News


New downtown coffee shop planned for old Round Table Pizza site

Owner, Valley Community Church will make building available for public gatherings

The Pleasanton Planning Commission will consider a bid tonight by an individual affiliated with Valley Community Church to open a coffee and tea house in the former Round Table Pizza building on Main Street.

Inklings is the name of the business proposed by Mark Lortz that would operate as a meeting hall for community events as well as a coffeehouse.

The building at 530 Main St. was originally constructed as a branch of Bank of America, and then was taken over by the pizza parlor when the bank moved across Main Street. It's been vacant for at least two years.

The two-story building has about 7,000 square feet of floor space which will be configured to accommodate a coffee bar on the first floor with table seating and a portable stage, a small kitchen and two meeting rooms.

The second floor will include two more meeting rooms, with stairs both inside and outside the building. The structure has no elevator.

Lortz, who will operate the coffee shop for Valley Community Church, which is leasing the building, plans to host a variety of special events on the ground floor, primarily between 5 and 10 p.m. on Fridays and ?Saturdays, Smaller events would be held on other days, including small church gatherings primarily on Sundays.

When the meeting room is not in use, Lortz will make it available to the public as a study hall and community gathering place.

The building's parking lot has 71 spaces and since Round Table Pizza closed has become an unofficial public parking lot for downtown shoppers. However, only 46 spaces would be exclusively available to Inklings customers as the building owner agreed earlier to make 25 of the spaces available for use by nearby businesses.

The city's planning staff is recommending approval of the Inklings Coffee and Tea House.

The Planning Commission public hearing on the project will start at 7 p.m. in the City Council chamber in the Pleasanton Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

Comments

61 people like this
Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:34 am

Just what we need, one more coffee shop. I thought Tully's was closing and it seems like an odd place for a Coffee House with the new Starbucks less than a half block away.
Please stop making decisions that make our downtown less attractive to people, take a clue from Livermore. Talk about a revitalized Downtown.


66 people like this
Posted by JC
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:39 am

Really does not sound appealing at all. We have enough coffee shops and that's such a big space surely there is something else that would be a better fit for downtown! Not to harp on Livermore's downtown, but I do think something like their Alehouse would be a great addition. We need a basic burger/family style place to gather. I picture the proposed use of this space as being empty most of the time. Hope I'm wrong...


50 people like this
Posted by ShirleyJo
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

I agree with JC, an addition to our Downtown like the Alehouse in Livermore would be perfect.
Come on City Planners, get on board with a Family Style place to gather and enjoy a meal.
Not another Coffee House!


49 people like this
Posted by Red
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:43 am

Coffee house?? Sounds like a front for a downtown church


4 people like this
Posted by Vineyards
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:48 am

You should make it another Starbucks...seems only fitting


11 people like this
Posted by Matthew
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

I think this is a perfect place for a coffee shop. Both Starbucks and Tully's are very small in seating and his will offer much more seating than the other two. Also I have had Inklings Coffee and tea and its much better than Starbucks and Tullys


41 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

The way I read it this is just a church downtown disguised as a pseudo business. Call it what it is. Friday and Saturday nights and all day Sunday's it's a church and other days if it's not being used by the church then these church facilities will (should or shall?) be made available to the public. Will that be all public meetings? Will an LGBT group be welcomed to use the facilities for meetings. Just curious and stirring the pot.


20 people like this
Posted by Richard V. Mankins
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:13 am

I agree with some of the other commenters that we really don't need a new coffee shop downtown. The following idea may seem radical but.... I think a new multi-story (at least 3 floors) building with retail on the ground floor and apartments on 2nd and 3rd floors is needed on that site. It could be developed architecturally to fit into the downtown vibe. Having apartments downtown with people living above retail contributes to the overall vitality of the area. Live, shop and work all within walking distance is the way to go. Wonder if our community leaders are thinking about an option like this?
BTW this is my opinion only and is meant to spark conversation.


14 people like this
Posted by Spudly
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

Somehow everyone will survive this additional coffee shop or not. Church infiltration or not. Maybe just try and be gracious that somebody has offered meeting space to the public, LGBT included:)

The city charges for any "public" meetings spaces they have so here is private industry/religious group offering it for no charge. Be happy they are doing that and go to Livermore if you don't like it.


14 people like this
Posted by CJ
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

Love the idea of the live/work space. That building is an eyesore. I completely agree that it is being marketed as a coffee house but is really a church. I vote no on that plan. A great French restaurant would be a nice addition, or an ale house but not another coffee house! Especially one that is a nothing more than a front for a church.


15 people like this
Posted by McPleasanton
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

We need business that operate 7 days a week downtown. Not 3 days a week. Lame. I just Uber to Livermore when I want to have a good time on Friday or Saturday night! 12.00 each way! I don't want to live in Livermore - I just want to use the downtown :)


32 people like this
Posted by mg
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:03 am

So is it a church or coffee shop? This is 100% one of the dumbest ideas. It should be scrapped as soon as possible, it would further decrease the value of Downtown Pleasanton.

Let’s bring some creative thinking into the process, it does feel like we are stock in the 50’s. Why church in a valuable business real estate parcel vs a business that further stimulates downtown vs killing it.


28 people like this
Posted by Tom M.
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:07 am

NO, NO, NO! Not another Coffee Shop. Get creative Pleasanton and do something positive.
Bring in a business that will be open and thriving at least 6 days out of the week, not just 2-3.
Please Vote NO on this!


3 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:16 am

Not to worry fellow naysayers rumors have it that the building will only stand long enough till plans get approved to bulldoze it and bring in another monster that will cover the entire lot with "in-lieu" parking fees paid up front to the city so that parking lot can be built on also. Where do those in-lieu fees go????


3 people like this
Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

Billie is a registered user.

I hadn't heard of this particular church coffee shop, so I did a little search. Found the following that explains "When a Building Becomes a Barrier: Why We Need an Offsite".
Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Heather
a resident of Danbury Park
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

I can not believe the cynical comments here! Do you even "get" Pleasanton's appeal as a family friendly community. Here you have an organization who wants to run a coffee/tea shop as a gathering place in a prime downtown spot, is offering up prime hard to find public parking spots and meeting places for the public, and you want a BAR & grill instead?! This spot has numerous private rooms which were places where families would celebrate birthdays and Little league victories. You could meet for free and hopefully spend a little money on the pizza or sodas too. It was sad when we lost that. It was a loss to the community. Now someone wants to try for that community feel again. We should support that!


20 people like this
Posted by TTW
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Yes, would prefer BAR & grill. Coffee shop is ridiculous.


8 people like this
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

MAKE UP YOUR MINDS. When the Presbyterians congregation wanted to sell its land for a dozen homes, a lot of people (some names I recognize posting here) were up in arms about losing a church. Now people are upset about a coffee house fronting as a downtown church or having a place to have small community meetings. Not to mention being disappointed about another coffee shop all together. Other than a dis-connect on churches, no one mentions the ridiculous glut of massage, hair and nail salons!
I say get a tenant in that vacant downtown place, period that serves beverages, food and people!


4 people like this
Posted by Mr.P
a resident of Valley Trails
on Dec 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Please not another coffee shop. That will be 3 shops about 2 blocks apart. Anything but a coffee shop would make me happy. I work on main street, how about more parking spaces, 25 is ok but not enough. I stopped leaving work for lunch because I cant park near my job when I get back. I know there are alot of restaurants here, hit them ALL MANY times kinda getting old.


4 people like this
Posted by Jay P.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

The way the article states it, there is really no reason to gather there unless you want a cup of coffee. Is there going to be food? Served all day? Every day? Is it open daily? The article is vague at best and I keep picturing some sparse, open space with some seating. The reason people and teams (we were there many many times) is they could gather, yes, but also order pizza! And watch sports, and order drinks! Not to just lounge around with a cup of coffee. Someone mentioned above that this may be a temporary lease sort of thing until they figure something else out. Let's hope so.


22 people like this
Posted by JD
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Dec 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

How disappointing and.... it sounds like my feelings are pretty much the majority. I feel guilty when we want to go out to eat and I think of better places in Livermore over my lovely little town. I so wish we had better choices and more diversion in our dining. So much of it is SO SO ! We talk with friends who say the same thing and end up elsewhere very often. The proposed use of such a lovely large space with parking is certainly disheartening. There's got to be something wrong somewhere that we can't attract more than a church with some gathering rooms and coffee to boot in our town. I have a church that I go to and it has meeting rooms - but I don't have sufficient choices to lure me downtown for dining.


21 people like this
Posted by Ana G
a resident of Stoneridge
on Dec 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

I agree with above comments. Please no coffee house that is part of a church yes, look at Livermore for its variety of places. A place like the Alehouse would be awesome


16 people like this
Posted by Edward
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Whoever wrote this article has done a very poor job. From what I've heard through the grape-vine the planned use for the space is actually for concerts (Rock & Roll, Jazz, etc) art shows, debate forums, I know they plan to show movies, hold swing dance lessons, open up the rooms for public or private meeting space for groups like AA and others. Also it's suppose to be a specialty coffee shop like Blue Bottle that will be locally owned and operated. Not a Peets or Starbucks. I though that was what Pleasanton was all about. Also what use has downtown have for another sports bar and grill? There are like three or four already.


8 people like this
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm

I agree...no more coffee houses. A Fondue Restaurant would be wonderful too. Livermore has such a variety of restaurants, and they do not roll up and close at 10pm. Pleasanton needs to liven things up a bit and that location has the potential for many opportunities besides more coffee shops. I love the idea of the meeting rooms, and kids parties and we could still do that with an Ale House or Fondue place, etc. We had many soccer parties and other team events in the past. We were so sad when Round Table closed. Let's get creative Pleasanton :)


9 people like this
Posted by Good Ideas
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Alehouse, Fondue, sports bar may all be good ideas but guessing there hasn't been any interest from these users. It great to want something but if someone won't invest in it, its not going to happen. With that said, sure hope its not a coffee shop and swing dance hall.


9 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Mission Park
on Dec 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm


Great comments above.

Here is another: Although there a several coffee shops / breakfast restaurants, there are very few (exactly one, that I know of) that offer private rooms for meetings. I belong to a group of small business owners that meet once a week in downtown Pleasanton for breakfast and we have long noted the need for competition in this area.

I enjoy beer and bar food. Handles is great, there is a new place down at the end of Main Street and there are several other places to get a nice cold drink. Including Starbucks, now!

Finally, consider Valley Community Church's history. Several years ago, they built a parking structure on property provided PSUD at NO COST TO Pleasanton School District. (Full disclosure: I was involved in this project). The basic deal was VCC got the use of the structure during Sundays (and evenings) and the school during school hours. Win-win, right? My understanding is that has worked very well for all.


18 people like this
Posted by Brian Wright
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

I agree with the majority ...PLease NOT another coffee shop/church!
We have plenty of both and why waste such a great location for this?
I hope our planning commission is reading these comments...


5 people like this
Posted by A Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

How long has that building been empty? Two, three years? If you don't like what business is in the building, you don't patronize it , right?

So, carping about what business is there seems sorta futile.


24 people like this
Posted by Janice & David
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Please, PLEASE members of the Planning Commission, do not approve something that will not benefit the general citizens of Pleasanton and that will diminish the "Downtown Experience." We see no real value in this except for the church its members and their bottom line. The comparison to Livermore has been made and made clear too many times, we want more inclusive and more accessible entertainment downtown.

No coffee houses, no more day spa's, no more Italian restaurants!


16 people like this
Posted by Mike F
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm

I agree with JC, we need an addition to our Downtown like the Alehouse in Livermore which would be perfect. 
 This would draw not only families but also young people alike who don’t go to bed at 9pm.
City Planner’s get your head out of you’re a_ _ and see what Livermore has done to create a destination that we can all enjoy. We don’t need a coffee house disguised as a church in our downtown.


15 people like this
Posted by Lp
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Lived here all my life so far... It'll be 37 years in two weeks seriously?!? This is so not the place to be anymore... Very sad and I'm walking distance to downtown... Let's put some life back into this town... Another coffee shop lets get a little more unique...


10 people like this
Posted by Lp
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Lived here all my life so far... It'll be 37 years in two weeks seriously?!? This is so not the place to be anymore... Very sad and I'm walking distance to downtown... Let's put some life back into this town... Another coffee shop lets get a little more unique...


7 people like this
Posted by June
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm

I don't want the planning commission to decide what type of coffee house or restaurant or day spa I should patronize If the tenant meets the zoning and parking requirement then despite what we think they are entitled to occupy that building. If the market doesn't want it people will not patronize it. That is called free enterprise. I agree the downtown needs to be more alive at night like Livermore. The reason our downtown goes quiet so early is because the downtown residents moved there and now I don't want to have any noise. I say if you move to a downtown you should expect festivals noise and occasional parking problems


14 people like this
Posted by LeeAnne
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 9, 2015 at 6:52 pm

When I first heard about this, I went to visit the current Inklings coffee bar in the lobby of Valley Community Church. My friends and I walked over on a Sunday and grabbed coffee in between services. It was hip pour-over coffee, and the little space was decorated with old typewriters and books. (The Inklings is the name of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' writing group.) It was pay-what-you-can, and they offered gluten-free muffins for free at the straw/lid/sugar area. While we were on the sidewalk enjoying our drinks, the pastor came out to talk to us and invite us in, which we declined. He was super friendly and told us a bit more about this new Main Street space. Anyway, all that to say, it was a great experience, and I'm excited about the more formal space. Indie shop, artisan coffee, hip decor, and concerts? Sounds like a great addition to Pleasanton to me, especially for 20- and 30-somethings and young families. I look forward to becoming a regular customer.

Here's a photo I took of the lobby counter on my visit, for Diablo magazine's Instagram account (I am a contributor): Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

How about making it a replacement for the "Hungry Truck Cafe"?


7 people like this
Posted by Hopeful
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

I am hopeful that the downtown Inklings will serve a need in our community. A place where you can bring, a friend and share some coffee, your kids so they can study, meet a client, enjoy some quiet time for yourself. Anything that is this positive is a great thing. You can get a beer or glass of wine at several establishments already, and burgers and nachos too...let's support any passionate business owners that have a dream to make their community a better place.


17 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I don't need fairy tales with my coffee. Keep your religion. It brings nothing but pain. Time to evolve.


17 people like this
Posted by Main Street Demise
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Let’s call it what it really is a church that serves coffee. If this goes through be assured every other denominations will be opening their own version so they can spread the word. Great Main street will have banks real-estate offices and church coffee shops. Sounds like more reason to hang out is Livermore and Danville.


28 people like this
Posted by Uninnovative Pleasanton
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm

I was just in Downtown Campbell tonight - what a LOVELY downtown. It has a wonderful balance of restaurants (small, upscale, family friendly) nice/large wine bar, and a nice variety of unique shops. It was a Wednesday night and ok so it was 68 degrees in December but it was very active and while still quaint and inviting.

We moved to Pleasanton 8 years ago and the downtown was a draw. With an excess of banks, coffee shops, beauty shops and spas and so little diversity in QUALITY shops, it has been our biggest disappointment. The city planners have absolutely no idea what it means to be innovative and how to draw traffic to downtown in a way that brings the community together.


16 people like this
Posted by TB
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

Two years. That is how long all of these negative commenters had to come up with a business idea and take it on themselves. There is only one entity that is taking the risk and making it happen. Coffee Shop - they are putting up the capital, taking the risk, and making something happen. So I suggest everyone sit back and enjoy your beautiful and tranquil downtown setting - there is really nothing to complain about. You live in one of the most desirable communities in the WORLD - be glad about that! A nice coffee shop in the vacant building will only make it a better.

Or you can save your money, come up with a business idea, and take the risk the next time a building becomes available.


29 people like this
Posted by Coffee church?
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 9, 2015 at 10:28 pm

I agree, we don't need a church/coffee shop downtown. No offense, but I prefer my coffee secular. I cannot really imagine what non-church members are supposed to do there.


8 people like this
Posted by Longtimer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:16 pm

I certainly hope our street fairs will still have the 'beer garden' in that lot.... right ???


10 people like this
Posted by Longtimer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

I gave up 'coffee' about 15 years ago. I drink the oldest and most healthy drink...water.


4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:09 am

If it isn't another freaking chain, go for it!


8 people like this
Posted by Robert F
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

WAIT, wasn't it Valley Community Church that used to have a little coffee shop that served Blue Bottle coffee?? If that's the one and this is the guy, then count me in!! I'll worship whatever god he wants me to. A Panama Red Livermore or Sideboard Danville style place would be awesome!!! So many good local roasters to chose from (sightglass, bluebottle, 4barrel, verve and the list goes on forever). With starbucks and Tullys (becoming a Peets in Jan...yawn) making downtown feel like a nondescript stripmall, we need a local non-chain coffee shop that doesn't suck!!!! Praise the lord, I want good coffee!!!


4 people like this
Posted by Apples
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 10, 2015 at 9:39 am

Fabulous! The other two coffee shops are SO BUSY!! And, if it's not a chain..even better. How about a quilt store downtown? Something interesting. Or a BBQ restaurant? Or, something like Rick and Ann's in Berkeley..check that place out. Or..how about a restaurant that offers lots of gluten fee vegetarian options!


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 10, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Would love a Sierra chicken coup like restaurant or some good creole.


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 10, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Sorry Sonoma chicken coup


Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Wonder if they can make coffee using 25% less water than was consumed at that sight in 2013?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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