Wondering what new businesses are opening and changing in your town? Our biweekly “Sprouts & Shutters” column highlights restaurant, retail and other business news in the Central Contra Costa cities of Concord, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Pleasant Hill.
Closed/Opening: Concord’s Toscana Ritorante closed its popular Italian eatery in the Todos Santos Plaza last month, blaming the closure on the poor economy. But the space won’t stay vacant for long: Ravioli’s Italian Marketplace will move its Clayton Avenue restaurant to that storefront later this fall. For more on Toscana and Ravioli’s Italian Marketplace, read the full story here on Concord Patch.
Open: Looking for doggie day care while you’re at work? Or maybe Fido needs just a short playtime with some canine friends? Concord’s new Barka Lounge, located on Arnold Industrial Way next to Kinder's, boasts “California’s first and only indoor dog park,” giving your hound hourly play time for $7 an hour. Daycare and overnight boarding are also available. Barka Lounge also offers a “doggie spa and grooming” plus a boutique with dog toys, bath products, dog food and even custom dog sweatshirts and tutus. Find out more atbarkalounge.com.
Opening: Barbecue eateries are getting pretty popular in Pleasant Hill: On the heels of Slow Hand BBQ’s opening in July comes the new Chop Chop Korean BBQ. The new eatery brings the cooking action to you, featuring table grills where you get to cook your own marinated meat. The new eatery opened Sept. 19 in Playa Azul restaurant’s old space on Contra Costa Boulevard next to the Pleasant Hill Inn.
Event: This weekend head to downtown Pleasant Hill for the 10th annual Art, Jazz & Wine Fest. The two-day event features continuous live music, wine and microbrew tasting, arts and crafts, kids’ entertainment and more. The festival takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Crescent Drive. The event is free but beer and wine tasting costs $20 - $30 (includes festival glass and three pours). Learn more in the attached newsletter and purchase tasting tickets at pleasanthillchamber.com.
Open: Craving a burger and fries? Mooyah, a Dallas-based “fast-casual” chain eatery, opened a couple weeks ago in the Ygnacio Plaza next to Subway. At Mooyah you customize your burger in much the same way you do at a sandwich shop: choose your patty (beef, turkey or veggie), your bread, extras (like blue cheese or sliced avocado) and finally your toppings (veggies and sauce). Mooyah also gives milk shake fans more than a dozen flavors to choose from, ranging from traditional vanilla to Butterfinger. Learn more at mooyah.com.
Opening: An ice cream shop opening soon in Walnut Creek will scoop up something unusual: All of the new Lottie’s Creamery ice cream will be made in-house. Instead of starting with a pre-made base, co-owners Cesar Angobaldo and Deb Phillips will use their new pasteurizer to create their small-batch custom bases for unique flavors such as Chipotle Cinnamon, Irish Coffee Crunch, Bourbon Buttered Pecan and Cream Cheese Carrot Cake. Lottie’s is set to open November in Erawan Thai’s old space on North Main. Read more about the new microcreamery at lottiescreamery.com.
Open: Local musician Stevie Coyle opened his new Mighty Fine Guitars in September, moving in next door to his niece’s store, Lamorinda Music, on Lafayette Circle. The new guitar store consigns and sells mainly high-end acoustic instruments and also offers guitar lessons for all levels. Browse some of the guitars for sale on the Mighty Fine Guitars facebook page.
Open: Are men’s clothing boutiques becoming a trend here? First Pelican Rock opened this summer in Walnut Creek. And last month fashion-conscious Lamorinda men got Venture, a new casual men’s apparel shop located next to Radio Shack in the Clocktower on Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette. Venture, owned by Lafayette residents Tom and Rosyln Stenzel, specializes in California brands such as San Francisco based Taylor Stitch and Tellason. Learn more about the new men’s store at venturemensgoods.com.
Want to find out what else is opening in the East Bay? Sprouts & Shutters now covers 16 cities and will soon expand to 21. Read the latest columns covering the Tri-Valley and Fremont/Tri-Cities communities.
Did you miss Patch's last retail and restaurant roundup? Read about these and more in our last Sprouts & Shutters column:
- Build-A-Bear and Le Gateau Elegant in Walnut Creek
- Cake and Kabab-Burger in Lamorinda
- Linen Outlet and Spirit Halloween in Pleasant Hill
- Plate & Vine and Sway closure in Concord
Know of a business opening or closing in Concord, Walnut Creek, Lamorinda, or Pleasant Hill? Please tell Patch about it for a future Sprouts & Shutters column. Simply add it to this short form. Or send a news tip to email@example.com.
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