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About this blog: A longtime newspaperman, I have been editor of the Pleasanton Weekly since it was launched Jan. 28, 2000. I was a reporter and Neighborhood News editor at the Chicago Tribune for 13 years, and previously a reporter for the Advance...  (More)

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Downtown Pleasanton has special appeal

Uploaded: Jun 22, 2013
Pleasanton Downtown Association director Laura Olson wowed Realtors last week with her report of measures being taken to brighten nightlife in the city's downtown and add diversified restaurants and shops that appeal to a broader range of diners and shoppers.

The city's new Hospitality Guidelines, approved by the Pleasanton City Council, now allow alcoholic beverages to be sold until 11 p.m. any night, an hour later than before, and without any special permits that used to take restaurant applicants months to obtain at significant costs. Even the allowable decibel level has been raised so that small bands, combos and individual musicians can play at any downtown restaurant or store to their heart's content and throughout the day. Olson said a retailer who wanted to add musical talent to attract shoppers was often discouraged by the long wait time required to get a city permit.

Olson told members of the Valley Real Estate Network that the PDA will hold 48 events this year, including its popular First Wednesday street parties and Friday night Concerts in the Park, both which are attracting thousands to downtown Pleasanton through September. The PDA's five-year plan lists 77 action items to boost downtown businesses where scores of retailers and restaurateurs are on waiting lists for available space. In Farmers Market, alone, Olson said more than 300 vendors are waiting for spaces to open.

New businesses come and go in Pleasanton's downtown as in other cities, she said. Acadia Health, a newly established natural health store, just opened at 608 Main St. and Workbench Main Street, a branch of the well-known hardware store in Mission Plaza at Valley Avenue and Santa Rita Road, will open in the former Domus store at the end of August. The franchise holders of Round Table Pizza lost their franchise and closed two weeks ago, but the property owner already has new prospects seeking the space, including one that may open a Round Table Pizza there again. A new wine bar will soon open on Railroad Avenue, a Corner Crepery has signed for a store on Main Street and a Carob Ice Cream store will open shortly in Tully's Plaza, which Coldstone left this spring.

Asked how Pleasanton's downtown compares to Livermore's, Olson said the two are strikingly different although both complement each other. Both Olson and Livermore Downtown's executive director Rachael Snedecor sit on the board of the California Main Street Association, both are involved in their respective community organizations, including the chambers of commerce and historic preservation efforts, and the two organizations occasionally co-sponsor downtown shopping events with seasonal sales promotions in each city.

Still, the ambiance is different with Pleasanton offering a true historic atmosphere with buildings dating well back into the 19th century. Livermore, on the other hand, benefited from millions of dollars through a redevelopment agency, which paid for rebuilding First Street and adding new amenities, including the Bankhead Theater and the acquisition of land for an even larger performing arts center. RDAs, which Pleasanton never had, have since been declared illegal which means cities such as Livermore that were counting on those funds must find other sources to continue projects it had planned.

Nightlife is also different in the two communities, Olson said. Livermore appeals to a younger crowd with a downtown movie theater as a key attraction. Although Pleasanton residents, in a survey, said they want more similarly exciting attractions in our downtown, when consideration was under way of the Hospitality Guidelines measure, many told the PDA and City Council they didn't want a downtown filled with teenagers or bars that would be open late at night. As a result, Olson, the PDA and the City Council took a more moderate approach, extending the time for alcoholic beverages to be served to 11 p.m. across the board but continuing tight controls on which establishments can remain open later.

"So we're always running and moving to make our downtown appealing, exciting and diversified," Olson told the Realtors to loud applause.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by anon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

lol. I love how the curfew on downtown businesses is earlier than the curfew Ptown parents impose on their kids, if at all.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Guest, a resident of another community,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

Don't want kids and teenagers downtown? That is probably one of the most uninviting statements for Pleasanton parents. Maybe if there was some type of teen center or business that caters towards teens, we wouldn't be having kids defecating in a school library, kid(s) speeding down Foothill Rd, mother's having stripper parties (happened some years ago) or other dangerous shenanigans.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 10:42 am

Unfortunately, the needs of children/adolescents are rarely considered in the social life of a community.

What's developing is more and more drinking holes, prostitution, silly willy crime, and newly discovered anti-social behaviors.

If you care about the quality of life for your families, step in now.

Realtors are all about PROFIT! no kidding...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

So Guest thinks that the taxpayers of Pleasanton should fund a teen center for all of those wonderful and well behaved kids being raised by the overly entitled and disengaged parents of this town. You think a little excrement in the school is a big deal, watch how those kids would deface and vandalize their own teen center. While mommy and daddy attend to their full social schedules while leaving the brats to be watched by others downtown. You really believe that(Word removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)would have been content to play games with other teens rather than posting photos of his excessive speed on local roads? Please get real. The Pleasanton teens are already so far gone down the wrong path that funding and building a place for them to personally destroy is beyond stupid. When the parents start to impose some morals and standards on their kids the rest of us will consider throwing them a bone. And before you comment on my non-parental status -- I raised three in this town, all of whom are on their own as productive members of society. No drugs, no arrests, no damage. It can be done, it just is not a priority for the parents who are more concerned with their status than their parenting.

So the short comment is -- I approve of gearing downtown toward adults not kids. Far more likely to actually have something that people want to attend without trying to avoid the gangs of nasty brats being raised in this town.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Really?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm

And here in our pleasant town we have Resident. A typical post of righteousness and negativity. What a lovely representation of the town, hearing a voice like this.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jun 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm

(Post makes no sense and has been removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Guest, a resident of another community,
on Jun 23, 2013 at 10:24 am

Residents post was comical to read. Drive downtown on the weekends and you'll still see teens hanging out in the Tully's Center. I'd much rather have teens gathered at a public/community event then scattered about the town doing god knows what. A teen center isn't simply putting games out on tables and expecting them to sit for hours on end. Additionally, the graffiti comment and destroying a building seems a bit stretched. If you're comments are coming off of anger towards the kids at Harvest Park, believe it or not, majority of teenagers don't think like those kids.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anon, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jun 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

Growing up in a large city we had neighborhood parks. The park closest to our house had a big clubhouse where we could play ping pong,sign up for classes (arts crafts/theater) etc. had a baseball field, basketball courts, tennis court and play structures. It was used by kids and teens of all ages. They could incorporate something like this where they are tearing down the water slides. Give kids a safe place to go, adjacent to outdoors. Would offer jobs as well.



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