Stop the Smart & Final Petition to Modify Conditions

Steve Chan

August 29, 2018 


Costa Mesa, the Westside needs your help! Please consider these circumstances and consider joining your District IV neighbors in stopping a radical injustice. This page is hosted within the website for the Committee to Elect Steve Chan.

Smart & Final, Have You No Shame?

After up to a decade or more of exercising clearly unfair competition in our neighborhoods, Smart & Final is requesting the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control modify the Conditional License for the location on W. 19th Street known as Store 389.

Click here to read about the Lost Decade on 19th Street.

In essence, Store 389, over an extended period of time measured in years, up to a decade or more, unlawfully siphoned millions of dollars in alcoholic beverage and grocery sales from the smallest to the largest mom & pop markets in our neighborhood. In particular, they gravely harmed the largest Latino market serving the community. The harm included not just revenue loss, but market share, customers, and even the ability to compete, to upgrade their business, and improvment their product offerings.

All this occurred in an economy that is increasingly robust after the Great Recession of 2008.

In their Petition to Modify Conditions filed with the ABC, Smart & Final cites their weakened ability to compete, now that they must operate within the law. In light of their negative impacts on the community, their claims are farcical.

Residential neighbors of the grocery chain's 'Store 389' have opposed their 'Petition to Modify Conditions' since February 2018. During this period, few of the negative impacts that spurred resident outrage at the 'normal' operations of the grocery, and the discovery of this matter, have abated.

Smart & Final does not have a foundation to be granted their Petition. BPC § 23803 states: The department, upon its own motion or upon the petition of a licensee or a transferee who has filed an application for the transfer of the license, if it is satisfied that the grounds which caused the imposition of the conditions no longer exist, shall order their removal or modification, provided written notice is given to the local governing body of the area in which the premises are located.

NONE of the grounds that triggered the imposition of conditions have changed.

To put some icing on the cake, Steve Chan, the resident who uncovered this fraud upon the community, also discovered the similar scheme was in play at over twenty other locations throughout California. The Smart & ?Final chain, a Wall Street fund-backed grocer has a system-wide business practice operating above the law under the facade of an honest grocer.

Please consider the circumstances and sign our Petition asking Smart & Final to drop their petition at the ABC. After blighting our community, and being caught red-handed at it, it's time for Smart & Final corporate to show some Social Responsibility, not just in our community, but in all the other communities where these predatory practices were used.

Go to and sign the 'Stop the Petition' Petition today.

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