Fresh & Easy in Downtown San Jose?

I haven’t seen any public announcement yet, but “Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets” has requested a city permit for beer and wine sales at 272 East Santa Clara Street in San Jose. That’s the former Albertsen’s / Lucky’s / Su Vianda location next door to City Hall.

If this works out, it will be a great shopping option for downtown dwellers. Fresh & Easy has a kind of different business model: They have a lot of own-branded items like Trader Joe’s, but they tend to focus more on prepared items like salads and sandwiches rather than the packaged items that dominate TJ’s. In addition to ready-to-eat, they also have a pretty much complete line of other kitchen basics including fresh fruit, vegetables, and meats. They don’t have the selection of a full-size suburban mega-market, but they cover every-day needs.

They’ll be in direct competition with Safeway’s The Market a few blocks away, but they’ll have the advantage of a surface-level parking lot. If they do one thing to improve the streetscape on Santa Clara Street, though, it will be to keep that parking lot clean, which previous owners have never done.

Here’s looking forward to another shopping choice in downtown.

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