Posted by what a shame, a resident of the Bordeaux Estates neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 8:45 am
Really, what a shame that yet another independent business is gone from downtown Pleasanton due to the economy and high rents charged by owners of properties. Unless there is a function going on downtown, it looks like a ghost town anymore. Wake up Pleasanton leaders!!
Posted by chemist, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:43 am
We only want classy (aka expensive) restaurants in downtown Pleasanton. The reason downtown is a ghost town is that most regular folks who live in Pleasanton head for In-and-Out Burger when they want a good meal at a fair price. We also shop at Wal-Mart ... (Portions of this post were removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff because it contains personal information about an individual or business.)
Posted by J, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:55 am
Personally, I support our downtown businesses a great deal. I wasn't all that impressed with Amelia's and with the number of restaurants downtown, competition is stiff. I am not all that surprised they didnt make it there. I hope they find another location that is more fruitful for them as I know times are rough. And no I don't want a Burger King there. Another independent would be excellent.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 10:09 am
Amelia's? The name doesn't ring a bell and I don't think that I've ever been there. Yelp gives them 3-stars, which is so-so and means that they're basically tied with the Yelp rating of the Taco Bell further down the street on Sunol Blvd.. Down economy or not, this is probably one restaurant that deserves to close so that another better one can open in its place.
Posted by Uncle Ben, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 10:50 am
You want traffic downtown? Put in a Chipotle or some other concept that draws crowds! Botique businesses are having a very rough time of it in this economy. Downtown also must have parking. The last thing busy consumers want to do is drive around and around trying to find a parking place, especially with gas approaching $5/gallon. I vote for Chipotle at the old Domus location - they actually have parking!
Posted by RED, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 10:50 am
I was just having this discussion with a few friends. Our downtown is turning into a ghost town while Livermore's is thriving. Aside from the very few stores I'll occasionally visit, there is nothing downtown that I am interested in. Too many banks, too many Italian restaurants and too many salons. What a bore!
Wake up Pleasanton leaders, we are taking our business elsewhere!
P.S. I've eaten at Amelia's once and really liked it.
Posted by Downtown business owner, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:01 am
As a downtown business owner myself I have to say I'm not too surprised. Obama has done so much to help small business owners thrive in this economy but until large corporations start selling at competitive prices and stop outsourcing to keep prices low and jobs overseas Main St businesses don't have a chance. The actual buildings downtown are primarily owned by people that do not own the shops and continue to raise prices knowing that when one business doesn't renew their lease and independent stores cannot afford the rent, larger chains will be able to come in and dominate. Plus there are way too many of the same type of stores. Everything is either a overpriced restaurant, overpriced clothes that all look the same, or over priced hair salons.
Posted by Downtown Supporter, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:30 am
Please note that this article said an Amelia's patron, not the owner, said that the reason for leaving is the price of rent. I know for fact that there are many affordable rents in downtown and many excellent landlords. Seems to me the Pleasanton Weekly made a statement based on opinion and not at all supported by the facts.
Downtown Pleasanton is an amazing place filled with wonderful restaurants, great shops and wonderful services. Spend some time in downtown, get to know what is in your own backyard and stop comparing us to Livermore. The grass is not always greener...
Posted by Also downtown business owner, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:34 am
Obama has done what, exactly to help small business owners thrive in this economy? I own a downtowm business as well and the climate in California is downright HOSTILE toward businesses and especially profits.
You are correct about one thing. Building owners still think they can get $2+ / foot for retail because it's downtown, but as these leases expire they are slapped awake to the reality of the situation. The high turnover rate for hobby businesses is pretty easy to figure out. However, I'd be willing to bet many of even the established shops are operating at a loss. Just wait until obamacare kicks in along with the 2013 tax rates. Bye Bye small business.
Posted by Downtowner, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:48 am Downtowner is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Despite some people's desperate attempts to blame President Obama, the reason Amelia's failed is that it just was not a very good deli. One of the reasons for that was that the staff was extremely inefficient and took forever to make sandwiches, which is not something people on a limited lunch hour can deal easily with. [removed because it was commercial in nature]
By the way, Obamacare will make it *easier*, not harder, for small businesses. I have been a business owner for over 30 years, and understand the economics of health care very well, thank you.
Posted by No Blame, a resident of the Laguna Vista neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:58 am
I'm amazed that people actually think that Obama is at fault for these stores closing and for future stores to close. Domus left us sometime ago. It's not easy to bring the people back to your store, when you leave the community. People find other places to shop when you do that. As for Amelia's it's a decent restaurant, but there are so many of them downtown already. They were off on a side street and in a brand new building so I'm sure their rent wasn't cheap. I hope they find a location back on hopyard where they had success before.
Posted by another downtown business owner, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:59 am
This article is specifically about Amelia's, but I see this is headed towards becoming a political blog. That being said, I would not have been able to start my downtown business if it were not for Obama's policies that encouraged banks to lend to small businesses during the recession. Yes, profits may not be at where we would like, and I am sorry that an above poster is operating at a loss, but realistically, they probably wouldn't be open at all anymore if it weren't for tax cuts and increased lending thanks to dem policies. So go ahead and vote for Romney, and when you see your business close for good because large corporations that Romney supports are taking all your customers because they are not hiring Americans like we are, and are get even more tax cuts to outsource production, don't cry to me when you don't have the social security you paid into already. And when you're sick, can't afford to go to the doctor because you thought Obamacare was going to hurt your business.
Instead of blaming Obama, why don't you try offering a product people want that they cannot get at Walmart or the Gap. Stop trying to act in the best interest of where you want to be, and realize what is going to be in your best interest today.
Posted by Timothy T, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Lots of small businesses in lots of small towns are successful. Just head over to Livermore on *any* night of the week and you'll see a happy crowd walking around downtown, eating, buying things, etc.
You can't build a business selling mediocre sandwiches for two hours a day. Amelia's tried to launch breakfast and it was almost inedible.
If you can't pay your rent, don't blame the costs of downtown rents (Hey, no one forced you to sign that lease). Don't blame Obamacare. Maybe your business just sucks and people are voting with their dollars. Build something neat and people WILL come.
Posted by ptown mommy of 3, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm
i agree. Amelia's wasn't the best. That being said, I have seen an increase in new businesses in downtown, that I hope will stay. There are so many cute things at Rick's picks and berry patch and that new balloon store is soooo unique! if we get more specialized and unique stores downtown, people will return. there are only so many yoga pants and hipster clothes you can buy, and so much pasta and sushi downtown that doesn't fit into anyone's diet.
Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm
Well, we used to really like the food at Amelia's. We especially loved that outside area on the side that was protected from the wind. It was great to eat lunch any time of year and sit in the sun.
However, about 6 months ago or so we had thought they went under new ownership. The food changed, the service changed, they seemed not interested. As an example the chicken on the Tandoori Salad seemed old and hard to chew (tried a couple of times). The Miki's Chicken got weird tasting and even if we came early they ran out of things like dutch crunch rolls.
Finally they were bad, bad, bad about keeping the tables outside bused. We had to clear stuff away to sit many times...
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm
Someday they'll give tours of the downtown talking about how people used to walk, eat, shop and such. Then it evolved to become the central hub of banks in the area, while Livermore downtown thrived under the flood of patrons looking for such social activities. There will be some old faded posters of "Downtown Sizzle" framed on the museum walls...
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm
The restaurant business is tough even on good days, so having stayed open for the better part of 22 years is a pretty firm indicator that you are doing it right.
Location is a critical factor in drawing the number of patrons you need to keep your doors open because very, very few restaurants have the culinary mojo to survive on a high-price/ low traffic model; but rent can and will take the air out of a lot of good ideas.
Overhead does more damage to a restaurant than a bad review.
Posted by Spudly, a resident of the Laguna Oaks neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm
If it good, people will come regardless of the location. If it is what people want, they will go get it. Look at In and Out on Johnson or Habit on Bernal. Is there anything downtown PLS that draws those level of crowds? Build what people want and you will have a successful business.
Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 8:56 am liberalism is a disease is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
For the dolts above who fail at reading comprehension, no one posted that obama was to blame for small businesses failing, but questioned how he could have possibly helped small businesses succeed. One obama apologist above suggested that obama encouraged small businesses to get loans through some policy he somehow instituted (presumably without the help of the House or Senate).
So, no, we successful businesspeople are not blaiming obama for the failure of numerous small businesses throughout the country; we are giving him credit for creating and extending a climate of uncertainty, over-regulation and business unfriendly actions and comments. Success is a bad word for 'the one', for it implies that you are rising above the mediocrity and parity he promotes as part of his socialist, collectivist beliefs.
Good luck to all you small business people at bucking the tide during the obama recession.
Posted by Chemist, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 9:06 am
The way that Obamacare "helps" the small business owner is by giving them an option to avoid the $3,000 tax or the high cost of "Affordable" health care. This option is to hire all of their workers part-time. Mark my words, if this horrible legislation is allowed to stand, there will be NO 40-hour/week jobs in downtown Pleasanton. It is already happening as restaurants across the country are responding to the realities of a law that can only be called Obamacare, because it is an outright lie to use the word "affordable" in the title.
Posted by Moved to Texas from Pleasanton, a resident of another community, on Oct 11, 2012 at 9:12 am
The Southerners and Texans stay in The South and Texas where they can afford to eat out, own a home at a decent price and a business, and they keep it all local. Unless there is a job change you will be hard pressed to find any Texan that will leave, and I would agree, I would not move back to California, visit many times a year, yes.
I was born and raised in the Bay Area, lived in Pleasanton for 35+ years and moved to Texas almost 3 years ago...You can't blame Obama (he just got here)and you can't blame the building owners...The State of California and Pleasanton's leadership are to blame in the slow fall of the downtown area, which was once thriving when Livermore's downtown was not.
Quit whining and get better leaders voted into office to make better changes to save the City's downtown before it really loses all its business to Dublin and Livermore.
Posted by jacee, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 9:21 am
I've eaten at Amelia's a handful of times throughout the years. It was fine, especially if you wanted to eat outdoors and actually be able to, unlike some of the other restaurants whose tables are always full. And to the person who suggested a Chipotle in the Domus - umm, have you ever been to Chipotle? They could fit about 10 of those inside the Domus location! As far as Amelia's, I'd like to see a Tollhouse Cookie place (like Livermore has) - Domus needs to be filled by a good anchor store - maybe a SurLaTable or Crate & Barrell or Container Store.
Posted by Giddy, a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 9:41 am
People, stop blaming the economy and leadership for businesses closing. Bottom line: If you do not have a product or service that stands out above the competition you will not succeed (especially when it comes to food). There are many food establishments that have survived. Why? THEY HAVE A GREAT PRODUCT! [removed because it was commercial in nature.) If you build it they will come..... sorry Amelia's, but you didn't have anything that stood out.
Posted by Uncle Ben, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 10:19 am
Those of you that think Obama is helping small business are either dillusional or on a controlled substance. Why do you think the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association are have been at war with Obama?
Obamacare is going to have a huge impact on workers in the retail and restaurant industry. Since employers with over 50 employees will have to provide medical insurance for employees that work over 30 hours/week, a number of companies in these industries are announcing they are going to limit employee hours to 28 hours/week. This means that many of these employees will have to work two jobs (if they can find them) to survive and the 56 hour work week will become the norm for them. Dardens (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and 5 other chains) was the latest to announce this policy.
Then, we can get into all the regulatory cr_p that has been foisted upon small business by Obama.
Posted by b, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm
This place closed because it sucked. The food wasn't that great and the service was sloooooow. You can survive in an office park with mediocre food and service. But you can't survive as a destination downtown restaurant that way. Too much superior competition in the neighborhood.
Posted by LMK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm
I'm disappointed to hear of either the blaming of praising of Obama linked to Amelia's going out of business and of how Pleasanton is becoming a ghost town. Neither of those are true , plus disrespecting someone else's choices of where they like to eat is not appreciated either. Let's pick this blog up and bring it back up to a higher level of conversation.
I too was very sad to hear about Amelia's just as anyone, but it's up to all of us who love and live here that determines how our down town thrives. We don't need to compare Livermore to our down town, it's not the same thing. We only need to put our dollars in our own town, support local business and encourage small business owners. I was down town yesterday and today. It was full of life and people and in order to see that you have to be there. Take your walks down town, shop there and eat there and let's enjoy Pleasanton and keep it alive.