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Sprouts & Shutters: New Japanese Restaurants, Clothing Boutiques and More

Here's the latest roundup of retail, restaurant and other business news in the Tri-Valley area.

A new Japanese restaurant is heading to downtown Livermore. Yamato Steakhouse, a quick-service restaurant that cooks its food on Hibachi grills, is shooting for a late fall opening on First Street in Cranberries Gifts & Décor’s old spot. Stay tuned for updates.

T.J. Maxx and Big Lots will move into the old Mervyn’s building on Las Positas in Livermore this fall. According to the city’s economic development department and the builder, the building will be divided into smaller spaces for T.J. Maxx, a national discount clothes retailer, and Big Lots, a national closeout and overstock merchandise department store.

Pet supply store Petco will share the space but likely won't move in until spring. In the meantime, you can visit the T.J. Maxx, Big Lots and Petco stores in Dublin.

Four Paws Veterinary Center plans a summer opening in the Dublin Corners Shopping Center near Tomatino’s. It's a full-service small-animal veterinary hospital.

Looking for summertime academic enrichment for your children? They may not like us sharing this with you, but a couple new tutoring centers opened recently in Dublin and Pleasanton: Kumon of Dublin West opened on Dublin Boulevard and Pleasanton’s ThinkTank Learning opened on Main Street. College Nannies & Tutors plans a July opening in Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza. You can find many other tutoring centers in Patch’s business directory.

A new Japanese restaurant, Sushi Hanabi, took over Pizza Hut’s old spot on Pleasanton’s Main Street next to Subway in May. The elegantly decorated restaurant offers a large menu with innovative dishes such as Spicy Tuna Mango Salad and Tostada de Bescado, plus clever creations like “Victoria Secret” (shrimp tempura, avocado, salmon, tuna, deep-fried baby lobster).

Mall shoppers will find plenty of new options at the Stoneridge Shopping Center: , a quick-service restaurant chain, should open in December or early 2012 in the former, set to close when the full-service opens in August. A 2,400-square-foot LEGO store is scheduled to open this fall on the lower floor next to the Apple store. A completely remodeled reopened last week. The new Love Couture and Color Me Mine, covered in , are open. And the Art of Shaving, a high-end shaving chain, will start construction next to MAC Cosmetics soon.

Opening update: Specialty’s Bakery and Café, previewed in , opened June 16 on Stoneridge Mall Road.

Prim Affordable Couture, the popular women’s boutique that opened recently in downtown Pleasanton, is expanding to Danville. Co-owner Alicia Shaffer says she hopes to open her second shop in August. Prim will move into the space occupied by in the Livery, next to and . Pleasant Thoughts, a stationery and gift store, will move to a new building in the Livery in July.

Another women’s apparel shop, Plum Boutique, opened June 18 next to on Railroad Avenue in Danville. The boutique, which replaced M Clothing, sells contemporary clothes, shoes and accessories. You can see some samples on Plum’s new Facebook page.

Claire’s, a national retailer of fashion jewelry and accessories for girls and teens, will open in next to and across from DBar. An opening date hasn’t been set, but a center representative said the jewelry story aims to open this summer. Stay tuned for updates.

Opening updates: Francesca’s Collections, previewed in , opened June 4 in Blackhawk Plaza. Living Lean, mentioned in , opened June 20. And reopened June 17 after an interior remodel.

San Ramon’s closed abruptly last month after the parent company filed for bankruptcy. Get the details in

Another shuttered San Ramon Blockbuster will be replaced soon: Chase Bank will open a branch in the former video store on Market Place in late July or early August. And, as we reported in , recently replaced the old Blockbuster on Crow Canyon Place. The Blockbuster in south San Ramon in the Country Club Shopping Center closed in March and the site remains vacant.

Diablo Magazine released its Best of the East Bay 2011 winners and many Tri-Valley restaurants and shops topped the list:

Food and Drink Picks: Diablo's readers selected Chow, with a location in Danville, for “Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant," "Brunch Spot" and "Comfort Food.” Pleasanton’s came out on top in the “Tea House” category. Dublin’s new and Danville’s The Prickly Pear Cantina took home “Editor Pick” awards for their “Icy Treats.” Danville’s was the readers’ choice for “Hippest Bar/Lounge,” while Livermore’s gained an “Editor’s Pick” for “Spot to Pop In.”

, with restaurants in San Ramon and Livermore, took home a “Reader Pick” for “Asian Restaurant.” Readers’ favorite chef was , who owns Alamo’s The Peasant’s Courtyard and Danville’s , The Prickly Pear Cantina and . Readers selected , with a location in San Ramon, as the best “Gourmet Pizza Place.” And Danville’s Maria Maria gained a Reader Pick for “Mexican Restaurant” and “Margarita Joint.”

Livermore’s was the favorite for “East Bay Winery,” while Livermore’s got the nod for “Place for a Girls Night Out.”

Shop and Salon Picks: Danville’s came out on top for favorite book store. Pet lovers selected San Ramon’s as their favorite groomer and Pleasanton’s as their favorite pet shop. Readers chose Danville’s Skin Ovations for best “Place to Get a Facial” and “Place for Waxing.” , with locations in Danville, Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon, was the preferred place for manicures and pedicures.

Danville’s was the favorite for “Maternity Couture.” Readers voted for Danville’s as the best “Home Accessories Store.” Pleasanton’s got the Reader Pick for best “New Boutique.” For best thrift store, readers chose , with locations in Alamo, Danville and Dublin. And chocolate lovers voted as their favorite “Sweet Shop.”

Nearly 12,000 Diablo readers logged onto the magazine's website to vote for their favorite East Bay businesses. Browse all the reader and editor picks in the July issue of Diablo Magazine.

Did you miss Patch's last retail and restaurant roundup? Read about these and more in our last Sprouts & Shutters column:

  • and  in Danville
  • and  in San Ramon 
  • and  in Dublin
  • and in Pleasanton 
  • and in Livermore

Know of a restaurant or shop opening or closing in the Tri-Valley? Please send me a news tip at patchsprouts@gmail.com.

Teri Tith July 01, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Yay! A new Japanese restaurant downtown, and I can't wait to shop at Big Lots...

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