By Tim Hunt
Another boost for retail in Dublin plus Denica's adds locationsUploaded: 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 valleythe 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 commonquality food at fair prices.