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Cold Stone, landlord square off over lease as popular ice cream store moves out of Pleasanton

Original post made on Mar 26, 2013

The franchise owners of Cold Stone Creamery in downtown Pleasanton have closed their store and moving out of Tully's Plaza after Craig Semmelmeyer, the owner of Main Street Properties, refused to renew their lease.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 7:07 AM

Comments (144)

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Posted by Mr Cranky
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

My dream has finally come true! After all these years, I can finally eat my butternut squash ice cream in peace without all those pesky kids making noise.

At $6 for two scoops, it should help discourage the riff-raff from Dublin too!

Oh, and stay off my lawn!


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Posted by Kj
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

Meanwhile Downtown Livermore is kicking our A_ _ with the ultimate downtown!!!! WTHeck! Ptown is becoming a ghost town!


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:44 am

That's awful! Kids in Pleasanton have few places to hang out, and now one is gone. I am not sure who is going to buy overpriced ice cream, adults maybe, but kids? I hope kids continue to hang out at that plaza but NOT buy anything!


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Posted by JS
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

I agree with Kj. We make the trip to Livermore to spend our time and money.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

This is the free market at work, and we all know it works much better than any other system. I'm sure there's a good reason for everything. I just wish owners had more say regarding who they want to serve. I think other stores could also try to 'price out' certain groups, which would make it more likely me and my family would go downtown.


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Posted by Dana
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

He should have done some research before not renewing their lease. The kids will still hang out there in front of his building. They have been doing that for years and it isn't going to stop. So now is Round Table going to close because thats always their next stop? Then 7-11? Another empty building to fill.


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Posted by One note
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

Is anyone else wondering why in the world middle schoolers are hanging out in downtown on a Friday night? I've seen a ton of 6th graders and it's just way too young. Sure kids should hang out with friends and have a good time, but lets not forget the fact that they are kids. Some parents are giving them way too much responsibility at a young age.


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Posted by trending_down
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

Yeah! Now there's room for another nail salon!

Wow, imagine that, kids at an ice cream shop. Should be thankful they were there, instead of somewhere else getting into trouble.

Wonder what the Salas' had to pay to Cold Stone for the franchise fee?

Craig Semmelmeyer, you're a tool.


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Posted by FP
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

Chief Hunan Wong, better known as "handsome boy" restaurant has been in p-town for years, sad that p-town feels the need to jack up rent and force businesses to move or worse close down. I work on main street and heard how ridiculous the rent is. I was born and raised here, come on Pleasanton be far to merchants that bring people downtown, pretty soon no one will want to open shop here.


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Posted by Dawn
a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

I remember when this Cold Stone opened and thanks to a special offer tasted my first cake batter ice cream. Thanks to Mike and Mindy Salas for 10 wonderful years of good ice cream and good memories for my family.


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Posted by Kim
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

I'm not sure even where to begin after reading this article. Pleasanton is "supposed" to be a family environment. Cold Stone caters to that "family" environment. I don't recall any incidences involving students a few years back, but by replacing one ice-cream place to another isn't the answer. We don't need another healthy type ice-cream place when we already had a great place to enjoy ice-cream. We moved to Pleasanton for the fact that it's a family environment and the envy of other communities for what Pleasanton has to offer. I personally don't care to go downtown and see all the smokers hanging around Tully's all day. Why don't the owner's of this development look at that as a concern, especially since we are all are concerned with cancer and the effects of second hand smoke. I have no qualms with either kids or the smokers. I am just sick to my stomach seeing another ice-cream store and a restaurant being moved out of Pleasanton because of "high rent fees" or the issue with kids vs. making downtown a place for "everyone". These changes won't steer kids away from downtown. And it certainly won't help those who have to inhale all the smoke around Tully's every single day. I am more concerned with being forced to endure someone else's habit than seeing kids downtown. I avoid the smoke myself as much as possible as well as a group of kids being out of control. Am I missing something? What I really what I want to know is what is Pleasanton trying to convey to its community? Should we open up more bars and coffee shops? Btw, kids tend to hang out at Tully's as well. I really miss what Pleasanton had to offer when we first moved here.


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:10 am

Let Craig Semmelmeyer know how you feel

craig@mspsinc.com


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

I wonder what kind of store is going to move into the space now? Too small for a restaurant, and there's already a coffee shop next door. Only thing that I can think of is another ice cream shop.

Wonder if the closing of Cold Stone will make that plaza any less attractive as a hang-out for the bikers?


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Posted by artlover1
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:18 am

As one time renter in downtown Pleasanton; I have one thing to say about landlords like Craig and others: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Speak with your pocketbooks, people!


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Posted by jay
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

Bad move, Craig.


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Posted by Member
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Sounds like our landlords are getting greedy. If their properties sit empty maybe they'll get the idea. It's too bad that as a community we need to go outside a hurt our own tax base. WAKE UP LANDLORDS!


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Posted by Amanda P.
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:24 am

I love the variety of people, the bikers, the kids, the young, the old -- all of them -- that hang out at Tully's corner! It gives the downtown a vibrant feel (on ONE end) Very sad to see Cold Stone have to leave due to a dispute. I happen to eat organic, but as far as ice cream goes, I think good old Cold Stone had the ice cream market down pretty good! Pleasanton seriously needs to look at their plan for Main Street. Take a cue from your thriving neighbors.....


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Posted by Guest
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

I think I'll pass on expensive ice cream. As for Hunan....NO! They've been there for years and treat everyone like family. I remember when the lady was pregnant with her son, who's now in college I assume.

If the landlords of Cold Stone plaza want to keep riff-raf from coming around, why not hire a private security company to stand in the plaza during evening hours? No matter what they do, the teens are going to find somewhere to go.


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Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

Just from reading the story above and not the comments just yet, I can say that it looks like it's about the All Mighty Dollar. One Ice Cream Parlor replaced by another Ice Cream Parlor tells me that the LandLord got a better deal from Tossing out his tenant of the past 10 years Cold Stone, for someone willing to pay more... Makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Loyalty is just a word in the dictionary these days... Do these building owners live in our community? You can't take the bucks with you when you Kick the Bucket people ~


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Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

When will Loyalty become part of the "Fabric of Pleasanton?

There has to be more to life than Getting The Best Deal From the next Renter...


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Posted by Townie
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

I'm sorry that the franchise owner is disappointed - it sounds like he got screwed. But why didn't he take the other location when he had the chance? A year seems like a long time to negotiate without getting the hint. The tenant needs to take steps to protect his livelihood. The landlord sounds heartless and cruel. Nevertheless, landlords choose who to rent to; that's what happens when you don't own the building.

But! I'm not sorry to see ColdStone go. Nasty, deadly ice cream. How many chain restaurants do we need around here? I'm happy to see Tara's coming to town. You want downtown to be more like Livermore? Then welcome a small, locally-owned business like Tara's instead of shunning it simply because you don't agree with the landlord. It's better to have the space full with a destination shop than more empty windows.


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Posted by Courtney
a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

I am so glad I read this story. I feel bad for this poor couple who was just trying to leave the American dream and have their own business. Shame on Craig Shemmelmeyer!!! I will NOW completely avoid spending any money in that shopping center. Downtown Pleasanton has become so bad, that my family and I now go to Downtown Livermore. The greed in Pleasanton has complete ruined the downtown area. For all you Ptowners that want to experience a great FAMILY night out to eat and enjoy ice cream after, come to Livermore!! The Downtown Livermore area is the best place to be!! Very family oriented, humble with no greedy landlords!!!


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Posted by FP
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hire a security company good point. Mr.landlord instead of tossing out your tenants why not toss out a few bucks to the security company located across the street from your lovely plaza, that will keep these terrible ice cream eating kids away. Better yet why not a post a 5 minute seating limit so people have enough time to spend their money at your plaza and can move along.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

If Cold Stone doesn't like it, maybe they can find a bigger place next to a weight reducing salon.

But c'mon people, there's nothing wrong with greed. The landlord is simply living his American dream at the expense of others. But it's a free country. As for the nasty little kids who hang around, it's important to remind ourselves they're not adults and don't have rights adults do. Perhaps a city ordinance that forbids kids under the age of 18 from being on the streets after 6 pm? I'm just thinking outside of the box, people.


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Posted by Guest
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

I couldn't agree more with Kim from a Stoneridge neighborhood. What is happening to our once lively, family friendly town? Businesses can't seem to survive in our beautiful downtown area--greedy landlords like Craig Semmelmeyer, and a city council that doesn't put its actions where its mouth is.
How is it that the Livermore downtown area is thriving, with many Pleasanton residents traveling down 580 to spend an evening there? No longer is downtown Pleasanton the destination spot it used to be.
Sadly, while almost everyone I know feels this same way about what is happening in our town, we continue to elect city officials that don't listen! City officials are in denial about the deterioration of downtown, and it is not unruly kids dragging it down. It is the lack of support for by our city council of an environment that is financially attractive, and consistent with the desires of the residents of Pleasanton, the town the council has been elected to support.


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Posted by Al
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:52 am

Its sad to see an a place that kids like to hang out at leave. Downtown now only has two yogurt places, a candy store, and a comic store where kids of all ages can go. Downtown Pleasanton needs to embrace these types of businesses. The children that enjoy downtown now will one day be adults that will enjoy downtown and bring their kids. No better way to build a future by embracing the youth of today.

The city of Pleasanton, the downtown, and the community all need to embrace these mom and pop businesses. I'm tired of seeing people clomplaining when businesses leave, support them now! Besides how many towns can brag that they have a candy and comic store? Not many at all. We have something special here. Let's keep it that way.


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Posted by 15 year resident
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:57 am

Didn't anyone learn a lesson from Domus? Our downtown is sad compared to Livermore and, apparently, landlords and city management want more vacant buildings with sky-high rent. Maybe we need another bank or MD Spa downtown? Certainly don't want people hanging out and having fun. How objectionable!Kids, laughter -- who needs all that noise?? I will choose to bring my family to Livermore's family friendly downtown and our money will go there. Shame on all of you running this town and especially our downtown!


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Posted by Lifetime Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

Seems to me there are a few key topics that are getting combined within this thread of comments:
1.) Two entirely unrelated downtown business closures.
2.) The Tully's plaza crowd: Bikers (nice people with pointlessly loud motorcycles), Smokers (and the 2nd hand smoke discussion), Kids (gaggles of 12-year olds running amok off leash, etc)
3.) And then there is the more general issue of Pleasanton's downtown - what it is, and what we'd really like it to be.
As to the last item, if "Amanda P" is referring to Livermore as our "thriving neighbors", she's absolutely right on the money. Take a walk around Livermore's downtown area some evening if you're not familiar with it. It's not perfect (no town is), but Livermore is clearly getting it right in their downtown area and Pleasanton, well, not so much.


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Posted by TEG
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

I agree with others' observations about Livermore. While downtown Livermore has a few too many bars, but also has a great theater, movie theater, and several decent restaurants. It's very pedestrian friendly and has a welcoming vibe. I wish I could say the same for Pleasanton. I really do. Honestly, when we want to go out to dinner, we are disappointed at our downtown hometown choices. We would welcome a better choice of quality restaurants and entertainment options.


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Posted by Loss for words
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

I am at a loss for words. What a shame. Craig--you're out of touch with the community. I will be voting with my pocket book on this one. I agree that Livermore's downtown kicks P-town's butt. Thanks to Mindy and Mike for 10 wonderful years. You will be missed.


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Posted by Really people?
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

I personally worked with Mike and Mindy Salas on a fundraiser for my son's school 7 years ago - VERY nice people! So sad this happened to them and to us! Kids in Downtown, what a concept! Hope city officials get the message and do something for Main Street. We'll just continue to take the kids to Gay 90s and pass by the Plaza on the way to Yolatea!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Just an observation, it will take a long time to hit Mr. Semmelmeyer's pocketbook. You'd have to have all his tenants fold, vacate, and nobody move in to replace the previous tenants before he will notice we care.

The problem, IMO, is downtown altogether, and that means the City Council and the Downtown Association haven't looked outside our borders to towns like Livermore, Burlingame, Palo Alto . . . any downtown that has, is, and continues to thrive. Get to those in control and then maybe things can change.


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Posted by Boycott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:25 am

High priced, organic, lavender and squash ice cream, from Berkeley, pretty much means on any one of those counts, I'll never pass their door. They'll never be bothered with traffic from my family.
My 19 yr old grandson only eats vanilla and orange sherbet anyway. Where's the great cheap Thrifty scoops. Actually, I think cold stone is expensive and usually pass on it too.
Sadly, many teens today are a bit snottier and vulgar than they should be. However, the majority are normal and should have a simple ice cream spot. Teens at Cold stone should have the same rights and the grubby, stinky smokers on the corner day and night,
Shame on the arrogant and greedy Berkeley landlord.
In the 40's teens hung out at the soda fountain, 50s in my town it was OJ & burger drive-ins, then in 60s at Amador it was pot.
I think the landlord is in the wrong business.
I'm sorry Pleasanton is so expensive and exclusive, and another hypocritical Berkeley 'business owener' will never get me to try their $6 cone...never. Let it close too.


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Posted by Annie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Land and building owners decide who their next tenants will be, not local government. This is not a communist country. Capitalism determines the next business that will be in the busy plaza.

With that said,the shop in the corner which used to be a bakery next to Fontina's, has been closed for years. No tenant there either.

And in closing - squash ice cream - NO thank you.


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Posted by Vineyards
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Keep bringing your money and families to Livermore and having a good time.
We lack the attitude and snootiness of what you are seeing in your downtown.
Sorry if the truth hurts.
Cheers


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Posted by lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:28 am

Let's open a small store that sells cigarettes. That way all the bikers sitting around drinking coffee want have to go far.

No let not have a great place on a Saturday to attend the framers market and take the kids for and ice cream.

Ptwon is not the same town I moved to 12 years ago.


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Posted by Al.
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

Craig, you are not a team player, your kind of behavior hurts everybody that is a Downtown property owner, we are not all like you.


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Posted by Pat
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

Show the owners of that center that your not going anywhere...you have a following, just move to another pleasanton location...what about the new safeway center?


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Posted by Dragonb8
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

I specifically bought my small, expensive (per sq ft) home within a two block walk of Main Street just so that my teenage kids could enjoy living in a place with such a warm, home-town feel. I wish someone had told me in advance that they're not welcome here! Wonder what that kind of common knowledge would do for property values in town?

I'd like to know what the property owners at Tully's Plaza are going to do to get rid of the Evangelists prophetilizing my family's eternal damnation at the end of the world?!


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Posted by Libertarian again
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

Team player? What, am I now living in France or some other socialist country?

I agree with Kathleen. Owners have the right to do whatever they want with their property because that's America. Business is business. And that means making profits. The real culprits in all this are the politicians. Lay off our jahb creating heroes and focus on the real problem: liberals in city government.


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Posted by D W
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:03 am

Free market? HAHAHAHAHAHA! More like free oppression of our community! What a crock! Go after those responsible for the closures! Talk about abusing business rights!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yes, owners determine their tenants, Annie; but the City and the Downtown Association have plenty to say about what businesses are allowed or not (no competing book store, no big brand stores). So all we have are banks and a few restaurants.

There won't be any "jahb"s, Libertarian again, the way things are going now. But you go after the tenants rather than the owner if you like.


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Posted by S4S
a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

Well said, Dragonb8 - "what the property owners at Tully's Plaza are going to do to get rid of the Evangelists"
Not only are those guys absolutely obnoxious, I often see a couple of Pleasanton police officers standing around, hands folded, just to keep an eye on those loud mouths. What a great use of our police staff!

The kids-at-Coldstone issue has to be a red herring, and other issues (like rent?) must have been at play in the decision.

BTW - the new Safeway plaza at Bernal has shaped up nicely. Would have been great to have that Habit on Main Street!


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Posted by another lifetime resident
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

Lifetime Pleasanton Resident echoed my sentiments exactly.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:28 am

You (intentionally?) miss my point, Kathleen. I'm not going after the tenants (weakest don't survive), nor am I going after the owners (deep pockets). Rather, I'm with you. We need to go after the city officials who restrict our Constitutionally guaranteed rights by not allowing big box stores into the downtown. There's the problem right there. And you've located it, Kathleen.


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Posted by trending_down
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:29 am

Wonder what incentives the 'liberals in government' gave to Semmelmeyer's company in order to entice it to develop that area?

Besides, no one has said this was about profits, or lack of them from Cold Stone. According to the small businessman put out of his livelihood, this was about 'kids that didn't belong there'.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Big brand, not big box. Been to Burlingame, Walnut Creek, or Palo Alto (Gap, Apple, Restoration Hardware). And as Lifetime (both people) pointed out, others as close as Livermore are doing a better job.


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Posted by pleasanton love
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

Kim i totally agree with everything you said.I will no longer go downtown i will take myself and my teenage son and go elsewhere.


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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

No worries. The expansion of Stoneridge Dr. will improve access out of Pleasanton to other cities that cater to their residents instead of transients.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

This landlord apparently has a history of being a pain. Hey, being a landlord is tough but that's his choice. he's made his personal issues with the smokers, kids and Bikers. (Not a real people person) He jacked up the rent on the lady who had the little bakery next to cold stone and that's been empty for a long time. As a residential landlord myself, I'd rather have rent coming in every month from a long term, clean tenant than an empty storefront.. No ? He made sure the smokers were within the legal distance from the doorway of Tullys. ( About the sidewalk area, but some, creep back to sit on the bricks ) Personally it cant be far enough, but I guess as long as they comply with the law.. ? The bikers got the word, they shut down their bikes before the back into the curb, and don't let them idle before taking off. And the friction has run a lot of the smoker / bikers out. The kids from PMS on fridays after school are absolutely obnoxious. And I enjoy kids, but there is NO supervision and it's all about which 12 year old girl can shrill and scream the loudest and which boy can act and swear the most. They are great kids just need some supervision. Most working families tell the kids to hang out there until the parents get home from work. So it's a free for all. But this landlord has more dollars than sense as my Dad used to say. A while back he took all the patio chairs and put them somewhere and claimed the " Riff Raff" stole them. When customers squawked enough, overnight the same chairs reappeared. Downtown Pleasanton is a joke. I would love to see downtown where people would love to walk and use our downtown and enjoy some sort of nightlife. You can't tell me it's not possible ? We are so fortunate to have this beautiful historic Main St. but businesses are being hamstrung by the city... The nice restaurants are great, but there is no place for adults to go to get away from the bars with the 20- 30 year olds who have their own idea of fun.. It amazes me that so many on this complain about kids, motorcycles, the wrong kind of ice cream. complain about everything because you don't want to see a vibrant downtown when we have this gift of historic Main St. ? I'd rather sit with the smokers, kids and bikers than tolerate the negative, angry crybabies who post mean comments on this thing..


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Posted by Dianeski
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Once again, you can see why so many people are choosing downtown Livermore !!!


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Dianeski wrote: "Once again, you can see why so many people are choosing downtown Livermore !!!"

Yeah, but they'll come back to Main Street when they need a bank!

First Street, Livermore: 2 banks
Main Street, Pleasanton: 7 banks!

(We win?)


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Posted by Beth
a resident of Civic Square
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Downtown Livermore surpasses Downtown Pleasanton. period. variety, people, attitude, everything...


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Posted by Geofreak
a resident of Mission Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm

When we moved to Pleasanton in 1993, downtown had just been revitalized and businesses were flooding to take advantage of the "new" look. Dive bars closed, bikers left, and the consumers of new restaurants and specialty shops visited. Then rents went through the roof, and what happened? Turn over of shop after shop...what a bunch of greedy a**holes! We find ourselves enjoying Livermore downtown, which was the joke of the town forever...now our downtown is the joke. Shame on you greedy landlords!! Pretty soon, just vacant buildings and a shift in population to others towns....very, very sad.

Our community should take action on these greedy landlords. How can our downtown businesses make a decent living?


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Posted by Member
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

It really is a shame that the landlords are so short sighted, and Ptown
needs to pay attention. I moved here from Burlingame because of the
Main St. Downtown area and walkable options for food and entertainment.
I have no problem with kids and a family friendly atmosphere. I wish I knew
Ptown did before I bought my house! Sadly as others have mentioned, I too end up
driving to Livermore to go out. Now I am considering moving my tax dollars
and home to Livermore too. I no longer have the convenience of a stroll to
downtown for anything other than salon appts! Sure there is a free market,
but greedy landlords are killing the downtown. It happened in Burlingame, the
Big brands were the only ones left who could afford the rent. It completely lost its charm.
I don't want to live in a shopping mall!


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Posted by Happy in Livermore
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I grew up in Ptown and when the husband and I moved to Livermore 10 years ago I was so disappointed but couldn't argue against the opportunity of a more comfortable house for less money. I now love Livermore, we've decided that there's no way we would move back and stories like this just reaffirm that feeling. Of course the property owner needs to operate in his best financial interest but this feels to be the main emphasis of a large portion of the Pleasanton community. Pleasanton has become socioeconomically homogenous with a heavy materialistic focus. This landlord seems to just be exemplifying that pervasive characteristic.


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Posted by Jenny
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

@ Sam in Oak Hill
There are at least 5 banks in Downtown Livermore on either 1st or 2nd Street. Plenty of options to grab cash to spend at our awesome downtown shops and restaurants! :)


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Beth wrote: "Downtown Livermore surpasses Downtown Pleasanton. period. variety, people, attitude, everything..."

I don't quite understand all of the love for downtown Livermore here. I like the overall feel of downtown Pleasanton better, and the street running through downtown Livermore (1st St?) seems much wider (maybe because of the sidewalks?), busier and more congested. Plus, there is still that adult bookstore on their 1st St, correct? No personal objections to it, but it doesn't exactly make for a family-friendly downtown store.


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Posted by Snake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Semmelmeyer is bad news. He was sued by the City of Hercules Redevelopment for awrongfully collecting about $200,000 in rents and security deposits and management fees without absolutely any construction or tenants to manage in a failed project in that city.

Semmelmeyer was hired as part of the Hacienda Task Force by the City of Pleasanton. Bad move, City of Pleasanton.


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Posted by Mrs. Bloom
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

am I the only one that is glad to see Coldstone close? I am very glad Tara's is going in-small independent owned-not a chain. And $6.00 for ice cream-that's pretty much aveerage for GOOD ice cream.

Comment for the concerned parent-your jkid can hang out at the library--all the other kids do.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Jenny wrote: "There are at least 5 banks in Downtown Livermore on either 1st or 2nd Street. Plenty of options to grab cash to spend at our awesome downtown shops and restaurants! :)"

Yeah, I was joking, of course. But I have to admit that Livermore has done a better job of managing the problem of excessive banks in their downtown. Most all of Pleasanton's downtown banks are smack-dab on Main Street, whereas Livermore has only two banks on their main downtown 1st Street. The rest of their downtown banks are offset one block away on 2nd street.


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Posted by hmmm
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

So sad, Coldstone always helped our school with fundraisers and was a nice destination to head to with the kids for our walk downtown. We loved the Chinese restaurant too. Real shame if the businesses were fully viable and are being forced out. It's taking the life out of Main Street, which is why we moved here.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Mrs. Bloom: "am I the only one that is glad to see Coldstone close? I am very glad Tara's is going in-small independent owned-not a chain. And $6.00 for ice cream-that's pretty much aveerage for GOOD ice cream."

The Cold Stone store there has been around for as long as I remember (or have noticed it), so initially I was sad to hear of its closing. But on hearing that Tara's is moving in, I can't say that it might not be a change for the better. Like you said, Cold Stone is a big chain. There are Cold Stone stores everywhere. Tara's seems to be the kind of small business that we should be encouraging to set up shop on Main Street.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Cold Stone - great people, fundraiser after fundraiser for the schools, great place for a kids first job. Great little bakery next door. Both added to the uniqueness of Pl. Now both gone. There is a lot of blame to go around, most of which is mentioned above. Capitalism/landlords at play- absolutely, city government -absolutely. But, no solutions in sight unless it's a bank or another Italian/Sushi/fill in the blank restaurant. Banks pay rent, don't like lending, and commit to long-term leases.
I looked at opening a business downtown -forget it. Way, way too many issues. Comments about Livermore -all true-great downtown, nice people and our $ head over there as well. And the downtown will continue to deteriorate. Brands won't open stores in downtown Pleasanton - store footprints aren't big enough and not enough traffic. It will only work if 5-6 commit at the same time. Outlet malls and Stoneridge expansion means it won't happen and the Pl downtown will gradually disappear.


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Posted by Boycott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I don't know if it's 21st century across America, or Pleasanton, but the language I hear IS absolutely obnoxious,and right thru the teen years need supervision, so I agree with you Pete, on that part. Sadly, that goes back to permissive parents (I typed parenting first, then realized there is little, if any, parenting).
As I said earlier, there should be cool places where teens can go and have fun. But, teens should also be courteous, well behaved with volume and vularity appropriate to the venue and neighbors.


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Posted by anon
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Tara's ice cream is wonderful and inventive. It is great to see a new business like that in Pleasanton's downtown. I can't wait to support an organic business. What Pleasanton needs now is a Whole Foods. Pleasanton's downtown could use more stores and restaurants that engage young families and get us to come out more in your downtown.


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Glad to see Cold Stone closed? Are you kidding me? Mike Salas is an independent owner. A franchisee. A person who has served this community well. Now he is out of business and with it his livelihood. Anyone who is happy about this has a heart so dark, they cannot possibly appreciate the joy and the simple pleasures of ice cream. It was good ice cream too. My young kids loved going to Cold Stone and enjoying an evening out in their hometown. Never once had a problem with older kids. In fact, I always thought it was pretty cool to have a place where kids could gather and have fun in their hometown. Does it get loud sometimes? Sure, but to a certain extent it should be embraced.

Tara's Ice Cream is certainly not local. It started in New Mexico and moved here in 2008. This would be it's third location with dozens of retail outlets sell it's products. That's considered a chain. It's certainly a corporation. You can go there and get your Adzuki Black Sesame or Nasturtium (not making this up) ice cream and feel good about being organic and a hipster. I'll be taking my family to Meadowlark for a soft serve.

Thank you Mike Salas and Cold Stone for bringing just a little bit of happiness to our family and our town. You deserved better than this.


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Posted by Al.
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Libertarian, big differedence between France and greed.


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Jordy,

Cold Stone merged with Kahala Corp. in 2007. The resulting conglomerate now owns 13 different brands. As of 2011, it had 1,100 locations in operation. So, one might say that it has a few more locations than Tara's Organic Ice Cream.

It's also helpful to *try* the products a business offers before passing judgment on its quality. Tara's also offers mint chip, caramel, chocolate and Cookies 'n Cream.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

What a bad decision! I looked up the new tenants and they have ice cream flavor of cilantro! Are you kidding me? I eat organic but not weird stuff!

Web Link

As I said before I hope kids continue to hang out there, but I doubt they will buy overpriced weird flavored ice cream!

Thanks for all those years of wonderful ice cream, Coldstone, you will be missed!


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I'll take a Mud Pie Mojo over Nasturtium any day of the week


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Posted by Maria
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

The Pleasanton Downtown Association better wake up!!!! Livermore downtown is really NOT that far..... I hope they're reading this forum....


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Jordy,

You realize you're saying you prefer that to something you have never tasted, right?


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Posted by Livermore Downtown will persish
a resident of Livermore
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Because they intend to build apartment buildings on the land that is the only parking.
And the new residents will have to park somewhere, too.


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Not surprising with all the liberals and homosexuals in town that an organic frozen yogurt place is kicking out family friendly ice cream. Pretty soon our steakhouses will serve organic tofu steak as a gay weddings are officiated on Main Street by a white guy with dreadlocks and a nose ring.


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm

So sad to see Coldstone go. Sadder that landlords continue to charge higher rents, but some blame goes to city in costs, permitting, taxes too. Livermore is far more business-friendly than Pleasanton with all its regulations ("green" or others) that have raised costs for renters, costs passed on by landlords. There needs to be a balance, what's truly reasonable and what's critical, and incentives for small businesses to open in downtown. Landlords also require tenants to give a percentage of profits once a certain limit is hit. What's up with that?


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Posted by Ruth
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

oh, and one more point....$6 for organic ice cream? Are you kidding me? This isn't Bezerkly!


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Yes Jon, that's exactly what I'm saying.

I'm also saying I prefer the following:

Cookie Dougn't You Want Some over Adzuki Black Sesame
Apple Pie A La Cold Stone to Lavender
The Pie Who Loved Me over Sunflower Seed Butter

Kids do too.

I also prefer a fun, festive neighborhood tradition that my family...and I'm going to go out on a limb and say most P-town families prefer...over some trendy, organic, Bezerkley based ice cream company.

And again, Cold Stone isn't out of business, a sole proprietor is. But to go down that path, Cold Stone didn't get 1100 stores because they suck.

The point in all of this however, is not what is going in the space but that Mike Salas is out and why. It's messing with my ice cream, my family traditions and what downtown is supposed to be about.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Jordy wrote: "Glad to see Cold Stone closed? Are you kidding me? Mike Salas is an independent owner. A franchisee. A person who has served this community well. .... Tara's Ice Cream is certainly not local. It started in New Mexico and moved here in 2008. This would be it's third location with dozens of retail outlets sell it's products. "

No one here has said that Mike Salas, the owner of that Cold Stone, is not a good guy. All that some people here, including me, are saying is that - as companies - Tara's Ice Cream is a better fit to downtown than Cold Stone.


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

That's a good point. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a line that extended outside the Cold Stone door and have heard people say, "Ya know, I really wish this place would close down and some hippie, organic ice cream joint would move in. And you know what would make it even better? If it had a bunch of weird flavors that would keep all of these meddling children away from here."


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Jordy wrote: "That's a good point. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a line that extended outside the Cold Stone door and have heard people say..."

Hey, I like Cold Stone desserts, too. But it's not like this one is the only one around. There's one over in the big Dublin Hacienda Crossings shopping center across the freeway. If we are interested in retaining a small-town feel for the downtown area, there's no need to have a Cold Stone or any other large chain set up shop there.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

sad to see Coldstone go. Glad that an organic ice cream place is opening.

Downtown Pleasanton is generally dreadfully boring. Banks, boring mediocre restaurants.

Our downtown Normal Rockwell painting is nice to look at for a few minutes but at the end of the day it is two dimensional and devoid of life.


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Sam,

Just because something is a chain doesn't make in inappropriate in a downtown like Pleasanton. After 10 years, you could even say that it's an institution. I was being sarcastic but the point was that I have never heard anyone say anything negative about Cold Stone.

What I found noteworthy in your comment was that there is one in Dublin. I don't live in Dublin and they have no real downtown to speak of as we do. I don't want the Cold Stone experience in Dublin, I want it downtown in my town. My kids are sad. And the saddest part is the reason...that the building owner doesn't like kids enjoying his plaza.

That's not what our town is about.


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Posted by mimi
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I've spoken to many parents, you know, the parents of this horrible kids that patronize downtown businesses. We plan to teach this Craig fella a lesson. Plans are yet to be finalized, but we will likely have family picketing sessions and are moving to create a business boycott of all businesses in his property. Hopefully this will create an environment future businesses will want to avoid as to cause Craig a bit of pain when he can't rent out the two open spots due to the picketing and boycott.

We are a family community. Our kids are very good downtown customers and about fifty of us so far have decided we won't tolerate this building owner discriminating against an important segment of our population.

We'll post on here more info as the plans firm up.

In the meantime, I hope the family that owns Cold Stone will find a new location and they can expect a great deal of support from the families of this community. We love Cold Stone and we love that they employ our town's youth. Bravo Cold Stone.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Whether it's the butter-laden Cold Stone or a fancy-dancy organic place, the real question is the bottom line. One corporation is willing to spend the money on rent, and another isn't. If Pleasanton meant so much to Cold Stone, it would have found a way to continue dishing out those calories in its spirit of community membership.

I personally like the chains. They have proven their success, they're cleaner than the near-obsolete Ma and Pa stores, and because of volume of sales they can sell products more cheaply.

If I wanted to live in a place like Paris, I'd move there. But I find American capitalism, and its expression of the virtue of greed in big chain stores, to be far preferable to the decadent socialism we see in one of the world's most rapidly dying cities, Paris. Look all across Europe, Brussels, Frankfort, Rome, Madrid. Clearly socialism is killing Europe. It's up to us to stand strong. Out with the losers, in with the winners!


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Posted by Mr. Geeneyuss
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Mmmmmmmm. Jicama & candied Kale sorbet on a hot summer afternoon and all for the bargain price of $6 per scoop.

Craig Semmelmeyer, you automatically win the douche bag of the year award.




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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Jordy wrote: "What I found noteworthy in your comment was that there is one in Dublin. I don't live in Dublin and they have no real downtown to speak of as we do. I don't want the Cold Stone experience in Dublin, I want it downtown in my town."

OK, Jordy, we'll just have to disagree on this. I would be more receptive to your viewpoint if the Cold Stone were being replaced by a McDonald's or yet another bank. But, much as I enjoy Cold Stone ice cream, I can't get too broken up about it if a small, quality ice cream store is moving into its place. Give Tara's ten years and it will become a downtown Pleasanton institution, too.


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Posted by Jordy
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Sam,

I appreciate the spirited yet civil debate. And in the spirit of our community, if Tara's is around in ten years I will buy you a triple scoop of your favorite and let you pick my flavor for me! Cheers.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sam, the underlying question is why does one downtown Pleasanton institution have to step aside for one that "will become a downtown Pleasanton institution" and is of a similar nature (both ice cream). Are we so fickle in our support of a business that has supported Pleasanton? Not that we have all the facts, but it sure seems Cold Stone got the short end of the popsicle stick.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

If this were Berkeley or SF, I would say that Tara's had a good chance but in Pleasanton, I don't think so. The downtown is simply not that attractive to people other than ptown residents (unlike say Palo Alto's downtown). And Ptown residents are either older retired folks (ice cream with weird flavors? hmmm, good luck with that) or families (parents like myself with kids, and we get the message that we are not welcome downtown)...so who is the intended customer? The Berkeley college students are well, in Berkeley!


And to the person who said kids can hang out at the library: it's not the same! Yes, kids go to the library but for different reasons.

Oh well, now I understand why my neighbor's teenage kid goes to Dublin Hacienda so much (every weekend): for movies, restaurants, jamba juice, the Barnes and Noble, etc.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

And after talking to a few parents with middle/high schoolers: we all agreed that those kids should continue hanging out there but without consuming. Maybe finish the drink they got at High Tech burrito at the plaza, instead of buying ice cream (as they used to do at Coldstone).

The more I hear about this downtown, I wonder why any business would want to enter into a contract with such landlords who can kick you out anytime even if your business is thriving.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Jordy wrote: "And in the spirit of our community, if Tara's is around in ten years I will buy you a triple scoop of your favorite and let you pick my flavor for me! Cheers."

Thanks, Jordy. I'm looking forward to my free triple-scoop adzuki-yuzu-shiso flavored ice cream cone in the year 2023.


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Posted by Carol
a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

You say downtown Pleasanton is boring & mediocre. Sounds like Tara's will bring something new & different to our "sleepy" downtown. Lets not punish a new downtown business because you are unhappy with what you think happened between the former business and property owner. Give Tara's a chance at least.

And, for the record, downtown Livermore is far from ideal. Look at their crime info in downtown - drunk in public issues, fights, vandalism. While you say you want that kind of vitality in Pleasanton I would be willing to bet you'd be up in arms the first time anything happened in our downtown. There is always a downside to everything. And Livermore has it's own vacancy issues...and landlord disputes. Nothing is perfect people.


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Posted by Mrs. Bloom
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:28 pm

fine lets skip the ice cream place to open and lets get an adult book store in then we can be just like Livermore. go ahead all you P-town people that are going to start utilizing downtown Livermore in stead of P-town--just wait till your taxes go up even higher. If you don't like our Main street and feel the need to spend your money in Livermore then just move. give them your hard earned money.


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Posted by Andy G.
a resident of Valley Trails
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Simple economics folks.

Teenagers = minimal disposable income, maximum time wasting factor.
Adults = maximum disposable income, minimum time wasting factor.

In other words the kids pay a few dollars & linger for hours. Adults come, plunk down $$$ eat & leave. Simple matter of turning tables & refreshing the clientele. Not saying this will deter any of the nasty teen loitering but it should change the crowd every hour(ish) or so.

Seriously though, was Cold Stone really that good?


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Posted by Helen
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I'm sorry to see this family owned business lose its lease. It was a fun place to go to plus they gave many teens their first job. What is there for kids to do in this town that is fun and low-cost? We need a youth center like the one Newark and other communities have! Maybe some hours or events could be just for high schoolers, others just for middle schoolers.


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Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Employee Unions don't own the City Council, the Chamber does. Get used to it. Narum and Miller are two more of their stooges. No hope for a decent family oriented downtown.


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Posted by john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

"just wait till your taxes go up even higher."

Taxes? What? What do taxes have to do with shopping in Livermore?


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:04 am

"Teenagers = minimal disposable income, maximum time wasting factor.

Adults = maximum disposable income, minimum time wasting factor."

I doubt the adults in this town will appreciate Tara's weird flavors, that is something for Berkeley or San Francisco (and even one in SF closed).

Teens in Pleasanton do have money to spend - ask the owners of restaurants and shops at Dublin Hacienda.

The single adults do NOT live in Pleasanton. Those with kids will not go to Tara's. I doubt the older, retired folks will appreciate avocado and cilantro ice cram!

Again who is the intended customer? We buy organic ice cream at Whole Foods, but not weird flavors, and we certainly get more than one scoop for 6 dollars


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

I think that many people here are dismissing Tara's Ice Cream too quickly and not giving the place a chance. Out of curiosity, I looked up the Yelp ratings of both the downtown Cold Stone store and Tara's Ice Cream store (the one in Berkeley). The results? The downtown Cold Stone store has a rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5), a decent but not spectacular rating. The most common complaints seemed to be ice cream quality, service, and price (yeah, Cold Stone isn't exactly cheap, either, compared to supermarket ice cream).

As for Tara's? Their Yelp rating is 4.5 stars out of 5. That's an excellent rating. Yeah, its prices may be higher than Cold Stone but (unlike Cold Stone) no one questions the quality of their ice creams. As for complaints about Tara's flavors, here's a full list of their flavors: Web Link . Yeah, nasturtium and avocado are there, but so are basic strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla for the less adventurous.

Face it, everyone, Tara's is everything that we could wish for in a new downtown business: a widely respected small business with excellent service and quality products. Give the place a chance.


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Posted by Lacey Salas
a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

First of all, Thank you for publishing this article and to all of those who support Cold Stone Creamery. These are my in-laws. They did not want to go public with this in hopes the owner of this building would have had a change of heart. Any business owner that has the nerve to string people along, making half promises to them will have their own karma coming back their way. The only tenant landlord dispute (that was mentioned in the above article), was over the kids that were customers of Cold Stone. (Sounds like discrimination to me!)For the past year, Mindy and Mike have taken down posters from the windows, that the property owner felt were attracting the "wrong business", the posters were advertisements for their new flavors, ect. Altered the music that they played for the customers. The property owner felt if they played classical music or music to that affect, the teenagers would not like it and leave. Mindy and Mike had a dream to retire owning their ice cream store. Their grand kids have the "Coolest" grandparents that would make sure to bring cold stone to every school event, birthday, soccer party, what ever was going on, they were there. We live out of the area so Mindy and Mike were basically giving business away to the cold stones that are in our town. They did not care. They were happy, living their dream, making their grand kids happy and making cold stone ice cream. Now because this greedy man wants them out, they will lose everything. It's not easy to just pick up and move locations, a lot of money is involved. My father in law was/is recovering from surgery when this news was left on his voice mail. This man is just something else and I hope when his comes his way, it knocks flat on his butt!


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Posted by former employee
a resident of Dublin
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

I worked for mike and mindy salas for over 2 years. these people put their heart and soul into this business, and taught their employees what hard work was about. they did everything they possibly could do to keep their business alive and keep everyone happy. to see this happen to such a popular place and to such good people makes me disgusted.


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Posted by Boycott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

Concerned parent, you reminded me of Pleasanton's own multi-screen theater...Galaxy in Rosewood. I remember I could be there is 2 minutes with a great selection of movies, and inside in a flash. I'll never understand why we lost that so quickly. Nothing has made it there since. Walking distance to burgers, and 31 flavors.
Now it's a production to hike to the movie in Hacienda. But, it is
quite a 'hub'.


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Posted by nancy s.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

@Andy G. Where do you live? Don't kid yourself (no pun intended), the kids in this town have more disposable income than many hard working adults. Their parents provide them with brand new cars and throw money at them left and right. They did their share supporting ColdStone. I can't decide what bothers me the most. Teenagers enjoying their downtown on a Friday evening or a bunch of smoking, noisy bikers clogging the outside seating area and hogging (pun intended) all the parking spots. Both linger longer than necessary, but the kids don't throw off so much second hand smoke.

I agree the landlord is a douchbag.


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Posted by Boycott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

Lugnut, open your eyes. This was all happening before this council was sworn in. Stop your union campaigning with 'misinformation'.
'Decent families' are last on your list when you demand more from them. It was the center's LANDLORD.


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Posted by To Mimi
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

Keep us posted on plans. It would be good if we could get landlord to change his mind.


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Posted by BJ Tiffany Lane
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

The only way we can prevent further examples of bad business decisions on the part of several of our few greedy landlords is to stop patronizing the establishments they rent to. Money talks and all else walks. I don't see the Pleasanton Downtown Association taking any initiative on preventing further demise of our beautiful downtown area. I walk everyday down main street and have come to know many business owners and have heard nothing but frustration coming from them regarding many of our downtown landlords and that the DTA won't do anything to remedy. Take note Pleasanton, Livermore once considered a no mans land, has now surpassed Pleasanton on every front. If you are a property owner you will understand the real benefit of a robust downtown. Remember a good family oriented downtown area generates revenue in many ways and it draws the type of individuals desired for a healthy economy and secure hometown.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Sam, the demographics of this town are not the same as Berkeley's, so your yelp reviews from Berkeley are irrelevant (read the berkeley patch 2011, there is a review about Tara's, and not a good one. People who are into this stuff tend to be a lot more demanding).

The Whole Foods in San Ramon for instance, lacks a fair amount of items that I find easily in LaFayette...why? Demographics. People in this area do not buy said items enough so the store does not order them often. Pleasanton does not need an ice cream shop that is overpriced and offers weird flavors. Think about the population: older retired people have their ways set and do not go for this organic highly expensive weird stuff, kids see ice cream as a treat - hey they ate their vegetables for dinner, why on earth would they want to go to a store that offers them cilantro, avocado, you name it, ice cream? And then adults like myself do not eat ice cream! Organic or not it is not healthy food, and I just buy it as a treat for my kids. And treats are meant to be fun, not a fight about exotic flavors. Organic is good, but expensive weird flavors? I don't think so.

We had a great ice cream shop that met the needs of this town, that was Coldstone, and thanks to greedy landlords it will soon be gone. More business lost to Dublin Hacienda.

Shame on the landlord for doing such an awful thing to a loyal tenant. If I were Tara's owner, I would think twice about doing business with such a landlord.

And if the landlord thinks the "kid problem" will be solved... think twice. That has become a hangout place, and I can definitely see kids buying a jamba juice or something at Safeway and then going over there to hang out. Except now we do not have the generosity of the Coldstone guys to clean out at the end of the day. This is a big loss for our town


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Concerned Parent wrote: "Sam, the demographics of this town are not the same as Berkeley's, so your yelp reviews from Berkeley are irrelevant (read the berkeley patch 2011, there is a review about Tara's, and not a good one."

The opinions of dozens of Yelp raters are "irrelevant" because they live in Berkeley? But then the opinion of just one Berkeley patch reviewer - who probably also lives in Berkeley - is "relevant"? Uhhhh. OK. Don't quite follow your reasoning, though.

If you don't like avocado, cilantro, or ginger ice cream (and I don't either, BTW), you don't have to get it. Like I said, Tara's Ice Cream offers the basic vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors as well as many more. Finally, Cold Stone, too, offers many flavors that most people probably don't care for including "cake batter", "mint", "bubble gum", "cinnamon", and "green apple gummy bear".


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Sam, the reviews from Berkeley yelp are irrelevant to Pleasanton because we have different demographics. I simply pointed out the patch review so you can see that not everyone in Berkeley likes Tara's. In that review, they said mango did not taste like mango.

You are right that I will not be buyiing at Tara's, but you seem to be convinced that such a business will thrive in Pleasanton, and I think you are wrong.

Again, think about demographics. The flavors offered at Coldstone, even though you may not think so, are appealing to the main consumers: kids! Who else buys ice cream? The health conscious people buy it not too often, the older people do not try odd stuff, so I fail to see who in this town is going to be a frequent customer at Tara's (the way many were loyal to Coldstone)


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh yeah, I just remember the "gluten-free beer" I saw at Whole Foods a while back, and ice cream is not that different: everyone knows it is not something healthy, so trying to say you have the healthy choice (like Tara's or the gluten-free beer) is somewhat silly.

You take something that is a treat to people who understand they are not eating healthy food but that it is a treat, and make it into a non-enjoyable item, trying to fool people into thinking it is "healthy." I don't think Tara's will do well in Pleasanton, and the landlord is obviously not concerned: as long as they pay rent I guess. Be prepared for one more empty place in our downtown.


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Btw, Mr. Semmelmeyer's contact info is easily found:
Web Link


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

There is a review about Semmelmeyer in yelp (LaFayette):

Web Link

there is a good review and a bad review. The bad one has to do with raising the rent too much

and this one is another (Napa)

Web Link

It seems to me the guy is quite well off so having vacant properties in downtown Pleasanton is not a concern to him.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm

And it seems that Semmelmeyer lives in LaFayette (I am not sure though). That explains his preference for Tara's instead of Coldstone. But I guess he must not understand the demographics of this town. All he needs to do is visit the Whole Foods in San Ramon and the one in LaFayette.... the kind of people at both stores and the item selection would help him understand that Tara may not succeed in Pleasanton. I hope Tara's owner does her own research before signing any papers.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Downtown Pleasanton is spirling. And the landlords are the ones that pulled the stopper out of the sink. Business is back ... but not in Pleasanton. It's very sad how far this town has fallen in a few short years.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Not to worry, as the new Walmart will uplift the image of the city. One or two more and we'll be on a par with Little Rock. Hallelujiah!


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Posted by IamNotANumber
a resident of another community
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:05 pm

First of all, have any of you had your own business & closed down by a landlord who jacked the triple net up so high that you had to close? I appreciate the Salases having their own business even though we could never afford to go there much. We stopped walking downtown because it is not the quaint friendly cow town it used to be. We don't care for the wanna-be-bad bikers smoking at the corner and the noise. William Tell, your comment was spot on. And anybody who thinks Livermore is the happening place, IT used to be a very nice family town, but it ISN'T anymore. Since 2005 it has steadily declined into loud, filthy, seedy, uncouth, obnoxious businesses including how many gambling casinos and tattoo parlours now? that encourage depraved subcultures and mock once-respected traditions or genialities or ANY respect for calmer well-mannered sensitivities and lifestyles. Any business from Bezerkley will NEVER get our business. Do ANY of you remember what a real small town was like to grow up in. Crime, vandalism, drug trafficking, and next bart bringing more of the same.


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Posted by Dennis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The Salas' are good people I'm sure. The problem is Cold Stone is a bad business. Just google "cold stone creamery failure rate". They have been in the news so much lately with their franchise owners complaining about how they can't make a profit and even accusing the parent company Kahala of taking kickbacks. Cold Stone is a failing brand that is closing a lot of stores. It's like the article said, sales for the Pleasanton store had fallen more than 50%. That's a dying brand. That's not Mike's fault. That's who's ever in charge of Cold Stone's fault.

I wish the Salas' the very best with what's next.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm

I agree with Wm Tell when he tells us he is not a number, and despite him talking to himself about 'idealogical' matters and the like. The best way to recapture that rustic ol' cowtown with chicken farms approach is to replace hippy mayors with mayors who aren't so hippy, and who have husbands who also have slimmed down hips. But Wm is right. It's a conspiracy to destroy our town, all backed by Obama, the United Nations, and the Islamic Conspiracy that now owns much of America (and which is now crusading to remove Michelle Bachmann from office). I ask you, do you want a verge-of-destruction city like ours with the failing education system it has, or do you want something more along the lines of rural Arkansas where scholars like Wm Tell come from?


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Mar 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Didn't care for their ice cream. Too much butter fat. Yuck. Can't say I'll buy a $6 cone from the new folks either. Probably won't. I can get a cheap cone that's better just up the street at Sweet Retreat.

All these people clamoring about what they think Main Street should be. I preferred it back when it wasn't crowded. Please do go to Livermore. And I'd like my hardware store back, after you've headed east.


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Posted by Kare
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm

If you don't want to patronize Tara's, then don't. There are other great options for ice cream or froyo in downtown (Meadowlark Dairy, Yolatea, for example).

I, for one, will try Tara's, as will my kids, because if there is any way to get my kids to eat avocado or cilantro, I am willing to try it!!

Tara's, welcome to the neighborhood.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 28, 2013 at 5:23 am

The owner wants to "control the environment" Let's hope he doesn't get on a kick that people of color are trouble! I am sure that will be next!


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 6:43 am

wow, Semmemlmeyer is involved everywhere:

"Hercules is suing the former retail broker ...."

"Craig Semmelmeyer and Main Street Property Services Inc. of Lafayette emptied the account, leaving a balance of 39 cents, by helping themselves to $73,000 in prepaid rents and security deposits, according to a complaint filed this week in Contra Costa County Superior Court.

The $73,000 is part of $200,000 that the suit alleges the defendants wrongfully collected. "

Web Link

and here is the story of a restaurant closing due to increased rent:

Web Link

-------------

does Semmelmeyer own all these properties or is he just the owner of the firm (Main Street Properties) that manages the properties? Does anyone know?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 28, 2013 at 7:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here is Semmelmeyer's web site: Web Link

"In his capacity as principal of Main Street Property Services, Mr. Semmelmeyer directs all company development efforts and is a partner in Main Street Pleasanton, LLC. This company successfully rebuilt and remerchandised two city blocks in Downtown Pleasanton. As a partner in the company, Mr. Semmelmeyer's responsibilities included acquisition entitlement of new and redeveloped properties, coordination with architectural and construction contractors, merchandising, leasing, and property management."

There is more under the Company Profile section.


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Posted by IAmNotANumber
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2013 at 9:45 am

TO LIIBERTARIAN: I appreciate you thinking that I'm William Tell in my comment. Ironically, I am a Constitutionalist Libertarian and an active Veteran Support Group Military Mom, I'm not william Tell - but I hold EXACTLY the views as I stated that mirrored William Tell. We're not all one blenderized culture; I do not appreciate the demoraliization of our society, but since I am also a Born-Again Christian, I know it is NOT going to reverse. Our world has become a "MeMeMe I Was Always On my Mind" world. The city elected officials of Livermore already buried wholesome family life and now PTown. Greed, money, illicit wantonness - "we're not having enough fun and if anybody doesn't like it tough" - NOW: I thank the Salases for their 10 years serving the community and giving children a place to go and I wish them prosperity and I know exactly how they feel being middle-ages and starting over. To parents who are being responsible for their young children's activities/whereabouts because they're busy with their "game", tattoo, wine parrties, adults-only whatever, wake up and take control of correctly raising your childrern - otherwise, are they just your tax ck the box?


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

Oh, okay William, thanks for sharing. As a born again Christian and libertarian, I also am against tattoos and wine parties, as such are not found in the Constitution, and they both lead to a "demoralization of our society." That, demoralization, is in fact the biggest problem facing our country. How can we walk down the street and not feel demoralized when fun-loving, wine-drinking people, adorned with godless tattoos, are having more fun than we are?


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Posted by Craig S
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:45 am

Tara's organic ice cream will not make it... I give her 3 years at the most. They will not be able to handle the ups and downs of the ice cream business. As for the owner of this building he could care less... That's why there are so many empty spots on main street with his name on it. He is a crook ....Tara will soon find out what he is really about...and his comment about people choosing with there feet..What the heck is he talking about..He must not be able to read very well. I hope Tara reads all these comments and chooses another location it would be better for her. Listen to this advice wisely or you will be another main street casualty. -Craig S


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Castlewood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:21 am

Organic is a scam....Just like sushi look it up .....and organic ice cream ya right....They use the word organic to make you think its healthy...Whats organic about it....Just like sushi all you fools who feed into this bull...It is a fact that 90% of sushi is not what you are getting....and I am sure that in a couple years you will hear the same about fake organic crap......


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Posted by Darcy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:41 am

Coldstone had a line out the door every time we've been downtown.. Pretty popular spot to me!


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Craig S. wrote: "I hope Tara reads all these comments and chooses another location it would be better for her."

I very much doubt that the comments on this forum are representative of the opinions of Pleasantonians as a whole. In any case, it's a done deal: Cold Stone is out. I can understand being frustrated and upset at the building owner, but I don't understand how anyone can be upset at Tara's Ice Cream. They had nothing to do with the eviction of Cold Stone. If Cold Stone is out, then it seems that everyone should be at least happy that a small, quality store with a good reputation is moving into its place.

Exactly what is it that you expect to accomplish by hoping that Tara's fails anyway? Cold Stone isn't going to come back. If Tara's fails you can expect to enjoy the view of a deserted store next to Tully's or, if you're lucky, the introduction of a new mini-bank branch or a Subway sandwich store there.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Julie is a registered user.

I am sorry to see both Hunan Chef Wong and Cold Stone pull out due to conflicts with their landlords. These are not failing businesses. Their demise is not due to the economy. The phone at Chef Wong's rings constantly and the restaurant is frequently full. The line at Cold Stone was out the door. It's a shame that these two *families* have to suffer the loss of their successful businesses because of greed and whim of a landlord.


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Posted by Frustrated PTown Resident
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Great. Now I have ONE more reason to take my family to Livermore on Friday evenings. Such a sad state of affairs when we no longer look forward to spending time in my own backyard. I guess I'll be going to Sauced, First Street Ale House, Sanctuary, Swirl On The Square, etc. A LOT more often.

Also, would it hurt if we had a decent winebar or just something with nice ambiance?? Just look at Blacksmith Square in Livermore. The wrought iron trellises, outdoor seating, piped-in music and a variety of winebars (not to mention Tap 25 for beer-lovers)makes it a great place to relax & enjoy a beverage & snacks. It is beautiful at night when the area is illuminated. Someone should take over Union Jacks old location & develop it into something similar!

Pleasanton Downtown Association needs to WAKE UP!!!


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Mar 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Why beef? Why call for action that might artificially influence the future of either party one way or the other? This was an agreement between two parties, and it has expired. If the lessor had a better deal, which would be defined by the lessor rather than the out-going lessee or the public, then the lessor had every right and reason to take it. If it had been the other way around, if the location or other circumstances had become less attractive to the current lessee, then the lessor would have been looking at reduced or lost rental income.

Do I feel sorry for the Salas family? Indeed, I do. Do I feel Semmelmeyer should have given them a firm reply much earlier in the negotiations? Absolutely. However, that's life in the real world. Semmelmeyer played it smart by holding onto his current tenant while he considered other offers. The Salases took a gamble on a maybe that didn't go their way. I assume they felt, like a lot of people in their position might feel, that the Main Street location was better than the other location that was available to them and, therefore, worth the risk of losing both. But any business without a strong Plan B is vulnerable.

Mike

Regardless, however, it's over, and the future should be allowed to play out on its own.


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Posted by Mr. Authoritarian Personality
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Mar 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Yep, why beef? That's reality. That's life. Too bad for the Salas family. Society is not perfect, so just go along with it. Don't complain. Roll over. Let the future bring with it what it may. Try to change society? We have winners and losers. Period.


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Posted by Julie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Julie is a registered user.

By the way, Sam & Jordy..thank you! I enjoyed your civil and humourous debate.


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Posted by CCP
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2013 at 9:34 am

We will NEVER buy from this new ice cream shop and this boycott is a over 80 people strong. The owners of this shop went into it and viewed it under cover while the good people of Cold Stone waited on them with a smile without any idea these "customers" sole intent was to rent the space, take their customers AND KNOWING FULL WELL THE COLD STONE OWNERS HAD NO IDEA THEY WERE GOING TO BE RUN OUT. Tara's owners fully participated in this and knew the Cold Stone family didnt have any idea their business and source of income would be gone.

To the owner of Tara's: you may think you scored a great location where you can capitalize on a customer base created by the hard work of another family, but you misjudged the people of this fine town. Your sleazy tactics to steal another man's business and your dealings with the devil Craig will cost you dearly. Sleaze bags aren't welcome in this town and we will remind people frequently what you did. Just thinking about your tricking the owners of Cold Stone when you went there and they served you in good faith without knowing you were there to destroy their business.

Mark my words Tara's....you will be paid back for you involvement in destroying a locally owned business that is a favorite among families here and that have given back generously to our community and schools for a decade.


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Posted by K
a resident of Foothill High School
on Mar 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

I want it to be known that the other business thr Craig person ran out, the bakery, actually offered internships to students at Village, students often passed over because of the school they go to. The bakery owner embraced these kids and many of them now work in the food service industry. Further, at the end of each day, the bakery owner made sure to give her unsold baked goods to those TRULY in need when she could have just tossed them out. It was aite bit of heaven for a group that couldn't buy the amazing items they made with care everyday.

Businesses like this are what should be downtown
They add to the community with their product offerings and also give back by offering our kids internships and jobs, feeding those in need and raising funds for our schools and community. Cold Stone was a local business run by a local family. The profits Tara's THINKS it will make from us will go to Berkeley and not stay local. NO THANK YOU.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2013 at 9:52 am

Dear PW:

I want to ask you to create a new weekly article highlighting a locally owned business. Please feature one such business each week, tell us their story and how they give back to the Pleasanton community whether it be employing our youth, supporting our schools or in some other way. We want to know who these local people are and we want them to have our business. You have the format to do this and you would be contributing to our community and the families and local businesses that make us who we are.

Thank you.


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Posted by Libertarian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

The boycott is now 80+1, because I have joined. In addition to the free advertising that PW can give to small businesses, it should also print a story every week on how disgusting are those homeless people out in the street who don't work and don't contribute anything to our society. And to be fair and balanced, perhaps the PW can write up a feature piece each week on stoop laborers, like the ones who stock the shelves at Walmart for less than 40 hours at minimum wage and then file for food stamps like the sponges they are.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Lisa, What a wonderful idea! The PW lists contributors for its fundraisers; it would be good to know how businesses are giving back in other ways to the community. Far better than only hearing about the next business that is closing.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Sorry to see anyone that has a 10 year investment in the city have to close. Really a shame, regardless of the reason. I wish the family involved nothing but the best of wishes and improved health.



Those that complain about the types of businesses downtown and believe there should be other businesses in these store fronts: Go ahead. Get your money together and Go For It!


There is so much GOOD about our downtown. There ARE people walking downtown, going to breakfast, lunch and dinner, having coffee, meeting friends, or enjoying a quiet evening. It IS a wonderful place to stroll on a warm spring evening, or enjoy a show at the Firehouse Theatre, grab some dessert and enjoy conversation.


This site has progressively gone downhill as a real 'voice' for the citizens. Anyone that has something nice to say is attacked or mocked, and this happens over and over - regardless of the issue.


Free speech - absolutely. Go for it. But, many would better serve themselves and the community if they would try looking for what is positive - and work to improve those things, while providing constructive criticism that provides solutions.

See ya all downtown. :-)


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Posted by Snake
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

With the landLORDS [ and I do emphasize the word LORDS ] of Main Street, no wonder no sane business will locate in downtown.

Too bad the Chamber of Commerce did not step up and try to help out the owner of the ice cream shop. When push comes to shove, I guess they really aren't supportive of local businesses at all.


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Posted by William Tell
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2013 at 8:57 am

@Snake - you can't expect the Pleasanton Downtown Association to try to help up a small business tenant. Michael Hosterman is only concerned with raising assessment fees so that he can redirect the monies to his political buddies. And personally he is one of the liberals who would like to see this town cease to be a town of choice for families.

With the destruction of the waterslides, and slowly kicking out family-friendly businesses, and the soon-to-come affordable housing - there is an orchestrated move to destroy Pleasanton from the inside. Keep voting Democrat, and you'll see the pace of the destruction continue.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ptown high school student
a resident of Castlewood
on Apr 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Well this just sucks good thing the dairy is still there.


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