4. Bob says:

    I thought that the Lutheran church through a foundation still owns the property. Never head it changed hands

  5. you will love Bristol Farms – was my favorite when living in the OC near Long BeachState with Bristol Farms right up the street.

  6. Kevin R Davis says:

    Bristol Farms is a great market. Prices compare to Gelson’s on various items (less/more expensive depending on the item). Their meat/seafood department has the finest cuts of everything. Their wine, deli and bakery are all excellent. This is a fine addition to SB. I live a few blocks away from their market in Los Angeles.

    • LoFiGirl says:

      We do NOT need another “upscale” grocery store. We need a middle class quality grocery store. I can’t afford Santa Barbara rents AND Gelson’s type prices. This Sucks. Big Time.

  7. Richard says:

    A few comments, notes, and corrections to this thread IMHO:

    First off, the Lutheran Church donated the land they owned at La Cumbre (and still own, I believe) to the city for “affordable” senior housing.
    Secondly, Albertson’s and Von’s are under the same ownership with similar product lines and pricing; it probably doesn’t make fiscal sense for them to have many store locations in an area as small as Santa Barbara/Goleta/Montecito; yes, they are definitely one of the bargain grocers in California (and elsewhere); the La Cumbre Von’s location was, I as I have previously mentioned in another post several months ago) an underachiever – even though it’s very small, the Von’s on the Mesa has a much better produce, cheese, and upscale selection of products than La Cumbre ever did.
    Thirdly, I have no confirmation of this, but I heard that the ownership/management of Macerich, dba La Cumbre Plaza, was courted by Bristol Farms who were willing to pay three times the monthly rent Von’s had there, although I have no idea what that figure is; however, I can assure you some tenants, both previously and currently, at La Cumbre Plaza have, or are, paying in excess of $6.00/sq. ft. I can also assure you there have been some “sweetheart deals” in terms of rent offered to certain large tenants – the defunct Ruth Chris’ Steak House was one of those.
    Fourthly, I am not sure why Bristol Farms would open a second store here, given the fact Lazy Acres has been a gold mine for them; BF it is certain to cannibalize a certain amount of that business, especially from Hope Ranch residents.
    Finally, yes, Bristol Farms is a quality operation and not a “bargain grocer”; however, the meat, produce, etc. will be the same as you are used to seeing, and paying for, at Lazy Acres. And based on my past shopping experiences at various BF locations outside our area, I still feel the produce and fish offerings at Gelson’s are the finest you will find at any larger grocery store in town.
    Well, we now have BF, Lazy Acres, Whole Foods, and Gelsons offering top-level groceries -so take your choice and ante up your checkbook!

    • Christine says:

      Sixthly: Both Albertsons and VONS do not have *bleeping* apostrophes in their names.

      • Richard says:

        The original owners of both businesses correctly used apostrophes to indicate the possessive, that is new until ownership changes occurred and the new owners saw fit to eliminate the original spellings – perhaps in an effort to “dumb down” to a level for what they perceived as their average customer’s intelligence and lack of comprehension for proper English and grammar. The American Apostrophe Association even saw fit to bring the “Albertsons” grocery chain to court for eliminating the apostrophe around 2002, as did the American Society For Good Grammar. Yes, you are correct that neither chain uses the apostrophe any longer, but that doesn’t make the spelling correct, only colloquial. I guess “thats” why I prefer to use the original spellings.

  8. LoFiGirl says:

    The LAST thing we need is more “upscale” business in Santa Barbara. WE NEED MIDDLE CLASS LEVEL amenities. This is getting ridiculous. I don’t want SB to be Orange County, but it’s well on it’s way and has been for a long time now. How heartbreaking.

    • Rex Of SB says:

      LoFi Girl, you are absolutely right! But this latest attempt to hijack our middle-class level supermarkets may just backfire. Look what happened a few years ago when La Cumbre Plaza decided to reinvent itself as an upscale shopping mall. Hello Coach and Tiffany’s; goodbye Merlo’s Cutlery and See’s Candy. LCP is now a ghost town of what it was. No one can afford to shop there any more, nor is there much of a local demand for $2,500 handbags or $30,000 tiaras. It’s my great hope that this new Bristol Farms will go unpatronized and will crash and burn within a year, much as the late, unlamented Haggen’s did when it was foisted off on us.

      Where is Stater Bros.now that we need it?

      • Jim says:

        When was See’s gone, we’ve been going there for at least the last 30 years I’d guess.

        • Rex Of SB says:

          The original, conveniently located See’s was a mainstay in the heart of La Cumbre Plaza. But a few years ago, during the plaza gentrification, See’s was moved to the complete other side of the parking lot, making it convenient to no one.

  9. Hefe says:

    Between Costco,Trader Joe’s and Amazon it’s been years since I’ve shopped much at a traditional supermarket. I do enjoy picking up specialty items here and there at Lazy Acres or Whole Foods. The quality and price are do much better. I think the supermarket’s are thinning for this reason and I am not alone in this trend.

    • Rex of sb says:

      That’s true to a point, Hefe, but it seems to be a Santa Barbara phenomenon. There is no shortage of conventional (reasonably priced) supermarkets in the Goleta/Noleta area. Between Turnpike Road and the Pacific Oaks Plaza, there is a Ralphs, a Vons, two Albertsons and a Sprouts (although I don’t know if Sprouts can be included on a “reasonably priced” list. Contrast that with the markets in the city limits of SB: one Ralphs and one very tiny Vons, along with uber-expensive Lazy Acrea, Whole Foods, Gelsons, And now the very high-end Bristol Farms.

      At some point, this is going to end in tears.

  10. Christine says:

    More info on the land and the church:


    “The A-frame church and land at 3869 State Street was gifted to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara in December, 2014 for co-development with Front Porch Development Company of the 58-unit affordable housing complex.”


    “The congregation also decided to donate its land under Vons at La Cumbre and the space in between, currently occupied by AC4 Fitness, to California Lutheran Homes.”

  11. JackEllis says:

    This Vons has been closed for nearly 6 weeks now. It had all it’s windows boarded up 5 weeks ago.

    @Rex, Stater Bros is gross and sub par quality. Vons was fine, but it was never great. Most people in SB want reasonably priced food in an actually clean environment where they don’t switch up expiry dates on meat and fish doesn’t smell fishy. Not too much to ask….but we’ve never had that here because not enough competition.