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Walnut Creek Magazine

Talk of the Town: Openings, Closings, Things to Know About

Sep 14, 2022 04:02PM ● By Harper Klein

Population shifts, changes in consumer habits, and the new work from home culture are fueling leases at neighborhood shopping centers. Citing a study released by commercial real estate services firm CBRE, the Wall Street Journal recently reported about the trend in a story focused on the retail real estate sectors' recovery. 


Look no further than Rossmoor Shopping Center. After decades with only one restaurant, Rossmoor Diner, things have changed dramatically in the past year. A bunch of new food concepts are cropping up at the Tice Valley strip center—Napa Deli, Crumbl Cookies, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Yogurt Spot, and Taqueria El Jardin. The same thing is happening at The Orchards. Now brimming with twelve food and drink establishments, The Kebab Shop is the centers' newest eatery. And while Countrywood Shopping Center faces short-term vacancy challenges with the 19,786-square foot McCaulou's space on the market, nearby Regency Center properties Encina Grande and Ygnacio Plaza, are almost at capacity. 


A foot traffic driver, savvy operators are mixing fitness concepts into their redevelopment plans. Sources tell us Citrus Marketplace is replacing the former Nob Hill Foods grocery store with a gym by LA Fitness

With Lifetime opening a new health club in the spring of 2023, retailers are betting big on the increased draw to Broadway Plaza. Lululemon is dramatically expanding its footprint to over 9,000-square feet, and Kate Hudson’s apparel brand Fabletics is joining the fitness marketplace in November.


Despite a rich mix of over 75 tenants, food and drink options are limited at Broadway Plaza. Thankfully, Original Joe’s, a San Francisco institution since 1937 for martinis, steaks, and pastas, has signed a lease taking the former Stanford’s space. But there's no word on a new tenant for the Heritage Eats space. Stay tuned for details. 


Crate & Barrel has sealed the deal on its future home at 1201 S. Main Street in the former Talbot’s building. Once the buildout is complete, the home décor store will vacate its temporary location at Neiman Marcus, which remains on the market. 

Nick the GreekBarnes & Noble, and Relax the Back are settling into their new spaces at Plaza Escuela. But a sign on the door of El Charro 1947 on Monday announced its permanent closure. The Walnut Creek “version” of Lafayette’s iconic Mexican restaurant was opened by 1100 Group in December 2021 in the former Maria Maria building on Broadway. 


Century 14 Movie Theater is getting a new neighbor. Sources tell us the ‘curiously delicious’ handmade ice cream sensation, Salt & Straw, is opening in the vacant Take One Pizza space at 1273 Locust Street. A few doors down, Melo's Pizza is expected to take over the Bierhaus lease, and Five Tacos & Beers is finally opening this fall. 

Something else you may not know about. New York City-based Kind Body is opening a fertility clinic on Civic Drive. Looking to keep up with all things Walnut Creek? Subscribe to our newsletter, The Weekly Brief, for the latest news and happenings.

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