Talk of the Town: Retail & Restaurant NewsJul 27, 2023 11:08AM ● By Pam Kessler
Broadway Plaza continues to flourish, welcoming luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Chanel Fragrance & Beauty Boutique this month, as well as the "athletic country club" Lifetime Fitness in September.
The shopping center's trendy fitness apparel roster
is expanding too, with Alo Yoga, State of Liberty, and Beyond
Yoga joining the ranks of Lululemon, Athleta, and Fabletics.
The food scene is also buzzing with activity. Cholita Linda, a Latin eatery known for their decadent fried fish tacos, opens in the old Heritage Eats location later this year, followed by Palmetto Superfoods in the spot next to Haagen Daz.
The search continues for a new restaurant tenant to take the PF Chang's space. A mainstay since 1999, the Asian bistro bid adieu in late June when the lease concluded.
Speaking of openings, Broadway Plaza Street shed its orange barricades and reopened to vehicles. It’s good news for Lifetime’s valet parking service, and establishments like The Coop, relocating from Lafayette into the former Sakimoto space. (JD Balingit's Hideout is rumored to be making a move into The Coop’s vacated spot on Lafayette Circle.)
Meanwhile, on the other side of Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Walnut Creek's historic downtown is grappling with rising vacancies as independent retailers continue to close shop. Recent departures include Sultan's Kebab, Lulusimon Studio, Threads Consignment, CREAM, and Veggie Grill. The jewelry boutique, JBJ, relocated from Cypress to a suite on Locust Street.
Commercial real estate brokers, like John Cumbelich, attribute part of this problem to restrictive zoning, which bars an array of high-quality, high-credit businesses from entering the downtown.
"Banks, real estate offices, title companies, urgent cares, and other tenants that populate neighboring downtowns are restricted in Walnut Creek's pedestrian retail district. This shrinks the pool of quality tenants to fill vacancies, leading to increasing vacancy rates, softening rents, and lack of investment in multiple downtown properties," Cumbelich explains.
Some restaurateurs are are capitalizing on the available real estate. On Main Street, Indian cuisine from The Yellow Chilli will soon replace Sultan's Kebab; San Francisco-based Hakashi Sushi is taking the former ExpectAsian space; Honey & Brie is bringing their charcuterie boards to a new bistro.
Elsewhere, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream has signed a deal at Olympia Place, and sandwich franchise Jersey Mike's opens soon at Newell Plaza soon.
There's also a buzz over at Ygnacio Plaza where on August 15, the fresh, fast-casual chain, Mendocino Farms, is gearing up for their grand opening. Not far behind, The Breakfast Club and Qdoba Mexican Eats are getting ready to spice things up at the shopping center.
News to share? Email us: [email protected].