Wondering what's moving into your neighborhood shopping center? Our biweekly Sprouts & Shutters column highlights the latest Tri-Valley retail and restaurant news.
Danville’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market celebrated its grand opening Wednesday, treating a huge crowd of eager shoppers to coupon books and samples. The British-owned grocery chain, known for its emphasis on affordable fresh foods and prepared meals, opened in the Green Valley Shopping Center on Diablo Boulevard next to and near . Pleasanton residents get their own Fresh & Easy when the store moves across from in the Rose Pavilion shopping center in April. Have you shopped there yet? Tell us what you think in our comments box.
Fresh & Easy isn’t the Green Valley Shopping Center’s only new business. Slow G’s Eatery will open there in June. Owner Gary Ramponi said that the casual restaurant will focus on healthy dishes, such as lean cuts of meat slow cooked in cast-iron Dutch ovens. Stay tuned for more details as the opening date gets closer.
Just in time for Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street Deli Café, a New Orleans-style restaurant that serves beignets and coffee in the morning and Cajun dishes for lunch and dinner, comes on the scene. The restaurant opened on San Ramon Valley Boulevard in San Ramon in ’s old spot. Celebrate Mardi Gras with Bourbon Street signature dishes such as “Cajun jambalaya” and andouille sausage and chicken gumbo. Stop in on Tuesday for a special “Fat Tuesday” celebration.
Fans of Thyme to Eat will be happy to learn that it isn’t going away: It will operate as Thyme to Eat Catering. Find out more at www.thyme2eat.com.
Next door to Bourbon Street Deli Café is Antiques Art & Gifts, which opened in February. The cute little shop sells furnishings and décor on consignment as well as paintings by artist Sandra Artru, the shop’s owner. Antiques Art & Gifts replaced IM=X Pilates Studio.
In the market for a new car? will move soon from its old Scarlett Court location into its state-of-the-art facility on the corner of Dublin Boulevard and Dougherty Road (near the “” stainless-steel arch). The Ken Harvey dealership should open at the end of March or in early April and will include a Mazda dealership.
Hair stylist and salon owner Michele Moss recently opened Austin Louis Salon in Dublin. The full-service salon, which offers everything from cuts and color to waxing and threading, is next to on San Ramon Road.
New salons have opened in Pleasanton, too. Salon 645 opened recently next to and on Main Street. And Salon 77 West opened in December on W. Angela, across from and . It seems that salons with numbers in the name are a hot trend: Salon One-50 will open in Alamo on March 16 near the Alamo Plaza.
Pleasanton’s Spanish restaurant closed Feb. 28. An Italian restaurant called Chianti’s Ristorante will open soon in that Main Street spot. The restaurant’s website promises “fine cuisine from all over Italy.” You can check for updates at www.chiantiristorante.com.
A salon called Blowout Bar will open April 1 at 2152 Second St., the former site of and, before that, Tommie’s Deli. OrgHipChick, which recently moved from Second Street to a shop on First Street, is closing. You can stock up on spring clothes at the boutique’s huge sale before it moves out in a couple of weeks. OrgHipChick will sell its clothes online at orghipchick.com and through “boutique parties.”
Livermore’s on Portola Avenue was reopened Feb. 15 by new owner Billy Jordan, who served as Rockhouse’s general manager for several years. The restaurant completely revamped the menu and added a line of specialty burgers such as “The Freak,” stuffed with cheese, chorizo, bacon and grilled onions. Rockhouse serves food and non-alcoholic beverages now but hopes to have its liquor license in May.
Finally, with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, don’t miss Dublin’s huge St. Patrick’s Day Festival, sponsored by the City of Dublin and several businesses, including Guinness and Dublin’s new Half Price Books. You'll find food vendors serving Irish favorites like Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef and Cabbage sandwiches, Boxty (traditional Irish Potato Cakes) and Irish Bread pudding. And Guinness, Smithwick's and Harp will be featured at the beer booth. The event this Saturday and Sunday also includes a parade, Shamrock 5 K Fun Run, authentic music and dance, an Irish Tea Cottage, and more than 150 arts and craft booths and carnival rides. Find out more at www.dublinstpats.com.
Did you miss Patch's last retail and restaurant roundup? Read about these and more in our last Sprouts & Shutters column:
• in Dublin.
• in Pleasanton.
• in Livermore.
• in San Ramon.
• in Danville.