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Published March 20, 2007
Volume 15, Number 3


Pleasanton's Crown Jewel: Downtown 

Among Pleasanton’s exemplary attributes – high standard of living, ideal Bay Area location, access to public transit, nationally-recognized schools, state-of-the-art business district, abundant recreation opportunities, beautiful neighborhoods and parks – rests its crown jewel: Downtown.

“Downtown is well known for its hometown ambiance, historic roots and fine restaurants, but there is so much more to enjoy,” says Pleasanton Downtown Association (PDA) Executive Director Christine Salidivar. “The variety of retail establishments we have here is hard to beat, from home décor, apparel and shoes to baked goods for canines.  New retailers are continually waiting for space to open up so they can locate here. That’s evidenced by the quick occupancy of our new Railroad Square on Angela Street that will bring a new maternity and baby shop, an additional women’s apparel store and a well-known deli/bistro to Downtown. 

“What sets our retail sector apart is the availability of unique items for personal or home use or for gifts, but it’s more than that. It’s also the experience of shopping here. Whether it is a rare antique, a kitchen accessory or a bridal gown, discovering that special article is half the fun.  Then, when looking and purchasing are finished, shoppers can extend the pleasure by relaxing with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in one of dozens of friendly, comfortable spots.  Lunch or dinner choices are plentiful, too, of course.  It’s the total experience that brings shoppers back again and again,” Christine adds.

“Aside from being an excellent shopping district, Downtown is a community gathering place where family and friends can come together to socialize,” notes Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho. “Both merchants and residents are committed to its success, which is evidenced by the success of the Pleasanton Downtown Association’s events.  The City’s addition of public restrooms this year is just one more amenity that adds to the enjoyment of those events.

“Very soon, public access to wireless internet throughout downtown will enhance the downtown experience even more and strengthen its appeal as a destination for many segments of the population – residents, students, businesspersons. We’re very excited about it.”

Downtown Happenings
“Special events happen every day of the week in Downtown, whether they are sponsored by the PDA or individual businesses,” continues Christine, “To keep residents and visitors better informed about them, we have created a “What’s Up Downtown” listing on our website, www.pleasantondowntown.net. It contains all the information needed to take advantage of everything Downtown has to offer.

Special is right. Here’s an example of what to look for in 2007.

The Downtown Farmer's Market
Saturdays, year round
9 am-1 pm           
The Pleasanton Farmer's Market is open every Saturday, rain or shine. Shoppers find farm-fresh produce, fresh-cut flowers, herbs, and specialty foods on Angela Street, between Main and First Streets. Afterward, many browse the shops and stop for lunch at one of 40 great Downtown restaurants. 


Spring Sidewalk Sale
Saturday, April 7
10 am-6 pm
Retailers and businesses in the downtown district will showcase their wares on the sidewalk in front of their businesses. Here’s your chance to spruce your spring wardrobe and home décor and discover what’s new in Downtown.  A Fall Sidewalk Sale will be held October 6 and 7, 2007.

1st Wednesday Street Parties
1st Wednesday of the month, May-Sept
6-9 pm
Take time to shop and dine in the many unique shops and restaurants in historical downtown Pleasanton, then take a stroll down the middle of Main Street and visit a wide variety of businesses, who will have booths set up market and sell their products and services. Learn more about local community and nonprofit groups who will feature information about their organizations.           
Live bands entertain while Livermore Valley Wineries, Trumer Pils Brewery, and Main St. Brewery showcase their specialties in the Beer Garden in Roundtable Pizza Parking lot on Main St. This event draws 15,000-20,000 people per evening on Main Street between St. John Street and Old Bernal Avenue. This year’s themes will be:
  • May 2 - Cinco de Mayo Celebration with music by La Ventana
  • June 6 - Strollin’on Main, featuring the band Drive!
  • July 4 - No 1st Wednesday Street Party this evening. Visit the Pleasanton Fourth celebration at Wayside Park, First and Neal Streets
  • August 1 -  Meet Me at the Arch… Celebrating 25 Years featuring Houserockers
  • September 5 - Summer Blues featuring Tommy & the 4 Speeds
Antiques Faire         
Sunday, May 27
8 am-4 pm
Attend one of the largest outdoor antique fairs in California. This event is an antique lover’s dream, with a wide variety of antiques to entice you as your stroll through downtown Pleasanton.  A second Antique Faire is scheduled for October 14, 2007.

Friday Concerts in the Park
Fridays, June 1-September 7
7-8:30 pm
Concerts take place in Wayside Park on the corner of First and Neal Streets. Enjoy live music ranging from blues, country, jazz, pop, swing, disco, R&B, Latin and rock.  Families and expert picnickers often stake out their spots with blankets hours before the concerts begin. Concerts include:
  • June 1 - Youth Concert, Music Variety
  • June 8 - The CoolTones, Swing/Big Band
  • June 15 - 2Endeavor, Acoustic Rock
  • June 22 - Night Fever Band, Disco/R&B
  • June 29 - Generation Blue, Blues
  • July 6 - The Bell Brothers, Country Rock
  • July 13 - D-Lucca, Jazz
  • July 20 - Georgi & The Rough Week, Rockin’ Blues, R&B
  • July 27 - Houserockers, Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • August 3 - Tommy & The Four Speeds, ‘50s & ‘60s
  • August 10 - Finding Stella, Rock & Pop
  • August 17 - La Ventana, Hot Latin Rock & Soul
  • August 24 - Magic Moments, ‘50s Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • August 31 - The Tom Rose Band, R&B
  • September 7 - Public Eye, Dance/Top 40s
Wine Stroll
Thursday, July 21
6-9 pm
This is a great opportunity to discover businesses and services as well as do some shopping while enjoying a variety of wines. Over 30 businesses throughout downtown Pleasanton are paired with Livermore Valley wines for you to taste and experience.

Heritage Days
Sat. & Sun., September 22 & 23
10 am-5 pm
Over 200 artist displays lined up on Main Street will offer a variety of hand-crafted work made by the exhibiting artisans. Also available for your enjoyment will be historical displays, vintage craft demonstrations, entertainment, kids activities, great food and beverages. Free admission and fun for the entire family.

Oktoberfest
Sunday, October 7
1-5 pm
Spend a fun-filled autumn afternoon with friends enjoying live music, dancing, food, and microbrew beers. Mark your calendars and join us in the parking lot behind the Cheese Factory (across from the Pleasanton Hotel).

Magical Holiday Evening
Friday, November 16
6-9 pm
Experience the magic of the holidays by visiting the wonderful shops and businesses in the downtown. Visit with Santa, enjoy the sounds of the season with holiday carolers as the businesses host open houses with special treats and promotions throughout the evening. 

Hometown Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 1
4 pm           
The City of Pleasanton will hold its annual Holiday Parade beginning at 4 pm on Main Street and  followed by the official tree lighting by Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. Many retailers will remain open during the evening for holiday shopping.
           
Historic Downtown Pleasanton
While Downtown Pleasanton offers a wide variety of entertainment, dining and shopping options, history buffs will enjoy investigating Downtown Pleasanton’s historic buildings, representing a variety of architectural styles. For example, The Pleasanton Arch across Main Street, one of the most recognizable sights of downtown, was built by the Women's Improvement Club in 1932 for $532 and was topped with police and fire horns. Today, it is one of the few original town gateway signs remaining in California.           

The Museum on Main, supported by the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society, is located at 603 Main Street, Pleasanton. The building was constructed in 1914 as Pleasanton’s town hall.  It became home to the Museum in 1984. Today, the Museum welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year, as well as 5,000 Pleasanton schoolchildren who visit for an interpretive talk and tour. The museum offers local and regional history exhibits, history lecture series, special events and parties, member events, community projects, walking tours, a photo and document archive, historical research, a history library, a museum shop, an art gallery, a student education program, volunteer programs, and a newsletter.

For those fascinated by architecture’s place in history, a Downtown Walking Tour map has been created by The Pleasanton Downtown Association, architect and local historian Charles Huff, and the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Museum. It is filled with photos and more than 60 history vignettes and may be found online at:
www.pleasantondowntown.net/pdfs/WalkingTourGuide.pdf.

“This is a vibrant area that is constantly evolving with new businesses, building renovations and family-friendly events,” Christine continues.  “Not only is there a variety of new businesses but, very soon, the extensively-refurbished Veterans Building, Odd Fellows Building and Kolln Hardware as well as our first Downtown outdoor mural along St. Mary Street.

“We have what many downtowns have lost – the ability to meet our community’s daily needs. We have much more than retail shopping. Downtown can take care of your personal grooming needs with hair and nail salons, your physical well being with massage, Pilates, yoga and spa treatments, your financial and legal needs with attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals, your recreational outfitting with sports apparel and bike shops, and much more.

“My advice to Pleasantonians as well as out-of-towners is to come downtown and see what’s new and different.  It’s a very exciting place to be.”

The Pleasanton Downtown Association
The Pleasanton Downtown Association is a community of dedicated individuals and business owners. Its mission: to promote the economic vitality and hometown character of downtown Pleasanton. Through cooperative efforts, community events, and activities in the downtown area, the Association strives to make the Downtown area an integral part of the city.  The PDA's committees (organization, design and beautification, marketing & education and downtown vitality) and sub-committees are comprised of dozens of PDA members, property owners and city residents, and create a forum for maintaining cultural and economic vigor.

PDA Board of Directors:
Vic Malatesta, Vic’s All-Star Kitchen, President
Brent Alverson, Zzippes of Pleasanton, President- Elect
Bernie Billen, Valley Community Bank, Secretary
Janet Yarbrough, CPA, Treasurer
Judy Wheeler-Ditter, Towne Center Books, Past President
Amy Amamou, Primrose Bakery
Mike Carey, Investment Real Estate Company
Larry Cobabe, G.R. Doodlebug
Rosalinda Herrera, Alexander’s Main St. Gallery
Peter MacDonald, Attorney at Law
Mike Madden, Red Bear, Inc.
Michael O’Callaghan, MCT Development & Construction
Vera Revelli, Civic Center Station
Jerry Lemm, JL Lemm & Assoc. Commercial Real Estate
Staff:
Christine Salidivar, Executive Director
Nickie Hoppe, Event Coordinator
Kathryn Oliver, Administrative Assistant

The PDA offers an Associate Member program for businesses located outside downtown that wish to join and support the organization. Associate Members are entitled to a number of benefits, including the opportunity to promote their businesses with a booth at the 1st Wednesday Street Parties. For information on becoming an Associate Member or to learn more about Downtown Pleasanton, visit the www.pleasantondowntown.net or call the PDA office at (925) 484-2199.
A new business directory will be available later this spring.

 

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