January 12, 2009

Bell Market: Winding Down

A reader tipped us that Bell Market's inventory is dwindling ahead of its Valentine's Day closing, so we took a field trip and here are a few shots of what we saw.

It appears that perishables (milk and meat) are being restocked, but other items like TP, sodas and all the crap junk instant foods in the center aisles are consolidating. The bulk bins are down to chaff and one aisle is closed off. But fear not: beer cases are piled in the aisles.

In sum: It's sadder than usual in there.

It's also going to be quiet on 24th Street when Bell Market shuts its doors, especially given all the other closings on 24th Street. Merchants seem to understand this - Ritz Camera cut its hours this week (no Sundays anymore), and other stores are offering deep discounts. It's going to be a long season until Whole Foods' arrival re-energizes Noe Valley's main commercial district.

[NVSF: Closing: More Rumors on 24th Street]
[NVV: Rumors Behind the News: Changes Left and Right]
[NVSF: NVV: We Read It So You Don't Have To]


Anonymous said...

This is sad news for the older and tighter budgeted people in the neighborhood that will need to go farther to find groceries.
I never had much love for that CALA but I really feel for those who will need to trek now for the staples.

kitchen bitch said...

There is a great little shop on the corner of 30th and Church that seems to have all the staples. Shoppers should flock there and check it out.

rocky's dad said...

why is this sad? I dont think so. Bell Market has run it's course, the product selection and store atmosphere was mediocre. the employees spend more time chit chatting than helping customers. I welcome Whole Foods.

24th st is not going to die. this is just a cycle. what goes down will come up..once again.

Anonymous said...

I've shopped in Noe Valley for 20 years but have only been to Bell Market about 10 times.
Each time the cashiers were both rude and disinterested. A simple hello and thank you would have made all the difference.
Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

The store is ugly, the food overpriced, the selection pathetic, the people working there flat and unfriendly.
Is it a big surprise that they are selling out?

Anonymous said...

Apparently the staff who work there don't really even care. I agree that 95% of the staff are the most rude unappreciative people. Good luck to them finding a new place of employment. They most certainly won't fit in with Whole Foods. I also agree in that I welcome whole Foods I just hate the six months or more it will take to get something new into the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I live around the corner from Bell Market and could never understand how unbelievably overpriced it is. Whole Foods is better and cheaper? When is Whole Foods the cheap option? Well, that is probably why Bell Market is going out of business - I would shop elsewhere on my way home from work than buy $5 apples! If you haven't been to the market on 30th and Church, it obviously doesn't have everything you would need because it is small, but the produce is great quality and MUCH cheaper than even safeway or trader joes.

Anonymous said...

Whole Foods is cheaper than Bell! Plus, if people want generic baked beans and they don't like paying $1.09 for Whole Foods' private 365 label, they can VERY easily hop onto the 35 (or any other number of busses) and go to Safeway.

Anonymous said...

anon- why dont you start calling that "market at 30th and church" what it is?

It's called CHURCH ST. PRODUCE. been there for a long time and a good little produce market, but it's not a full service food store.

Anonymous said...

Try "easily hopping" onto a bus if you're 85 and blind in one eye.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... "easily" hop on a bus to go to Safeway... LOL. 30 minutes later you might be there, but more likely you'll watch the 48 go by in the opposite direction 3 times before your bus comes. Then you get to wait for the uber-fast Mission line transfer. There will undoubtedly be 5 people in wheelchairs that will want to get on/off in the intervening stops before you arrive to Safeway refreshed and ready to shop.
Anyway, my diatribe is really for both Bell and Whole Paycheck.
I'm not sorry to see Bell go, it was always far over-priced. But I hate how NV is too precious for a normal grocery store. I'd love a grocery I could shop for my daily needs, and I'm not about to drop the cash it takes to do that at Whole Foods.

Anonymous said...

When is Whole Foods supposed to be open?

Noe Valley, SF said...

Anon - lots more about Whole Foods here: