Killer Dana Looks to Move into Former Rite Aid Site

Breeana Greenberg


After 32 years of serving the local surf community and visitors to Dana Point, Killer Dana Surf Shop will be closing its original location on the corner of Del Prado and Amber Lantern as it moves into the Lantern Bay Village Shopping Center. 

Killer Dana will be taking the place of the former Rite Aid store that closed in late October, 2023 – a much larger footprint for the surf shop. 

“After 32 years, it is bittersweet that we leave our original location on Del Prado,” Killer Dana part-owner Carrie Foster said. 

Part-owner Mike Foster added that “there’s some emotion tied to that spot, for sure – not just for us but for the community, too.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Carrie and Mike picked up the keys to the new location, which was already bustling with activity to prepare for the anticipated March opening date. 

“I don’t think it has really hit us,” Mike said. “We literally just got the keys.”

Contractors walked through the rows of aisles left behind from the previous tenants as they gauged the scope of work, friends of Killer Dana stopped by to show their support, and employees came in to get an idea of their future workplace. 

“We have a great team,” Mike said. “Some of the community contractors have stepped up, and we’ve got contractors that we’re going to hire to do the work that are locals that are being very fair with us. We have some people that are donating their time to help us. It’s kind of crazy.”

Carrie added that the space “might not be perfect, opening on March 1, but that’s our soft opening plan.”

“We’re still so excited to be part of the Lantern District,” Carrie said. 

After the Rite Aid closed three months ago, Mike noted that the couple would drive by and say, “Oh, could you imagine?”

“It was a total fantasy,” Mike said. 

However, in just over a month, Mike said “it fell together.”

Carrie noted that their partners, Steve and Leigh Dunn, are thrilled about the move. 

“The property owners here, Marjack LLC, they were incredible to deal with to get us here,” Mike said. “We could not have imagined this happening. It’s laid out so perfectly for us, it’s in the middle of both stores.”

“We’re so fragmented as a company,” Mike continued. “We have five different locations between storage and boardroom up there and the retail; to have all of our staff under one roof, to have shipping, receiving and accounting under one roof, it’s going to be life-changing for us.”

Touching on the surf shop’s second location in the Dana Point Harbor, Mike noted that he thinks “it’s going to be a hotspot, and when it’s finished, and we’d love to be down there.” 

“So, when the time comes, if they have a spot for us, we would be absolutely thrilled to have that conversation,” Mike said. 

Carrie and Mike noted they have some good news for longtime community members who enjoyed getting their ice-cream fix at the old Rite Aid: they’ll keep on serving Thrifty Ice Cream. 

“We’re really proud that we’re bringing back the two women that worked here for 30 years serving ice cream,” Mike said. “To come back and do that with us is really cool.”

For the grand opening, Killer Dana looks to offer ice cream at 1991 prices, roughly 35 cents for a cone, in honor of the year the original store opened. 

Carrie added that they plan to create a hangout space around the Thrifty Ice Cream. 

“We hope that people can have events, schools can have events, the surf teams, Dana Point surf club, have meetings there,” Carrie said. “We wanted to share the space with the community.”

Killer Dana is also looking to pay homage to the town’s surfing history with photos and storyboards where locals and visitors alike can step back in time.

“We’re going to tell Dana Point’s history up there,” Mike said. “We want it to be like a walk- through museum where people can see the history of Dana Point and all of the old-time surfers. … It’s going to be really really cool.”

The shop will also be bringing the Killer Dana VW Bus inside the shop for photos.

“Anytime we take it to an event, there’s a line of people taking pictures with it with their kids, so we’ll have that in here,” Mike said.

Mike added that they’ll be bringing in some new, large vendors that they have not had the room to bring in before. 

With more room for parking and storage, Mike noted that the new location would better serve rentals. 

“It’s going to look like Killer Dana, and it’s still going to be Killer Dana,” Mike said. “Our staff is really fired up and motivated for the move.”

Though the new location will be just one block away from the original location on Del Prado, Mike noted that he hopes that all of the community dog walkers who have popped into the shop over the years will be able to modify their route in order to stop by the new shop. 

“For so many dogs, we were part of their route,” Mike said. “We have water for them. So all the pups that we get to see every day, it’s going to be dough for the elderly pups that maybe can’t make it a block down.”

Carrie added that dogs would come by the cash register to get a treat from the owners. 

“We hope people can change their route a little bit,” Mike said. “We don’t even expect them to buy anything. We just love the dogs coming in.”

The couple noted that they might bring in new frozen treats for visiting dogs to entice them to stop by.

“We appreciate this town so much,” Carrie said. “We truly love Dana Point and all the support we get. We are just ecstatic.”

Until the original Del Prado location closes on Jan. 31, all merchandise in store is 50% off; however, Mike noted that the store is already pretty bare.  

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2024-01-11 22:03:06 , Dana Point Times

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