DOWNEY - After months of vacancy, the former Hi-Ho Market, located at 10846 Downey Ave., moved one step closer to renovation last week following a Planning Commission decision, which grants the new vendor a license to sell alcoholic beverages if several improvements are made to the building's exterior.The resolution comes more than two months after business partners Gary Kostrivas and Mark Johnson applied for the conditional use permit, which now authorizes the new tenants to start renovation on the 2,793-square-foot property. According to a city staff report, Kostrivas and Johnson plan to reopen the market as Hall of Fame Market and Deli, a sports-themed store where customers will find dry goods, groceries, beer, wine, and a deli with both inside and outside seating. The deli will serve a variety of items, including fresh sandwiches and salads. The proposed hours of operation are from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week. Long Beach native Kostrivas said the market will be a new venture for both him and Johnson who have never opened their own establishment before. "We looked at more than 200 places in both Los Angeles and Orange County," said Kostrivas. "But after looking, talking to people, we decided that Downey was the best location with the most potential. It's a nice place with a nice downtown area. Downey Avenue is always busy with cars and people…it's a little destination spot." In order to comply with the newly approved Downtown Downey Specific Plan, the new market will be restored to resemble its original design, which featured the north side of the fa?ßade made up of glass windows. "Right now it's just a big empty room inside, but we're going to put it back together and bring things up to code," Kostrivas said. "We're excited. We get to put something back that's always been there…a family-friendly market where people can come by, take a break, grab a cup of coffee and pick up what they need." Kostrivas said Hall of Fame Market and Deli should be open by this summer.
********** Published: March 10, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 47