Owner of Landmark Grocery Store Dies

Grocery store owner Vic Damus Sr.--who founded the landmark Riverside Market, a popular neighborhood store that stood at the same North Hollywood intersection for more than 40 years before being forced to close last month--died Friday after a 25-year bout with leukemia. He was 70.

Damus died at Good Samaritan Hospital at 6 a.m. Friday, said one of his sons, Mike Damus, 33.

Three generations of the Damus family had operated the one-story store at Riverside Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard since it opened in the 1940s as an open-air market. Despite diminishing annual returns that dropped last year to a profit of $25,000, the family had kept the store open until 2 a.m. daily.

But the store was shut down in November after being sold to a developer who might replace it with a shopping center.


Damus is survived by his wife, Patty; his sister, Gwen; six children and six grandchildren.

Funeral services are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills.