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Another boost for retail in Dublin plus Denica's adds locations

Uploaded: Jan 2, 2014
Dublin's already thriving mixture of retailers will be enhanced after the City Council approved a change to the East Dublin plan to allow a shopping center at the corner of Dublin Boulevard and Hacienda Drive.
The 150,000-square-foot center is expected to include the upscale Whole Foods Market as well as a Nordstrom Rack (the outlet center for the tony retailer). It will be the second Whole Foods in the valley—the San Ramon store has operated for a number of years. For Nordstrom outlet shoppers, it will save them a commute to San Leandro or Fremont, the only East Bay locations.
Another popular Dublin business has jumped into the expansion mode. Denica's Real Food Kitchen opened both Walnut Creek and Livermore locations to complement the original on Dougherty Road just one block north of Dublin Boulevard.
The Livermore location at 2259 Las Positas Road is again just one block off I-580 across the street from the Home Depot shopping center.
The back story of Denica's is interesting. Husband James Freitas operated a successful gourmet cookie business in Castro Valley for more than a decade, while Denica excelled as a pastry chef and baker of wedding cakes. They merged their businesses into the limited menu café in Dublin that opened in 2000. In 2005, they had the chance to expand and took the space next door for a Mexican-themed food. A year later, they added a full breakfast menu and maintained the excellent baked goods. .
It's the one breakfast/lunch eatery when you can graze on samples of the goodies while waiting to place your order.
Here's hoping that the new locations do every bit as well as the original, which can be quite crowded a peak hours. One element of Denica's that moms particularly appreciate is the kid-friendly play area on the taco side of the house.
As one who has done lots of business over breakfast or meeting for coffee, I realize just how blessed we are in the Tri-Valley to have some many quality family-owned breakfast and lunch options (In no particular order: Jim's, Vic's and the Rising Loafer in downtown Pleasanton with Sweet and Savory in Hacienda Business Park; The Railroad Café in Livermore; Katy's Korner and Ruggies in San Ramon).
And the Pleasanton scene picked up another option last month when Black Bear Diner opened on Hopyard Road near Denny's. It was founded in Mt. Shasta City in 1995 and now has grown to more than 60 franchised locations in eight western states.
One thing all of these restaurants have in common—quality food at fair prices.

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Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

Wow Tim. Dublin has really turned into one big HUB of the valley! I LOVE Denicia's and have been going to the one on Dougherty short of forever...Another Whole Foods in the valley? Why not? As long as the quality is kept up (Sprouts is a waste in my opinion in Dublin - full of LOTS of vitamins and little real produce) I think the worst street in Dublin right now? Is the cross street (can't remember name!) from Dublin blvd. to Amador...It is one dangerous street what with the turns in and out of Safeway. Eeegadds. I was surprised by this new "burger joint" going in, "The Habit" I believe it's called? Congestion is going to reign SUPREME even more with that addition to the roadway!

Happy New Year! May you continue keeping us informed (without the melodrama) about the valley and pertinent "living conditions" !!! Love it!!!

Posted by dublinear, a resident of Canyon Creek,
on Jan 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Why is dublin building high density housing around the BART station without extension on surrounding streets? There are one lane roads leading to the BART station. How will this accomodate the additional trafic created by the new housing.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville,
on Jan 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Ms. Bunny-

I could not disagree with you more about Sprouts. I wish we had one in Danville in fact. Not everyone has $4 a pound to spend for apples in Whole Paycheck's ridiculously overpriced produce section, and many of us who look a little deeper are not happy with the fact that Whole Paycheck CEO John Mackey is the absolute scum of the earth. Climate change denial, stock price manipulation with a company he intended to purchase (were it you or I, the SEC would have had us indicted a long time ago), political maneuvering to get his store employees to oppose health care reform, etc, etc. The internet is your friend - do your own research.

Perhaps you are unaware you share the San Ramon valley with plenty of fixed income seniors, young folks staring off on their own, or those who simply aren't wealthy self-absorbed republicans. You know Bunny, regular folks.

I don't bother with the vitamin section at Sprouts. Yes, it takes up more space than it should and pricing is not commensurate with other items at Sprouts, but this is a great store otherwise with very good prices on fruits, veggies, and meats - even if some of those items are not up to WF's quality. But just because there is a high price tag on an apple, it doesn't always mean that apple will be better. Some people are simply gullible enough to believe it will be.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

I took my sister and brother-in-law to Denica's for lunch this afternoon. The crowds were starting to dwindle about 2:30 pm -- a nice time to go on a weekend.

I needed to use up my "Silver Snickerdoodle" membership and $600 credit for helping to finance the expansion into Livermore and Walnut Creek. Denica came over to greet me, which was very nice of her. I didn't see James there, but their daughter brought our orders to the table. I told her she looks like her mother.

I asked Denica if they will have a grand opening party for the Livermore restaurant as they did for Walnut Creek and she said "No." That was a pretty fancy party they threw up there. Web Link


Posted by Jerry, a resident of Ruby Hill,
on Jan 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Dublin sprawl is out of control. it is looking more like the Daly City of the Tri-Valley. The last thing they need is even more shopping centers and traffic .

Posted by Erin, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 7, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I agree with Bunny on the dangers of Regional Street. Even my 9 year old expressed her shock when the Habit broke ground. It was difficult navigating the parking lot when the new Joann's came in and now this?

I would like to see another Trader Joes in Dublin or San Ramon but they want to maintain the facade of exclusivity so my requests will go unanswered.

Posted by Tim Hunt, a blogger,
on Jan 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Tim Hunt is a registered user.

I agree with Bunny and the others about Regional Street-- the two-way center lane is helpful, but with cars parked on the street, making a left turn can be a real challenge.

As one who patronizes Sprouts weekly (excellent meat and quality produce at very fair prices) I think it added a different style of market to the valley's offerings. For instance, I do not require grade No. 1 perfect red bell peppers if all I am going to do is chop them into a salad or stir-fry. If I am going to stuff them, it's a different matter. I appreciate the choice.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown,
on Jan 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Jack is a registered user.

I think everybody's complaining about Amador Plaza, not Regional Street. Regional Street is up by the Holiday Inn and Outback Steakhouse. Amador Plaza is where Joann's and Safeway are...

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 8, 2014 at 8:38 am

You\'re right Jack (sigh!) IT IS Amador Plaza roadway that\'s such a hazard in Dublin...The name escaped me!

Derek - Free country, so please feel free to disagree with my assessment of Sprouts. Glad to hear a Whole Foods is coming to existing space in Dublin - believe they are the better of the two stores. I don't spend as much time "researching on the internet" as I do actually getting out and seeing for myself what's going on around me. Silly me!

BTW? I AM a senior on a "fixed income" (you're "preachin to the choir" boy)

Posted by Sue, a resident of Valley Trails,
on Jan 9, 2014 at 10:20 am

I'd personally prefer another Trader Joe's in the Tri-Valley. I find the parking lot at the one in Pleasanton is rather difficult to find a place to park. The other closest is Danville, so Dublin or San Ramon would be a nice spot for Trader Joe's. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, Sprouts doesn't come close to Trader Joe's or Whole Paycheck, however, it is another choice that we have, which is nice. I am not impressed with Whole Foods, err, Whole Paycheck. They are way over-priced and the clerks are rather snooty.

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