HomeCity NewsGlendale Gets a Taste of Erewhon

Glendale Gets a Taste of Erewhon

Erewhon, an upscale organic market and café known for its celebrity-endorsed smoothies, among other things, has chosen the Jewel City for its 11th location, a city news release announced on June 4. 

Having purchased the historic Virgil’s Hardware Home Center building, Erewhon “was drawn to the vacant building for its historic roots and strategic position in the San Fernando Valley,” the news release stated.

Bradley Calvert, Glendale’s director of community development, believes Erewhon will add to the city’s strong portfolio of businesses.

“It really speaks to the strength and diversity of the retail market within Glendale,” Calvert told the News-Press. “Here, we have a very strong small-business sector — a lot of mom-and-pop shops — but we also have the environment and the climate to sustain higher-end retail.”

With health and wellness at the heart of Erewhon’s mission, the market prides itself in providing customers with organic, biodynamic, regenerative and gluten-free alternatives. With locations across Southern California, including in neighboring cities such as Pasadena and Los Angeles, Erewhon CEO Tony Antoci is thrilled to bring the hub to Glendale.

“Coming to Glendale is a key step in Erewhon’s mission to improve nutrition and make a lasting impact on the food system in Southern California,” Antoci said. “We can’t wait to rejuvenate an iconic community landmark and contribute to the distinct fabric of Glendale.”

Virgil’s was a part of Glendale’s culture for nearly a century before the building site was sold in 2020 and Virgil’s did not renew its lease. The site has remained vacant ever since.

Erewhon plans to take up 18,000 square feet of the 24,000-square-foot building, located at 520 N. Glendale Ave., and lease the additional space to complementary tenants.

Before purchasing the site, Erewhon met with the city’s concierge team and building and safety team to learn about the city’s permitting process and make sure the use would be acceptable for the site’s zoning.

Going forward, the market’s development team will need to bring an application to the city’s Design Review Board outlining how much it intends to change the site and what the design will look like. This will ensure the project “fits our aesthetic desires and blends well with the surrounding environment,” Calvert said.

“[Erewhon’s] development team plans to remodel the facade of the building, upgrade its utilities, and beautify the surrounding area with landscaping and outdoor seating,” the news release said. “It will also incorporate architectural nods to the history of Glendale and seek out creative ways to honor the neighborhood’s spirit in the renovation.”

The market is expected to open in about 18 months.

First published in the June 15 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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