Andronico’s on Telegraph Avenue to close

Andronico's on Telegraph Avenue will close

Andronico’s is closing its Telegraph Avenue store just a month after it shuttered its University Avenue location.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting today that Renwood Opportunities Fund, the new owners of Andronico’s, made the decision as part of its financial restructuring of the 82-year old supermarket chain.

“Investment in the future of Andronico’s Markets can begin now that we are financially stable after the sale of the company to Renovo Capital,” Bill Andronico, a member of the family which founded the markets, said in a statement today, according to the Chronicle. “Our focus now is to build upon the strong brand built over three generations.”

The exact timetable of the closure is unclear, but it will take a few weeks, according to an employee at the store who declined to give a name.

Andronico’s closed its store at 1414 University Avenue in late October. All the employees at that store had to reapply for their positions and a number lost their jobs.

The closure of the Telegraph Avenue store will leave just two Andronico’s in Berkeley, one on Shattuck near Cedar and one on Solano Avenue near The Alameda. The market has other locations in San Francisco and elsewhere in the Bay Area.

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  • guest

    RIP the old Park N’ Shop on that same location

  • Telegraph neighbor

    First Codys, then Intermezzo, now Andronicos. Kris Worthington, where are you? Living one block off Telegraph, it may be time to pack up and sell.

  • PJ

    That’s too bad…

  • Anonymous

    Special Note to New Owners:  The restroom facilities at both of the remaining locations have been and continue to be fully “horrid” across time with multiple code violations and inspections and nothing has worked as per the disengaged management, staff and piggy customers.  Make this transformation a part of what is to come along with major and massive amounts of organic produce and staples and a deeply attentive staff and I shall — along with a multitude of others — return.  We will be waiting and watching with hope.  Until then it’s TJ’s and the Berkeley Bowl West for us N. Berkeley who read labels and ask questions      

  • Bloomsherry

    I never had a problem with the restroom at Andronico’s on Shattuck. The one on Solano is outside in the parking lot and gets a bit more usage, so understandably not as clean.

  • Annie Painter

    I would submit that the condition of the restrooms is the least of Andronico’s problems right now. I have never personally had a problem with either Solano or Shattuck loos and think they have plenty of organic produce. i don’t buy even inorganic there because of high prices. Gosh, even the staff have been nicer in recent years. Prices, guys….it’s about price points.

  • Heather W.

    Bit by bit, our city is losing its businesses. More empty spaces, and fewer businesses willing to take risks. Berkeley is going to look rather shuttered.

  • Ferret Luv

    This is really depressing. But, not surprising. The University Avenue location had been looking pretty lonely for awhile, and the Telegraph shop was probably decimated by a combination of Whole Foods and the Berkeley Bowl down the street. At the latter storel, a parking spot can’t be had for love or money at either location. It’s all about the prices. Those who can afford the higher prices shop at WF now.

  • Disgruntled LOYAL customer

    I can’t believe everyone is concerned with bathrooms. Doesn’t anyone care about the employees? All Andronico’s store employees are effected by this. ALL Andronico’s employees were asked to reapply when Renovo purchased this chain. Some employees who had 10 + years were not offered positions and Andronico’s brought in seasonal help instead. Andronico’s has said thank you to those employees for being loyal and sticking around for this transition…..this is how the employees were thanked by losing their jobs!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alan Saldich

    I really don’t agree. 

    It is too bad that Andronico’s is closing this store and going through bankruptcy and I do feel for their employees who  lose their jobs. But while Andronico’s has been struggling for years, other new and established grocery stores very nearby are doing quite well as far as I can tell. I don’t think blaming a trend of “Berkeley” losing its businesses is really helpful, nor is it really valid. Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl (both), Safeway, Star Grocery, Trader Joe’s are all pretty busy whenever I go, so that leads me to think that Andronico’s really dropped the ball on execution. As did Lucky / Albertson’s years ago – Weeks after opening in the exact same location near Rockridge BART, Trader Joe’s was packed – a sharp contrast to the poorly run and depressing Albertson’s that was there before.In the case of Andronico’s, their value-proposition is neither here nor there: their positioning was not clear. It was not low prices (maybe Rainbow Grocery or Costco?), not clever marketing (T-Js), not organic + great selection but high prices (Whole Foods), not a wide selection (Safeway & most other mainstream stores), not “cool” or at least pleasant stores (Star, Berkeley Bowl, TJs), not stocking all the hard-to-find items in a local gem (Star Grocery), not friendly service (Star again), not a great organic produce selection (Star, Berkeley Bowl, WF)… or really anything else. Andronico’s is a little of each of those things but not enough of any one. Any business needs to compete effectively to be successful, and in my opinion they just didn’t do that for a long time and have paid the price. Same goes for AG Ferrari.Berkeley has tons of great local businesses, and I’d argue that if you take a trip to many other cities & towns in Northern California, Berkeley has fewer signs of the economic distress than many others. The other stores that have closed in Berkeley often suffer from poor execution. For example, Cody’s closed for a variety of reasons – one reason in was an ill-timed and ill-conceived expansion to San Francisco combined with the very tough book business. If he had just stayed put he’d probably will be there. In contrast take a look at Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Ave., a locally owned (the owner literally lives up the street) store that seems to be thriving. Why? It’s a great store with a friendly staff, great selection, nice atmosphere in a great location. I put the blame for the demise of Andronico’s squarely on… Andronico’s. And not on their bathrooms.

  • JW

    This store is already having a closing sale.  Items already from 10-20% off (and more).

  • Sad

    I am so sad

  • Alan Tobey

    In the new grand scheme, probably the two Berkeley stores would drop to one except that they are, apparently, on the same lease.  That won’t continue forever; but perhaps the pending reconstructions of their two Safeway neighbors will buy them another year by bringing more local shoppers in.

    So we’re eventually left with just one A-store per community, which will need some kind of special identity to stand out from generic groceries in one direction  and “natural” specialists in the other.

    Since A.G. Ferrari is also under the same new ownership, the opportunity for a combined future under a common brand is obvious.  If it were me deciding, I’d rebrand as Italian-themed destination stores: as Andronico Ferrari’s Italian Deli (for food to be consumed right away or the same day) and Andronico Ferrari’s Italian Village Market (also for stocking up, but with a deli-equivalent inside).      Wouldn’t that be a perfect fit for North Berkeley?

    The only get one chance to do it right  — hope they can be bolder than just restocking the shelves.

  • Completely Serious

    In the 14+ years Kriss Worthington has represented this district, Tele has gone from lousy to cr@ppy.  Remember that in 2014!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry not to get a chance to say goodbye and good luck to the staff at our Telegraph market. Prices there were terrible — often twice the price of produce at the Berkeley Bowl — but there was a convenience factor. I hated their logo — a guy in a tuxedo with a grocery cart. They clearly saw the 1% as their desired patrons. I guess there were fewer of them around than they hoped.

  • Guest

    George, is that you?

  • GT

    Just checked out the ‘sale’. Don’t bother!. There is nothing for less than 40 % off and with the 20% it is still probably mOre than most of the other stores in. Berkeley. The 40% off is just false advertising. I asked and the cashier wasn’t aware of anything at that price. Not worth the trip to the store!

  • Annie Painter

    Good observations, Mr. Saldich!

  • libraterian

    Kriss, is that you?

  • libraterian

    Kriss doesn’t represent the district. He runs there in order to to represent his well heeled ‘out of district’ constituency; the fire fighters, public employee labor…etc.

  • libraterian

    “Andronico’s is a little of each of those things but not enough of any one.”

  • Jose Seis

    Well put. I liked having a grocery there, but their prices were always inexplicably high. Instead of treating students like a captive audience that will pay outrageous amounts in order to satisfy their munchies or buy late-night booze, Andronicos would have done better to position themselves as a budget price supermarket… this isn’t exactly the ritziest neighborhood in town.

  • Jose Seis

    Kris Worthington? Oh please, Kris Worthington has nothing to do with the fall of Andronico’s. Give us a break.

  • Anonymous

    I heard through a reliable, yet loudmouthed source that Andronico’s will be completely out of business by Spring 2012.

  • This sale will be the same as the sale at the Andronico’s in University.

    Dusty goods marked up 50% and then down 25%, so that they’re still more expensive than Safeway or Berkeley Bowl even when they’re on sale.

  • I did a lot of shopping this weekend.
    I went out to a lot of restaurants this weekend.

    Other than going to Berkeley Bowl to get an organic turkey and stopping at Safeway to get some emergency butter, I did every bit of my Black Friday Weekend shipping in Emeryville, Albany, and El Cerrito.

  • Laura

    seriously, this comment in on target.

    Telegraph is in need of a comprehensive plan, the recent southside plan was hardly comprehensive.

    Santa Cruz’s downtown is a good example of revitalization of an area following a catastrophe.
    The commercial area serves students,  families, teens, tourists, and homeless.

  • Guest

    Thank you.  I agree.  This is my neighborhood store and it was shocking to walk in one day and not recognize a single person.  At first I thought they were hired from the other store, but then I saw an ad for seasonal help.  Very upsetting that the people who worked there and contributed positively to our community are facing this in such a tough economy.  They all deserve better.  

  • Chrisjuricich

    Agreement. While the quality of Andronico’s merchandise was certainly good, the choices of product waas always–choose the high end product. Unpriced items at the checkout counter that, as impulse items, were surprisingly expensive (cheap shot to grab a small package of cookies and see that those 4-5 cookies priced at $5.99!!)

    So yeah–prices were too high in a low economic time. Of course–thoughts go out to the employees–hope they get their jobs back. But it seems that the places were economically mismanaged–plus the failure of their big Danville and Emeryville stores…not sure what happened there…

  • Calculus30

    dumbest comment evar

  • Bob Kurtz

    All stores on Telegraph from the Alcatraz to the University are under great pressure to close, not just Andronicos or Cody,s and others before that, but our little Collectors Store in place for 18 years does half the business it use to and will soon close too.

    The problem is MAYOR Tom Bates and the do nothing Berkeley City Council.  The have done
    nothing to help, not put on on street fair, one show or any celebration that doesn’t march march
    thru us.  There as not been one city sponsored event the city has sponsored designed to get
    outsides to come shop Telegraph

    What they have done is give everyone at least two parking tickets, not repaired the sidewalks, which are cracked and dangerous to walk on, and in stead planted more trees creating more street cracks and an greater possibility  another  intense fire storm hazard ala 1991 blaze.

    Bates and his fellow members do not attend telegraph neighborhood meetings with any regularity and control the few that the do attend, as well as the city council meeting discussions, to stifle debate.  On you can state your case in two minutes,.  Since I was born here and am class of
    ’57 at BHS and have lived here are all my life it would take two hour just to hit the high points of Berkeley’s failings.

    We have no sports teams outside of Cal, which leads to the whole issue of Cal’s over influence and underpaying the bill (taxes) in general.

    What can we do. Hold meetings on Telegraph, talk and plan parades, shows, flea markets, performances, take part in the occupy movements, and be the first city to lead the charge to work out the differences with the occupy people making Berkeley once again the show case city for social change, as it was in the 1960s

    I have lived thru Berkeley being one of the first cities  to end segregation, start school busing, work out the issues with the protestors in the 60s-70s over Viet Nam, all the disruptions and protests from Cal and other deal with other social issues, especially housing and of course this City Council has not done enough for the homeless.  We need a Rev Cecil Williams (From Glide in SF) to teach us the way to care for the less
    fortunate.  They sleep on my sidewalks and in my doorways, how about yours? I just tryand see if they are
    warm enough and take friends I can.

    We use to have Christmas shows at the Berkeley Community theater,  maybe its time again to bring name acts some starting in Berkeley to perform again.  Besides the locals, I saw Nat Cole, Ray Charles and even up to

    There are many failing we could address immediately, one being no public toilets past peoples park, another is to build a homeless shelter in Peoples park rather than drive the homeless out all over the avenue.  I third is rebuilding the sidewalk  sellers who have to many rules and seem to be a dying breed.  Encourage merchants to put a small display of interesting stuff at great prices just out front of their stores, to stop people as the walk
    by.  Bring back a few our street corner performers who do show as much as before.  Hold public debates in Peoples Park and have some of the leaders and past movers and shakers speak there regularly.

    Bob Kurtz CR# 2566 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley 540-1182

  • I have to agree. While it’s true that the business conditions in that section of Telegraph Ave aren’t very good, it’s also seems like Andronico’s management made some bad decisions. They made a gamble and built expensive stores in Emeryville, Walnut Creek and other locations. But the economy didn’t cooperate, and Andronicos was overstretched into too many communities. The new stores shut down in the beginning of the recession, and these additional closures are a sign that Andronicos is in decline. 

    Never underestimate the power of poor business decisions. Whoever made those decisions should step down and let new management take over, otherwise Andronicos will go out of business completely.

  • Alan Tobey

    So instead of repeating what doesn’t work (pretending this can be a regional shopping destination), it’s time to think out of the box and work on how to boost it as a hyper-local district primarily serving the campus.

    Still not easy, but we could change the image, for example, by changing the name.  Would the whole thing sound more interesting if instead of Telegraph we renamed it, say, Golden Bear Avenue?  And took it from there?

  • Anonymous

    You are so right on, Bob! The government of Berkeley is nothing but a bunch of career politicians who float from one position to another at the public trough. Recycling? We are far behind other cities! Plastic bags….yes, we still have them. The plan, you see, was to force the plastics industry out of business or something like that. We can see how well that worked. Compost collection. No way. Downtown parking has been cut way back because the city fathers and mothers — the officials who all have their own free parking spaces in the center of town– wanted to force other people to take public transportation. So downtown stores are hurting. All the cultural and business-promoting ideas you have would be welcomed and utilized by a truly progressive city government that actually cared about its city and its citizens. These guys as much about their constituents’ welfare as Congress does! Shirley Dean wasn’t as progressive politically as I am, but I sure miss her. She was someone who worked hard for her city and got things done. We need more like her.

  • Chi Shao

    The city of Berkeley killed Andronico’s when it let national chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s open.  Some one wants to turn Telegraph into a corridor of mixed use buildings, with vacant lower floors, and chains which are based on lies of healthy food and flash.

  • berkeley homeowner

    I do hope that someone other than George Beier runs for that district.  Im ready for a new face but I will never support George.  With all the forward thinking folks in Berkeley, I dont need his cookie cutter, double income no kids approach. 

  • Berkeley Resident

    So you expect Berkeley (or any other city) to prevent viable businesses needed by the community from setting up shop so they can keep the local, but not reasonable merchants from going out of businesses?

    Andronico’s decided to set up fancy stores in Walnut Creek and other areas (Walnut Creek store crashed and burned as expected) b,ut they did nothing to improve their stores in Berkeley.  They expected us, in Berkeley to just pay the high prices even with the delapitated buildings!  That is just rude and unexpectable!

    I really feel bad for the awesome employees but the leaders could have made much, much better decisions over the last 10 years.

  • Chi Shao

    Yes, I agree about Andronico’s choices .But I hate watching Berkeley’s descent from a city filled with character and unique shops, to the blandness of chain stores and restaurants.

    Also, Andronico’s was a union store, perhaps those benefits is what some of their high prices supported. 

    My experience shopping at Berkeley Bowl and And. yielded some lower prices at Andronico’s.  They aren’t Monterey Market, but I bet they have as much organic produce as WF..

  • Georgebeierjr

    Hey — George Beier here.  I haven’t posted here on Berkeley side in a while — none of the comments here are mine.  I always use my name when posting here.

  • Missmoffett

     Bob Kurtz is a lifelong violent child predator FYI. Reference Megan’s Law. He terrorized me as a child and I’ve kept an eye on him. I wouldn’t have a dialogue of any kind with that man and IMO he should be run out of town on a rail. Or worse. Thank you for listening.