• As things started to look up for South Lake Avenue, with new businesses occupying the empty store fronts, two business closures may have a major impact on the revitalization of the district.

      By Brian Rodriguez

      Fresh & Easy

      Fresh and Easy in Pasadena

      Fresh and Easy in Pasadena

      Colorado Boulevard has learned that the Fresh & Easy store on the corner of California Boulevard and Lake Avenue will be permanently closing its doors in the next few weeks. Some sources indicated the closure may take place in two weeks.

      Yucaipa Companies, parent company of Fresh & Easy, plans to close fifty under-performing stores. Sources pointed out to the fact that the Pasadena store was making profit, but not enough to offset the cost of its high rent, which in turn deemed the store not profitable in the long run.

      The closure hasn’t been officially announced yet.

      Burger Continental

      Burger Continental main entrance on S. Lake Ave. (Photo - Staff).

      Burger Continental main entrance on S. Lake Ave. (Photo – Staff).

      Few blocks down, Burger Continental, a Mediterranean restaurant on 535 S. Lake Ave, abruptly closed its doors on Friday. A sign posted on the restaurant’s  entrances announced the closure, after 45 years of service in the Pasadena area.

      The restaurant was temporarily shut down in the past by inspectors from the Pasadena Public Health Department, and was allowed to re-open after correcting the problems. No reason was given for the permanent closure.

      Burger Continental shopping lot entrance (Photo - Staff).

      Burger Continental shopping lot entrance (Photo – Staff).

      This is the latest chapter in business closures on South Lake Ave., after Trattoria Neapolis restaurant closed its doors few months ago.

      Will the city, and the future elected mayor, find a magic potent to revitalize South Lake Avenue? Only time will tell.

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      1. Randy says:

        Has there been any news or update on why BC closed? Their website is still active. A call to their business phone during business hours rings through to their after hours message. Like it or not, this place was a part of Pasadena for decades, and it seems odd that there is not more information available on its permanent closure. I still live in the area, and friends from around the world who enjoyed dining at BC when they were in Pasadena keep writing to ask me what happened.

      2. Steve Lubanski says:

        They need to close lake between California and Del Mar and make it a walking open area like 3rd st. in Santa Monica

      3. Robert says:

        I am a 54 year old native Pasadenan. I have no fond memories of BC and agree with the posts above – bad smells, bad service and flies. In a word, revolting.

      4. Jack Duha says:

        I will fondly remember having lunch at Burger Continental while Stephen Hawking dined a table away. I have enjoyed BC for over 30 years! : )

      5. Donald Bryan says:

        I’ll miss F&E, but it’d be cool is a new TJ’s went in there 🙂
        BC has been an institution, but the flies all over the buffet were disconcerting.

      6. Robert Bilheimer says:

        Will, I like what you say, there aren’t too many surprises if you just look around. It really could be so much more. there is just no oomph, in any of it.

        • Will Owen says:

          Surprises are not what Pasadena does, as I’ve discovered. Abricott is about as adventurous as it gets; after all, the venerable if boring Hamburger Hamlet was replaced by the more venerable and much more boring Du-Par’s, and Green Street is regarded around here as “cutting edge.” But who’s to say otherwise? The Smith brothers have a lock on casual/fine dining up in the next-to-top block, and we’ve found their Seco’s food to be both reasonably priced (though not cheap) and well made.

          I frankly don’t give a rat’s patoot if our restaurants are somewhere north of Cutting Edge. I want good food at a decent price, and to be able to converse at normal volume with the person across from me. And if that bores you, then welcome to the Westside.

      7. Bill Perron says:

        Cheri, my favorite waitress will be gone, that is a bummer, she was there forever.

      8. Will Owen says:

        I don’t see any of this as some kind of collapse. Burger Continental was a go-to place for us when we visited decades ago, but by the time we moved here it was plagued by lousy service and persistent bad smells. Fresh & Easy never seemed to know what part of the market they wanted, whether their target was Trader Joe’s or Ralphs, and although they were on my regular shopping rotation for a while it never felt like it was going to last. As for Trattoria Neapolis, who could believe that we needed another expensive Italian place in that neighborhood? On the other hand, Trader Joe’s is packed every day, many restaurants both new and old are thriving, and while retail is generally less upscale than it used to be Macy’s seems to be holding its own. All those people parked at the curb, or packing the Shoppers’ Lane lots and parking garages, aren’t there for lack of anything else to do – they’re either making money or spending it.

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