Back in June, news broke that Nob Hill's loved/hated/occasionally pigeon-inhabited neighborhood grocer Cala Foods would be disappearing to make way for a Trader Joe's. At the time, the neighborhood was positively rocked by the news that parking at California and Hyde would soon become the same nightmarish hellscape that pops up outside the grocery chain's Masonic Avenue location. Now, a couple months later, we have word that Cala Foods has started clearing out their final shipments of foodstuffs and notifying customers of their last day in business: next Saturday, December 3rd, about a week after the huge Thanksgiving belt-loosening.
Reports from inside the Cala Foods facilities, by way of the neighborhood watchers down the hill in the Tenderloin, say that you're fresh out of luck if you're looking to score specialty mustards on the cheap, but they appear to still have a decent stock of Nature Valley Granola Bars.
Renovations necessary to turn the fluorescent-lit Cala digs in to Trader Joe's trademark colorful amusement park of grocery fun aren't scheduled to begin until January, so expect the space to be vacant at least until Summer grilling season kicks in, if not longer.
In the meantime, Cala loyalists are encouraged to continue shopping for cheap, often off-brand goods at Cala's sister store Foods Co. at Folsom and 14th, where the staff are well-prepared for Thanksgiving and there is always plenty of parking.