Gelson's Opens To Crowds and Fanfare
Nov 14, 2018 10:53PM
By Jeanne Fratello
The long-awaited Gelson's Market opened on Sepulveda on Wednesday, marking the culmination of a planning process and city-wide debate that had spanned several years.
"We are so excited to be here in Manhattan Beach," said Rob McDougall, president and CEO of Gelson's. "We've had more requests for a store here in Manhattan Beach than in any other community. We're so excited to offer this store for all of you."
McDougall, assisted by Gelson's leaders, city officials, local leaders, and representatives from developer Paragon Commercial Group, cut the ceremonial ribbon in front of a crowd of more than one hundred who had gathered to cheer the store's opening. The Mira Costa High School marching band was also on hand to add to the celebratory feel.
As the line of eager shoppers streamed into the store, the Gelson's employees cheered and applauded.
The Gelson's Market at 8th and Sepulveda is located on a lot that had once been a car dealer and repair center, but had remained vacant for many years.
While the Gelson's proposal had support for many local residents, it had strong opposition from many local residents who cited traffic and parking concerns. The Manhattan Beach City Council finally gave the project the go-ahead in 2017, and groundbreaking on the store began last December.
Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano alluded to the debate in his remarks. "Everybody wanted what was best for Manhattan Beach. And in the end, that's what we all got."
Napolitano continued: "It provides a real service, and a sense of community that was lacking on this corner for many years."
The 27,900-foot high-end grocery store features a juice and smoothie bar, a Wolfgang Puck kitchen, a wine and craft beer bar, a hot food bar, a Viktor Benes bakery and coffee bar, a salad bar, and a full-service deli.
"Has anybody ever felt more like lunch than right now?" quipped Mark Lipps, president of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce.