Posted by Frank Lynn, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Nov 24, 2012 at 9:43 am
Finally a step in the right direction. Pleasanton downtown doesn't serve the young families that live in Pleasanton. And by "young," I mean under 60. Compared to Livermore downtown, it's dying a slow death. And by closing up around 9pm, we're like Mayberry.
Downtown is a great place to go for breakfast and to the farmers market, and maybe after a downtown evening event. Most of the restaurants are not family-friendly and overpriced for people with young children. And there are no entertainment venues for teens or young adults - no arcades, no pool hall, no movie theater. I can't believe there's a problem with teenage "loitering" because I don't think Pleasanton teens would have a reason to be down there in the first place.
I'm hoping Jerry Thorne will use his business development background to change this. It's ironic that we have a troubled dance club off Hopyard with fistfights and gun battles that we can't shut down; yet we can't get downtown going as a place to attract young families, teens, and young adults.
Posted by Michael S, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:43 am
As someone opening a restaurant, we chose not to do downtown Pleasanton because of the hassles with being open late and the fact that we won't get any business after nine due to the sidewalks rolling up.
And, in response to Cholo, we're opening in Livermore and are none of those things. Make sure you frequent the good spots and the bad spots will disappear, just like any other town.
Posted by reasonable, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 10:01 am
Yes, teens do go downtown to hang out with friends. While it isn't a "great" downtown it's all they've got. So they go to the Tully's/Cold Stone/High Tech Burrito area, and they go to the yogurt shops, round table pizza, and the candy store, and yes, even the library. Since there isn't much else to do, they "hang out" (this could also be called loitering, I suppose) in the parks and streets. I am not sure why this is considered a big problem if they are not bothering anyone. I am glad they at least have a downtown to go to! Many towns have only strip malls. That said, a few more teen friendly establishments would be great.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 11:55 am
I hope some changes are made. Downtown Pleasanton is dying and I'm paying a lot of property tax for a diminishing return. I also go to Livermore fairly often even though Main Street is much closer as it is much more active.
Downtown Pleasanton is expensive but given the high rents and city fees I don't see how any restaurants can afford to be family friendly and serve kiddie meals. There are plenty of family friendly restaurants in other parts of town though.
I frequent Main Street and have never seen loitering as a problem. Some kids do hang out near Tully's as do a few locals and old timers, but it is all low key and not an issue as far as I'm concerned.
As far as bars and clubs there are not any clubs downtown and only one bar is left from the old days, the Pasttime and it's dead. There are restaurants with bar areas the biggest being Handles and Main Street Brewery, but I'd not call them rowdy or nasty or anything like that. Barone's does draw a crowd to the patio, but it's well contained and a pretty old and dressed up crowd.
As far as prostitution in Pleasanton someone has got to be kidding. The closest I've seen to women in stroll outfits is a few tipsy 20 somethings hanging out at the wine garden during the street party.
Pleasanton is about as low key and safe a town as you will find.
Posted by YoungUn, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm
As a twenty-something who's been a lifelong resident of Pleasanton, Downtown is definitely a disappointment in comparison to Livermore. In all honesty, people, what is there to do at night besides eat? When I have free time, I end up going to Livermore to see a movie at the Vine or the open mike at Panama Red if I want a night out.
Many stores downtown close around 6 on the weekends and I'm away at work during the day; the weekends are the only chance I have. I'd definitely spend more time downtown if the Firehouse Arts Center and the Museum had more events at night, though.
Posted by Former Downtown Businss Man, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm
When I opened for business Downtown nearly thirty years ago it was not a very active business district at all, there were a few banks, six or seven Bars, drunks vomiting and urinating in the doorways of businesses on a regular basis and no significant retail activity. With pressure from what once was then fledgling but determined Downtown Association and a recently hired city manager with plenty of savvy came up with a Downtown plan. That was over twenty years ago. Many people choose to live in Pleasanton because of it's Downtown, perhaps there is some room for improvement, but when I read the posts on this comment page that Downtown is dieing,
references to prostitution I have to have a good laugh, because those folks don't know a good thing when they have it. To those that are unhappy I say stop whining, get involved and make it better,as did those that went before you.
Posted by Timothy T, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm
The references weren't to Pleasanton having prostitution (though the massage parlors open until 10 are a bit suspect). Frank Lynn said he wanted to be more like downtown Livermore and Cholo (a resident of Livermore) brought it up that Livermore has it.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Vineyard Avenue neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:05 am
Well if Livermore has loads of (seedy) bars, nasty clubs, and prostitution downtown that's news to me. What I see when I go to Livermore is lots of people "loitering" in the parks, walking on the redeveloped First Street, eating in the restaurants, wine bars, and lounges, that are all very nice places. Livermore got redevelopment money and fixed up downtown and it made a big difference. From what I hear they reduced city fees and streamlined the business permit process as well. There is much more to do there than in Pleasanton downtwon, including the Vine and Livermore cinemas, and Blacksmith Square, which has music most weekends, as well as First Street. When I talk to Pleasanton business people I hear about high fees, slow processing, and high rents. While Pleasanton is improved over years ago continual progress is needed as a city is a business that needs to keep attracting business or else it will die out. I do my part by frequenting the downtown activities and spending money and I vote for people who I think will improve things, but we all have choices of where we live and play.
Posted by LMK, a resident of the Ironwood neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:19 am
I keep seeing comparisons to Livermore where it's apples and oranges. Livermore's down town though very nice is a much tighter of a street on First street with their angled parking so it looks busier. Our down town is longer and wider on the street so it may seem to many as dying. Now if our residents are going to Livermore then it could be why Pleasanton seems like it's dying as the weather grows chillier. If we frequented our own town we'd fill it up. I do think our businesses close too early. Maybe a 9 pm closing hour each day during the week and 10 pm on Fridays & Saturdays might help. But the thing that will help the most is that we eat and shop down town, support the local businesses and appreciate what we have here, work to improve what we have and not compare ourselves. The grass isn't greener at the neighbors.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In order to thrive a business needs:
1. a satisfactory product or service that inspires repeat business
2. manageable operation costs
3. physical conditions that facilitate operation
So you need something that people want at a price which reflects its value (as perceived by the customer) available at a location which is easy to access, safe, and, importantly, open for business when the customer arrives.
The noise issue can be addressed by soundproofing.
Posted by Al, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm
You can't make something happen by changing the rules. The downtown needs to be fixed. You can't walk down Main Street, the sidewalks are too narrow. Parking is bad and the banks take up all the good parking spots. Businesses will not stay open later without customers to support it. Yes we have bars and dining but that does not equal late night shoppers. Will the city pay business owners to staff a store into the evening? How about a movie theatre? That would draw more people downtown.
Posted by huggy bear, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm
Al is correct, the downtown area needs some shaking up. No parking and a main street that seems to be closed continuosly for event after event. Put up a parking garage, make more parking a priority, and close mainstreet to cars. Create a friendly envirement for the businesses on Main street and for those who come to patronize.
Posted by downtown shopper, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Nov 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm
LMK says "I do think our businesses close too early". So LMK, how much money do you spend in businesses downtown after 6 PM? They should stay open for you to wander around in and buy nothing? I have walked downtown in the evening and heard people telling merchants that the merchants owe it to people to stay open to give diners something to do after eating. Excuse me? Merchants should stay open just to give you free entertainment? Start spending some money in those stores and watch how long it takes them to stay open.
Mark my words that this Saturday night, with the parade, any merchants that stay open will be doing nothing more than offering the public a heated room to stand in while waiting for the parade. Open our wallets and spend some money or shut the F up about expecting merchants to provide you with free entertainment.