We're getting used to things vanishing here in Malibu, entire businesses and landscapes and cultural touchstones. It's been a busy year among the superrich who buy and sell the world we lesser beings live in, and Cooke's Family Market, a resolutely odd grocery store with great stuff and an eccentric staff, is just the latest casualty.
The rich come to Malibu for the same reasons as the rest of us - the ocean, the mountains, the quaint, slightly cracked ambiance. Then they buy up huge swathes of the very wilderness that lured them, wild bluffs and craggy hilltops, bulldoze them into sterile submission and poof! a monster mansion with all the grace and subtlety of a Tijuana bordello is your new neighbor.
But I digress. (Not for the last time.) The final sale began at Cooke's yesterday and if there was a friend or neighbor or movie star you hadn't run into in a couple of weeks, this was the spot to find them. The parking lot was jammed. The store was rockin'. The liquor department was the place to be. First went the tequila - Malibu's that kind of town. Then the bourbon and then gin.
The sale continues today and I'll be back. Cooke's will close its doors when the stuff runs out, a day or two at most, at this rate. Then the place goes dark and construction begins and a Pavilions is going in. There goes the neighborhood.