Zodys went out of fashion

WE COULDN’T FIND a photo of the Garden Grove Zody’s, but here’s one from the Canoga Park stores grand opening (Wikipedia).

The Sprouts Farmers Market which recently opened on Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove is welcome, especially as it replaced the long-empty Vons Pavilion store.

Long-timers will recall that the Pavilion building was preceded by a Zodys discount department store, a sort of K-Mart-ish operation which sold cheap goods cheap.

But did you know that Garden Grove’s Zodys – opened in 1960 – was the very first in a chain that eventually reached 44 stores, including locations in Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Buena Park?

The parent company was Hartfield’s, which already had a women’s clothing store across the street in Garden Grove’s Orange County Plaza and wanted to launch a “discount fashion department store” operation.

That name always struck us as kind of goofy, but it turns out that it was named after Miss Zody Hartfield of the family that ran the chain.

Beset by financial difficulties, the chain declared bankruptcy and closed or sold all its stores by 1986.

As we’re reported before, one of the very first Trader Joe’s was in Garden Grove, located near Chapman Avenue and West Street. It was originally called a “Pronto” market, a convenience store before 7-11 moved into the area, necessitating a change in format to “Trader Joe’s.”

That only lasted a few years and now it’s a Highland Liquor Market.

A real-life tall tale

Josh Lindsay of the Garden Grove Planning Commission tells us that the Nickelodeon Hotel planned for Harbor Boulevard – when completed – will be the tallest hotel in all of Orange County.

Take that, Anaheim!

It’s Quang Tri, Tri again and again

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Westminster City Council, the foremost topic of discussion – although probably not of importance – will be the location of the controversial Quang Tri monument.

QUANG TRI MONUMENT design (before changes).

Discussion of this topic has been going on for years and shines a light on the divisions that exist in the community and the tendency of elected leadership there to devote energy, money and attention to secondary issues.

Westminster is facing a financial catastrophe that could point toward – in just a few years – bankruptcy, if not disincorporation. The one-cent sales tax approved six years ago bailed the city out, but it came with a sunset clause that shuts off that source of revenue in just a few months.

The council refuses to put the matter of restoring the levy before voters, as if some fairy godmother is going appear and dump millions of magic dollars into the city treasury.

What we see is a municipal train that’s headed toward a washed-out bridge over a huge chasm and yet hours of argument and discussion focus on the size and design of a monument to a 1972 Vietnam war battle in a lost war.

This is a city that’s looking backward. Years from now, people living in that same area – whatever it might be called, then – will look back and wonder, “What were they thinking? Were they thinking?”

“Usually Reliable Sources” alternates with Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” column.

4 replies »

  1. Thank you for that! I still have a doll (kind of in the Raggedy Ann genre but not an official Raggedy Ann) that my mother or grandmother bought me at that Zody’s a zillion years ago (yes, I’m a zillion plus three years old). I think they said she cost 20 cents. You warmed my heart today!

    • My mom bought me a bicycle , from Zody’s in Monterey park I think the store was in , right next to Ole’s hardware store , oh no , im older than dirt now

  2. I remember it was a special treat when we were allowed to buy Italian Ices at the snack bar. Yum!

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