The location: The Mini Mart Robbery.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A small market/liquor store.

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...

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    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.)

    Here is a map link with the exact location of the mini mart. And here is an aerial photo from Live Local (looking east).

    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.

    (The market is located in a somewhat questionable neighborhood, so if you drive by, exercise reasonable caution.)

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.

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