Sav-On Drugs in the Bay Area 1970s

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Sav-On Drugs in the Bay Area 1970s

Post by TiManny »

Over on Retailwatchers there is discussion on some Rite Aids closing; one is a former Payless in San Jose that started out as a Sav-On during their attempted expansion into Northern California in the 1970s. How many of these were there? I remember seeing a sign for one on or near the San Francisco/Daly City border near the Cow Palace in the early 90s; I assume it was already closed. I also remember my grandfather (who was a bit of a hoarder) having old envelopes of pictures he had developed at one of those Sav-Ons during the 70s.
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Re: Sav-On Drugs in the Bay Area 1970s

Post by storewanderer »

The store in question was the CVS at 1097 Leigh in San Jose.
This store went Sav-On to Payless (1988) to Rite Aid (1998) to Longs (2000) to CVS
Payless was issued liquor license 212878 on 2/19/1988.

Now it appears Longs was busy with the liquor license people around the same time.
They filed on July 15, 1987 a license for a store at 560 Center in Martinez. Looking at this on the map- I think this thing is an original Longs, but it is very questionable.

We start to see a lot of licenses issued in sequence; I am confident all of these are former Sav-On units:
204484/July 16, 1987/4100 Ming/Bakersfield
204485/July 16, 1987/1501 White/Bakersfield
204486/July 16, 1987/5510 Stockdale/Bakersfield
204487/July 16, 1987/2690 Mount Vernon/Bakersfield
204514/July 31, 1987/186 El Camino Real/South San Francisco
204519/July 31, 1987/222 Saratoga/Santa Clara
204520/July 30, 1987/3707 El Camino Real/Santa Clara
204521/July 30, 1987/3074 Story Road/San Jose
204522/July 30, 1987/4550 Meridian/San Jose
204523/August 4, 1987/100 N. San Tomas Aquino/Campbell
204524/July 30, 1987/10455 S. DeAnza/Cupertino

When you look at the exterior of these units you start to see these were absolutely former Sav-On units. The buildings have a taller appearance and the door structure is not like Longs of that era (Longs of that era often had an entry on each side and you entered into a foyer and then the entry was straight and the exit was off to the other side).

After that Longs did not go see the liquor license division until February 1988 when they opened Horton Plaza Longs Pharmacy in San Diego.

The real treasure was the Albertsons next to this store, which went by the address 1792 Southwest Expressway.
This store was an unremodeled Alpha Beta. Somehow it escaped the Lucky 90's remodels. There was one other like that in San Jose too. Both closed in the Cerberus purge right after they bought the division.

This got me also wondering about Payless. There is a sequence of licenses issued to Payless with 1097 Leigh as well: And I do not think any of these are former Sav-Ons other than 1097 Leigh.
212875/March 2, 1988/2868 Zinfandel/Rancho Cordova
212876/March 2, 1988/4000 Manzanita/Carmichael
212877/May 5, 1988/6128 San Juan/Citrus Heights
212878/March 19, 1988/1097 Leigh/San Jose
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