Wonder what’s moving into your neighborhood shopping center? Our biweekly Sprouts & Shutters column highlights the latest Tri-Valley restaurant and retail news.
Sad closure to report: , the decades-old Mexican restaurant in downtown Danville, shut its doors on April 30. “It was just time to close,” says owner Connie Komar, “We’ve been here for 32 years and we’re tired.” Komar, who recently moved from the Tri-Valley to Antioch, says she hopes to open a simpler eatery close to home. Read more about the closure and customer reactions here.
So what will take over La Ultima’s prime spot on Hartz Avenue? San Ramon’s popular and award-winning Italian restaurant will be moving in this August after completing interior and patio remodeling. Incontro's owners say they'll have more details to share soon. Stay tuned for updates.
Put down that Hershey's bar and treat yourself to some real chocolate: Chocolatier Blue’s owner Chris Blue says he’ll start construction of his new Blackhawk Plaza artisan chocolate shop in a couple of weeks and hopes to open it in July, a bit behind his original goal of April. Get a mouthwatering in our earlier Sprouts coverage.
Can’t wait for Chocolatier Blue’s opening? Head to Downtown Danville for its annual Wine and Chocolate Stroll on May 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Taste local wines and sample gourmet sweets from as you stroll downtown and enjoy live jazz music. Buy your $25 tickets at on Prospect or on Hartz or purchase them online here.
An old Blockbuster gets reincarnated into a bakery with Panera Bread's move into San Ramon's Crow Canyon Commons shopping center. You’ll be able to enjoy a variety of freshly baked breads, sandwiches, soups and salads when the national chain opens its newest bakery-cafe in mid May, according to Scott Devros, general manager for the San Ramon Panera Bread. Get a menu preview here, or try the in Dublin.
Quarters a little cramped for sleepovers? You’ll soon have more options when San Ramon’s Wallbeds "n" More moves into a much larger space, becoming the California furniture chain’s showroom headquarters. The new showroom opens April 28 on San Ramon Valley Boulevard, across the street from its old location. Read more about Wallbeds "n" More on .
San Ramon will soon host two Farmers Markets. A new year-round Saturday Farmers Market opens this weekend (May 7), with more than 50 vendors selling local fruits, veggies and other goodies at Bishop Ranch across from . In addition to local produce, you’ll find booths selling fresh fish (Sea to You from Santa Cruz), savory empanadas (El Porteno from San Francisco) and spring flowers (Thomas Farms in Aptos.) A separate mid-week Artisan Food Market, catering to Bishop Ranch workers and the public, will run Thursdays at Camino Ramon and Bishop Drive off Bollinger Canyon Road, June through October. Get all the details on San Ramon’s new Farmers Markets at sanramonfarmersmarket.com.
Dublin is also getting a weekly . The new Farmers Market opens May 12 at and runs Thursdays through October 20. The market will also feature special weekly events such as concert series, wine tasting and family nights. Now each Tri-Valley city has its own farmers market, which you’ll find highlighted in each of Patch’s community calendars.
Dublin’s Hacienda is hopping. Joining at Hacienda Crossings is the new Johnny Garlic's, set to open in early June. Get the details on these and the shopping center’s other new tenants in Dublin Patch’s .
Over in Grafton Station across from , Scott Bolin is getting closer to opening his new pizza restaurant Vito’s Express, now set for a mid-June opening. Besides traditional New York style pizzas, you’ll find breakfast pizza, salad pizza and even dessert pizzas (see accompanying photos for a preview). Vito’s mascot of sorts is a Vespa scooter, which Bolin plans to keep on display in front and even inside the restaurant. He’ll fit one or two scooters with countertops so you can eat your pizza on a bike—sure to be a hit with the kids.
Also coming to Grafton Station is Cellar 9 Restaurant & Bar, which owner Doug Garcia says will open the first week of May. Get a sneak preview of executive chef Charri Feuille's new dishes in the accompanying and learn more about the new restaurant in an earlier Sprouts.
Domus is moving back to Pleasanton, reopening in the 10,000-square-foot Main Street store it vacated in 2008. The popular kitchen and home accessories retailer plans to move back this summer after it closes its Los Gatos store. Read more in Los Gatos Patch’s .
Downtown Pleasanton’s closed its Main Street shop in April but should be coming back soon. Owner Sandi Bohner says she’s looking for a smaller spot downtown for her wine tasting and accessories store. Meanwhile you can find Little Valley Winery pouring at Firehouse and First Wednesday events.
Good news for evening shoppers and diners: Downtown’s popular First Wednesday Street Party kicks off the season with a Cinco de Mayo party on May 4 from 6 – 9 p.m. Stroll downtown each Wednesday night to browse shops, dine at local restaurants, drink at the Beer and Wine Garden and visit booths set up by local businesses and vendors. Learn more at www.pleasantondowntown.net.
After eight years in business, Livermore’s Vino Cellars & Accessories closes its downtown location on May 3. The company sells wine cabinets, stemware and wine accessories and also designs custom cellars. You can still find its racks and cabinets online and on display at Lavish Laines Winery in Livermore.
This year Wente Vineyards celebrates its 25th anniversary of The Concerts at Wente Vineyards. The Livermore winery recently released its season lineup, featuring America, the Beach Boys, Chris Isaak, Peter Frampton, Kenny Loggins, Tears for Fears and several other popular performers. Tickets to the general public go on sale May 14. Popular concerts sell out quickly, so buy tickets to your favorite performance when they go on sale. The busy winery also hosts the 17th Annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction on May 7.
Looking for a new hair stylist? Livermore’s LaLaLa Salon celebrated its grand opening earlier this year on South Livermore Avenue. The sleek modern salon offers cuts for women, men, teens and kids plus extras like highlights, eyebrow waxes and extension. Check out the Yelp reviews here.
Did you miss Patch's last retail and restaurant roundup? Read about these and more in our last Sprouts & Shutters column:
• and in Dublin.
• and in Pleasanton.
• & in Livermore.
• and in San Ramon.
• and in Danville