The Mini Mart Robbery.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A small market/liquor
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The location
isn't specified, but probably somewhere in Newport Beach.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. Only once, in Episode 10 (of season three), "The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah", when Johnny Harper (Ryan Donowho) gets desperate for money (following an accident that has derailed his surfing career), and he attempts to hold up a liquor store to get money for his needed surgery.
Ryan follows him, and sees Johnny take out a gun and put it in his waistband, before going into the store.
It's just before
closing time, and there are Christmas carols playing in the background.
The owner (behind the counter) is suspicious, and reaches for a gun of
his own. But Ryan enters at the last moment and manages to stop Johnny
before he can do something stupid - and they leave just the store as a
pair of cops happen to walk in...
A. A real mini-mart
/ liquor store.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. It's actually the RockView Mini Mart, which is located at 12402 Inglewood Avenue (at the SE corner of Inglewood Blvd and Broadway), in Hawthorne, CA.
I shot the photo below in late 2006.
It's about two miles northeast of Manhattan Beach Studios.
(And it's about a mile southwest of the old family home of the Beach Boys, the group that gave us the song "California Girls". The Wilson home is gone now, but they have erected a plaque on the site.)
It is located
about 3 blocks south of another O.C. location: the strip
club that Matt takes Ryan in Episode 9, and about the same distance
from the liquor store where Kirsten buys
a bottle of vodka in Episode 3, and the cheap
motel where she stays overnight.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. The name
of the market ("RockView Mini Mart") is right on the front
of the building. So it should have been as simple as checking the Yellow
Pages. But the problem was that RockView operates a chain of markets
& dairies. Aerial photos helped me narrow it down. but my first
stop was at another RockView market in Redondo Beach, which turned out
to be the wrong place, of course. The Hawthorne market was my second choice,
and the correct one.
O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
are trademarks of and © Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.