News

Two restaurants in Pleasanton Hotel abruptly close

Less than a year in, Clubhouse and Lily's cease operation earlier this week

The Clubhouse and Lily's Spirited Dining restaurants inside the Pleasanton Hotel both shuttered their doors without warning this week, less than a year after opening for business along Main Street.

Replacing the previous longtime tenant gastropub in the historic hotel building, both restaurants were seen as popular draws on the weekend but struggled to attract consistent crowds on weekdays.

A sign posted on the double doors of the Pleasanton Hotel on Tuesday morning thanked patrons for their support. The locked building was dark inside except for the bar, and the menus usually in the glass case next to the entrance outside were gone.

"With a very heavy heart, we announce the closing of this chapter in the glorious history of the Pleasanton Hotel," the sign read. "We love our downtown, our city and our community, and are saddened by our departure. We certainly hope the Grand Lady will come back to life once more with all the grace and grandeur she possesses."

The restaurants' owner, Ed Westmoreland, told the Weekly that he and his staff "put their heart and soul into this place," but there simply wasn't enough business to make things work.

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Both restaurants opened last fall on the first floor at 855 Main St., as well as a seasonal venture of Westmoreland's called The Patio with a courtyard and outdoor seating. The restaurant space in the historic hotel, a marquee building on the north end of Main Street, had been empty for about half a year after Handles on Main Gastropub closed in February 2018 to end its nearly seven-year run there.

The Clubhouse was known for serving food, craft brews and local wines in a casual setting, and Lily's Spirited Dining -- named for the legendary ghost which some believe haunts the hotel -- offered upscale dinner entrees. A banquet room on premises was also available for rental for business and social events.

"We could not generate enough revenue to sustain the business model or modify it when changes were needed," Westmoreland said in a social media post announcing the closures.

He called the decision to shut down, "agonizing and heartbreaking."

Westmoreland, who also operates the popular Eddie Papa's restaurant on Hopyard Road, said he couldn't "help but feel so disappointed in not succeeding at creating a lasting establishment" in the Pleasanton Hotel but remains proud of what everyone achieved together while they were open. "I am proud of what we did accomplish, as we did create new memories for so many people. I am proud to be a part of her history, even if it was just for a minute."

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Two restaurants in Pleasanton Hotel abruptly close

Less than a year in, Clubhouse and Lily's cease operation earlier this week

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 3:53 pm

The Clubhouse and Lily's Spirited Dining restaurants inside the Pleasanton Hotel both shuttered their doors without warning this week, less than a year after opening for business along Main Street.

Replacing the previous longtime tenant gastropub in the historic hotel building, both restaurants were seen as popular draws on the weekend but struggled to attract consistent crowds on weekdays.

A sign posted on the double doors of the Pleasanton Hotel on Tuesday morning thanked patrons for their support. The locked building was dark inside except for the bar, and the menus usually in the glass case next to the entrance outside were gone.

"With a very heavy heart, we announce the closing of this chapter in the glorious history of the Pleasanton Hotel," the sign read. "We love our downtown, our city and our community, and are saddened by our departure. We certainly hope the Grand Lady will come back to life once more with all the grace and grandeur she possesses."

The restaurants' owner, Ed Westmoreland, told the Weekly that he and his staff "put their heart and soul into this place," but there simply wasn't enough business to make things work.

Both restaurants opened last fall on the first floor at 855 Main St., as well as a seasonal venture of Westmoreland's called The Patio with a courtyard and outdoor seating. The restaurant space in the historic hotel, a marquee building on the north end of Main Street, had been empty for about half a year after Handles on Main Gastropub closed in February 2018 to end its nearly seven-year run there.

The Clubhouse was known for serving food, craft brews and local wines in a casual setting, and Lily's Spirited Dining -- named for the legendary ghost which some believe haunts the hotel -- offered upscale dinner entrees. A banquet room on premises was also available for rental for business and social events.

"We could not generate enough revenue to sustain the business model or modify it when changes were needed," Westmoreland said in a social media post announcing the closures.

He called the decision to shut down, "agonizing and heartbreaking."

Westmoreland, who also operates the popular Eddie Papa's restaurant on Hopyard Road, said he couldn't "help but feel so disappointed in not succeeding at creating a lasting establishment" in the Pleasanton Hotel but remains proud of what everyone achieved together while they were open. "I am proud of what we did accomplish, as we did create new memories for so many people. I am proud to be a part of her history, even if it was just for a minute."

Comments

Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:39 pm
14 people like this

Oh no. I'm very sorry to hear.

I wish we as a community could support more of these sorts of places. Somehow the market is amiss in this area.


John B
Happy Valley
on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm
John B, Happy Valley
on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm
18 people like this

Need critical mass to support the service industry to balance with sky rocketing expenses (bulk of it rents, employee expense). This is bound to happen if City population is not expanding which further needs affordable housing for middle class. Middle class people generally tend to spend in these kind of restaurants. Any way good luck and see you later...


Lauri
Foothill Farms
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:01 pm
Lauri, Foothill Farms
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:01 pm
4 people like this

Very sad.… Enjoyed several meals over this last year....good parking too. Is something new happening at Barone's creating a problem?


Anony
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm
Anony, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm
44 people like this

The downtown association is forgetting that there are many younger parents with children in town who hardly ever come downtown (except to get ice cream once in awhile) because most of the restaurants are white tablecloth and/or $$-$$$!

Not everyone in Pleasanton is retired and wealthy. Maybe they should consider more family friendly fare.


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:57 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 1, 2019 at 7:57 pm
Like this comment

We purchased our first home in Pleasanton in the mid nineties in Vintage Hills. We patronized the downtown area because it was convenient. In 2001 we purchased our current home near Foothill high school. We discovered many dinning areas in this area that are excellent, as well as the shopping locations are much more convenient.


Mom of 2
Danville
on Oct 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm
Mom of 2, Danville
on Oct 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm
9 people like this

I visited this restaurant one afternoon recently and it was the weirdest experience. It wasn’t busy but service was spotty and slow. Food was fine but I have never paid $8.50 for a beer and I’m a beer drinker! I love the location and hope they can find something/someone to make it work..


David
Registered user
Alisal Elementary School
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:11 am
David, Alisal Elementary School
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:11 am
11 people like this

Dear Anony, you want more family faire? OMG, Pleasanton parents are known for bringing their little kids to Downtown restaurants with white linen tablecloths! I’ve had many pricey meals ruined by crying, food throwing, and running wild.
But really, there are burger places, inexpensive Mexican, a couple of pizza places already. High rents in downtown need higher end eateries. I’m afraid you will have to take the kids to Porkys, something in a strip commercial center, or perhaps (gasp) a franchise in Dublin.


Sandy
Foothill Place
on Oct 2, 2019 at 2:15 am
Sandy, Foothill Place
on Oct 2, 2019 at 2:15 am
18 people like this

When the City decided to get rid of most of the shops and put in so many restaurants, it created a tremendous amount of competition. There used to be a nice variation of businesses on Main Street. Now it’s all about money!!!


Pat
Val Vista
on Oct 2, 2019 at 7:30 am
Pat, Val Vista
on Oct 2, 2019 at 7:30 am
10 people like this

We loved Lily’s restaurant. The food was wonderful. There should be restaurants that are not for children. It is nice to have quiet places for adults. I am sorry to hear they closed.


John
Sycamore Heights
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:49 am
John, Sycamore Heights
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:49 am
17 people like this

Not surprised. The business model was always confusing for a customer. Three different restaurants in one... This always threw a curve ball for me. What one do I choose, why are the menus so different, just confusing.

In addition, the location was a gastropub for years. The addition of a white tablecloth restaurant in a location that people still remember being a gastropub doesn't really work subconsciously.

Also, I sense a good number of people don't want to spend $20 for a burger, and $10 for a beer. I understand people saying we should support our local businesses, but it's not the customers job to go out of their way or desires to help a company succeed. This is the job of the company. People will support something worth supporting, it's what humans do.

In summary, this place offered nothing new or unique in comparison to other places downtown.


mariposita
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Oct 2, 2019 at 10:14 am
mariposita, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 10:14 am
12 people like this

I really liked the venue, the restaurants and their offerings and ate there several times. Ed's a great guy who does a lot for our community and I wish we could have made this workable for him and the people he employed there. Best wishes to you Ed, and thanks for a good run here.


been there
Registered user
Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 10:34 am
been there, Del Prado
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 10:34 am
16 people like this

We are extremely sad to see them close. We have enjoyed the live music on the Patio all summer and in cooler weather, in the bar. But wondered why Pleasanton residents are not coming out for such terrific music by talented bands. Dancing is great and creates a festive mood for couples and families alike. Anybody who says it was not family friendly was never there on a Friday or Saturday evening. Lots of families with kids dancing with the adults and all having fun.

And we found the prices to be very affordable. A great BBQ rib dinner for under $20???What are you complaining about?

So now we can mourn another local business demise because Pleasanton is so stuck in our trendy, cheap chains making fast food (if you can call it food) that we refuse to support the very businesses that make downtown and Pleasanton a desirable community so many people want to live in. Or maybe we could just become another Dublin: nothing unique or special, new, slick buildings, big box stores and strip malls, housing stacked to the sky...and on and on.

This closing is indicative of a much bigger issue about downtown that we as a community will have to face. What do we want to be? Our "charming" downtown is not thriving. What will we do to support the businesses there NOW? Maybe a rent moratorium on Main Street would be a good idea or some incentive for the landlords who seem to be raping the tenant businesses until they are forced to close.

In any case, so long Eddie and your staff. We loved every minute of our summer evenings on the Patio. Hopefully that ghost of Lily isn't causing the problems for her tenants!


Letterman
Canyon Oaks
on Oct 2, 2019 at 11:44 am
Letterman, Canyon Oaks
on Oct 2, 2019 at 11:44 am
4 people like this

I've been to the bar area a few times and the service has never been good. You could sit there and wait for literally 3+ minutes without even SEEING an employee behind the bar (more than enough time to walk behind the bar, take stuff and leave if you were that type of person) and then they appear and it takes another 5 minutes to get a beer as of course one other person was there before you. I have no doubt that the owner is a good owner as Eddie Papa's always seems well run, but whomever is doing the day to day operations and overseeing employees (in the bar) was lacking.

And as a personal note to all bar owners, I find it really annoying to be charge extra tax on the price of a beer at a bar, just include it in the price (like many other places). (I know it can be a little difficult logistically with it being a bar and two restaurants but it really isn't that hard to program the POS system)

In the long run, I think the rent (due to the large square footage) at the hotel is going to make it difficult to operate the whole place as bar/restaurant(s). It will probably need a more creative solution.


Dennis Salisbury
Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm
Dennis Salisbury, Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm
2 people like this

We have enjoyed so many live music performance events at the Pleasanton Hotel and are saddened at yet another closing of this fine location/venue. Eddie Papa's brought a very high level of restaurateur to this venue and deeply regret the closing.


Carole Lee Manning
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:59 pm
Carole Lee Manning, Danbury Park
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 12:59 pm
6 people like this

I've always loved the Pleasanton Hotel and was thrilled when Ed reopened this wonderful establishment. But......I recently took a friend there for lunch on the patio. I had the lobster roll -- too greasy and difficult to eat. She had a salad. We each had one glass of wine. The bill, including tip, was way over $90. Just for a lunch??? I was in disbelief!


PleasantonTaxpayer
Registered user
Highland Oaks
on Oct 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm
PleasantonTaxpayer, Highland Oaks
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm
2 people like this

I've been going to Eddie Papas due to its convenient location for me, but visited the Clubhouse bar a few times. While the beer prices were about right (maybe a little high for some choices), the thing that discouraged me from going more often was the spotty bartending service, as was mentioned by other readers. Some bartenders there are great -- responsive and very attentive; but others would either vanish or just not return to check after serving the first drink. The customer shouldn't have to search out or flag down a bartender, especially if the customer is sitting at the bar. Still, sorry to see them close, but I hope this doesn't affect Eddie Papas -- one of my favorite local bars.


Claudette McDermott
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm
Claudette McDermott, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm
6 people like this

I've had a small business downtown (side street) and closed because it was taking too long just to pay for the cost of running the business, never mind any profits. Believe me, when someone opens a business they want it to succeed and will do just about anything to make that happen. But...when you have landlords who charge so much that it makes it impossible to hang in there until the business can take on in a year or two, you are doomed to fail. In a small downtown and town, it takes even longer to make it and develop your clientele. Lots of good businesses have come and gone without landlords blinking an eye, because they know others with dreams will pull up and throw their hat in the ring.

"Maybe a rent moratorium on Main Street would be a good idea or some incentive for the landlords who seem to be raping the tenant businesses until they are forced to close."

I agree! But without the incentive. Landlords here in Pleasanton don't need more money lining their pockets or to be patted on the back for charging more than the average business can pull in, to keep it's doors open.


been there
Registered user
Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm
been there, Del Prado
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm
3 people like this

@Claudette

Incentives" should not favor the landlord but the tenant. There must be creative ways to demand that landlords accommodate new local businesses like restaurants (not chains like Starbucks, etc) . City staff and the Chamber better do something quickly or the opportunities for thriving businesses downtown will evaporate or go to Livermore or Dublin.

With nothing to do on Main Street except real estate offices, hair salons and banks there will be no 'economic vitality" to the downtown district. Then no one will want to live in the multifamily housing downtown that has been so controversial no matter how many stories it has.


Skip webb
Castlewood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 3:26 pm
Skip webb, Castlewood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 3:26 pm
18 people like this

Don’t forget the demographics and a new culture in Pleasanton...an influx of Asians and Indians that stay home and don’t go to restaurants—please don’t take this the wrong way just my opinion


Been there done that
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 2, 2019 at 4:32 pm
Been there done that, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 4:32 pm
7 people like this

My wife and I went there once. ONCE. We asked for a table for two. The waitress said "sure" and walked us to a table for six occupied by a party of four.

The waitress asked them "Do you mind if they sit here"?
They said yes they do mind.

We followed the waitress back to the reception desk and kept on going out the front door never to return again.

We ended up across the street at Oasis and had a great dinner that night.


Dublin
Dublin
on Oct 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm
Dublin, Dublin
on Oct 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm
Like this comment

Please open in Dublin.


Michael Hall
Mohr Park
on Oct 2, 2019 at 6:10 pm
Michael Hall, Mohr Park
on Oct 2, 2019 at 6:10 pm
17 people like this

I don't know why people are being sympathetic about them closing. This place was overpriced and the customer service was terrible to say the least.I'm amazed they lasted this long. The ownership and the business models etc. totally missed the point of what works. What works is reasonably priced food and beverage and decent customer service. Why do people keep trying to run restaurants with lousy, rude staff and overprice fare? BASICS people, BASICS! It's like food and beverage 101. I really wanted this project to succeed but I was burnt on the only 2 times I went.Too bad


Silverfox
Registered user
Castlewood
on Oct 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm
Silverfox, Castlewood
Registered user
on Oct 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm
6 people like this

Maybe the people that own 833 Brick Cafe in Livermore can open a second location here. There meals are awesome and breakfast is the best. Something we can use on Main Street.


Manfred
Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 7:15 pm
Manfred, Del Prado
on Oct 2, 2019 at 7:15 pm
5 people like this

Claudette has it correct: rents/profit "sharing" are just too high in downtown. So big chains can afford it, but the sole entrepreneur cannot. Service there could have been better yes! Boiling it down to these root causes. I support all of the downtown restaurants (except Barone's).


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:14 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 2, 2019 at 9:14 pm
1 person likes this

Love Eddie Pappas, and wanted to see this work. Food menu I thought was good, familiar but different enough to choose it over other options.

I really believe the three restaurant model led to customer confusion and staff / kitchen operational issues. We tried on a few occasions: once early on in opening and then a few more occasions later. Service and execution were poor, not purposefully so, but nothing that seemed to be std operating ran well in our experiences. The first time we wrote off to newness, the others after time went by we just ruled to poor execution.

Too bad, we do need more fun places downtown


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 3, 2019 at 7:46 am
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2019 at 7:46 am
1 person likes this

About rent: yes, this is a well known problem in the Bay Area and any other place with high residential real estate prices. Commercial owners see house values soar and want to see their properties marked up to the same high prices. Which is all well and good except that commercial value is based off of what the business tenants can afford and not what the property value could be if the city let you convert to residential. This causes landlords to raise rents in step with residential increases, put their tenants out of business, and then risk losing their properties if they remortgaged in the basis of the higher unsustainable rent.

The solution is for commercial landlords to prize stability of income, use proportional rents, and hope for a tenant to outbid their current one. It's not an easy game.

As for the restaurants here: I saw the bad service too. But I can never tell if that's because the workers knew the place was suffering and on its last legs, or if poor oversight drove them out of business because of bad service in part.

I just wish we'd have more quality restaurant projects succeed. Right now, the best places downtown are Salt Craft and Beer Baron--sadly neither are white tablecloth places--and the latter has had a noticeable slip in food quality that makes me worry.


BT2035
Walnut Hills
on Oct 3, 2019 at 8:03 am
BT2035, Walnut Hills
on Oct 3, 2019 at 8:03 am
1 person likes this

Hotel location is not so great, limitations how to divide that sq footage and essentially a menu that is Caucasian boring.

Demographics of Pleasanton has been changing for 15+ years. The old legacy businesses need to go such as horse supply store and hardware stores. Capping rents is not smart, vacancies will bring rents down automatically.

Main Street needs a new identity, white flight should move to Orinda and allow a new version of Main St to develop.


Burt
Birdland
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:37 am
Burt, Birdland
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:37 am
27 people like this

Wow, BT2035. Got much hate? It sounds like you'd be much happier in Dublin. Let me show you the way.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:51 am
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:51 am
3 people like this

Bt2035,
Couldn't agree more. The boring food eating white people mouth breathers of Pleasanton need to go.
Main st needs to change to reflect the community, we should probably change Pleasantons name to be more modern too, like new Bangalore?
After all, all the growth of the community is based solely on the new comers to the community fixing everything with it....you're welcome


Disk Man
another community
on Oct 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm
Disk Man, another community
on Oct 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm
19 people like this

Pleasanton Weekly,

How about banning BT2035 from this site? If a Caucasians made degrading comments about Asians, I have no doubt you would ban them.

BTW, BT23035, you have lots of places to eat "non-boring" food. There are now multiple strip malls in Pleasanton and Dublin that are entirely Asian.


David
Foothill Knolls
on Oct 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm
David, Foothill Knolls
on Oct 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm
8 people like this

I'm disappointed to hear the closure of these places only after being reopen for a year, but I never found anything to attract me to eat there, I'd usually go to Pasta's or the Burmese restaurant when I visit downtown because I could see the food and people eating and enjoying their meals. The hotel needs to cook a wide menu of favorites and post the menu outside the hotel and just make the place more inviting. It's not cheap to dine on downtown Pleasanton but plenty of restaurants seem to be doing well. I think the problem was the hotel didn't have a good menu of tasty dishes.


Patcher
Downtown
on Oct 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm
Patcher, Downtown
on Oct 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm
10 people like this

@ Claudette McDermott, and @Been There...how I wish we could get Pleasanton leaders to LISTEN. There are plenty of other charming bay area locations, that DO and do it right.

We've seen storefronts sit vacant for YEARS throughout downtown, we are longtime residents, and we do frequent downtown restaurants. The priorities seem pretty clear, and it isn't with promoting downtown restaurants.


Mitch
another community
on Oct 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Mitch, another community
on Oct 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm
13 people like this

Can the City Council pass a ban on the forced profit sharing robbery the landlords downtown are getting away with? What a scam.


Bill
Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Bill, Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 3, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Like this comment

Everything I ate there was fantastic. And it was by far the best burger downtown. Tough spot. Sooo much square footage. That's going to be a tough spot for a long time. There aren't many people dining like that anymore. Too expensive.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:11 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 3, 2019 at 9:11 pm
3 people like this

David,
The jack of all master of none restaurants typically dont fare well. In Pleasanton you need to specialize and cater to a menu theme and do it better than the rest. Or, try something unique. Fusion of flavors that appeal to crowds that may typically not stray too far from their traditional menu items.


DKHSK
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Oct 4, 2019 at 6:49 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2019 at 6:49 am
3 people like this

The fact is demographics have changed substantially. The population support for restaurants has not changed, but the MARKET most certainly has.

This goes back to the thread on Freshman Football being cancelled at Foothill, but still thriving in Livermore.

One need only look at the demographics in the bay area, primarily in the towns that are in West Santa Clara county, like Cupertino and Sunnyvale to know that those areas are completely changed from the 80's. Totally unrecognizable.

The same thing is happening here.

This is change. Like it or not.

Dan




Wombat
Downtown
on Oct 4, 2019 at 8:16 am
Wombat, Downtown
on Oct 4, 2019 at 8:16 am
2 people like this

Seems like this Pleasanton Hotel spot has always been a rather thought spot for a restaurant or pub. It’s at the very end of the restaurant and business section of Main Street and there’s not a lot of foot traffic in the area like there is with the rest of downtown Main Street. I seem to recall that the previous restaurant/pub at that location didn’t last long, either. There was also a highly rated Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant almost directly across from the street from the Pleasanton Hotel (“Taste of Sing Ma?) which also didn’t last long. Maybe the same problem of not much foot traffic in the area? As for “demographics”? I dunno. Could be a factor as well. Many Asians and part-Asians lack an enzyme for digesting alcohol (including me), so we’re not going to be spending the night hanging out at a pub drinking wine or beer.

As for the restaurant, one thing that immediately struck me when it opened and out of curiosity I checked out its menu was that it was a bit on the pricy side. Most of the entrees were somewhere around $40 and the most inexpensive entree on the menu was $30. That’s pricing at the level of many good San Francisco fine dining restaurants. But did the restaurant measure up to that level of food and service? Wasn’t so sure and wasn’t willing to take an expensive chance so I put the restaurant on my “wait and see” list. Does seem to me to have been a strategic mistake by the restaurant to immediately open up with a menu featuring such uniformly high prices without first establishing themselves.


Wombat
Downtown
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:12 am
Wombat, Downtown
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:12 am
Like this comment

Excuse me, my first sentence should have read “Seems like this Pleasanton Hotel spot has always been a rather TOUGH spot for a restaurant or pub.” (auto-correct problem).


Anony
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:33 am
Anony, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:33 am
8 people like this

Race aside, Pleasanton has a rather substantial population of families with young children. Someone earlier mentioned that they were tired of dealing with kids at white tablecloth restaurants, but then said that if I wanted “family friendly faire” I should go to a strip mall or Dublin. WTH? Why not something more family friendly downtown? The only choices right now involve pizza it seems.

I would love to see a breakfast-type place there, given the closures of Deans and Rising Loafer.

Or a bed and breakfast? Just wondering, does the Pleasanton Hotel actually have any hotel rooms anymore?


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 4, 2019 at 11:40 am
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2019 at 11:40 am
4 people like this

Agreed about more casual dining and more breakfast. Maybe a Denicas? I'm tired of the mediocre Italian red sauce places myself. Those always seem to spring up when the city pushes for non-chain high-rent restaurants, probably because of the fantastic profit margin compared to fully plated and composed food.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm
6 people like this

Is there a way to find out the reasons behind these closures? Dean’s was obvious to most, but now the two Pleasanton Hotel places, Forno Vecchio (already flipped to Oyo), Rising Loafer, Cafe Main (new place still not open?), the place Union Jack used to be (not completed or no tenants). Is it lack of customers, pricey fare, mediocre food, high rents, too many hurdles at the city to open someplace new, lack of parking, all of the above? It seems like there are plenty of visitors, businesses, and community members to support the downtown. Or do we only like coffee and banks?


Karl
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm
Karl, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2019 at 3:54 pm
7 people like this

Very sad about Riser Loafer - the owner died in her sleep one weekend - very much a surprise. Had nothing to do with all the other "issues" raised in other posts.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Oct 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2019 at 5:09 pm
6 people like this

Mary? Ohhh, I’m so sorry to hear that. She and her staff were always so cheerful and accommodating.


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 4, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 4, 2019 at 5:48 pm
12 people like this

Still waiting on Cooks....any day now, any day


Randy
Birdland
on Oct 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm
Randy, Birdland
on Oct 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm
2 people like this

Dean’s and Rising Loafer both had problems with county health inspectors. Dean’s permanently closed after failing a county health inspection. Rising Loafer also had its health permit suspended as recently as May of this year and was ordered closed by Alameda County health inspectors until its health permit could be reinstated.


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm
Like this comment

It's really not that hard to pass the inspections. And if you do fail--usually because of an unknown pest infestation--a reinspection can be had in short order.

Permanently closing because of health reasons means unsafe food storage and other hard to change bad practices usually. I don't know what happened in these cases, but I'm more likely to believe personal family issues with the owners over health unless the county posted a notice. Did they for Rising Loafer?


Raymond
Valley View Elementary School
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:22 pm
Raymond, Valley View Elementary School
on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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I'm a fan of Ed and sad to see this business go under. Perhaps we have an over saturation of restaurants in downtown Pleasanton. We could use more entertainment options like a billiards hall or something.


Randy
Birdland
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:00 pm
Randy, Birdland
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:00 pm
3 people like this

“ I don't know what happened in these cases, but I'm more likely to believe personal family issues with the owners over health unless the county posted a notice. Did they for Rising Loafer?”

Yeah, the Alameda County health inspectors forced the closure of the Rising Loafer in May of this year due to a failed health inspection. You can check out the Alameda County health inspection website for full details as the results of the inspection are public information. Someone also took a picture of the county ordered restaurant closure sign and posted it on the Yelp review page of the Rising Loafer.


Something unique
another community
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm
Something unique, another community
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:02 pm
10 people like this

In San Francisco there is a cool and fun place called Urban Putt. It's a bar and restaurant with an indoor mini golf course. Kids are allowed until 8PM and the place is always crowded. This would be a little bit of someting for everyone. Just throwing a crazy idea out there!


Pleasanton Parent
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:35 pm
Pleasanton Parent , Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 4, 2019 at 10:35 pm
3 people like this

I always thought a chicken coop (Campbell restaurant) would do well downtown


g
Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm
g, Vintage Hills
on Oct 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm
7 people like this

so a few of things...

the food downtown IS for the most part boring. that's a problem but not a serious one. but at the same time (judging from the comments) most people in Pleasanton don't want that to change. they may want a different provider, but they want the same food. there isn't a whole lot of room for diversity unless it's trendy. Ramen 101 will probably succeed. it's decent, not really even good ramen. but it will survive for awhile because it's consistent, in-expensive and still somewhat trendy. ramen is sooooo 1990 btw... y'all just catching up now out here i guess

real ethnic food and real fine dining won't survive in downtown. there's just not high a demand for it. what residents here seem to want are re-hashes of the same food. there's nothing wrong with that. just don't complain about it. i mean, if you want that type of diversity and quality and service, go to San Francisco, Napa, Oakland, Berkeley, Livermore... not here. there's no demand nor support for to sustain that.

Pleasanton isn't Livermore. it doesn't have anything like a growing food culture to sustain a restaurant that has great service and great food unless it's just outside of downtown and has smart owners. honestly, i don't think there's an appreciation for it and that's too bad.

i'm hoping the dumpling place near Vic's works it out and gets better. it's not bad. but better dumplings are to be had just over by the outlets and in Dublin. even fusion places like the dearly departed Gan didn't survive... and that? that was good. the Burmese place is good and i have hopes for that. Tomo was great... gone too.

so support your favorites, always. go to The Press, Beer Baron, Salt Craft, Sabios, and the like. go support the one businesses that are tried and true, the Main Street Brewery, Haps and others.

try new places or ones with new ownership... oddly enough, Pocket Sushi is awesome. better even than Koja.

but more importantly, try something new and different and keep going until you've given it an honest try. get out of your comfort zones and try something new. I'd love to see more European themed restaurants, Spanish, Portuguese, Eastern European. that would definitely balance out the 383 Italian restaurants we seem to have.

but this... this is what the main issue is. the main issue isn't that Pleasanton residents aren't supporting these places. the main issue is that these places aren't drawing people from outside of Pleasanton. for that to happen, other things will need to change... and i'm not sure that the residents here are open to that.

oh well...


Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 5, 2019 at 4:17 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 5, 2019 at 4:17 pm
1 person likes this

The best food in town the last twenty plus years is the food cooked in my home and in my back yard.,


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2019 at 5:27 pm
2 people like this

Agreed, g.

I just wish I understood why residents don't want better food--not in a way enough to support a business. Perhaps it's because tastes here trend to the familiar?


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2019 at 7:11 pm
4 people like this

Give me a good creole place.


Anony
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2019 at 7:43 pm
Anony, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2019 at 7:43 pm
3 people like this

G,

Regarding how "bland" restaurants are in Pleasanton, you do know there is a WHOLE shopping center devoted to exotic Asian food--right here in Pleasanton (gasp!)?

Just because a restaurant isn't ethnic doesn't mean it is boring or bland. The only Pleasanton restaurants making the Top 50 in the Bay Area are Salt Craft and Sabio, both of which are downtown and are decidedly "California" cuisine.


Wombat
Downtown
on Oct 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm
Wombat, Downtown
on Oct 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm
2 people like this

@Anony wrote “The only Pleasanton restaurants making the Top 50 in the Bay Area are Salt Craft and Sabio, both of which are downtown and are decidedly "California" cuisine.”

Who ranked Sabio and Salt Craft in the Top 50 of the Bay Area? I’ve been to Sabio twice and while I give them credit for being different, I personally don’t think that their dishes were very flavorful. iMHO, both Lokanta and Nonni’s are better than Sabio. As for Salt Craft, I haven’t tried them out but I do notice that their entrees consist mostly of sandwiches and pasta dishes, so unless the Top 50 list you’re referring to is just for lunch places I don’t see how Salt Craft competes with the best that the Bay Area has to offer just based on their menu alone.


Anony
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2019 at 11:20 pm
Anony, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 5, 2019 at 11:20 pm
2 people like this

Wombat

Mercury News, just published last week.


Grumpy
Registered user
Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 6, 2019 at 6:47 am
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2019 at 6:47 am
7 people like this

Sabio was very good when it opened, but I've had some embarrassingly bad meals there. They reduced the quality of their wine list, dropped the quality of a number of dishes without decreasing prices, and generally failed to impress. Hopefully it was just a rough spell and they've recovered, but three bad meals in a row and I stopped going. Does anyone here know if they've improved?

Salt Craft is mostly lunch style. It's good, but the opposite of fine dining.

Pacific Pearl isn't downtown Pleasanton or close to it but a strip mall on the Dublin/Livermore borders, so the complaint still stands.

Yes for creole.

I think there's good agreement here that the Pleasanton food scene he lost its vibrancy. Any ideas why?


Fifty Years Here
Registered user
Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 6, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Fifty Years Here, Pleasanton Heights
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2019 at 7:42 pm
10 people like this

I remember a discussion with the owner of a local Italian restaurant. He was lamenting, "I buy fresh fish, good cuts of meat, prepare good fresh pasta dishes... The only thing I buy pre-prepared is my lasagna. And what is my best seller? My lasagna! The people of Pleasanton love frozen lasagna."


Recie
Registered user
Mission Park
on Oct 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Recie, Mission Park
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2019 at 1:54 pm
4 people like this

I agree with previous posters. The food downtown in general is bland and not family friendly. You know who likes restaurant food? Parents that have evening activities with the kids. Maybe we can't sit down to eat, but we will grab food to go in a heartbeat. We just want well-seasoned food that the whole family can enjoy at a decent price. I tried to support Lily's, but the food wasn't great for the price. As a community member, I wanted them to succeed. So even when food/service was bad, I didn't publicize on yelp. Just hoping they would improve over time. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.


Don't give up
Birdland
on Oct 9, 2019 at 9:19 am
Don't give up, Birdland
on Oct 9, 2019 at 9:19 am
4 people like this

Don't give up on Downtown. Have you tried SideTrack or Oyo?? Great additions to downtown.


resident
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2019 at 9:30 am
resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2019 at 9:30 am
5 people like this

By looking around, I would assume Pleasanton residents must LOVE Indian Food!
Oh, I miss Claude and Dominique's Bistro!


still hoping
Carriage Gardens
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:44 am
still hoping, Carriage Gardens
on Oct 11, 2019 at 11:44 am
Like this comment

We were at Handles nearly weekly. We gave the new restaurants 3 tries. Our experiences in each case had notable issues, mostly with timely service. After 3rd time we didn't go back.

Wanted this to be a win, since the location is a great place with ample parking near by, and we love eating downtown (with kids, by the way, 11 and 15). Why this didn't turn out to be as well-oiled an operation as Eddie Papas is beyond me. Hoping the next owners crack the code...somebody please step up!


PTownResident
Canyon Oaks
on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:29 pm
PTownResident, Canyon Oaks
on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:29 pm
1 person likes this

As a Chinese American living in Pleasanton for more than 15 years, I enjoy everything we have in downtown. We have wonderful foods covering every part of the world. Business opens and closes. Please do not be so childish here to discuss this business closure.


Just asking
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2019 at 8:09 am
Just asking , Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2019 at 8:09 am
3 people like this

Now we know who the racist are!!!!!! Pleasanton parent and btk 2035. I'm calling both of you out. RACISTS!!!!!
White people as you call them created this wonderful city you all flock too. Why did you come here to begin with if you hate white people so much. And why are you trying to change a city you flocked to to become less " White" Is you intent to turn. Nice clean "white" city into a 3rd world crap hole like every other city you have taken over. Maybe you should assimilate into white culture and your cities and schools won't be crap holes. How about this. Why don't you racist losers quit following white people around just to move in and ruin their cities and schools. Keep playing the race game I won't back down unlike you I'm against racism. It's American culture. You should try it sometime.


justthefacts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm
justthefacts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:40 pm
Like this comment

Thank you Ed and your family for giving it a go to make the Pleasanton Hotel alive again. Now I wish'd I would have eaten there more often. No question that you left the building in better condition than you found it!


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