Around Pleasanton: New Asian-focused shopping center set for summer opening


The new, 112,000-square-foot Pacific Pearl shopping center on the southwest corner of El Charro Road and Stoneridge Drive won't officially open until July, but already its 85°C Bakery Café and other eateries are winning rave reviews.

This week, marketing director Heath McCue announced the addition of seven new restaurants at the Asian-focused center, with names like MUMU Hot Pot, Basil Delight and Fiery Shanghai wetting the taste buds before their doors even open. Poke Moana and Dalian Club House round out the newcomers' list.

Sugar Dynasty and Kura Revolving Sushi Bar have already opened, along with the 85°C Café, part of a Taiwanese chain of coffee shops and self-serve bakeries founded in 2003 by tea shop owner Wu Cheng-Hsueh. Among the more than 100 reviews on Yelp is this one about the new Pleasanton bakery and cafe: "Fresh. Reasonably-priced. Good taste!"

Poke Moana is an Hawaiian-themed eatery that specializes in traditional poke fare, a raw fish salad served as an appetizer. Sugar Dynasty offers a unique Hong Kong-style dessert menu. Kura serves sushi and other Japanese food with a proprietary conveyor belt sushi system.

MUMU Hot Pot, a new bar-style hotspot created by the team behind the successful Boiling Hot Pot restaurants in San Francisco and Fremont, will offer a menu of seven signature Chinese soup bases and dipping sauces. Soups contain a variety of East Asian ingredients, and each are prepared at the dining table.

Basil Delight will offer traditional Thai and Malaysian food, while Dalian Club House will bring the distinctive taste of Northern China's cuisine and seafood to Pleasanton. Fiery Shanghai will serve Shanghainese food.

Planned as a home for a growing collection of shopping, dining and service businesses, Pacific Pearl has been designed to meet demand from the increasing number of Asian-Americans, who now make up 30% of the population living within 10 miles of the site. Developers cited Pleasanton's demographics, which have evolved over the past two decades, leading now to a substantial Asian population that is generally well-educated with high incomes.

Yet, only 99 Ranch Market in the Rose Pavilion specifically targets Asian tastes.

In their survey of where to locate an Asian center, Pacific Pearl developers found that there is a demand here for international dining and shopping experiences. Most of this demand is now met by centers well beyond Pleasanton. They found that there is significant retail and restaurant sales "leakage" that could be captured by the project they are developing.

The center, already 100% leased, is owned by Blake Griggs Properties and managed by Vestar. Its location just off the Interstate 580 exit at El Charro Road and across from the San Francisco Premium Outlets makes it well positioned to serve Dublin and Livermore as well as Pleasanton.

The center's anchor grocery store -- a second 99 Ranch Market in Pleasanton -- will offer a higher mix of organic products than most of its competitors. The 15,000-square-foot international public market and food bazaar will be similar to the Republic of Food store in Singapore.

When opened, Pacific Pearl will include a wide array of restaurants, retail and services to serve the Asian community as well as the broader Pleasanton population. They will include: Bak Kung Korean BBQ, Bambu, Beijing Chef, Bonchon Restaurant, Brilliant Minds Academy, Candy Doll Beauty, East Bay Vision Optometry Center, Jinya Ramen Bar, King Wah Restaurant & International Food Court and Yummy Chengdu.

Already open are La Salon Spa, Lern Education, Pleasant Dental Care, Pure Organic Nail Salon, Snowflake Dessert House and Yummy Chengdu.

For more information, sign on to the Pacific Pearl website at

Editor's note: Jeb Bing is editor emeritus for the Pleasanton Weekly. His "Around Pleasanton" columns run on the second and fourth Fridays of every month.

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