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At twilight, last night, the new Ralph’s in Sherman Oaks, stood glistening under cloudy skies.


Dressed up and standing alone on the corner of Hazeltine and Ventura: metal panels and squash-colored inserts, coffee-tinted siding alongside creamy towers.


And a profusion of plants everywhere, succulents in the thousands, and grasses, and trees and roses and brown bark, bark laid down in trenches all around the building, even along the loading dock.

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Hygienic, modern, urbane, green.


Friendly to pedestrians and the disabled.


A bright RED plastic sign with the oval circle encircling RALPH’s FRESH FARE.


A new supermarket had come to Sherman Oaks, vaulting over old timers and neighborhood groups and homeowners fearing “urban” might bring the shvartze, the illegal and the hipster to this corner of the valley.


But at 7 pm last night there was no sign of humanity on the sidewalks around Ralph’s.


It had passed the Los Angeles test for a great building. It looked good and kept the streets clean and empty.

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7 thoughts on “Ralph’s Sherman Oaks.

  1. I haven’t been back in years. When I was born in 1947 we lived at 6311 Hazeltine and my dad and uncle owned Mathews Shoe repair at Sylvan and Van Nuys Blvd. I used to get in trouble for this but I would go into the City Hall and ride the elevators and look out the windows down at the prisoners. My dad repaired the cops shoes so they knew who I was and would tell on me. Love these memories.


  2. Just wondering if you know what happened to the Norm’s site on corner of Woodman and Sherman Way. I heard the restaurant had closed.


      1. OK thanks for the reply. Let me know if you find out what they do there. Just curious.


  3. Wish my mom was alive to see this. I remember the old Ralph’s, my mom took me shopping with her once and we ran into some old guy who turned out to be a movie star she had known. But it was so long ago and at the time I was not impressed, and I have no idea who it was. LOL But I remember meeting him. He looked like Wallace Beery. Van Nuys has changed so much. I love visiting it through your words and pictures. Thank you for sharing it.


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