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1st Wednesdays resume, but with smaller crowd

Original post made on May 8, 2014

The 1st Wednesday street parties kicked off their summer run in downtown Pleasanton last night but with smaller-than-usual crowds despite the festive Cinco de Mayo theme and with only a few candidates in the June 3 primary bothering to show up.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:59 AM

Comments (71)

Posted by Curious
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

I wonder if the guy who was complaining about the dogs was out there taking pictures?

Posted by Robin
a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 8, 2014 at 8:30 am

I was down there. The weather was cool and windy, that may have kept some of the crowd away but I do believe that the Beer Garden shutdown contributed greatly to the decrease in attendance. When the weather is warmer for First Wednesdays I thing the crowds will hopefully return.

Posted by What!
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 8, 2014 at 8:40 am

Once again the City Council has spoken. Send more of our patrons to Livermore. It's official Downtown is dead. We have killed the noise though. Let's make sure our youth have nowhere to go. Money walking out of town. Narum, Pentin, Mayor great job!

Posted by Al
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 8:57 am

What is missing is people selling their wares. The street fair is nothing but a long walk of advertising. Who wants to see insurance, real estate, and doctor booths after booths. Let's have people selling handmade creations or trinkets that make other street fairs thrive. Even when they sold beer, the street fair itself is pretty boring. I asked a retailer why they didn't have a booth set up and they replied they used to, but tired of people coming to their booth looking for free stuff. So yes I can walk the street fair and get my fill of balloons and pens with company logos but there is nothing to really excite me about going. Trun it into a shopping and food fair and you will see the numbers grow and retailers and restaurants will be happy.

Posted by Downtown Resident
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 8:58 am

"It's official Downtown is dead. We have killed the noise though. Let's make sure our youth have nowhere to go. Money walking out of town. Narum, Pentin, Mayor great job!"

Hmmm, change in the noise ordinance, just the elimination of alcohol on the street and that "makes sure our youth have nowhere to go"??? That's it, let's make alcohol available to the youth on Main Street. Great idea!

Posted by Awfulfarder
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 9:09 am

Swalwell and Sbranti had a booth there? Did someone call the exterminator? Since they weren't there, who staffed the booths? Some left wing hacks in training?

Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 9:13 am

"What is missing is people selling their wares."

"I asked a retailer why they didn't have a booth set up and they replied they used to, but tired of people coming to their booth looking for free stuff."

Don't you think that you answered your own question? For someone to be able to SELL their stuff, people in this entitled town of I-want-everything-for-free-and-I-want-it-right-now would actually have to BUY something. Until the people of Pleasanton are willing to spend money for something other than beer, wine and manicures you will not see vendors paying to set up a booth that is swarmed by the give it to me for free crowd.

Posted by Laura Olson
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 9:15 am

My name is Laura Olson and I am the Executive Director of the Pleasanton Downtown Association. I am very disappointed by the inaccuracy of this article. Attendance at last night's 1st Wednesday was fantastic. The restaurants were full, our vendor sales were wonderful and reports were that attendance was UP from May 2013. The purpose of our 1st Wednesday Street Parties is not to corral people in a parking lot but rather to encourage attendees to patronize our wonderful downtown businesses and our vendors. We are very pleased with our new Entertainment Garden and were happy to hear extremely positive feedback about this change to 1st Wednesdays. As always, I am happy to speak with any one who would like to talk about 1st Wednesdays or anything else happening in Downtown. You can reach me at (925) 484-2199 or at We look forward to seeing you in Downtown!

Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 9:28 am


Thank you for coming here and providing us with the bigger picture of what happened last night. Downtown is a great place to be.

To all those complaining: Laura has offered you her contact information. Wonder how many will contact her with constructive comments? Probably few, if any.

Posted by PTowner
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

Laura, I can appreciate you trying to spin this thing in a good way but anyone who was actually there knows that the P-Town Mojo has officially left the building. Attendance by both vendors and neighbors alike was sparse, sedate and basically no fun. Take a good look at what changes have been made over time and ask yourself honestly if they are helping or hurting the event. I think you'll find some answers in there somewhere.

Or, you could always blame the weather.

Posted by Maggie
a resident of Valencia
on May 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

How does someone get into the ArtBlock area? Is there a fee? Application process? I've not seen anything in the Pleasanton Weekly about how to sign up. Given that items may not sell (given the input about people looking for "freebees") the fee should fit the opportunity.

Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

Laura if attendance and sales were so great please provide numbers and don't just make vague and self serving statements. The pictures show that the place is empty. If you took pictures showing that it was full please post them. The wine and beer garden drew hundreds of people in the past. Where are they now? I don't see any families or pets in the parking lot. When i go to the street party I'm looking for music and food and drink that I can enjoy as a cheaper alternative to the high cost restaurants and I'm looking for interesting items, not your typical home services vendors. It looks like the street party is clearly going down hill. If it is not please make a real case for how it has improved. That is your job.

Posted by Ptowner
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

I believe, along with many people living here in Pleasanton, you are vastly wrong. I have lived here many years, have friends who have never lived anywhere but Pleasanton, and the feelings are the same, our cute downtown is DEAD. Livermore used to be the downtown where nobody went, Pleasanton has replaced that. Maybe you should visit Livermore during one of their many downtown events, or go to Mt. View, Palo Alto etc. It's called ENERGY. I stopped going to the Wednesday Street Advertisement Fair because that's all it was-Advertisement-to visit a downtown where there was nothing to do, buy or see. Yes, it's cute, but cute doesn't bring in the dollars or people. Our downtown has potential, but until the downtown association admits this town needs an overhaul, it will continue to be an empty venue.

Posted by Herald
a resident of Civic Square
on May 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

Downtown needs to kick it up a few notches. Lets think about the merchants that pay extremely high rents and the foot traffic that should be increasing has been decreasing. How is that good for businesses? Bring back more events to Downtown already its time for the PDA to create more foot traffic anyway possible. Beer or no beer!!

Posted by Ashley
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

I was at the street fair last night and had a great time. I'm not sure what you all are talking about. Main Street was packed with people and so were the restaurants. There was even a coffee vendor brewing in the street. I grabbed a yummy meal at one of the food trucks and ate while listening to the band. They were awesome! I think they've preformed there before. I wish more people would have stopped to listen because those who did were dancing and having a blast. Although I couldn't drink there I was handed a flyer with drink specials at nearby restaurants. Honestly I think this was a great move by the city and last night downtown seemed as vibrant as ever.

Posted by Scott AV
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

- it seems so shocking to me that everyone is so disappointed in there being no "Beer Garden." Why would anyone want to sit in a parking lot and drink overpriced generic beer? Go to any of the restaurants in Pleasanton and drink from a much broader selection if you're so hard up for a drink. I know all the 50 year old guys trying to recapture their youth and hit on the younger girls are sore about this development..get over it.
- Most of the folks drinking in the "Beer Garden" weren't even residents and were just there to booze it up and spend next to no money. While there is nothing wrong with this, I'm sure Pleasanton is going for a more family atmosphere.
- "Oh, but Livermore allows drinking in the street at their events." In fact, that happened maybe 2 times and they are banning all drinking at their events starting this year!
- Folks, get a grip..if you don't like it...DON'T COME, noone will miss your presence there.
- If you're so distraught over it, contact the Laura woman who posted earlier. At least she put her information on there so you can complain straight to the source!

- as Justin Timberlake once sang.."Cry Me a River"


Posted by Jean Ann
a resident of Happy Valley
on May 8, 2014 at 11:24 am

I was planning to go downtown last night, but changed my mind because it was so cold out. I guess I am a "fair weather" fan.

Posted by gfer
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

I don't believe that last year had lower attendance. I was able to park less than a block from the event. I've been attending for many years and that has never happened. Also the place where the beer garden was had very few people. I also saw many of the venders packing up early.Two days earlier I attended Livermore's festival and it was packed for Saturday and Sunday. I don't know the fix for Pleasanton but the first Wednesday affairs arn't exciting any more.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 8, 2014 at 11:45 am

i have a hunch that the drunks and punks are angry that they don't have a nipple to bite

there are bars where they can hang tee hee

i believe that it's a bit too cold for large numbers to show up

too cold for this one...i have no intention of putting on a wooly...

Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

Downtowner is a registered user.

I spent two hours at First Wednesday, and I would agree that the crowds were pretty sparse. Much of that was the weather; the summer parties should bring in more folks. Some specific comments:

1) The "family entertainment zone" was pretty pathetic. I'm not a beer drinker myself, but at least the beer garden created a little buzz and attracted people to the street fair, and did not create any sort of problem that I've ever noticed.

2) The booths really, really, need to be curated. There was all sorts of fringe pseudoscience and quackery and woo-woo medicine. That is just embarrassing. And the insurance sales, credit unions, roofers, churches, are just tedious. I would much prefer more arts, crafts, clothing, food, specialty retail, etc., booths. (As well as our local police, fire, animal services, community orgs and charity, of course.)

3) Food options were disappointing. Please invite LOCAL RESTAURANTS and FOOD TRUCKS, not that awful chicken-on-a-stick vendor that is at EVERY street fair in the Bay Area. I *know* it is possible to get food trucks -- just contact the Food Truck Mafia or Off the Grid. And encourage local restaurants to serve appetizers & snack food and give out menus.

Posted by huggy bear
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 12:07 pm

If the goal of these events is to attract people from surrounding areas then forget it. The traffic is horrible and by the time the vendors and downtown employees arrive there is no where to park. Every time Main Street is closed (and that is a lot, 20 at least each year)traffic and parking are the main issue.
I can hear the conversation, "what do you and the kids want to do this weekend?" " Let's go to Downtown Pleasanton, no wait, is Main Street closed?" " I don't know, let's go to ***** (fill in the blank) instead.
In addition, by allowing vendors of any kind during these Main Street closures is bad for the businesses that pay rent, although I'm sure the bathroom attendance goes way up.

Posted by Mohr neighborhood
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Our downtown needs a full revitalization. When you see downtown Livermore and the great things they've done, you realize how bad our downtown has become. No bands (too much noise!), close Coldstone (no yelling kids!), no beer garden (no problems have ever happened, but you never know...). The stores all close at 5:00p. If you want a fun night out, who in their right mind goes to Pleasanton? Livermore is hopping, Danville and Walnut Creek have much more to offer. We've let a few naysayers and complainers take control and our downtown just sucks. All our money goes elsewhere for evening fun. I'm not at all surprised at the low turnout. We could do so much better.

Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I wasn't there last night so I can't speak to that, but downtown in general needs a serious facelift/remodel similar to Livermores. I can only imagine how costly that would be though.

Posted by Richard H.
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Wow, nice arm-chair quarterbacking here people. What are YOU doing to help improve Downtown? Have you taken Ms. Olson up on her offer to talk about what's happening in downtown? Are you active in the PDA? Anyone can be a critic, but people who truly care about downtown will roll up their sleeves and get involved. I don't know Ms. Olson but I must commend her for putting herself out her publicly and taking your collective abuse. She works for a non-profit and she certainly deserves more respect that what you are showing her. These kinds of attitudes are really what's wrong with our community...not the lack of opportunity to drink in run-down parking lots 5 times a year.

Michael L - why do you think the PDA owes you any detailed information on their decision? Are you a PDA member? Do you own a downtown business? The PDA is a merchant organization and they are entitled to make business decisions as they see fit. You aren't entitled to any details, even though Ms. Olson has offered to speak with you. But, I'm going to guess you are more comfortable hiding behind your computer like so many other people on these negative blogs.

Posted by Missy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Clearly you people aren't actually going to Downtown Livermore! i'm 27 years old & my friends and I absolutely downtown pleasanton for nighttime activities! Redcoats, Handles, Main St. Brewery, Baci...all great for late night food, drinks & music. And our new favs are Cellar Door & FUN, open late & music!

What do yo think is great about Livermore? There are TONS of teenagers roaming around in packs. And aside from a few cool restaurants & a theater there's just a lot of run down, empty buildings. My friend even had her purse snatched off the back of her chair while we were outside dining a month ago. It's so bad that there is a small Livermore PD station in downtown. Is that what you want in Pleasanton? Careful what you wish for!

Posted by Prow mom
a resident of Del Prado
on May 8, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I am the owner of one of the businesses that was there last night. Yes it was slow to get going but I thought it went well. We had more families and people spoke to us that seemed actually interested in what we had to say. We packed up later than normal due to the heavier foot traffic later in the evening.

That being said we do need more vitality and an increase of retail businesses would help but I think it is a catch 22. No one shops downtown because there are not enough businesses and businesses leave due to lack of shoppers.

Posted by HL
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2014 at 7:21 pm

1st Wednesday last night was GREAT!!! I spoke to Carlos, the lead singer of Ruckatan, and they LOVE the change to the beer & wine garden. They told me they hated playing to a bunch of drunk smokers and were excited to hear about the change. It was cold & windy last night so I'm not surprised as many people weren't out. How about we give change a try before we condemn it.

Posted by dan
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 8, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Ive been to many first wed nights downtown. There were less people than in the past. Time will tell if it was due to the weather or lack of a beer garden. There were signs up showing local places and their drink specials. I too wish the booths were more interesting. We walked by most without stopping as we had no intersest in their sales info. If the purpose is to get people in to shops, what about a map where people get a stamp for going to a business like you've done for the wine stroll?

Posted by A fun evening
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 8, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I remember May 2013 and it was lighter than the rest of the months so I think last night was a success from a numbers standpoint. I never went to the beer garden anyway so doesn't matter to me.
I saw a lot of people out there last night; I wouldn't call it sparse attendance at all. I wasn't interested in most of the too many chiropractors, but it was still a lively scene. Not so much the rest of the time downtown though. I have to agree we find ourselves going more and more to Livermore on the weekends for movies, restaurants or shopping. There's not much to do in Pleasanton during the weekends except eat at pricey restaurants and walk around looking in windows of stores that are closed.

Posted by proud downtown business owner
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm

I own a business downtown and want to publicly commend the PDA for making this bold decision. While not popular with everyone, it was the best choice given the options and the facts about the beer & wine garden. I'm not sure why people are acting as if there is some big conspiracy going on here. Laura Olson has stated why the decision was made and it's all true. The capacity for the beer & wine garden used to be close to 1500 and over the past years has dwindled to less than half that. The costs of putting that on are huge for the PDA. That beer isn't free. That wine isn't free. They pay for security, staging, staffing, etc. The two $5 beers you drink once a month sure isn't enough to justify keeping it going. If it was still successful you better believe the PDA would have kept it!

And, again for the record, the current PDA staff is the most amazing staff we've ever had working at that organization. They are creative and so passionate about downtown. It's a small staff of 3 and they put on over 45 events per year. Why don't we celebrate that! Have you gone to Brew Crawl?? I was told last year that Laura came up with that idea and it's been hugely successful. I don't envy her position trying to balance the needs of the businesses with the demands of our community, which honestly tends to be very demanding & high maintenance. The PDA is a great group of people.

Posted by ENOUGH!
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Enough with the comparison to Livermore! What good does that do anyone? My wife and I enjoy both downtowns for their uniqueness. How many regions can say they have two historic downtowns? We are fortunate to live in this area and have these wonderful community amenities. Can we please stop with all the negativity now?

Posted by Ronald
a resident of Livermore
on May 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Of the two, Livermore has the more vibrant one. Pleasanton is old and dying out. No beer drinking allowed!

Posted by Missy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Ronald- old & dying out how?? What's so much better in Livermore? They have less events & less events featuring alcohol. We have great new places staying open until midnight or later. We have late night music. What more do you want? Or do we all just enjoy bashing our own town?

Posted by T. Massey
a resident of Mission Park
on May 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

I'm happy about the changes made to 1st Wednesdays. There are plenty of opportunities to drink in downtown. I think we can all handle 5 events a year where alcohol isn't the focus. Because if this change my family & I attended last nights event for the first time in years. And our neighbors said the same thing. No booze on the street doesn't equal no fun. Plus we had awesome margaritas at blue agave! Let's stop arguing & start supporting our downtown!!!

Posted by Jerri B.
a resident of Val Vista
on May 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm

The beer & wine garden was not filled with Pleasanton residents enjoying a festive glass of wine. It has changed a lot over the last few years. I was there last June & August and I saw a group of Hells Angels & a group of Mongols. The vast majority of the other attendees were half naked young girls & guys there to stare at them. It was a very very young crowd. It was crowded & filled with smoke. I love the Brew & Wine stroll events. I'd rather see the beer/wine garden gone and enjoy more of these other types of downtown events.

Posted by It's unique
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Uniquely boring! You all can't handle the truth! So go somewhere else you say? Ok.

Posted by Missy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 11:20 pm

It's Unique! Bye bye. Highly doubt anyone will miss you & your positive attitude.

Posted by Patricia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I didn't realize the marker of a great downtown is how many times a year you get to drink in public. Is that really what our community is judging our downtown on? What about our amazing Farmers Market? We are one of only a few communities with a year-round market. Why are you only focusing on such a small part of what a downtown does for a community?

Posted by Suze
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2014 at 12:33 am

Bye john, so glad we won't have to witness your rude presence in the future. Thanks for removing yourself from our lighthearted, friendly, and tolerant gathering.

Posted by Jennie
a resident of Country Fair
on May 9, 2014 at 6:27 am

Comment deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

Posted by Tom F.
a resident of Castlewood
on May 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

That mother with the ponytail looks terribly irresponsible letting her kid run around unsupervised.

Posted by PTowner
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 9, 2014 at 9:39 am

Seems like everybody has an opinion but if we look at it realistically, the street fair attendance is dwindling. Yes, it is. Sure you can make all kinds of claims but the numbers don't support that. It is in decline. Fact. Deal with it. What needs to happen is to review what changes have been made over the last several years and evaluate them. This isn't rocket science. Next, you go to other street fairs and ask random people what they like about that fair and what they think about ours. Its data collection 1A. For the record, I am not pushing any specific agenda, only looking at the facts and possible remedies. The reality is that if the current dynamic is allowed to continue, our ability to maintain a street fair will become unsustainable. Is that what what we want?

Posted by Idea
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2014 at 10:26 am

What you should do is have a beer & wine station or two located along the street in an area not conducive to congregating so you can stroll and have a beer. The problem with the beer garden is it becomes a gathering space and doesn't attract the crowd the PDA wants. If its along the route, there wouldn't be any gathering which does away with this crowd. By the way you sell the beer and wine at a price that at least breaks even. Stupid to sell it for a loss.

Posted by Betty
a resident of Parkside
on May 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm

There have been many of us local businesses that have tried to participate with our specialty foods in the 1st Wednesday's but have been told over and over that we'd be hurting the restaurants downtown. Although we've argued not all people or families attending want to go inside the crowded restaurants just to grab a quick bite not to mention pay big $$$ but still the answer is "NO." Believe or not many folks like to walk around while eating and looking at the arts and crafts booths.

Posted by Sue R.
a resident of Canyon Creek
on May 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Whomever is running these events needs to get out and see what other successful St. Fairs look like! Where's the unique Arts & Craft booths? Or some great food vendors? I for one don't go to St. Fairs looking to buy insurance or get checked out by a Chiropractor or shop for a Realtor and then get qualified for a mortgage. I and many others go to have FUN, eat something new, listen to music, shop or fun things, and yes, drink a beer or glass of wine!

Posted by Downtown Business Owner
a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I own a business downtown and agree that it is in bad need of a facelift. Also, until the PDA stops trying to make revenue off the businesses at every turn, I think that business participation will, unfortunately, continue to decline. The PDA is a non-profit organization, but you can be sure their (not so small) paychecks are guaranteed.

Posted by Jazzie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm

My friends and I just learned form this last Wed street fair that the majority of the art/crafts booths and almost every food vendor aren't Pleasanton based businesses. How we know this? We asked them. We mostly heard San Jose area, Concord or San Joaquin Valley. Why wouldn't the PDA use Pleasanton businesses? Who at PDA decides who can or can't be involved?

Posted by P Town Pride
a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I think the PDA team is doing the best they can with what they have to work with. The main purpose of the PDA is to get people downtown and I think that they have done a good Job of that with first Wednesday wine and beer crawls and various other events the problem is that outside of those events there simply is not enough verity or reason to go or stay downtown. The reason the events are successful is because that is the only time there is any kind pulse vibe downtown.

The City has chosen to place its focus in other area like Safeway, Mercedes and Workday and various other projects and forgotten about downtown and continues to let a very small group of naysayers have far too much influence on their decisions.

If we want to things to change then we need to stop bashing the PDA and start letting the mayor and council know that there is a large majority that are in favor of having a downtown with vibe and just because you like to listen to some music, dance or stay out past 9pm dosn’t mean downtown is suddenly going to turn into Bourbon Street or the Vegas strip.

Posted by Stella
a resident of Downtown
on May 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I am disappointed with the residents of P-town that attended the first wednesday street fair. I live downtown right off Main street and woke up to trash and garbage in my yard and in the street. come on people repect your neighbors.

Posted by Karen S.
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Downtown Business Owner - tell us what business you own. What do you do to help downtown? Or do you just rely on others to drive your foot traffic? A lot of our downtown business seem to just sit on their laurels and act like our business is their right. You need to earn my business & stop expecting the PDA & others to do it for you. I'm sick & tired of hearing small business owners complain about lack of traffic when it's clear they put very little effort into their physical space, product & customer service. Time to turn the mirror onto yourself & ask how you are part of the solution.

Posted by Boo hoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Dear Downtown Business Owner- So who's going to lead the charge of this mysterious downtown facelift?? Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't downtown properties owned by many different private property owners?? How do you propose a mass facelift. I echo the comment above...what are the businesses doing to stay current & relevant. I think we have some lazy, entitled shop owners. It's evident by the lack of marketing. And don't get me started on the lack of customer service at some stores. Try making me feel welcome in your store if you want me to give you my hard earned money. Oh wait. Is that your problem or should I call the PDA and ask them to train your staff?

Posted by Boo hoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2014 at 10:56 pm

And by the way, I live within waking distance of downtown and am a regular customer. I do my best to always shop downtown first. It's amazing how time & time again I'm "told" by some businesses that I'm not appreciated. You "tell"me with your inattentive staff, your outdated products and your not so clean interiors. Fix your own issues first. Maybe you're the problem.

Posted by Better Idea
a resident of Del Prado
on May 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

I wonder how the vibrancy of downtown would improve if we supported the businesses & events instead of just bashing them? I bet most of you complainers barely ever go to downtown and aren't familiar with the new businesses & what's really happening.

Posted by A. Miller
a resident of Golden Eagle
on May 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm

My husband and I attended the Livermore wine festival last weekend and were very disappointed. The crowd was rough. The vendors were tacky. And we were stuck doing expensive wine tasting at awkward places throughout the event. Pleasanton's Wine Stroll is a much better event. Great wines, shopping & dining in a beautiful atmosphere. It's starting to feel like everyone just talks about Livermore being better without actualy having experienced what is happening there.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

I grew up in Pleasanton. I met my ex wife while working on Main Street. If the downtown association wants honest feedback or assistance in evaluating the first Wed or other events. I'm here. Downtown has a lot to offer other than a beer garden.

Posted by Tom F
a resident of Castlewood
on May 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

What's slowly killing Main St. is the gentrification of Pleasanton demographics.[removed]

Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm

What a bunch of cry babies, if you wanted to see a dead downtown you should have been here 30 years ago things are looking up and getting better every year! If you guys have so many great ideas how about contacting Laura Olsen and share them with her and quit complaining or maybe just move to Livermore if you like it so much better. I was there wensday night and downtown was packed, on the street and in the restaurants, the music outside was great, and it was nice not having to sidestep around the drunks for a change. For those of you complaining aboud food prices in restaurants I find them comparable to other restaurants in those " other" towns, unless of course you frequent places with drive-through windows?? If you don't enjoy it don't go, it will leave more room for the rest of us that appreciate our downtown.

Posted by PTowner
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

MAP-until we are willing to embrace the realities, nothing is going to change. It was not "Packed". Saying so doesn't make it so. I moved here in 2008 and my first event was Cinco de Mayo and then it was PACKED. I mean really packed! It has been in a slow decline ever since. Until you are willing to embrace the truth....well, no one will be able to help. Let not kid ourselves here.....

Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

The really BIG crowd was at the north end of Main where the elementary music program was performing.

Posted by Shawn F
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 12, 2014 at 11:10 am

@ Richard H:

Well said Richard. Thank you for your comments. It is easy for most of the people to sit in front of their computers and complain about downtown, the city, etc. rather than getting involved and actually doing something to improve things. They are extremely disrespectful, not only to Laura, but to the many devoted people who volunteer their time to sitting on the many councils and commissions in an attempt to make the city better.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 12, 2014 at 11:45 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff.)

Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on May 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

(Comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)

Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I like our downtown. It's quiet, but still has plenty of good restaurants. I can always find a parking space. It's a pleasant place to be. I don't like Livermore's downtown at all. It's a zoo. If you really like that atmosphere, maybe go to Livermore. No need to change Pleasanton.

Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

I see that there are those on here who like to throw out criticisms with out knowing anything. I moved near to down town in 2008 so that I can walk to events. I've been doing my part by being a customer of local businesses. Many business owners know me. It is the job of the PDA to attract paying customers to downtown. PDA is not a volunteer organization. They are paid to do this. Events are in decline over the years. If PDA is going to make claims about the attendance being great then they owe everyone some real numbers. They can't just arm wave. That is insulting to the people that they are trying to attract. If there are challenges then they should be upfront and stop trying to sugar coat and their fans should stop shilling.

To those who say we can just go elsewhere you are not seeing the reality. Look at the vacancies and the turn over downtown. It's not good. The businesses need every customer that they can get if they are going to stay open. I talk to down town business owners all of the time. I looked at Pleasanton vs. Livermore years ago and I saw that Livermore was doing the right things to attract business but I liked Pleasanton more. Now I'm questioning that decision. I've gone over to Livermore and it was busy then I come back to Pleasanton and it's dead on the same afternoon.

Business owners in Pleasanton tell me about high fees and slow preprocessed by the city while owners in Livermore tell me about the welcoming attitude, low fees and streamlined processes. Friends of mine who have visited Pleasanton talk about excessive Police enforcement and getting pulled over for no real reason. The other thing is that rents are very high and the properties are owned by a few rich landlords that don't seem to care about vacancies and don't seem to feel the need to work with tenants. They raise rents in the middle of a recession. These are some of the reasons who downtown is in decline.

I agree with some of the suggestions, that we need better vendors at the events and better food options. People want options. For those of you who complain about out of towners, every event I've been to in other towns tries to attract people to their town to help business. Many towns are a destination. It's called tourism. I think that here we have too many scared parents who smother their children and want the beer garden killed.

By the way I have volunteered at events in Livermore where they have an active program to get people to participate, like at the wine festival. I've not seen any similar events in Pleasanton that are looking for volunteers. A city is a business and it needs to be run like one. This one seems to be run for the benefit of a few with their agendas at the expense of the rest of us.

Posted by PTowner
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

I covered every inch of the fair and was there from before it opened to long after it closed. At no time was there ever what I would call a big crowd at any location. The fact that attendance was so light some places may have may have looked busy by comparison, but the reality is, attendance is down....way down. Why is it that some want to fabricate some unrealistic view of the fair? I'm not slamming anybody or the town, I'm just saying that if we can't even see reality for what it is, how could we ever hope to improve it?

Posted by SGray
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I think we need to have food trucks. People love them and they create excitement by their very presence. I pass by a Monday night food truck extravaganza in Menlo Park every week on my commute home and it's mobbed with folks and their kids. It couldn't hurt to try. Good luck making downtown more exciting.

Posted by JP
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 13, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I grew up in Pleasanton but have lived out of the area for 20 years. This is my first year living in Pleasanton with kids, and I was excited to take them downtown for 1st Wednesday. I didn't know what to expect, but what I found was uninspiring. Corporate booths don't interest me or my children. We love seeing art, unique handmade items, entertainment and street food. The youth band was fun to watch for a few minutes, but was probably more interesting to their parents. We bought some dinner and quickly left the scene. We regularly shop and eat downtown so the draw for us was what was outside of the shops, not inside the shops.

Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I went to the 3rd Thursday in Livermore yesterday at Carnegie Park and it was packed. They had a farmers market and a band and two wine booths and two beer booths. These were not fenced off and there were not any police around. Everyone was having a good time and the kids were running around in the middle of it all. I met a few friends from Pleasanton there. One of them was an old timer who reminded me of when the 1st. Wednesday had the wine booths on Main Street, but that changed. Livermore is doing it the way it should be. Why can't Pleasanton get their act together? There is room for everyone but PDA seems intent on cutting out the adult fun.

Posted by Good times
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Any of you guys remember the Goodtimes parade and festival of the 70's and early 80's? Main Street was closed all day Saturday and Sunday. Great time had by all

Posted by Michael L.
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I remember attending the Good Times parade of old cars once before it ended. The sidewalks were full of people watching, young and old. It was a fun event. The guy that I was talking with yesterday reminded me of it. He lived in Pleasanton 30 years ago and was relating how things have changed, and not so much for the better. That is another event that got killed and moved to Danville, which is really a shame as the car show is here at the Alameda County Fair Grounds.

Posted by Good times
a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on May 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Yes that's what I remember also. It was organized by a few guys and some if the shop owners. It was huge and the. Somehow the city took it over and renamed it the harvest festival or something like that and pushed out the originals who started it. Cars used to line the street. This city sure can ruin a good time.

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