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on Dec 19, 2008
I'm not surprised to see the Oak House close. That location is a terrible location for ANY business. The entrance is located on the side of the building instead of on the front. That confuses people and makes the building less inviting to enter. That building is in serious need of some reconfiguration.
I am happy to report that the Rotary Club of Pleasanton will be moving its meeting spot back to Hap's Original Restaurant located at 122 West Neal Street in downtown Pleasanton. 26 years ago the Rotary Club of Pleasanton moved from Hap's to the Pleasanton Hotel. The Rotary Club of Pleasanton thanks Bill Laube and his staff for all the fine lunches and good service that we had at the Pleasanton Hotel over the years. At the last meeting at the Hotel on Thrusday the 18th of December--our annual Children's Christmas party--the membership gave Bill Laube a well deserved standing ovation. We wish Bill and his wife a brighter future and good life ahead--they deserve it. The next meeting of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton will be at Noon on Thursday, January 8th at Hap's. We thank Mike Connors, Owner and Lynne Sweet, Director of Operations for making the Restaurant's meeting room available for us on each and every Thursday for the Rotary Club of Pleasanton--"The Downtown Rotary"--and for us to continue to meet in beautiful "Downtown Pleasanton."
Unfortunately, the lack of flexibility and vision on landlord's side is all too common in Pleasanton. They continue to show run-down, termite infested, vacant, smelly buildings in the vague hope that an idiot will pay for all of the renovations that should be mandated by the City so that buildings are safe and secure for tenants and customers!
We do need a better vision for downtown- unfortunately I don't see or hear of anyone really stepping up to the plate. Merchants and restaurants have stepped up to the plate to create change, but it's going to take more private and public initiative.
Mayor? Council? Chamber? PDA? Tri-Valley Convention and Business Bureau, Landlords and landowners? Ready? Or will it be more years of this downward trend until it hurts enough for officials to move into action?
I continue to scratch my head trying to figure out what it will take to reverse the downward trend. The potential for our Downtown is incredible! The current mindset needs a shift in direction.
I hate to see the Pleasanton Hotel restaurant leave. Lots of memories.
It really made me sad to think that the present landlords of the Pleasanton Hotel are so shortsighted. Bill and his wife, Vernie, have been excellent hosts over the years. I was a 35 year resident of Pleasanton both of Vintage Hills and the Gates before moving to Arroyo Crossing in Livermore in September. My wife and I and our families have used the hotel restaurant as our "special event" place for all of those years. We always felt we got value and quality from the Laube's and their predecessors. It will be missed. We wish Bill and Vernie the best of everything and say "thanks" for your years of service to the community.
I too am sad that the Pleasanton Hotel will be closing. It was our favorite place to go for brunch in Pleasanton. We enjoyed many meals there. It will be interesting to see what the renovations are and what restaurant goes in its place.
Shame on Martinovich. Another greedy landlord...I hope I never run into her.
I am sad that the Hotel is closing. My wedding reception, 23 years ago, was held in the backroom and Bill was great!!!! Downtown has been going downhill for sometime now in the types of businesses that set up shop there. It isn't a downtown with a hardware store or a shoe repair store or some of the other hometown shops that should make a downtown "homey" and draws you to it. It has turned into mostly chain banks, some chain restaurants and some novelty shops with mostly "Made in China" stuff. It is not "local" anymore but yuppi-ish and very blah tro me. My opinion only. Who is next--Dean's? Not much left. How can a merchant stay in business with all the fees they have to pay? I'm glad to see the "Renegade" Merchants doing their "own thing"- the PDA may be helpful--that's up for debate--but it costs Merchants. Elected officials--see them at Farmer's Market campaigning and sometimes at Friday Night Concert in the Parks. I am thankful for the public bathroom or two and some additional parking.
I look forward to the future re-opening of the restaurant with new owner and new venue. Change is re-invigorating and I bet it will still be called the Pleasanton Hotel. After all, the building "owns" the name.
Its true that downtown needs a lot of work to re-invigorate the businesses, but no one seems to be doing much to get this accomplished. With more organized parking to get cars off the streets and making it easier for people to walk more than one block without almost getting ran over. But instead, our cities leaders are okay with losing business to dublin or livermore. Its not only restaurants hurting, its all businesses. Look at the old hardware store; its been remodeled but sits vacant due to what the city wants there.If politics were put aside, maybe we can get something accomplished. Maybe.
We need a movie theater brought in to intice all generations back to our downtown and keep some tax dollars downtown.
Its a shame the Pleasanton Hotel will be closing. Its truly a landmark downtown. Hopefully it will be brought back to the hot spot downtown again. I'm sure there's two sides to this story, where both sides are at fault for the closure of the old pink and purle building!
speaking of 'deans"restaurant I am surprised that the health department hasn't closed it down.It is filthy and an eyesore for downtown. Every time I walk passed it I am amazed at how bad it looks and no one seems to do anything about it?????
I love the Pleasanton Hotel. I have helped there on and off for a few years now and I am sad that they feel the need to bring in a "younger" crowd....It will not be the same with Benita, Bill, Gerard and the rest of the gang..It needs renovating, for sure, but the old charm there, and the older people that come in are a joy..I met an old friend of my grandfather's one night working and had the best conversation. Some older people just love to come there, it takes them back...And I love seeing them....Why can't we cater to the "older" crowd, it is like we lose our youth and we aren't important and I hope that the Landlord does the right thing with the building...I am lucky enough to get to be there one more evening on Christmas Eve and will miss the Pleasanton Hotel very much!!!! Good people there.....
Another one bits the dust.... I closed my business in August after seeing a few others close due to the economy and less spending downtown. My business had the added challenge as you had to climb stairs to get to my Studio Art Gallery that also had classes available, open 7 days a week and opened earlier & stayed open later than most. There are a number of reasons that the downtown is failing and will continue to fail. Less talk and more action by all is needed. Compromise and Help by landlords, the City and Community spending is needed or any downtown will die. I hope to reopen "Poetry On Canvas" downtown again when I see a more enticing reason to do so, as any business would. Merchants compete with Malls and They and the City have to have a mind set realizing this to compete for customers to Shop and Visit the downtown. Only a Combined Effort by all will save the Downtown.
While I am sad to see such a great restaurant in Pleasanton close its doors, I can understand why. With the changing demographics of Pleasanton over the last decade, it' refreshing to know that there is interest in making the town a bit more contemporary. Change isn't good to some people, but I probably speak for the majority of younger people living in Pleasanton that this change will be beneficial down the road. We can keep the charm of downtown Pleasanton without promoting it as a "one-horse" town.
Ch nailed it.
The buildings are not aging well downtown.
Major redevlopment is needed.
It's not likely to happen.
Building owners don't even invest in simple building maintenence.
Look for Downtown decline to accelerate through the recession.
The City will do something lame like have Hosterman pester the local residents
to "spend your money downtown"......Whatever.
I concur with RW
I encourage anyone to look inside the kitchen at Dean's.
If you ever eat inside, you'll notice the uneven floors and the
dingy, decrepid interior.
Any business needs investment from time to time.
Dean's has chosen to milk it's iconic name to the last penny.
Unfortunately not only is there not an incentive to improve buildings downtown, it is actually discouraged by the current rules. If a building owner or merchant want to make enhancements, someplace like Dean's gets killed as it needs to bring the "grandfathered" building up to complete current code regulations. This would include 2 8X8 foot restrooms, full fire sprinkler retrofit, full ADA compliance just to name a few.
If businesses were allowed a phased approach to improvements I think more would happen, but even minor improvements seem to trigger major upgrade requirements. The result is places like Dean's continue to fall into disrepair with only minimal fixes applied. They will likely never be able to justify bringing the building to modern code given the economics of that particular restaurant.
"I encourage anyone to look inside the kitchen at Dean's.Pretty scary. If you ever eat inside, you'll notice the uneven floors and the dingy, decrepid interior".
It is also interesting that one person's "decrepid" is anothers "historic", "charming", or "comfortable".
I think you buttress my position.
The building needs to be brought up to code.
Are you suggesting the buildings in Pleasanton fall into disrepair because it is too
expensive? If that's the case, an outhouse in the back instead of restrooms would provide a more rustic experience. No need for expensive plumbing.
People with handicaps would appreciate ADA compliance.
The customers would welcome 2 new 8x8 restrooms.
The Fire Department and the customers would appreciate an new fire supression system.
The cooks would thrive in a new renovated kithcien.
Dean's in its current condition is an embarrasment to this great city.
In twenty years I have eaten at Deans once . The food was good but not good enough for the grimy interior that grossed me out. I have wondered how others could eat there.
But the point being missed is the upgrades being discussed here wouldn't enhance Dean's business comensurate with the cost. Grimy though it may be, it still does a brisk and consistent business. When cost dosen't translate to a significant improvement in revenue it dosen't make much sense.
It does amaze me that the health department continues to allow such an outdated kitchen with obvious grime and disrepair to continue to keep its doors open. Although I've certainly seen much worse.
I have just recently found and started my E-subscription to the Pleasanton paper. Read with interest and dismay articles about Dean's.
I was part of a an earlier family that settled in Pleasanton and founded the "original' Dean's Cafe. I visited Pleasanton last summer after 42 years absence and was more than a little taken back by the growth and changes, but not as much as the humiliating decline of my family's pride and joy-Dean's. There may be a few residents who remember the Cochlin family, Johnie, Queenie, Dean and Jack (John Jr.), and I was disgusted that anyone could let such a famiy landmark decline. I have sent an email to someone named John Correia that may be the current owner advising of my recent visit; no reply. As an aside, I have returned to Canada and have done well and wanted to advise Mr. Correia that "Dean's" is a trademarked name that we own in North America and I now have no compunction in revoking his use and further humiliating our 65 year history. Clean up your shop or change your name. "I will be back" and I'm madder than hell.
If I bought it back, I would bulldoze this eye-sore and rebuild.
The Dean's Cafe name has has great value.
I am sure the brand was built by the hard work and dedication of the original founders.
It is sad to see the iconic "Dean's Cafe fall into such disrepair.
I am relatively new to this town but I have encountered several long time residents
who raved about the old Dean's.
I hope you are successfull in getting the current owners to invest time and money to make the place worthy of its iconic name.
Ceaser, Mr. Cochlin, incentive, others, I agree with you about Dean's.
Me and mine joke that Dean's must also sells tires since their pancakes are like rubber and practically inedible.
Sorry I missed the good years there!
Landlords please make some basic tenant improvments to attract desirable tenants.
Serious lack of business experience downtown as I wonder if anyone knows how to write a business plan. Some of the recent closures were obvious failures in waiting. . .Accentuals, pure girls, etc.
The city does not control the kind of businesses that rent the buildings downtown, the owner of the building does. Many of the regulations are state or federal regulations, not city.
The city does have control over things like permits and business hours. That is a balance between the needs of the businesses downtown and the surrounding residents. The city can suggest, they can recruit but it is up to the business owners and their renters to come to terms.
It would cost a fortune to bring the Pleasanton Hotel to code, not to mention the headache involved in dealing with so strong opinions on how it should be renovated. I agree with Incentive; the owner of the building can not afford the improvements, which is why they had been trying to sell it for over a year. Just because someone owns the building doesn't mean they are sitting on a pile of money....
Personally, I like Dean's. I find it a simple, no nonsense environment with tasty reasonably priced food. This town needs a little place not as fancy or as expensive as the other restaurants. Maybe that's why it is always packed on Saturday mornings.
I eat breakfast at Dean's at least 2 or 3 times a month and always like the visit. Good food, coffee and staff. I have heard the landlord is the one that refuses to make any improvements to the building.
Clean and sanitary does not have to be fancy. Dean's is filthy and tattered. It would not cost a lot to give it a good scrub.
Not Hungry makes an excellent point. Maybe the grime is what is holding the building together though ;-) Old + Clean = Charming.
Sad to see the Pleasanton Hotel go away. Spent many a wonderful Thursday night at their Blues on the Patio. Great music along with the great Staff Bill put together.
Let's get real Mrs. Landlord - the "younger" crowd you're hoping to capture will be short lived. The current mid-older crowd has/had a loyality to Hotel. However you fix it up and change it around it'll still be the Plesanton Hotel (Kinda like re-naming Candlestick Park!)
My guess is that within 18 months there will be a "For Sale" sign hanging on the door. New buyers will level it and put another Bank of _______, or God forbid a Starbucks & Java Juice.
SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL!!!
YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US FOR A NO-HOST COCKTAIL HOUR IN THE LOUNGE OF THE PLEASANTON HOTEL, TUESDAY DECEMBER 30, 2009 AT 7 PM TO ???
Te following is an online invitation that has been sent by our very informal group - The Friends of the Pleasantion Hotel - and hope you will join us! We represent that "older" group (but perhaps only in age - not spirt!), who have long recognized the need for a renovation, upgrade and marketing to appeal to the "younger generation." But we'll still be supporters also!
YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US FOR A NO-HOST COCKTAIL HOUR IN THE LOUNGE OF THE PLEASANTON HOTEL, TUESDAY DECEMBER 30, 2009 AT 7 PM TO ??? FOR A TRIBUTE TO THE GRAND LADY OF DOWNTOWN PLEASANTON - THE PLEASANTON HOTEL!
As you might know the Hotel is closing January 1, 2009 - for what we hope will be a short period for renovation! However, at this time we do not know the long-term plans - or if the facility will ever open again for similar dining, dancing and the other many events we have all enjoyed. So join US - and bring the friends YOU have made or known at the Hotel for what we hope certainly won't be the "Final Salute!"
FRIENDS OF THE PLEASANTON HOTEL
I am very saddened to see such an historic landmark go down. As for all the comments of bringing in the younger crowd, older people are entitled to have fun and enjoyment also. The P-Hotel has been a warm, cozy, and safe place for us "old folks". The young ones seem to bring on the heavy drinkers and then the local police. I hope they considered this....Good luck to Mary if she thinks she is going to do good by all of this. I hope she sinks!
There was a thorough story written about this in today's Valley Times (I won't post a link to it here out of respect to The Pleasanton Weekly), that covers a lot of the details that went into this decision on both sides. Bill and his wife had planned to retire, and the building owner Sue M. had hoped to find a short term tennant to operate the restaurant while considering plans for future renovation. One thing to consider is that the only thing certain in life is change. The Pleasanton Hotel is not going away and will not lose its charm simply because it is remodeled. I'm sure they will leave the outside (which was totally restored just a couple of years ago) the same. Let's look at the glass as half full and thank Bill and his wife for operating such an institution for all of these years and keep the good memories that have been made there. Hopefully the new Pleasanton Hotel will create a legacy close to the one created by the current Grand Old Lady!
From the original story, it is interesting to read how often these buildings, or parts of them were destroyed by fire. This is typical. And many businesses moved when another building was destroyed.
Each such fire was tragic, often businesses never rebuild, even if they are insured. People lose their jobs, or important parts of their city, and sometimes people are injured or killed.
The answer is a fire sprinkler system- automatic, and effective.
Much cheaper in the long run than letting the building burn, or paying much more for fire insurance. A fire sprinkler system typically costs less than the carpetting, but lasts the life of the building. Usually a fire sprinkler system pays for itself in insurance savings, often in just a few years.
The old historic Clairemont Hotel in Oakland, near Berkeley is all wood, and is completely fire sprinklered. It has had numerous fires, but you rarely read about them because the damage was small.
In 1906, the Boardwalk Building in Santa Cruz was built with the then newfangled electric lights, but not fire sprinklers- and it burned to the ground one year later. When it was rebuilt in 1907 it was completely sprinklered, and the replacement is still there today.
Yet I continue to be surprised that some, such as "Incentive" (above) treat code requirements that include sprinklers when an owner performs major upgrades to the building as if it were negative. Cities that burn to the ground don't serve their citizens well, as well as being a tremendous waste, and life threatening.
I think we will attend the no-host cocktail hour on Dec. 30 2008 for a send off to a great old hotel. We've been going there from time to time for thirty years, Especially at Christmas time for their Brunch. We are going to miss her. As for Dean's, we loved it for it's old style atmosphere, the uneven floors and such but we're like Yogi Berra, it's too crowded so nobody goes there anymore. I think it's the people who have lived in Pleasanton for a long time who go there and know the history. Merry Christmas to all
The Hotel Definitely needs updating! The smell of raw sewage hitting me in the face every time I walked into the place made me lose my appetite. The worst meals I have ever had in Pleasanton were the ones I had at the Hotel - I guess you buy the smelly "ambiance" rather than good food - it is beyond me how on EARTH that place got the reviews and awards they got year after year! I am convinced the vote was rigged.....(like the American Idol show). I, for one, am really looking forward to a YOUNGER crowd there, and I am 50! I love to dance, but the smell repulsed me, as did the sorry excuses for musicians that were often 'performing' there! YES, PLEASE!! Get us a newer, nicer place to dance and make it smell better! Pleasanton NEEDS a really GOOD place to ballroom dance so we don't have to go to the city any more or to Emeryville.....bring us one HERE! YAY
I have to agree with alot of what lisa says. The hotel should not be honored simply because it has been there for a long time. The food has been average at best for a very long time. The article in the weekly cracked me up, calling the hotel "fine dining". The brunch was great, but anybody can do brunch. The voting for "best of Pleasanton" is usually very predictable as they never publish vote totals and it seems there is a catagory for virtually anything you can think of so every business gets some kind of award. The contest is really a vieled atempt by the weekly to get advertisers by then telling them they can use the "best of Pleasanton" logo. The Pleasanton Hotel has not been a desirable dining destination for a very long time.
let it go. the food was terrible, and the prices out line with the quality. and the ambience can only be compared to a funeral parlor.
time for change.
Although sad to see the Pleasanton Hotel close..we have memories there too....it is time for a change. I am excited to see something NEW happening there and can't wait to try it out! Pleasanton needs NEW and EXCITING. Older people that liked the Pleasanton Hotel can still hang there when it is the NEW version. Can't old people hang with young people??? I think the young people liven things up and keep us older folks YOUNG!! Good luck to Bill with the new endeavor. On another note...close Dean's! it is gross and dirty. VIC's is much better!!!
To Safe or Sorry -- get real about the cost of sprinklers. I was told that to convert a part of my residence to a legal rental I would have to install sprinklers. Thousands of dollars for that but the kicker was the fee to hook up to the Pleasanton water system -- over $35,000 !!! Not to use the system, just for the cost of the permit to hook it up. When this town starts to be reasonable with the fees then people might voluntarily comply. Don't quote costs when you don't know wht you are talking about.
What are the Times we live in ?
This is the question to ask ourselves ?...As a Business Owner I too feel the pinch everywhere but who is really helping out ?..where are the Small Business Loans to help Martinovitch get the necessary Repairs she needs. Yes the food that Bill & Verne may have served & the ambiance they provided was catering to some folks ..but did they really make any money after all the overhead & expenses. Is the City or State doing anything about the rising Property Taxes or cost of doing Business here ?
Yes everybody is feeling the pinch & spending 5 out of every $10 spending dollars as they are uncertain of their Jobs & the Economy but who is taking care of the average Joe who is trying a decent Living & Business with all odds stacked against him. Its easy to write stories & have the Chamber of Commerce or City Officials give their comments but who is actually doing something tangible about where it hurts ?...how will I pay next months mortgage, Pay the Payroll & my kids school tuition....these are the Challenges we face & with a new President & new start in 2009 I am hoping things change for the better, for the Country & for our Kids & Grandkids.
Well said Vic.
Here is my take on the whole downtown... Our Downtown has some very unique stores.... stores that are becoming more and more rare these days thanks to big corporate giants. However, walking down Main Street today I couldn't help but feel sorry for the merchants that are working these stores. In what is known to be the busiest shopping time of the year, tonight, Main Street looked more like a ghost town. Streets should be full of shoppers with shopping bags walking from store to store. Part of the problem that plays into this is that there are WAY TOO MANY salons, cosmetic sugery places, banks, real estate offices, and vacant buildings. I would like to see more boutiques open up and, perhaps, an anchor store to get people Downtown, a more well-known store, (that wouldn't take away from the exisitng businesses)... Crate and Barrel (since we don't have one at the Mall), Novells or Armstrong Nursery, Tuesday Morning, etc. I just think we need something to attract more people Downtown. Tully's is doing a great job, and I think we need more businesses like that. That's just my take on the whole issue. I am just tired and frustrated of the fact that we have a beautiful Downtown, yet with Christmas being about a week away it looks like a ghost town.
Vic -- what do you propose that the city should do about property taxes? Those are determined by prop 13, not the mayor, much as I would like to blame her for it. The cost of doing business here is determined by the landlords, most of whom have owned the buildings for so long that they do not care if a store sits vacant. Remember too that at least some of the landlords who now refuse to negotiate rents had plenty of money to donate to the hate on 8 campaign. (Check the records, Larry McColm, owner of 350 Main donated a minimum of $25,000. Has he offered to help his tenants in these tough times? Don't know but would not bet on it). The owner of the Pleasanton Hotel lives in Alamo and does not need SBA loans to upgrade her building. She just needs incentive, like maybe a long vacancy. If the city wants upgrades like sprinklers they need to reduce the cost of permits to install them. Simple as that.
Want to see something other than banks, nail salons and real estate offices? Talk to the property owners, the city has nothing to do with that.
Howcumm there are 23 places to get a massage in Pleasanton, and no place to get a good hot dog?
Unclehomer: you are in Pleasanton, not Deluth!
I'd suggest that the massage 'studios' would be more appropriate in Duluth than Pleasanton..
Happy New Year! Let's ALL work on getting a decent, no a GREAT hot dog in Pleasanton!
This is so very sad to me. Some of the best moments of my life took place there. My 20+ year marriage and a few anniversaries.
The talk about a younger crowd surprises me. They're still THE wedding spot for the area and, as for the "older crowd," I'd think it would be great to have that market cornered. A place where you can have a meal and actually hear the conversation, a variety of musical talent, and a location with history.
Seems to be more about revenue than renovation.
I am thankful for the memories and even more glad to have it captured in my wedding photos as well as an aniversary gift - a paiting by local artist, Marie Pascal.
Thanks to the people who made the Pleanton Hotel what it was. I am grateful and wish you all the best!
I will miss "Blues on the Patio" Have great memories going to the PTown Hotel over the years. Have met some fun people of ALL AGES. Median age was about early mid-30s (young) to 70s (young at heart and good dancers). All fun-loving folks who showed up eagerly at the hotel on a Thursday night during the summer months to hear some GOOD BANDS (R&B, Blues, Rock & Roll)-- Patio menu was fine; ambience was good. As I said in the beginning I will miss meeting up with my friends in the summertime on a Thursday night.
WAS A FREQUENT PATRON OF THE HOTEL FROM 1985-1991.SORRY TO SEE IT CLOSE. THANKS BILL FOR FOR COURTESY AND FRIENDSHIP.I HAD MANY PEOPLE FROM HAWAII,WHERE I CAME FROM, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY GO ON MY RECOMMENDATION AND ALWAYS HAD POSITIVE COMMENTS. BUT AS WITH ALL THINGS, TIMES CHANGE AND NEW PEOPLE AND IDEAS COME ALONG---AS IT SHOULD BE.
BILL,HOPE YOUR WIFE AND YOU ARE ENJOYING LIFE--WHEREEVER YOU ARE.
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