Silver Lake has lost a luminary this week, with the passing of local legend Chris Pollan. The amiable owner of The Cheese Store of Silverlake passed away on Sunday, leaving behind a legacy of product quality and customer service that is hard to match.
Pollen was for years a staple at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, leaving nearly 15 years ago to open the Cheese Store of Silverlake on Sunset Boulevard. It was, at the time, a risky move. Besides the five year old Cafe Stella, which owner Gareth Kantner opened in 1997, Sunset Junction was relatively unhip, and certainly no place for a high quality food shop commanding top dollar for rare cheeses. Undaunted, Pollan pursued his passion with ease, telling Los Angeles Magazine in 2003 that Silver Lake just felt right.
"I believe in this neighborhood," he said, after completely remodeling a former veterinarian's office to make room for his cheesemongering dream. More than a decade later, his belief in the area has gone better than even he could have imagined.
The Cheese Store of Silverlake is still up and running today, with workers there confirming the unfortunate passing. With over 300 blocks of cheese on hand at any given time, the Cheese Store is in many respects doing as great as ever, which seems to be exactly what Pollan would have wanted.