Hi visitor! This is the inaugural post in the “Shopping Centers of Camarillo” series, where I intend to visit all of the shopping centers in Camarillo (and, if things go well, we will expand to other cities and unincorporated land). This is done in the desire for discovery and sharing where cool or useful things are.
Location of Central Plaza
Central Plaza is a shopping center in the middle of the western half of Camarillo. It is on the northeast corner of the Arneill and Ponderosa intersection.
It may also be referred to as the “Vons Shopping Center” or “that shopping center with the Coffee Bean over in Camarillo.”
To get to this shopping center from the 101, you would exit Lewis, turn west (toward where the sun sets or the way to Ventura), turn right on Arneill, and drive up until Ponderosa. On your drive up you will pass a couple other shopping centers, with multiple bars, the Camarillo Post Office, Harley’s Bowl, Toppers, and the “financial center” of Camarillo with at least three different banks.
Parking at Central Plaza
Parking is weird here, especially if you are trying to get to the Coffee Bean. As shown in the map above, the best way of approaching parking for the Coffee Bean is turning onto Fiesta Drive from Ponderosa and turning right into the shopping center, approaching the cafe from the north. Do not be deceived by the turn in with the Central Plaza sign!!! There are bushes and a curb preventing easy access to Coffee Bean.
Pay attention to stop signs, direction of traffic (which is often only noted by the direction of parking spots), other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Bike Racks and Transit at Central Plaza
Speaking of cyclists, there are bike racks here! There is also a stop for the Camarillo Area Transit (CAT) fixed route (route schedule).
There are three racks on the sidewalk between K-Mart and Vons, each with about four slots.
There is one rack next to CVS, on the side close to the street. There are eight or more slots.
Things at Central Plaza
There are 25 establishments, ranging from a Vons and Coffee Bean, to a smoke shop and pool cleaning supplies.
The Vons has an interior Starbucks booth next to the left entrance (facing the store), and a US Bank to the right (from the right entrance). There is a Coinstar at this location; if you have an account with the US Bank in this store, they will reimburse the 10% cash fee. The bathroom is in the rear of the store, close to the left of the produce section. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
I think this is the only Coffee Bean in Camarillo. There are 2 Wells Fargo ATMs, an outdoor fire pit, and a good amount of inside and outside seating. The restroom does not require a key. I’ve had many meetings, study groups, and hang outs with people at this spot. In the words of Kyle Jorgenson, “This Coffee Bean is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.” Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
Texas Cattle Co.
Instead of chips and salsa, or peanuts, they give you popcorn. Good spot for lunch or dinner. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
If you’re down for one of 31 flavors, this is the spot.
This CVS is not open 24-hours, unlike the CVS at Carmen and Daily. It does have a Chase ATM. They have two stars on Yelp and one four star on Google. I mean, it’s a convenience store slash pharmacy, what else are you looking for?
General retail store. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
Round Table Pizza
Good pizza, but with Toppers just down the road it’s a hard sell. I think sometimes they sponsor fundraisers for clubs and organizations. Google reviews; Yelp reviews; Round Table website; Round Table Facebook.
- Camarosa Veterinary Clinic: The Camarosa Veterinary Clinic is between K-Mart and Vons, closer to Vons. They’re reviewed on Yelp.
- Max Relax: Can’t find info on this online, other than places named the same in Ventura and Carpinteria.
- Olive Beauty Supply: Yelp reviews; Facebook page. According to Facebook they have “100% human and synthetic hair extensions, clip-ons, weave-ons, attachments, wigs, pony tails” and other “fine beauty products and accessories.”
- Holiday Cleaners: This isn’t the cleaner I usually go to, but they’ve got 4.5 stars on Yelp!
- Check into Cash: I wonder if the population targeted by payday lenders is less likely to leave reviews online. Check into Cash has a street facing spot in the Central Plaza, next to the SubWay and gas station.
- Camarillo Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness: Highly reviewed on both Google and Yelp, Cam MMA may be your spot if you are interested in their class offerings.
- Nail Pros and Spa: Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
- Fantastic Sams: Hair care! Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
Restaurants and food
Gas and auto
When people ask which auto repair shops I recommend, I never quite know what to answer and end up Yelping or Googling around. (I usually go to the DCH Honda dealer in Oxnard.) Reviews are often quite subjective, but the Union 76 gas station in the Camarillo Central Plaza is unique in that there are self- and full-service pumps and auto repair.
- Union 76 (self and full service, auto repair): Yelp reviews. Check this testimonial from Stacy F.: “I have been a patron of Central Plaza Union 76 for 15+ years and cannot praise the services provided by the Schioppi Family enough. They are honest. The prices are reasonable. The work is timely. The facility is clean. They are a locally owned, family operated business, and I highly support that!”
- Purrfect Auto Service: Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
There are a few Glacier water fill machines; a couple coin operated machines for kids; a couple Coke vending machines, along with a 7-up machine and a Aquafina machine; Blu Rhino propane tank cages; a Primo water jug cage; and a rack of four newspaper coin operated vendors, only one of which carries anything—the Ventura County Star EXTRA!, which is “your local free weekly news.” (Get those advertising bucks!)
There is also a plaque embedded in front of K-Mart that commemorates what I assume is the building of the Camarillo Central Plaza. It reads, “Ernest W. Hahn Inc. General Contractors 1970.” The eponymous founder of the company, Ernest W. Hahn passed away in 1992, but is credited by the New York Times with “chang[ing] the concept of the shopping mall by adding amenities like ice rinks and day-care centers.” Hahn kept busy (according to Wikipedia) with building the Fashion Valley and Horton Plaza malls in San Diego, and his first one in Santa Barbara—La Cumbre Plaza.
Oh! There is also a USPS drop station near the CVS and Vons. Final collection is either 3:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
There you go!
So, that’s it. That’s the first shopping center review. Let me and Venture Ventura know what you think by commenting below, tweeting @itsandyking or @ventureventura, or emailing andy [at] ventureventura dot com.
You really are awesome.