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Domus Closing Again?

Original post made by downtown shopper, Downtown, on Sep 16, 2012

There are signs in the window saying that the store is closing. What's up with that? Domus is a wonderful store, what a shame that they cannot make it work. Just what we need downtown is another empty building. I know, let's recruit another nail salon!

Comments (45)

Posted by yes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I saw the same tonight. Everyone loves that store, but it didn't make it. So sad.

Posted by milo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Isn't it an oxymoron to say that everyone loved the store and that it is closing. If everyone loved the store they would have gone in and bought something and then the store wouldn't be closing. It would be a success.

(in a whispered tone) The store was a little expensive. I couldn't get myself to pay the prices. (shhhh!)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Could this be a premature decision? Any truth to the rumor a Gap is coming to Main St. (there was a television truck on Main Friday night)? Total hearsay, but it could draw people downtown for more than just food.

Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

Just so long as something goes in that I can spend my money on, I'll support it.

Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

Some of us actually purchased things in Domus and we purchase things in other downtown stores. Unfortunately, most Pleasanton people want to have great stores to walk around and look at, they want a vibrant downtown, then they want to find their merchandise cheaper at WalMart or online. If you complain about having few choices downtown then think about how much money you actually spend there. Merchants do not open stores just for your entertainment.

Posted by OhWell
a resident of Sycamore Place
on Sep 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

It official. I got a letter in the mail from Domus inviting us to their "store closing for good sale" starting on 9/20.

Posted by resident
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:30 am

Aren't these the original owners? Maybe they've just decided to retire?

Posted by No Surprise
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

That's really sad. The unfortunate reality is that downtown doesn't have a critical mass of stores. And, of course, that will never happen as long as the parking situation remains so miserable. Is Pleasanton every going to bite the bullet and put in a large parking garage downtown, or are they just going to continue wringing their hands over the lack of stores downtown?

Posted by Not The Same
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

Let's face it, the present owner's aren't as friendly as John & Kathy
who were the owner's before the present one's. John and Kathy would
greet you by name and they always had good sales, these other people wouldn't give you the time of day. the employees would just stand around and talk to each other instead of helping the customer.

When John & Kathy owned it , the parking lot was full of Domus customers, now all the customers are at Dean's.

This Margaret person who runs it now is a complete sour puss and certainly not a people person. She cooked her own goose by coming back to Pleasanton. Hope something worth while takes over the building
and adds to the charm of downtown Pleasanton.

Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor
a resident of Foothill High School
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

I agree with "downtown shopper". While Domus was wonderful (and a tad expensive), most people in this country are of the Wal-Mart mindset. They want cheap and they do not care who suffers for it.

You know, Wal-Mart tried to set-up in Germany and Germany kicked them out. Germany saw that it was hurting the local businesses.
Why can't we want to buy things made in America. I wish we (citizens and newly arrived immigrants) would be proud of America again. Sigh....

Posted by artlover20
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:54 am

The parking situation is miserable? Have you ever tried parking in Oakland Berkeley or the East Bay? There are so many places to park aorund town- and it's healthy to walk.

I'm sure you walk just as far to reach Stoneridge Mall, but it might seem shorter because it's more of a straight path.

On-line has killed many a store- just look at Best Buy!
Now that Amazon has to charge sales tax, maybe the situation will get better.

However, with Paragon opening you can just buy buy (bye bye) to anyone trying to make it on downtwn rents and people not willing to even walk one minute to "find" a parking place. You want a nice downtown but you sure don't want any part in saving it. It's a shame, but it's reality.

Posted by Nicole
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:14 am

My parents live in San Jose where a Domus opened up and the store is never crowded or full of people. The store has nice stuff but the prices are too high. I wish the owners well but let's bring a store that we can all purchase from

Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:29 am

Lil Miss Rumor Monger says that a GAP will probably go in. I support GAP because their clothes are cheap and they treat their employees in China very well. As the greatest of our presidents George W. Bush said. As a defense against terrorism "Go Shopping!"

Posted by Maggie
a resident of Valencia
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

I would shop downtown more if there were a variety of stores - some like Domus, Sincerely Yours, Clover Creek and some more practical for the everyday type items. The worse thing to happen to Main Street was losing the hardware store and putting yet another bank on that street. As it stands, unless I need a unique gift, I have no need to shop on Main Street. Pleasanton Downtown Association needs to take a few lessons from Burlingame.

Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Hey gang ~ I'm local, I buy local and guess what I've shopped at Domus for years. I love that store and don't find it too expensive... I'm not rich. There are higher end stuff than what you'd find at Kmart but compared to Stoneridge the price is average. Quality items are worth paying a little more for as well as having it in the palm of your downtown. They even had their own parking lot, which many took advantage of even though it was for customers only. The original owner Margaret decided to retire after running her business for 40 some years. Time to spend life with the family. I found the staff friendly and decided to work there part time seasonally. If anyone of you have created and owned your own business, you'd understand the work that it takes to make the wheels turn. It's a 24/7 kinda job and you need to devote all of your time to it. I'm happy for Margaret, it's time to enjoy life.

Everyone who stepped into Domus were overjoyed to have it reopen after the last owners had left it vacant for 2 years. There were so many Kitchen, Home and Garden items in ALL Price ranges. The displays were beautifully done, and I found the staff very helpful. As a local, I appreciated having this store in my downtown and showed my appreciation by shopping there when I needed what they had, as I do with the other downtown stores. Love the new store Therapy (clothes, shoes, jewelry...) ! We need more retail!!! Shop Local !!!

I'm sad for the rest of us who will probably get stuck now, with another bank.

Well Time to Check out Domus for the last time. Thursday they reopen with sales everywhere and Give Away Prizes as a THANK YOU for shopping over the past 40 years ~ Come on in and see what you'll be missing ~

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Why not sell the business?

Posted by Insider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

From what I understand, the owner has decided to retire - it has nothing to do with the financial stability of the business.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

Stacey is a registered user.

So why not sell the business?

Posted by About the GAP
a resident of Danbury Park
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

Regarding the GAP - We were leaving the Wine Steward Friday evening and saw the Channel 5 van and news crew. Out of curiosity, I asked why they were there. The gentleman told me they were doing a story on the possibility of the GAP moving it's headquarters from San Francisco to Hacienda Business Park. When I asked why they were filming the story down town, both he (the cameraman) and the reporter said it was because downtown was much quainter on camera.
I, too, am sad to see Domus go. I agree with Stacey - why not sell the business??

Posted by Becky
a resident of Happy Valley
on Sep 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

Yes it is sad to them go, again. What concerns me more was that their business model was built when we had a much more prosperous economy and their was a much higher amount of disposable income to be spent on "non-essential" home items, expensive gifts, knick-knacks and the general types of goods that Domus (Crate & Barrell, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware et. al.) would peddle. All of those aforementioned retailers have all taken a hit in recent years but due to their corporate ties have been able to keep (most) of their retail locations open. While I will always try to shop locally and support local merchants that mindset can only go so far and you can only buy so many candles, decorations, kitchen/cooking supplies and assorted knick-knacks before you reach a saturation point.

As a recent empty nester my husband and I have realized a new found love of the downtown area after dark. Being able to have a late dinner, enjoy a glass of wine, perhaps go dancing and have a proper couples night out and not have to drive to Danville, Walnut Creek or even SF has been like a 2nd honeymoon for us. Why can't the Downtown Merchants Assoc., the Chamber of Commerce and business owners realize this untapped potential that exists on Main St. and build upon a model to attract people to the restaurants, Firehouse Theater, and other night life that Pleasanton (could & should) offer?

Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

Question posted by Stacy: "So why not sell the business"

I suggest you go to Domus and ask the owner if you want to know that.

If you'd like someone to guess, I'd say that with such a large building space including the parking space that you have to pay for as well, to lease that spot would take a lot of money. In this economy a New Business would be gambling a lot to make it. Only a franchise that has a Developed clientele would make a good go of it. But why would a franchise want to risk it in our little downtown? While Pleasanton has a certain wealth in it's community, they like most, spend the majority of their pocket money elsewhere. I'd say businesses draw from other businesses and taking a look at our downtown, there is a lack of business (retail) to draw from.

Posted by Al
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Sorry to see them go :(

Posted by Sue
a resident of Happy Valley
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I like to shop and I like to buy new things, but I don't like to pay more than the item is worth. I walked through Domus many times since the most recent opening......never bought a thing, sadly.......just too pricey. Best of luck to the owners, whatever their future is. I agree that we need a parking garage too.....very frustrating at times.

Posted by Al
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

@Becky, the downtown needs a lot of physical work before it is a viable night spot. I don't know if you walked single file on your honeymoon or had to step in the street because a group of people are going in the opposite direction. Yes the sidewalks of downtown are non-existent after allowing all the restaurants setup outside dining. I gave up walking downtown after being annoyed that I couldn't hold my girlfriends hand while we walked from a parking lot to dinner. After several trips downtown, we don't really go there much. Look at the sidewalks in Livermore for an example of how to do it right. Then there is parking. Yes there are a lot of spaces but not enough for the amount of business the store owners would love to have. We need a parking structure. Then we need a movie theatre. What drives people out at night? Movies. Good old movies and popcorn get whole families out to an area. Yes we have the Firehouse theatre but is it really a driving force to bring people downtown? I think not. The downtown needs family friendly activities, not just drinking and dancing.

Movie theatre
Pedestrian friendly sidewalks

Fix these three things and downtown will thrive.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


It isn't a new business. It has an established clientele and brand presence downtown. The risk is nothing beyond what already exists. If Domus closes, it's higher risk to start new business there.

If I'd guess, I'd say either the business is not attractive to a buyer or the owner doesn't want to sell. Either way, not good for Pleasanton. That space was sitting empty for a long time.

Posted by anonymouse
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I think what downtown needs is more office space and commercial businesses.

The retail shops would pretty much be guaranteed business at lunchtime and perhaps after work.

If you look at the successful shopping areas that have a large lunchtime crowd, usually they are within walking distance of ofiice buildings.

Why not, instead of expanding retail businesses, include MORE office space?

Posted by Bob
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have lived here in Pleasanton for about 30 years and we continue to see changes in the downtown business climate. Once it was a rowdy bar hoping locale and then overnight it changed to a Pasta Restaurant on every corner. No property owner wants to see empty buildings in downtown. This will further the blight in our housing economy. Just go to downtown Martinez and see how many empty spaces exist there and then check the housing prices as well. We have a good thing here in Pleasanton but between apoplectic Government officials and greedy landlords, we continue to see changes that are not good on Main Street. Just ask Pans On Fire Store Owner why they left downtown. We don't need another Massage parlor or a nail saloon and we don't need another restaurant that struggles to stay in business. We have empty storefronts and in some cases large holes where viable businesses once thrived. We need to speak our minds and we need to let both our Governing enclave and Greedy Landlords know we mean it.

Posted by Becky
a resident of Happy Valley
on Sep 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

You make a great point Al. Perhaps we're just finally looking at this from a different perspective now that we are not using the Downtown area for "family friendly" activities. For the better part of 18+ years we've brought our children downtown occasionally and for mostly planed events (Concerts in the Park, parades, Farmers Market, etc.) and did unfortunately have to go elsewhere especially when they were younger for dining and other family entertainment. Having a Downtown alternative for those trips would have been a godsend but alas, very few options have been available over the years.

That happy medium you speak of that will accommodate both family themed dining and entertainment as well as a vibrant night life for the older, 55+ crowd could exist and I believe that the City Planning Commission did even have a topic on their schedule about this very same issue just last week.
Web Link

I wasn't able to find the minutes of last weeks meeting but that fact that the city is willing to address this topic and seek out possible solutions and new options is a positive step in my opinion.

Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

No brainer. Ask ANY restaurant owner, waiter or bartender who they would rather have as a customer.

A) A family of four that orders two adults dinners, a pair of children's meals, a round of soda's, water and maybe a glass of wine and then a dessert and then leave a 13-15% tip.

B) A group of four businessmen, or other ADULTS coming in after work or at night ordering round of drinks or maybe (gasp!) a bottle of wine, some appetizers, four ADULT dinners, some more drinks, dessert and then leave 15-25% tip???

I haven't even figured in the cost of the wait staff in serving the family, cleaning up spilled food, the cost to the other patrons with whining, crying, yelling uncontrolled offspring, etc. Face it folks, big people make better customers. Chuck E Cheese will be more than happy to serve the rest of you.

Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm

NN -- you have it exactly right. No way will I put out good money to sit next to the entitled brats of the entitled Pleasanton parents. Even more annoying, however, are the people who insist on bringing their dogs everywhere. ONLY service animals are legally allowed into restaurants and that includes the fenced in patios on the sidewalks! Keep your pocket dogs in their little hide-a-dog purses out of restaurants.
I think I'll raise a miniature horse and call it a service animal. Every restaurant that allows the abuse by dogs will get to accommodate my "service horse". And his little droppings.
People have a right, by law, to clean and sanitary food preparation and service. Real service animals know how to behave in public and they do not slobber on, sniff and annoy the customers.
Yeah, I think a service horse would serve these people right.

Posted by Al
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm

More great posts that spotlight the " I want it my way" Pleasanton. I don't have a pony in this race. I'm just making observations from living in Pleasanton for several years. All consumer dollars are good dollars. It doesn't matter if it's families or adults dining. The point isn't about dining and drinking. The point is to make a destination that will encompass all. Main street is broken and it needs to be rebuilt. It needs to be user friendly before the crowds will return.

Just so you know I do not have kids but I do know the value of making a place that is kid friendly. Parents repeatedly take their children to a place, guess what? The children grow up and attend that place and when they have kids, they take their kids. It is a huge cash flow circle. Being able to understand and deal with this is the difference between a place that is open 2-3 years or generations.

If you are so offended by children then it is up to you,the adult,to take matters into your hands. Frequent expensive restaurants and buy that bottle of wine. Eat at a later time. Or if you dislike people so much do us all a favor and eat at home.

To respond to shopper, yes I am very tired of the dog mess on the streets. Something needs to be done about that.

Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

In free market capitalism, ideally consumers will define themselves as consumers. I feel I'm an ideal member of our society. The more things I buy and show off, the better I feel about myself. If a restaurant goes in, I hope its a swanky one that I can brag about going to to my friends. If its a shop, it needs to be high-end so that I can get some designer clothes to show off to my envious neighbors.

Posted by anonymouse
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

If you build it (more commercial space), they will come!

It is a win- win situation for the city and downtown merchants. The stores get lunchtime and afterwork business from people working at offices within walking distance, and the city gets all the extras such as more employers and employees.

Convert one of two of the buildings toward the edge of downtown to office buildings. It 's better than empty storefronts!

Posted by Buggaboo
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Sep 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

got the same letter today-retirement sale. what's weird-just less then a month ago they had a sign in the window that they were hiring.

As for the GAP-there is no way in hell the city will allow them to go in to downtown-they are already moving their offices to hacienda.

Posted by local
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:45 am

I agree with poster Maggie above - we need a "real" downtown. Yeah, it's pretty having a boutique-y downtown, but I would love to have a hardware store, auto parts store, etc. there. As it is, I spend way too much time in Dublin at Target - would like to spend those buxx closer to home!

Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

When Domus was closed last year I took my kid to Dean's for breakfast one morning and parked in the big lot, not aware tat Domus would be re-opening. When we got back to the car there was a note on the windshield that didn't say, "We are re-opening soon and need to keep the lot open for contractors and Domus customers" which would have been fine, it said "You are not to park here, if you park her again you will be towed at your expense.". I never parked there, I never went in, good riddance.

Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

Since the Gap is moving their offices to Pleasanton, maybe they will get to opoen a Gap downtown. Look at Safeway, they get to build whatever they want wherever they want. They could build a gas station in the Domus store if they wanted to.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

Sorry our downtown is great,yeah maybe the stores are pricey but thats the kind of stores they are. Just like downtown Willow Glen or Los Gatos. If you want cheaper go to Walmart. Please do not change downtown and we do not need a parking garage, if you need a parking garage go to the mall. I appreciate that we actually have a quaint downtown to go to so many towns really don't anymore. I moved here because Pleasanton still has a community, neighborly feel to it. I appreciate the fact they close Main Street for parades still. I for one am a fan of our Main street!!

Posted by Whatshisname
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

I'm a middle aged, middle class, single guy who doesn't mind shopping. My problem with Pleasanton downtown is there is no reason for me to go there. Other than Murphy's Paw and the bookstore, there are no stores of interest for a guy to shop in.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

In reviewing all the comments to date it would appear that most are missing the point. Why did you move here? Was it the community? Was it the Downtown ambiance? Was it the schools? Was it our services such has Police and Fire? We all made a very large investment when we moved here no matter when we did. It is up to all of us to support our Fair City and help to ensure a safe, economically sound, and a place we can all call home.

Shame on you who said you wouldn't want to sit next to a Family while dining at a restaurant. You were once a child and now you have money to spend and if you were alienated by a business as you state, would you go back to that establishment? We need to patronize all the downtown businesses if we want to see our City thrive and prosper.

I am a pet owner myself but I don't own a dog since living in Pleasanton. I agree we have a very large problem with Dog Owners who simply fail to clean up after their pets. Shame on you and may you live the rest of your life walking in the pile of you know what. What really disturbs me is we have Veterinary locations who walk their boarded animals but fail to pick up after them. Just walk down Del Valle Parkway sometime.

Come out on Thursday and pay your respects to the ownership at Domus and part with some of your hard earned cash and then go and have a meal at a local Restaurant and say hi to a neighbor.

Posted by Tish
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

I came to Pleasanton because of its reputation for being a place where rich people live. And because my husband works nearby. My favorite thing to do is shop, and I'm very impressed that this site already has around 1700 hits. It shows me where the city's priorities are: restaurant or clothing store? Either one is great as long as I can continue to feel as if I belong to the upper crust. Give me a high-end shop where I can spend my hubby's money!

Posted by well
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

We're a family of four, eat regularly downtown, apps, adult meals, kids meals, bottle of wine, 20%+ tip on whole bill including tax. Kids have been going to restaurants all their lives and know how to behave. Don't generalize.

Posted by nancy
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

I heard Gap was coming but inthought it was office staff. Still would be diversity. I would vote for a Cir D Letable.

Posted by Audrey Burns
a resident of Laguna Vista
on Sep 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Wow Pleasanton, Some worthy comments but look at some of these others: "I know,let's recruit another nail salon". From what I can see there are 2 on Mainstreet so what are you really trying to say? How about: "these other people" what other people? Are these "other people" not the shade of white you prefer?) Here is another love pat: "This Margaret person". Because Margaret MUST be the real culprit. Maybe Margaret spits on all of the merchandise when customers are not looking? Who WOULD want to open a business with a community of snobs? Try to be more accepting and maybe you would attract more business.

Posted by gary
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I can't believe I just wasted 15 minutes reading some of these comments. I didn't laugh once...I just shake my head and sigh...sure a bunch of grouches out there sharing their grouchiness. :-(

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