Author: Admin

February 28, 2018

Work in Rossmoor Shopping Center set to begin this month

Rossmoor Shopping Center’s anticipated makeover was delayed by a couple of months from its projected February start date, but initial site work is scheduled to commence in May, according to shopping center owner Terrence Tallen of Tallen Capital Partners, LLC.

“We plan to start site work within the next month and then begin the construction phase,” said Tallen, who purchased the property in 2012.

“It took us a little longer than expected to get all the permits finalized and there’s always a bit of lag time between getting the permits and when contractors begin work,” said Tallen, who received a unanimous thumbs-up for the project from Walnut Creek City Council in April 2016.

Tallen explained that preliminary site work includes such things as grading, establishing entrances and landscaping. During the construction phase, some buildings will be torn down, new foundations will be laid, and new buildings erected.

Plans for the old-fashioned shopping center, which was built 50 years ago, include a new main plaza that will be the heart of the center. The plaza will be surrounded with new food tenants, bocce ball court, shady trees and seating. Improved footpaths and crosswalks will be installed for easy access and improved pedestrian safety.

The work will be done in several phases. When it’s finished, in an estimated 10 to 12 months, the reconfigured shopping center will include an additional 30,000 square feet of new building – and hundreds of new trees.

Safeway remodel
Safeway is going to be remodeled first, both inside and out; CVS will be housed in a new, larger building with a drive-through pharmacy; Starbucks will open in a 2,000-square-foot space on the Tice Valley Boulevard side of the center, complete with a drive-up window; and new restaurants are planned, including outdoor dining. It is anticipated that Rossmoor Diner will stay, but in a different spot.

“Our long-term tenant mix will have more restaurants, as well as retail, service and medical businesses,” said Tallen.

There will be plenty of parking with four spaces for every 1,000 square feet of retail. There will be more handicap parking and less compact car spaces.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has already signed a new long-term lease and has moved into its new spot next to Chase Bank across Rossmoor Parkway. Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and Chevron have extended their leases and the Post Office will also remain a tenant.

Since construction will be done in phases, all current tenants will be able to stay open, minimizing inconvenience to tenants and shoppers alike.

Entertainment for all ages
When the renovation is complete, including shady outdoor seating and dining areas, there are plans to bring a variety of entertainment to the center.

“We’re planning on having music, bocce ball court, fire pits and a large outdoor screen for showing such things as major sporting events,” said Tallen. “We’re working to make this shopping center a modern amenity that will be a go-to place for Rossmoor residents as well as citizens and visitors to Walnut Creek.”

Visit SGPA Architecture and Planning’s website at www. and click on Projects, Retail, and then Rossmoor Shopping Center to see photos of the final renovation.

By Admin
February 28, 2018

WOW! Tice Creek Fitness Center opens to rave reviews

Rossmoor residents ran out of superlatives when describing the renovated Tice Creek Fitness Center. “I love it. It’s what we’ve been waiting for. It didn’t disappoint,” said Marcia Schwartz. “It outdoes the older (local) fitness places. … There are no complaints here.” Ron Schwartz agreed. “It’s fabulous.” The center had a low key opening last Wednesday. A constant stream of residents, estimated to total about 1,000 on the first two days, toured the center. Fitness staff gave tours, instruction on how to use the new equipment and demonstrations.

Residents were enthusiastic about what they saw. The Fitness Center just underwent a $10 million renovation that saw the building gutted down to the outside walls and turned into a contemporary facility filled with new fitness equipment.

Residents said they liked that there was more state-ofthe-art equipment, additional exercise rooms, a gym with two pickleball courts and one basketball court, a feeling of
spaciousness, a low noise level and the large windows that let people see out and let in natural light.

If there were some complaints, it was that there was no coffee bar and that residents no longer have a reason not to exercise.

“Oh my goodness, I think it’s out of this world. Look at all the people using it (the center and its equipment),” said Janey King who stopped in after her water aerobics class. “This is first class – I love it.”

Gloria Crabbe said, “It’s amazing. They did a wonderful job. They couldn’t have done better.”

Residents wasted no time to try out the exercise equipment. Within a half hour of the opening, most of the equipment was in use.

Because the Tice Creek Fitness Center has so many visits, residents are advised to take a Rossmoor bus or carpool to the facility because of limited parking. There were well over 186,000 visits to the center in 2016, the last year figures were available, said Tim O’Keefe, Rossmoor CEO. It’s expected that usage of the facility will increase 10 to 30 percent this year, drawing as many as 240,000 visits.

By Admin
November 3, 2017

All About Mount Diablo

From springtime blossoms to wintery snow-capped peaks, Mount Diablo offers natural wonders every day of the year.


By Admin
December 7, 2016

A Modern Guide to Walnut Creek: Trendy Restaurants, Rooftop Bars + Lots of Shopping

Walnut Creek is booming. Once a sleepy, suburban town known for its big-box shopping, the East Bay town is becoming a surprisingly chic destination for tourists and west-of-the-Caldecott dwellers alike thanks to trendy retailers (think Kit & Ace, Madewell and Les Lunes) and local restaurateurs making it big with upscale cuisine and rooftop bars.

Although locals might find the influx of out-of-towners unsavory, there’s no denying that Walnut Creek is a place to see and be seen. And with a new crop of citizens—from millennials to empty nesters—moving into the posh housing popping up all over the city, the social scene has never been better. Hot new rooftop restaurants show off views of Mt. Diablo and the valley below, and high-end shopping can be done in stores previously found only in San Francisco.

There’s something to do almost every night of the week, but the weekend is when Walnut Creek really comes alive. Catch a show at the Lesher Center for the Arts after sipping local and international wines at your choice of wine bars, or have a casual date night at the weekly Off The Grid. In Walnut Creek, a trip to the suburbs never looked so appealing.


Rooftop’s menu is made to be shared, so order everything that looks good.(Kristopher Shinn)

Rooftop Restaurant and Bar

Located in the middle of downtown, on the third floor of a gorgeous new brick-façade building, Rooftop is the hot new destination in Walnut Creek. Snag a seat at the bar to have cocktails inspired by the restaurant’s living wall crafted in front of you, or, for more intimate dining, ask to be seated al fresco with a view of Mount Diablo and the town below. With a fully retractable roof, you’ll feel like you’re above it all. Rooftop’s menu is meant to be shared so order everything that looks good—we recommend the oysters with a spicy Thai mignonette. You also can’t go wrong with the crispy chicken wings served with a pepper-lime dipping sauce, and the truly veracious eater should order the rib eye. Come here for the energy, stay for the top-notch dining and hand-crafted cocktails. // 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd. (Walnut Creek),

Telefèric Barcelona

If you’re looking to escape the norm, head over to Telefèric for an authentic Spanish meal. Order a glass (or pitcher) of sangria, then grab a few tapas off the roving cart as you peruse the dinner menu. Don’t miss the pulpo trufado (grilled octopus) or ma premiere foie (carmelized foie gras). With so much going on (sometimes it feels more like a party than a restaurant), don’t forget to admire the decor including the authentic cable car traversing overhead (this is where the restaurant gets its name). When it’s time to order, don’t miss the authentic Spanish paella, made one pan at a time and served as soon as it hits perfection. This is the kind of restaurant where you’ll want to linger over tasty drinks, great food, and even better entertainment. // 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd. (Walnut Creek),

Parada is a new restaurant in the area that features Peruvian street food.(Courtesy of Parada)


Walk into Parada and you’ll be transported to a Peruvian street market where fresh fish cebiches are on the menu and crisp, cool Pisco sours await your taste buds. Although a bit outside of town, this new restaurant beckon with traditional Peruvian food unlike any found outside of Peru. Can’t choose what to try? Order a taste of each and share around the table. Start with a cebiche of your choice (or the cebiche tasting for a little bite of each), then move on to anticuchos, or authentic street vendor skewers (pork belly, anyone?). And you can’t go wrong with any of the large plates. The fish is fresh and the drinks are strong. // 7001 Sunne Lane. (Walnut Creek),

Sunol Ridge Restaurant and Bar

Take a seat by the fire pit out back, or in one of the lounges inside, and order off Sunol Ridge’s extensive beer and wine list (over 25 beers on tap!) before munching on fried green tomatoes, seared scallops, or the killer grilled pork rib eye (with Frog’s Hallow peaches). // 1388 Locust St. (Walnut Creek),

Ramen Hiroshi

Piping hot broth—simmered for 18 hours—fresh veggies, and tender pork belly make this cozy ramen house a must-go for those who can’t get enough noodles in their bellies. // 1633 Bonanza St. (Walnut Creek),

This Chorizo-Stuffed Calamari is a dish of roasted calamari with house-made chorizo, black bean purée, tomato coulis, served at Va de Vi.(Courtesy of Va de Vi)

Va de Vi

With flights of international wines and tapas ranging from tempura battered squash blossoms to chorizo-stuffed calamari, this wine bar is not one to skip. Grab a table by the ancient oak out back on a warm afternoon, or cozy up to the bar when the weather forces you inside. // 1511 Mt. Diablo Blvd. (Walnut Creek),

Lottie’s Creamery

It’s never wise to pass up an opportunity to indulge in ice cream made on site. Lottie’s makes everything from waffle cones and candies to the ice cream itself in house. This creamery will linger with you into your dreams. // 1414 North Main St. (Walnut Creek),


Øl Beercafe and Bottle Shop

If beer is your thing, Øl Beercafe will have you trembling with excitement. Although they specialize in Belgian-style brews poured from 18 taps, the beercafe carries hundreds of bottles—Belgian and otherwise—for purchase and consumption on site. Grab a pizza from Skippolini’s next door and settle into one of the big oak tables for a night of true beer indulgence. // 1541 Giammona Drive (Walnut Creek),

Coffee Shop welcomes everyone, hipster and business peeps alike.(Kristopher Shinn)

Coffee Shop

Local and artisan roasters, boozy coffee, and game nights? You can find all these and more at the aptly named Coffee Shop in the heart of downtown. A local hangout for hipsters and business peeps alike, Coffee Shop welcomes all who enter with a superbly brewed coffee, whether you take it black or with Bailey’s. Stop in on a Wednesday night to play some classic board games (Clue and coffee go hand in hand). This isn’t your typical coffee stop. // 1321 Locust St. (Walnut Creek),

Calicraft Brewing Co. is a brand-new brewery that just opened in August.(Courtesy of

Calicraft Brewing Co.

It isn’t often you find a killer brewery in the suburbs, but local favorite Calicraft is right here in Walnut Creek. The brand new taproom, which opened this past August, features a ceiling high mural by a local artist, an outdoor patio perfect for cornhole and hanging out, and Calicraft’s finest beers on tap. Visit on the weekend and you’ll be able to nosh on tasty food from rotating food trucks while you enjoy brews on the deck. // 2700 Mitchell Dr. (Walnut Creek),

Buon Vino

Modeled after bottle shops in Italy, Buon Vino allows you to taste different wines to find your favorite, then sends you home with a bottle of your choice. Belly up to the bar for (very affordable) tastes of California wines, or arrange for a two-hour private tasting experience great for large parties. There’s no need to head up to Wine Country to taste wines—Walnut Creek has you covered. // 1545 Locust St. (Walnut Creek),


Lesher Center for the Arts

Walnut Creek may not be known for its performing arts scene, but it’s time to shed some light on the stage at the Lesher Center for the Arts. From political satire to Tony-winning musicals, ballet to children’s theater, the Lesher Center has something for everyone on almost every night of the week. This fall, catch 1776, a musical based on the birth of our nation performed by the Contra Costa Musical Theatre (runs October 7–November 5), or get in the Halloween mood with Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery performed by Center REPertory Company (runs October 21–November 19). // 1601 Civic Dr. (Walnut Creek),

Walnut Creek on Ice is the only outdoor ice rink in the East Bay.(Courtesy of

Walnut Creek on Ice

Skip the crowds in San Francisco and skate over to Civic Park’s Walnut Creek on Ice, where you can enjoy an evening under the stars without bundling up for the elements. Arriving November 11, the only East Bay outdoor ice rink beckons adults wanting to feel like a kid again. // 1365 Civic Dr. (Walnut Creek),

Anthropologie & Co.

Take a class at the brand new—and one-of-a-kind—Anthropologie & Co. From calligraphy and flower crowns to terrarium building, a class here is sure to up your craft game. These classes are offered for free and you take home whatever you make. Post-class, check out the levels of bedroom inspiration, enviable shoe collections, and clothes that will have you in your best style. // 1149 S. Main St. (Walnut Creek),

Off The Grid is hosted every Tuesday in downtown Walnut Creek, where foodies and food trucks come together.(Courtesy of Off the Grid)

Off The Grid

Every Tuesday until October 25 (when the food truck season comes to a close), downtown Walnut Creek hosts Off The Grid food trucks. From po’ boys to kabobs, ceviche to poutine, these weekly foodie gatherings are packed with tasty bites, music and entertainment, and a seasonal beer garden. // 1380 North California Blvd. (Walnut Creek),

Art and Wine Festival

Hosted for over 35 years, the Art and Wine Festival takes over Heather Farms Park with arts and crafts booths and premium wine and beer vendors, including a beer garden featuring local brewers, every June. Make sure to mark it on your calendar. // 301 N. San Carlos Dr. (Walnut Creek),


Broadway Plaza

Walnut Creek is quickly becoming a shopaholic’s dream, and the newly remodeled Broadway Plaza shopping center is not to be missed. Spend an entire day popping in and out of shops like Madewell, Kit and Ace, and the new Anthropologie & Co. (let’s be honest, you can spend all day in that one spot). Drop the guys off at Art of Shaving before taking a mid-shop workout break at Soul Cycle – don’t worry, they have a full shower facility. And pamper yourself at Aveda, Soma Intimates, and Sephora. // 1275 Broadway Plaza (Walnut Creek),

Vici is a chic clothing store that just opened in Walnut Creek—and has thousands of followers on Instagram.(Meg Russell Photography)


After getting a start on social media, Vici—a chic clothing store—has a brand new shop in Walnut Creek. Their 57,000 followers on Instagram never doubt the fashion advice these ladies deal out, and now you can peruse the clothing racks that made them so popular. Shopping at Vici is like shopping with your best friend – only the team here will tell you just how good that peasant top looks on you. Find everything from jumpsuits and dresses to jackets and the latest fall boot collection all in one place. // 1683 North California Blvd. (Walnut Creek),

Wish is a small family-owned shop in Walnut Creek that features a collection of jewelry, gifts, and other items from local crafters.(Courtesy of Wish via Facebook)


Tucked back from downtown, this shop has a surprisingly awesome collection of jewelry, candles, and gifts for both you and your best friends. Check out their ever rotating collection of Waffles and Honey jewelry to pick up something sparkly and new, or peruse unique items from local crafters. // 2333 Boulevard Way (Walnut Creek),

Shabby Creek on Main

Looking for ways to update your pad? Vintage furniture and collectables dealer Shabby Creek on Main has those one-of-a-kind statement pieces that you usually have to scrounge around garage sales for—and they’re all in one place. Refurbished dressers and dining room tables, Depression-era glass and milk cans can all be found without having to wander the endless aisles of the flea market. Plus, you can snack on popcorn fresh from the classic movie house popcorn machine as you shop. // 2670 North Main St. (Walnut Creek),

By Admin
December 7, 2016

How to Spend 50 Perfect Hours in Walnut Creek

Never been as far east as Walnut Creek? Both Walnut Creek and Concord (only about 30-40 minutes away from San Francisco) are filled with fun attractions for the whole family including top-line restaurants and beautiful outdoor activities.

Day 1

8:00 a.m. – Wake up in a chic room at the Walnut Creek Marriott, a 338-room hotel conveniently located right off I-680 and less than a mile from downtown Walnut Creek. Brew yourself a cup of joe from the in-room coffee maker and get ready to head out. You will be spending a fair amount of time outside today, so be sure to wear some sturdy walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

9:00 a.m. – Drive four miles east and park at 2280 Oak Grove Road. Get out of your car and walk into Denica’s Real Food Kitchen. This place is a solid breakfast option with superb burritos (try the Noah G’s Green Burrito with eggs, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, green onions and Monterey Jack cheese) and omelets (get the Pesto Florentine with spinach, tomato, inion, pesto and provolone). If you’d prefer not to go with eggs this morning, try the French toast or Bella’s berry waffle.

10:30 a.m. – Back in your car, drive five minutes down the road and stop at The Ruth Bancroft Garden, a sprawling dry garden and treasure to the residents of Walnut Creek. The origins of the garden date back to the 1880s when historian and publisher Hubert Howe Bancroft settled in Walnut Creek and built a 400-acre fruit farm. The farm was passed down through generations until it was given to Phillip Bancroft, Jr., who married a teacher named Ruth. Ruth lovingly cared for the garden and planted succulents. The garden was open to the public in the early 1990s. Admission is $10 for adults and free for kids under 12 years old.

12:00 p.m. – Ready for more flora and fauna? If so, drive a mile down the road to The Gardens at Heather Farm, a six-acre plot of land with 3.5 acres of gardens. This is a great place to play catch or throw a Frisbee between checking out the 1,000 rose bushes. Self-guided tours are available, but for the best experience try a docent led tour for $7 per person. Call ahead to ask about availability and make a reservation.

1:00 p.m. – Sufficiently hungry, drive into downtown Walnut Creek and park near 1411 Locust Street. Grab at table at 310 Eatery, a restaurant that serves Los Angeles-style street food. Order the Little Tokyo Po’Boy (soft-shell crab sandwich, spicy coleslaw, tomatoes and aioli), the Pork Toro Taco Trio (pork, cheese, salsa and kimchi coleslaw) and the Melrose sandwich (eggplant, Portobello mushrooms and spicy coleslaw). You will not be disappointed.

2:00 p.m. – The Lindsay Wildlife Experience is next up on your tour of Walnut Creek. This place is an animal rehabilitation hospital for native Californian wildlife. The museum and animal interaction part of the facility is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays with a variety of animal education programs and tours. Check online for an updated calendar of events. Admission is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 2-17 years old.

4:00 p.m. – Drive back to the Marriott, shower and change into some dressier dinner clothing. Then, head downtown and park near the corner of Civic Drive and North Main Street. Downtown Walnut Creek offers tons of activities including outdoor movies and First Wednesdays with live music and arts and crafts. Walk the streets of downtown, people watch and duck into some of its cute shops.

6:00 p.m. – Walk to the corner of S. Main Street and Mt. Diablo Blvd., down a cute little alley and into Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar, arguably one of the most popular places in town (reservations are recommended). This is a small plates restaurant, so make sure to order several dishes including the heirloom tomato panzanella, bloomsdale spinach, roasted summer squash, grilled lamb merquez meatballs, pork schnitzel and rock shrimp cazuela. Ask your server for the best wine parings and finish off your meal with a helping of molasses stout cake.

7:30 p.m. – Walk up to 1601 Civic Drive and into the Lesher Center for the Arts for an evening of live theater. Check online before you go—this place offers musicals, concerts and more year-round.

Day 2

9:00 a.m. – Wake up, throw on your swimsuit and pack a bag with a change of clothes, beach towel, sunscreen, hat and flip-flops. Drive five miles north to Sunrise Bagels Café in Concord. With 36 different types of freshly baked bagels, this is the place to load up on your carbs. Order a few varieties and some homemade whipped cream cheese. Wash them down with a tasty shot of espresso. If you are hankering for something healthy, grab a fruit cup from the fridge against the wall.

10:30 a.m. – Time for some fun in the sun at Waterworld California! The largest waterpark in the Bay Area, Waterworld is a blast for the whole family with raft slides, a lazy river and the new “Break Point Plunge,” which allows participants to dive six stories inside a tube before reaching the pool below—only for those unafraid of heights, of course.

Spend several hours here. Grab lunch at Surfside Grill (the hot wings and cheese sticks are delicious) and relax under the West Coast sun.

3:00 p.m. – Drive back to the Marriott, take a short nap and change into some casual dinner clothes. From there, head back up to Concord and park at 1202 La Visa Avenue. Walk into the Markham Nature Park and Arboretum, a 16-acre park where you can visit a gorgeous garden and even go on a self-guided “tree walk” to see 45 different species of trees.

5:30 p.m. – Most likely starving from a full day of physical activity, settle in at a table at Fiore, an Italian restaurant in Concord (advance reservations are recommended). Take your time by ordering a bottle of wine and reminiscing about the past two days over some Moroccan steamed artichokes and Tuscan melon to start. From there, move on to a beet salad and then Tilapia, fettuccine carbonara and veal parmesan. Ask about specials and finish off with the cheesecake and tiramisu. You will want to lick your plate.

Day 3

9:30 a.m. – Wake up slowly at the Marriott, relax with a cup of coffee in your room and start packing. If you are lucky enough to end your trip on a Sunday, be sure to drive to 1342 Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Walk into Corners Tavern (opens at 10:30 a.m. for brunch) and order the lobster and crab omelet, brioche French toast and shrimp roll. For an extra treat, try the cranberry spritzer. This is the perfect way to end your 50-hour getaway in Walnut Creek and Concord.

This article comes to us courtesy of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. Each week the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee features a #Perfect50 Hours series detailing how to spend 50 hours in a different San Francisco Bay Area city. See more here. by  Sep 01, 2015

By Admin
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