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Tara's Ice Cream has closed

Original post made by Damon, Foothill Knolls, on Nov 21, 2015

Was driving down Main Street this morning and noticed that Tara's Ice Cream store looked dark and empty. It looks like they have closed down for good:

..................
Dear Community,

It is with heaviness in my heart that I share with you that we are no longer in business in Pleasanton. We truly loved being there and getting to know you. It was a pleasure to serve the community, but unfortunately we could not make it work there. I am sorry that we left on short notice. It was not our choice. I hope that you will have the chance to visit T.O.I.C. in Berkeley - or Oakland. Peace, Love, and Gratitude for the time we did spend with you.

Love the T.O.I.C. team!

Web Link
....................

Comments (24)

Posted by Pleasanton parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Unfortunate.

We need a better pull into our downtown.

I think stores like this can only survive if there is constant foot traffic, I don't see these stores as destination stores alone.

Time for a revival.


Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm

"I am sorry that we left on short notice. It was not our choice"

Look no further than the landlord. He is well known for his greed and if they were forced out with no notice that is not a big surprise. He requires his tenants to produce a certain amount of sales per square foot and then takes a percentage of that as well as the rent. Not enough for him to just collect his rent.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Okay, who is the landlord?


Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

'downtown shopper' is right. I know someone who is an owner downtown, and there are two types of owners: those that charge the highest possible rents AND take a percentage of gross sales as well, and suffer the consequences of higher vacancies; and those that charge high but fair rates, not taking a percentage, and keep their vacancy rates lower. Personally, I'd rather be in the latter category, I find the former category to be greedy and selfish. If I was a prospective tenant and my landlord wanted to take a percentage AND rent, I would tell them either one or the other. If they want a percentage, then they cannot take rent, so they would have to be "all in" on my business success. I wish the next tenant in that space success.


Posted by Downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm

@michael
Craig semmelmeyer. Same one who owns building with fleet feet and the restaurant and made such a HUGE deal about the tap house putting up signs for their patrons not to park in his lot. (Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

The same dude who did away with Coldstone: Web Link


Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

It should not be a mystery why prospective tenants seek space somewhere other than Pleasanton. Landlords (Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.) take greed to a new level while searching for tenants like banks and nail salons with high cash flow, aka high percentages of gross income to the landlords. Much of the downtown is owned by a few long time owners who have paid for their buildings many times over. They continue to raise the rent, some taking their percentage of income, yet how many buildings have actually had any money spent to be brought up to code or even just cleaned up? The owner of one building said that he "could not afford" not to raise the rent, significantly, on his tenants. Yet when I checked the public records of political contributions I found that both he and his wife had contributed many thousands of dollars to the prop 8 (anti gay equality) fund. Can't afford not to raise the rent but had plenty of money to fund a hate campaign. Makes a person wonder about priorities.


Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

Everyone who has posted above is dead on! The owners of Downtown properties have no right to charge market rents, nor should they ever see a return on their investments! The City of Pleasanton should use its power of eminent domain, take over all the properties Downtown and run them as a city amenity!


Posted by downtown shopper
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 22, 2015 at 1:23 pm

@jack, no one is saying or implying that the property owners should not get fair market rent. And if they also take a percentage of the gross then the merchant needs to account for that and either rent the space or not. What is needless here is the heavy handed approach that many landlords take with tenants, forcing them out with little notice. Semmelmeyer knows that the small merchants cannot afford a legal battle so he chooses whether or not to strictly follow the contract or to simply force them out. Unfair by any standards, and it has nothing to do with whether or not he is charging fair market rent.

People complained when the former Domus tried to enforce ownership of their paid parking spots. Yet, who has protested the crude and nasty way that Semmelmeyer forces the taphouse to warn their customers not to use "his" parking? He tried to force them to hire a person just to stand guard over his spots and keep people out. I generally walk everywhere downtown. However, on my last several visits I have driven the few blocks and parked in Semmelmeyer's lot.


Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Also the same clown who forced pans on fire out of their Main Street location and who now has Tullys coffee on a month to month lease, nice job slick, maybe you can get cold stone to come back again at least you got to "milk" them for 10 years before being forced out!!


Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

A lease is a contract that gives both sides rights and obligations. "Forcing them out with little notice" is not likely to happen to someone who is otherwise living up to their end of the contract.
And as far as the attacks on Mr. Semmelmeyer: The man bought a dilapidated, toxic, gas station and turned it into what it is today. I'd like to just say "Thank you," because over the years I've enjoyed my share of burritos, coffees and ice creams as a result of his investment in our Downtown.
And if he feels the need to protect his parking lot, so his tenant's customers have a place to park so the business can be successful, it is HIS parking lot. Until the city or a neighbor buys it from him, it remains his property. Just like your neighbor's mother-in-law can't park in your driveway on Thanksgiving, McKay's customers can't park on his lot...


Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 22, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Stop whining about the landlord. If he or she makes a business decision to swap one tenant for another, it's his or her business. The money equation for Tara's simply wasn't enough for Tara's to remain a tenant. Perhaps they had an "out" clause in their lease tied to revenue, and the landlord actually did them a favor by granting the out vs. holding them to the lease.

Unless you have knowledge of the contract between tenants and the landlord, you have no basis to comment. And if you did have that knowledge, you'd be doing everybody a disservice by making it public. So stop commenting.

If you hate the landlord that much, then do something like vote with your dollars and patronize somewhere else. Take some action, even if it's wrong, but please stop whining about somebody else's business.


Posted by Old Guy
a resident of Willow West
on Nov 23, 2015 at 10:31 am

Old Guy is a registered user.

Well, as much as I dislike the implied greed and insensitivity of these landlords they are not out of line in today's business world. If it were me I simply would not agree to those terms and take my business elsewhere. High vacancy will over time solve this issue but prospective tenants must be strong and locate their small entities elsewhere. Elsewhere will likely mean less traffic, less profits but very well may result in a longer engagement and therefore more opportunity to succeed. The contracts offered by these landlords are not deceptive and with all terms well defined you have a choice.


Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm

What % of the profit do they receive after the tenant pays the rent? Legal?


Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Tara's is all over: Web Link

seems a bit coo-coo since she mades tons of money already...doesn't need to sell in Plutonia...problem solved!


Posted by Nutcase
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Once again Cholo saves the day with simplisticness!

VIVA CHOLO! VIVA!!


Posted by Tom
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm

I agree with Sam. If you don't have specific knowledge about this contractual situation, you do a disservice and misrepresent the landlord. Some seem to be naive about business practices and rush to make a victim out of an ice cream store.

Also, I had to smile when I read one person's comment that not supporting Prop 8 automatically makes you a 'hater'. What they meant to say was, "if you don't agree with my version of social issues then I reserve the right to call you nasty names."


Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2015 at 9:34 am

How about another Starbucks? The closest one would be more than 2 blocks away, a huge distance by their standards!


Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:33 am

The rumor downtown is Semmelmeyer is also not happy with the return he is getting from Tullys and the burrito place. He feels the burrito place is attracting the wrong element to his plaza like Coldstone did.

Speaking about McKay's, Semmelmeyer has not been forthcoming in discussing the usage of the parking lot between McKay's and Fleet Feet. Semmelmeyer does not want to share without McKay's paying an excessive amount according to insiders.


Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

I'm just wondering who does His Lordship (semmelmeyer) consider the "wrong element" hanging out and spending money at his properties downtown?? Maybe he should fence off the properties, provide valet parking and have security keep us lowlands riffraff out!


Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I don't park my cars in my neighbor's garage, and he doesn't park his in mine. I don't barbecue in my neighbor's backyard, and he doesn't barbecue in mine. I hide my Easter Eggs in my yard, and my neighbor displays his Festivus Pole from his.
What right do the employees and customers of McKay's have to Semmelmyer's property? He paid for it, he maintains it, if someone trips and falls on it, he gets sued, it's HIS property. He has it for the customers of Fleet Feet and Mangia Mi. If the city stepped up bought the property, then the operable word would be "share," as it stands now the best word that fits is "trespass…"


Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

I like how most of the comments ignore the fact that Tara's just wasn't that good. Sure, the flavors were unique and interesting but it wasn't something that you really craved. Not to mention the fact that most kids just weren't that interested in it.

I doubt few will miss it because they loved the product so much.


Posted by No short memory here....
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Am I the only ones that remember that they opened and knew Coldstone was being forced out before Coldstone even knew? The LOCAL Coldstone that was there until Tara's negotiating a deal with the owner to lease the place right out from under the wonderful folks that owned the Cold Stone and that supported our children and community.

KARMA!


Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Nov 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm

@Timothy T: "I like how most of the comments ignore the fact that Tara's just wasn't that good. Sure, the flavors were unique and interesting but it wasn't something that you really craved."

You can say that you personally didn't like Tara's Ice Cream, but you can't speak for the rest of the community. Tara's Ice Cream in Pleasanton had a Yelp rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, which is pretty good. t doubt that whatever store replaces it will be ranked so highly. We'll see.


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