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Artwork by Evelyn Chen of Fremont

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Welcome to the premier edition of the Best of the East Bay, a compilation of almost 100 businesses that you, our readers, think are the best, the finest, the cream of the crop, and maybe even the nicest businesses and services in the East Bay. You voted and we tallied and compiled this list of who’s who in our fabulous and diverse region of the East Bay. From skin care and eye and ear health to car care and home improvement, these are the merchants who, hands down, give great customer service and guarantee a positive experience every time you walk in their stores. Of course, the East Bay is also home to a variety of the best restaurants serving delectable cuisine from Asian to vegan. Check out who you voted as the best when it comes to dining out or grabbing a quick snack...or finding a host of entertainment options around the map. The results are in…and the winners are detailed in the following pages. Enjoy your favorites and explore what may be new possibilities for your entertainment and dining pleasure; get advice from your regional peers on where they find the best service from hair care to health care, car care to pet care. Most of all, celebrate your East Bay!

— Monica Lander

Index by category is found on Page 36.




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Presenting this year’s

WINNERS Best in East Bay 2013

WHEELS Mechanic Steve’s Auto Care Steve Kahn cares for your car as if it’s his own. He started his business in 1997 in a 2,000-square-foot store in Albany and now has 35,000 square feet of space at the former Honda dealership in El Cerrito, where he worked when he was younger. His highly trained master technicians service your car and all of them have a passion for making sure their customers are not only satisfied, but also impressed with the service. Kahn and his wife, a teacher in the Richmond Unified School District, are active members of the community and support many community events and teams. Kahn insists on hiring people with

passion and many have completed courses at the local community college. “We don’t process people, but treat people as we would want to be treated,” a lesson he says he was taught by his parents. With his customers’ best interest at heart, he builds a relationship of trust with both new and long-time customers and nurtures a family atmosphere. “We appreciate every customer,” says Kahn and “respect their time.”

Spa is the go to place for pampering your cool set of wheels. Like a massage, there’s the hand wax, or the shampoo treatment (carpet and mats). Maintaining the beauty of the leather seats or shampooing the upholstery is also offered in addition to custom hand washes. Owner Steve Matijevich and family have owned the auto spa for about six years and enjoy being a part of the Brentwood community.

Steve’s Auto Care, 11820 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530, 510-237-3906,

Brentwood Auto Spa, 6945 Lone Tree Way, Brentwood, CA 94513, 925-513-7610,

Car Detailer Brentwood Auto Spa A spa for your car? It deserves it, after all, it gets you to where you want to go every day, doesn’t it? A favorite among cars if they could talk, Brentwood Auto

Dealership Winter’s Chevrolet The Winter Family has owned and operated Winter’s Chevrolet for more than 50 years and like a Chevrolet, they’ve been

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reliable and dependable and consistent with good service and a wide selection of about 250 new and used cars in stock. Rose Winter keeps world class and master technicians in the service department and 26 service bays so that your car can be ready to go when you are. General Manager Kevin Peters sees to it that the sales, service, finance and parts departments are humming like, you know, a well-tuned Chevrolet. Winter’s Chevrolet, 3750 Century Ct., Pittsburg, CA 94565, 925-439-8222,



Car Wash Autopia Did you know that taking you car to be washed at Autopia helps save the environment? The folks at Autopia use only about half as much water as you would if you were washing your car in driveway. These guys also have a lot of experience, having washed more than two million cars. I doubt they even miss a spot. Get unlimited washes per month for a low monthly fee and take advantage of the “rain policy.” If it rains the same day as your carwash, you can bring your car back within 72 hours for another wash. From the basic exterior wash to the ultimate inside, outside, underbody and three coats of wax job, your car is will shine like it just rolled out of the showroom. Autopia Car Wash, 220 N. L St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-455-6644, other locations in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Concord and Martinez,


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HOME Window Installer The Window Works Jim and Darlene Bennett purchased The Window Works in 1995, transitioning from satisfied customer to owner of a company that has been serving Central Contra Costa County residents for 35 years. “We look at your home as if it’s our own home. We do an honest, professional installation with good old-fashioned customer care,” says Jim who is proud of his 90 percent customer referral rate as well as his 95 percent rating in superior overall performance by Consumer Reports Checkbook. org, non-profit ratings of local service companies. The oldest authorized Simonton window dealer, The Window Works specializes in “selling you a quality product and doing it right,” says Jim, and is proud of the quality of their work, not just the quantity. Customers are invited to visit The Window Works showroom to see for themselves the quality vinyl-framed windows that carry a lifetime warranty. The Window Works’ combined staff represents more than 71 years of construction experience including qualified installation crews who do the work without the need for subcontractors. They also take their time to be neat and clean and treat each home with respect. The Window Works, 2570 Cloverdale Ave., Concord, CA 94518, 925-689-1930, Home Furnishing Store Macy’s Transform a house into the home of your dreams with the help of the


Real Estate Company Legacy Real Estate & Associates This East Bay real estate firm planted its roots in the East Bay in 1971 with one office in Fremont. Today, the firm features more than 232 real estate professionals from four locations and serves the greater East Bay area, representing home buyers and sellers from the picturesque Livermore Wine Country, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Danville, Sunol and Castro Valley to Hayward, Union City and into the South Bay’s Milpitas and San Jose. Legacy Real Estate & Associates also offers mortgage services, property management and relocation services. Legacy Real Estate Associates, 1686 Second St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-447-8100; 4637 Chabot Dr., #115, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-621-1200; 41111 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539, 510-744-3500, 1124 Meridian Ave., San Jose, CA 95125, 408-978-9000,

incredible selection of home furnishings at Macy’s Home Furnishing store, with various locations throughout the East Bay. Whether you’re redecorating an entire home or looking for that piece of furniture or accent piece to complete a room, Macy’s has a wide selection of designer names to choose from including Ralph Lauren Home, Martha Stewart and Paul Deen. They carry furnishings for every room in your house including home offices, kids’ rooms and even outdoor living spaces. Check out the furniture-buying guide on and discover

distinct features in the furniture collections and basic information about upholstered furniture, wood selection and much more to help you make an informed decision and create the ideal space your whole family will feel comfortable. Macy’s Home Furnishings East Bay locations include 4255 Rosewood Drive in Pleasanton, 925-227-0333; Bayfair Center at 15555 E. 14th St., San Leandro, 510-357-3333; and Sun Valley Shopping Center at 341 Sun Valley Mall, Concord, CA 94520, 925-689-3333 or at

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Door Installer The Door Doctors Give your home a great first impression that starts with a stylish and distinctive front door from The Door Doctors. With more than 30 years of experience serving the Tri Valley, the professionals at The Door Doctors provide sales, installation and repair of all kinds of doors in your home from garage doors, entry doors, interior doors and patio doors for residential, commercial and industrial clients. Additionally, The Door Doctors provide emergency services such as garage door spring replacement and break-in repairs. Energy efficient, designer doors in oak, fir, mahogany, cherry and walnut, glass designs and hardware in a variety of finishes are available as well as a large selection of garage door styles.


land Flooring Center in Pleasanton where they have a wide selection of possibilities for every room in your house from luxurious and durable carpeting and ceramic and porcelain tile to laminate, vinyl and the rich warm tones of all wood flooring. Celebrating 27 years of service, Carpetland has been named the best floor covering store 17 years in a row and specializes in bringing top


names in flooring including Shaw, Mannington, Pergo, Mohawk, Karastan, Stainmaster and more to create the home you’ll be proud to show. Carpetland, 4275 Rosewood Dr., #28 between Old Santa Rita Road and Santa Rita Road. Visit www. and check out design news and decorating and design tips or call 925-847-0866.

The Door Doctors, 39 California Ave., #102, Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-484-4290, Kitchen and Bath Remodeling East Bay Kitchen and Bath Serving the Bay Area since 1991, East Bay Kitchen and Bath has helped its customers imagine and build their dream homes or remodel their existing homes. The Fremont location opened in 2007. In addition to kitchen and bath work, they install hardwood floors and double pane windows. Their showroom lets customers see the variety of choices available to them, from cabinets to counters. East Bay Kitchen and Bath, 3300 Sheldon Court, Fremont, CA, 510-623-8338, Flooring Carpetland Great flooring begins with a single step into your neighborhood Carpet-


Interior Designer Feifers Interior Designs It’s a family affair at Feifers Interior Designs, owned by designer Annette Torres since 1993. Daughters Nicole Anderson, designer, and Melissa Martinez, office manager, as well as spouses help provide the personalized service their clients enjoy. Feifers’ unique store front and 2,200-square-foot showrooms set them apart from other designers and provide their clients with the luxury to sit on sofas and chair and see the quality of wood finishes and workmanship before they custom- order furnishings, says Torres. Every 18 months, Torres says they visit the furniture show rooms in High Point, North Carolina, and also see, touch and feel the new designs. “We’re always seeing new products in person and can give our clients our first-hand opinion about the comfort of a chair or sofa.” From designing a room from top to bottom, working with a client’s favorite pieces, or selecting that final touch like a lamp or accessory for a coffee table, the designers at Feifers can help, says Torres. “I knew it would be pretty, but I had no idea it could be this beautiful,” is the comment that Torres loves to hear. “It’s most rewarding to stand back and have a client so happy with a design they’ve only envisioned,” she adds. Feifers, a full-service design studio, also offers personal consultation, custom piece ordering, a fabric library, draperies, flooring, lighting, space planning, color and paint coordination, and in-home consultation. Feifers Interior Designs , 5424-1 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-462-3360,




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Heating and Air Conditioning Miller’s Air Conditioning and Heating Competitive pricing and excellent customer service is the secret to Miller’s success in the air conditioning and heating business since 1960. Founded by the late Joe Miller, Miller’s Air Conditioning and Heating in Livermore continues to be familyowned and operated by his widow, Gwen, and their son, Larry. Originally located on Railroad Avenue, it moved to Research Drive in 1977. Miller’s specializes in installing Bryant heating and cooling systems and provides service for nearly all makes and models plus free in-home estimates. They also offer planned service agreements, duct cleaning and indoor air quality analysis for residential and commercial customers. They are consistently “on the A-plus honor roll for the Better Business Bureau,” says Larry. Miller’s Air Conditioning and Heating, 2182 Research Dr., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-447-3000, MICHAEL RUSSELL

Landscaper GardenCrafters Landscape & Design Landscaping a front or back yard means creating a oasis from everyday life and finding that ideal combination of design and plant selection that will produce a thriving environment season after season for very satisfied customers. Mark Olson, owner of GardenCrafters Landscape & Design since 1988, prides himself on giving his clients a personalized touch by taking the time to listen carefully to the kind of landscape and design they are asking for and working diligently to make it all come together. An added bonus: Free estimates. With degrees in horticulture and landscape design, Olson has the unique ability and expertise to make knowledgeable plant choices and suggest pool ideas cultivated from his extensive travels throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. “Landscape design is not a one-stop-fits-all, cookie-cutter design,” Olson says, and adds that with the incredible diversity of people in the Bay Area, his travels have helped him connect and relate to his customers’ desires even more as they work to capture an allusion to their home country in the garden. “You can create almost any kind of garden” from formal to naturalistic, tropical to Mediterranean, he adds, “because the climate in the Bay Area is so amenable to plants from all over the world.” GardenCrafters Landscape & Design, 3157 Caramello Court, Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-9988870,

PLACES AND SERVICES Wedding Photographer Lori Rittinger Lori Rittenger’s brides look like they stepped out of the pages of a glamour fashion magazine. The lighting, the pose, and the facial expression all combine to reveal an elegant model. A photographer exclusively of weddings for 22 years, Rittenger says she enjoys capturing the candid moments of the day when “you can feel the raw emotions, the laughter and tears.”

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East Bay Landmark Mt. Diablo State Park A sweeping panoramic view from atop Mt. Diablo is what makes this destination landmark a true gem in the Bay Area. You can look west beyond the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton (4,213 feet elevation); south to Mt. Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz mountains (3,791 feet elevation); and north to Mt. Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation. At an elevation of 3,849 feet, Mt. Diablo offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping and can be accessed from the Walnut Creek area at the North Gate road and from the Danville area at the South Gate Road. Gates open at 8 a.m. and close at sunset. The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Seasonal treats are waterfalls, mating season of the tarantulas and spring wildflowers. Rock City beckons children and families for fun climbing activities and picnic tables and camping areas provide great gathering spots. The historic stone tower at the peak, home of the visitor center, was built in the late 1930s. Here you can learn about the cultural and natural history of the park, see a model of the mountain and learn about the park’s ecosystems. Renovations to the Visitors Center are complete. Mt. Diablo State Park, 925-837-2525,

She says she works hard to make the wedding day go smoothly and well organized while being fun, which is important because the way the bride and groom feel at that moment the camera goes off will show through in the photos. Photographing a wedding event is unique, says Rittenger, because it’s a huge, major event in a lifetime. “To be behind the scenes and see these intimate moments is a beautiful thing,” she says. Rittinger Photography, 3195 Danville Blvd., #7, Alamo, CA 94507, 925-934-2103, Wedding Planner Wallace Enterprises Since 1981, Wallace Enterprises has been making events a special occasion for corporate and social clients.

Owners Bonny Wallace and Darlene Laspina bring more than 30 years of experience in designing, planning and producing events for their clients which includes assisting with site selection, theme and décor, entertainment, menus, transportation, catering, hotel accommodations and more. Corporate clients can utilize their experienced help to create a themed event, product launch or employee meeting. The pair can also coordinate all the details that make a memorable wedding day or any milestone celebration from invitations to flowers, appetizer to dessert to party favor. Events by Wallace, 324 Barton Court, Danville, CA 94526, 925-867-1515,

Event Transportation Allure Limousines Travel in style and leave the driving to someone else. Allure Limousines has more than 10 years of experience specializing in Napa Valley wine tours, airport service and just that special night out. Allure’s fleet includes luxury sedans, Lincoln Towncars and stretch limousines that can accommodate 10 passengers with full bar and refreshments. Limousines are also available for weddings, proms, birthday celebrations, concert and sporting events or can be rented by the hour. Customers can make reservations and get a quote for all its services online. Allure Limousines, 925-233-0344 or toll free at 800-233-0071,




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Carlton Senior Living, eight locations including 825 Arnold Dr., Martinez, CA, 800-227-5866 and 2770 Pleasant Hill Road, Pleasant Hill, 925-935-1660,



Neighborhood Bookstore TowneCenter Books Located near the arch in downtown Pleasanton, TowneCenter Books is certainly at the center of this thriving community and a popular gathering place. Open seven days a week and six nights a week, the bookstore has been owned by Judy Wheeler since 1998. There’s more than just picking up the latest bestselling titles or a classic to take on vacation. TowneCenter Books has a full calendar each month featuring writing workshops, several book clubs and the special “Read It and Eat” luncheon series featuring guest authors such as Meg Wolitzer, Maggie Shannon, Alan Brennert and upcoming guests Ellen Sussman and Beth Hoffman. Check out the store’s website for dates and to make reservations. Wheeler, a Pleasanton resident herself, is active in the Pleasanton Downtown Marketing and Downtown Vitality Committees and member of the Civic Arts Commission. Towne Center Books, 555 Main St., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-846-8826,

Senior Living Facility Carlton Senior and Assisted Living The Carlton Senior and Assisted Living communities offer peace of mind to seniors and their families by providing a variety of lifestyle options at eight convenient locations throughout the Bay Area. Each property has similar services, however, they each also have a unique character. From minimal care to intimate home-like environments to assisted living with nurses on staff to care for and manage residents’ care, these communities help seniors transition safely and comfortably.

Tom MacDonald, founder of Carlton Senior Living, was the primary caregiver of his mother, Carolyn. He wanted to develop a senior community that would be nurturing and allow her to be independent. He combined superior service with an active activity program, healthy meals, entertainment and a welltrained staff. He has partnered with Dr. Donald Engle who provides medical expertise and is equally committed to maintaining communities that enrich the lives of seniors and their families.

Veterinarian Montclair Veterinary Hospital An award-winning veterinarian, Dr. Gary Richter leads the team at Montclair Veterinary Hospital where they offer in-patient hospitalization and monitoring, full laboratory services, radiology, ultrasound, general and specialty surgical services, dentistry and more. As owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital since 2002, Richter has also integrated alternative and holistic medicine into the practice and is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and chiropractor. He is president of the Alameda County Veterinary Medical Association and is the California Veterinary Medical Association’s Alameda County representative on animal disaster planning. The team of veterinarians include Drs. Cynthia Lynn, Leah Isaacson, Elinor Granzow, Thomas Minturn and Noel Grandrath, in addition to eight registered veterinary technicians and several veterinary assistants. The Montclair Veterinary Hospital has been at Montclair Village for almost 50 years and was completely renovated in 2003 to utilize the latest technologies and advances in veterinary medicine. Montclair Vet, 1961 Mountain Blvd., Oakland, CA 94611, 510-339-8600,

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Pet Day Care Alamo Plaza Pet Care Clinic Busy pet owners can confidently rely on the pet day care service provided by Alamo Plaza Pet Care Clinic. When Fido or Fluffy can’t be left home alone, when company is coming, or long-term rehabilitation is necessary after treatment or surgery, the day care is an ideal and safe place to make sure your pet is comfortable and safe. Day care is also available for other furry and non-furry friends including birds, reptiles and rabbits. Co-owners Dolores Gomez de Soto and Cesar Soto Garcia and veterinarian Deborah Knibb see to it that their canine friends are walked three times a day. Pets can be boarded for a few hours to overnight and longer vacation stays. Alamo Plaza Pet Care Clinic, 230 Alamo Plaza, Alamo, CA 94507, 925-820-2287.

Pet Store Murphy’s Paw Dedicated to finding as many locally-made and American-made products, gifts and accessories our four-legged friends, Murphy’s Paw has easily set itself apart from just your ordinary pet food supply store. Owners Dean and Annamarie Mancini purchased the 1,000-squarefoot store in downtown Pleasanton in 2011 and immediately got the attention and support of the community. The store has become a meeting place to socialize with other pet owners, says Dean. They annually support several community organizations and host a monthly Bark & Brew — a fun outing to do on a Friday night with your pet, Donations from this event directly benefit the Valley Humane Society


Pet Groomer Shear Magic Grooming When a dog smells good, you give them more love, says Michael Freitas, co-owner with his wife Cinda Freitas-Mahorney of Shear Magic. For more than 25 years, the husband and wife team have been man’s best friend’s best friend, providing overall grooming services from haircuts and baths to ear and nail care for the very small breeds to the larger ones. “We’re not an assembly line,” says Freitas. “We take our time and go slow,” making sure the dogs get the care that keeps them nice and clean and healthy, too. Shear Magic provides grooming, boarding and a grooming academy to teach others how to care for their dogs. They are open Monday through Saturday. Country Paws, their fully-insured boarding facility located at their farm in Brentwood, provides that “home away from home” feeling that eases the stress of a pet owner who has to leave a dog, and makes the dog feel comfortable, too, in the climatecontrolled kennels and cozy rooms. When a pet stays at Country Paws for more than one night, he receives a complimentary bath before returning home. Shear Magic, 39 California Ave., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-426-6870,




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and Tri-Valley Animal Rescue. The next scheduled event is May 31. Dean says he hopes to complete a downtown guide to dog friendly restaurants and shops for Pleasanton. As they say, “It’s a dog world — we just live in it!” Murphy’s Paw, 410 Main St., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-600-8925,

Pet Park Point Isabel It’s a dog’s life at Point Isabel, voted best pet park in the East Bay. Its 23 acres along the shoreline in Richmond make this park one of the largest public off-leash dog parks in the nation with more than 500,000 dog visits per year. After a day of fun, head over to Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub, a dog washing

shop that offers full service or do-ityourself dog baths, and toys, treats and supplies for your four-legged friends. Pet owners are thrilled, too, with the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County and yummy treats at the Sit & Stay Café featuring gourmet espresso drinks, coffee, pastries, sandwiches, smoothies, soups and their famous Road House Chili. Point Isabel, 2701 Isabel St., Richmond, CA 888-EBPARKS,

FAMILY Summer Camp/Day Care Provider Learning Bee Learning Center The Summer Camp sessions at Learning Bee Learning Center are held June 24 through Aug. 23 (for 2013) for kindergarteners through sixth graders. The Universal Kids

Camp for first through sixth graders combines indoor and outdoor sports with academic workshops in creative writing, reading or public speaking and presentation. There are specialized afternoon camps including Lego robotics and mechanics, and mini-movie makers or themed programs from cooking to mock trials. Extended care is also provided. The double-category winner was also voted favorite day care provider. Grace Wong started Learning Bee Learning Center to provide after-school learning that continues the school education by providing enrichment activities instead of just day care. Here children are exposed to hands-on education with interactive activities. Students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade are enrolled in an all-inclusive, standard program of learning that includes daily homework supervision, instructor-led

Continued on page 18 Museum Lindsey Wildlife Museum You can get up close to wildlife with no wall between you. See eye to eye with a raptor and stare at a queen bee. If you’re three or 83, there’s so much life at the Lindsey Wildlife Museum that you’ll want to return again and again. If you haven’t visited the museum lately, you need to come and see all the new additions. There’s more to come with a new exhibit opening this summer called The Burrow. In its 60th year, the museum features hands-on activities, behind-thescenes viewing of wildlife patients, rescued animals and much more. More than 600 volunteers assist with the wildlife. The center also “rescues” native wildlife and helps injured animals recover. Lindsey Wildlife Museum, 1931 1st Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94597, 925-935-1978,


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Kid’s Party Color Me Mine of Alameda How do you spell party? Color Me Mine! Party time is a sweet time to express your creativity. The paint-your-pottery studio is something different, says Joey Cardenas co-owner of the Alameda store with Michael Berkowitz for the past seven years. The studio can accommodate as many as 22 children for parties where they can select from hundreds of ceramic items from copyrighted Disney princesses, Monsters Inc. and Hello Kitty characters to an assortment of mermaids, flower pots, mugs, plates, platters and garden creatures. Add some paint and a child’s imagination and you have a masterpiece and keepsake of a special day. Color Me Mine also hosts a once-a-month Kids Night Out. For $25, kids spend three hours painting, eating ice cream, watching movies and playing Bingo while the parents enjoy their own night out. Color Me Mine, Alameda Towne Center, 2205 S Shore Center, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-521-8893,





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Continued from page 16 lessons in various subjects, weekly foreign language lessons, music and art appreciation and more. Most instructors have bachelor degrees with post-graduate or California Teaching Credentials. Registration information is available on the website along with more information about the programs. Learning Bee Learning Center, 39977 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539, 510-226-8408,

HEALTH AND BEAUTY Hair Salon, Manicure/Pedicure Mio Spa and Salon It’s the relationship between client and stylist in a warm,

inviting environment that creates the award-winning formula for success at Mio Spa and Salon. Manager Jennifer Warrenburg says the Grand Avenue salon, which opened two years ago, has a wonderful reputation for being welcoming to everybody and every type of hair. They got the nod from our readers for both best hair salon and place for a manicure/ pedicure. Owner and head stylist Lhiza Llacer hand-selected her team of 12 employees to be particularly friendly and professionally trained. And to go with a new hair style, Claudia Tinajero, nail technician and licensed cosmetologist, will make your nails shine by adding creative art designs on natural nails, gels and shellac. Mio Spa & Salon, 387 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610, 510-452-4569,

Lasik Surgery Scott Hyver Visioncare Known as the official eye doctor and Lasik surgeon for the San Francisco 49ers, Dr. Scott Hyver has performed Lasik surgery on well-known head coaches Bill Walsh and Mike Nolan as well as Pro Bowl receiver Terrell Owens and Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis plus a host of who’s who in Bay Area sports, radio and business. A board-certified ophthalmologist and laser vision correction surgeon, Hyver prides himself on using the latest diagnostic and laser eye surgery systems and handpicking, training and managing his medical staff. He is the only one who performs the Lasik procedure on his patients. Scott Hyver Visioncare, 210 Porter Dr., Suite 215, San Ramon, CA 94583, 800-454-2747, in addition to Daly City and Santa Clara locations, Day Spa, Massage, Facial, Beauty Supply Store Changes Salon & Day Spa A favorite in four categories, Changes Salon & Day Spa is your destination for positive changes in the way you look and feel. You might forget where you are when you walk through the door of this lovely day spa. The experience is more of a “staycation”, says owner Bonnie Waters-Winslow. “You don’t have to travel far to find a wonderful little oasis in downtown Walnut Creek.” The day spa has been at the same location for 29 years, but has grown from the original 1,000 square feet to10,000 square feet. It can host private parties and offer a day of pampering from massage, spa, facials, waxing, sunless tanning, manicures and to pedicures and hair styling.


Changes Salon & Day Spa, 1475 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-947-1814,

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Chiropractic Kenny Family Chiropractic The husband-and-wife team of Jerry M. Kenny and Malia V. Kenny, chiropractic doctors, believe in family wellness and work with their patients to get them well and help them stay well with personalized treatments at their Danville and Vallejo offices. Without the use of drugs and surgery, chiropractic emphasizes the body’s inherent power to heal itself. As a service to their patients, they also offer a spinal care class and cold laser therapy to relieve soft tissue injury, joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves and inflammation. Jerry Kenny is one of the only healthcare providers in Danville to offer the FDA-approved cold laser for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, among other ailments. As parents of three children, the Kennys are highly involved in their community and youth sports.


Dentist Dr. Scott Fong If you have to go to the dentist, and you know you should, better check out Dr. Scott Fong, a favorite among our readers. Founder of the Crow Canyon Dental Care, he has been in general family dentistry since 1994. Dr. Fong prides himself on being gentle and caring, and on making his patients feel as comfortable as possible before, during and after the treatment. He says his dental practice is like an old family practice where patients feel like they are coming to see a friend. Additionally, he has an ability to develop a great rapport with his patients, create good relationships and really get to know them as people and not just patients. Crow Canyon Dental Care does not have a website, says Dr. Fong; he’d rather that his patients share


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Kenny Family Chiropractic, 185 Front St., Danville CA 94526, 925-838-9355,

Hearing Aid Center Hearing Services of Pleasanton What’s that you said? Since 1986, Hearing Services has helped people not miss a word of a conversation with the use of cuttingedge technology and state-of-the-art hearing instruments at its offices in Pleasanton and Livermore. Come in and have your hearing evaluated, hearing aids repaired and shop for assistive listening devices and more. You don’t know what you’re missing until you can hear better with the help of the staff including Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists Kenneth Billheimer and Sierra Parini, and Jacque Pedraza, hearing aid specialist. Hearing Services, 1613 Second St., Pleasanton, CA 94550, 925-960-0391, or 1524 Holmes St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-960-0391,


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their positive experiences with others and extol the benefits of his conservative treatment plan. Crow Canyon Dental Care, 2435 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, 94582, 925-820-2868

SHOPPING Downtown Niles District, Fremont A sparkling gem among East Bay downtowns is the Niles District and its inviting, slow-down-and-stroll ambience. The historic significance of this quiet, yet thriving, main street area in Fremont is a fun story that dates back to the 1850s when the Southern Pacific Railroad lines were busy with passengers from Oakland to San Jose and further south.

Niles became famous in the movies and welcomed stars like Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery and Ben Turpin when the movies were filmed through Niles Canyon and along the main street. Today, the main streets are filled with charming antique stores filled with treasures and collectibles, clothing, arts and crafts, galleries and jewelry stores. A wonderful selection of restaurants includes The Nile Café and Joe’s Corner plus Tyme for Tea and Company and Cici’s Italian Ristorante. You’ll want to take your time and mark your calendars for the popular annual events including the Wildflower, Art and Quilt show today, May 19; Charlie Chaplin Day in June; the Dog Show in July; and the 49th annual Antique Fair in August. Niles District, Fremont, CA 94536,

Liquor/Wine Shop BevMo As the leading alcoholic beverage retailer in the western United States and among the largest in the country, BevMo is your “go to” store for everything from spirits, fine wines and micro beers to specialty foods, cigars, glassware and bar accessories and gifts. Look no further than the trained employees who are happy to offer a helping hand in the selection of popular beverages for your next party. Or, take the time to browse and read the descriptive signage and ratings provided for each product. Check out the online “Tasting Room” for the latest in seasonal brews and cocktails as well a schedule of special tasting events offered throughout the year at its many locations. Is there a wedding in your future? BevMo can help you

Continued on page 22 Florist Paula’s Family Florist Three generations of the Franchetto family has been making the world a more beautiful place one flower at a time with their handcrafted floral arrangements and bouquets for every occasion. “The Little Yellow House” on the corner of “A” and 15th streets is today owned and operated by Paula Franchetto-Trotta and her husband Christopher Trotta, who continue to be a colorful part of the community as did her parents and grandparents. The shop features a variety of ready-to-go arrangements, but they also expertly create custom bouquets and displays of just about any size. From weddings and proms to birthdays, anniversaries or just about any day you want to be special, flowers from Paula’s will fit the bill.


Paula’s Family Florist, 1412 A St., Antioch, CA 94509, 925-7566000,

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Consignment and Jewelry Store Estates Consignments Treasures around every corner are waiting to be discovered at Estates Consignments, a twocategory winner for both consignment shopping and jewelry. The 11,000-square-foot store is filled with furniture, collectables, light fixtures, estate jewelry and one-of-a-kind items. Managers Audrey Han and Albert Marcu take consignments from businesses going out of business, estate sales, decorators and homeowners and offer them for sale at great prices. The merchandise changes all the time, says Han, so it’s a good idea to stop by the shop often. At the same location since May 2006, the store also buys gold and features many high-end pieces by Rolex and Tiffany as well as vintage estate jewelry pieces. Estates Consignments, 1500 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, 925-682-6800, MICHAEL RUSSELL

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Wedding Dresses His and Hers Formal Wear The most valuable advertising they have is word of mouth, and they work hard to earn the highest compliments, repeat customers and referrals at their formalwear store. Business partners Susanne Larson, a professional seamstress and tailor, and Annette Beckstrand, who handles the business side, opened His and Hers Formal Wear in May 2008. “If you look good, we look good,” says Larson, who has spent many years as a wedding planner and fashion designer. The store features a huge inventory of prom, bridesmaid, wedding, quinceanera and other designer gowns. Custom tailoring is also available to make the dress truly your own. Don’t forget the “His” side with a part of the boutique devoted to Selix tuxedo rentals and sales. Their goal is simple, says Larson. “Make everyone look excellent!”


Continued from page 20 plan a reception that people will be talking about long after you’re back from the honeymoon. When you’re busy, order on-line and your order will be waiting at the time you specify. Founded in 1994 with six stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, BevMo operates 133 stores today with 56 in Northern California. BevMo, various East Bay locations, visit

Rental Tux Men’s Warehouse Girls can’t have all the fun when dressing for the prom. Men have to look good, too, for those special occasions in life. There’s the prom and winter social, your best friend’s wedding or even your own special

His and Hers Formal Wear, 625 First St., Brentwood, CA 94513, 925-6345900,

day that means a tuxedo with all the accessories is needed. Budget, occasion, designer and style all need to be considered when choosing a tuxedo and the experienced sales staff at the Men’s Warehouse can help. Guys can choose from a variety of styles, colors, shirts, vests, cummerbunds, ties and accessories, too, and look great for that special day.

must-wear dresses that can take you from casual to a night on the town.

Men’s Warehouse, various East Bay locations. Visit

Visit Victoria Secret at various locations throughout the East Bay or visit

Lingerie Victoria’s Secret More than just collections of the silky and sensuous lingerie and undergarments made famous by the Victoria’s Secret models, these stores feature a huge selection of carefree styles from stylish workout attire and daily separates including fashionable tees and shorts, to

Coordinate an outfit with a fashionable pair of flats or the latest wedges and pumps and you’ve got the look. Oh sure, there are the coordinating bras and panties, and the mix-and-match bikini tops and bottoms, but don’t forget to check out the latest line of fragrances for men and women, body butters and make-up and beauty kits.

Boutique My Friends and I Take your time to browse and see all the hidden treasures at this store where every shelf and display cabinet is overflowing with

Continued on page 24

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Bike Shop Dublin Cyclery Park that car, stop paying more than $4 a gallon for gas and grab a bike. Need one? Head for Dublin Cyclery. Listed as one of the 14 best bicycle shops in the Bay Area, Dublin Cyclery is now Best of the East Bay, too. Owner Chuck Tyler has been in business since 1965 and proudly says he and his employees are cycling enthusiasts. They offer bicycle parts and accessories, and repairs to kids’ scooters and tricycles, road and mountain bikes, specialty bikes and indoor cycles. They also sell several brands including RansRecumbents, folding commuter bikes and a large inventory in the 6,000-squarefoot store. Customer service doesn’t end when you ride away on your new bike. They offer tune-ups and safety checks, too. Many local cycling groups post events on the website so check out the next ride and start spinning.


Dublin Cyclery, 7001 Dublin Blvd., in Dublin Plaza, Dublin, CA 94568, 925-929-8676, www.dublincyclery. com.

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Toy Store Children’s Fairyland Magic Lamp Gift Shop Looking for that unique toy or gift for a little one? How about something that encourages creativity and imagination? The Magic Lamp Gift Shop just inside the gates at the historic Children’s Fairyland is the ideal place to shop. Retail manager Stacey Winslett says the shop is committed to play and literacy and the importance of both in a child’s life. “Everything involves interactive play with a lot of toys that, instead of batteries, require imagination including a good selection of puppets. Since 1950, Fairyland has been a magical place to visit for many children growing up the Bay Area. The gift shop has been around for about 10 years and is a non-profit store whose proceeds benefit Fairyland. The selection of retro and original toys also includes the exclusive and must-have Magic Key that will turn on the whimsical storybook sets throughout the park. There are original books including, “Creating a Fairyland: 60 years of Magic,” the story of the park written by Randal J. Metz and Tony Jonick. Besides books there are toys, games, arts and crafts sets, dress-up clothes, puzzles and so much more. You’ll have more fun than a kid in a toy store — and make sure you don’t forget the fairy wings. Magic Lamp Gift Shop, Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland, CA 94510, 510-452-2259, MICHAEL RUSSELL

Continued from page 22 beautiful antiques, country handcrafts and darling collectibles. Ten talented women who share a passion for antiques and decorating have pooled their talents to bring a unique boutique to the historic downtown Niles district. New merchandise arrives daily. Shopping for a gift? They offer complimentary gift bags, too. You can follow the “Friends” on their blog and keep up-to-date on special events, new furniture arrivals and seasonal merchandise, sales and more. The boutique is one of many charming stores that are a part of the historic Niles District of Fremont.

My Friends and I, 37521 Niles Blvd., Fremont, CA 510-792-0118

Neighborhood Grocery Lunardi’s For almost 60 years, Lunardi’s has been the “neighborhood market,” built on a reputation of quality products and produce and great customer service. Alfredo Lunardi entered the grocery business in 1953 when he acquired “Mother’s Market” in San Francisco. Since then, with help from sons Ralph and Paul, he has been able to grow the

market chain and expand to today’s eight locations. Delectable prepared dishes and a wide variety of foods and beverages make it hard to decide what to select from the full-service deli, bakery, produce, meat, seafood and wine departments. Invite Lunardi’s to your next party and make a great impression with their catered foods for every occasion. Lunardi’s, several Bay Area locations including 345 Railroad Ave., Danville, CA 94526, 925-8558920; 1600 Dos Palos Dr., Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-939-6477,

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Latino Grocery Mi Pueblo Food Center It all started with a small store in East San Jose. Today, with more than 3,000 employees and 21 locations, Mi Pueblo Food Centers are committed to making their customers feel like one of the family with their great customer service. Founder Juvenal Chavez opened his first market in 1991 and sees Mi Pueblo as more than just a grocery store. It is a company that serves the public with quality products and fair prices. It also provides employment opportunities and features bilingual services in all its departments. Mi Pueblo is the fastest growing independent supermarket in Northern California. Mi Pueblo Food Center, 2100 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg, CA 94565, 925-427-1697, www.mipueblofoods. com, 15 Bay Area locations, three Central Coast locations, three Central Valley locations. Asian Market 99 Ranch The largest Asian supermarket chain in the United States, 99 Ranch strives to provide the best of Asian and American products for its customers at more than 35 locations. In the mood for fresh eel or a tiger cake roll? You can get them at 99 Ranch. How about live lobsters and crab, cooked right on the spot? You can find them there as well, plus an abundance of fresh produce, bakery items, seasonings and a food court that makes your mouth water just by reading the menu. Authentic Asian delicacies are featured in each week’s specials; most customers go often to check them out. Come home stocked with fresh ingredients and heat up that wok for stir-fry concoctions. 99 Ranch, various Bay Area locations including 7333 Regional St., Dublin, CA 94568, 925-833-3999; 4299 Rosewood Dr., Pleasanton, CA


94566, 925-463-8899; and 34444 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 510791-8899 or visit Farmer’s Market Pleasanton Come Saturday mornings rain or shine, the block just off Main Street in downtown Pleasanton is filled with vendors — their baskets and crates brimming with the best of the season’s fruits and vegetables. Why shop during the week, when the freshest and more colorful locally grown food is available here? A member of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, the Pleasanton market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Going to market becomes a family affair and a delightful morning outing: Special events are scheduled just about every week, including live music. More than 55 farmers and other vendors sell at the market each week bringing the best of produce, flowers and plants, eggs and dairy products, fresh baked goods, meat and seafood and specialty foods like Kettle Korn. Pleasanton Farmer’s Market, Main and W. Angela Streets, Pleasanton, Green Business Juice and Java Express Fruit, vegetables and coffee….oh my! An artful blend of healthy beverage choices is a success story in downtown Pleasanton for former mortgage industry executive and Pleasanton resident Angela Aloise who opened the beverage bar in November 2011. Fresh fruit and vegetable juice blends create healthy and delicious smoothies and include so many choices including cranberry, beet, carrot, lemon, orange, mango cucumber and zucchini. Try a “Purple Poodle” made with Acai, banana and blueberry or the “Green Isle” made with granny smith apple, peach and spinach. There is also the “Beet Me Up” made with….you guessed it, beets. Start


the day in a healthy way with a bowl of oatmeal and freshly basked muffin and pastry or come in for lunch and choose from an assortment of sandwiches and salads. They even have local honey for sale. Juice and Java Express, 55 W. Angela St., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-846-0887. Sporting Goods REI “Get more people outdoors playing,” is the goal of REI, which has been providing top-brand outdoor gear and clothing since 1938, says Public Affairs manager Megan Behrbaum. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI returns the majority of profits to its members through annual member refunds based on their purchases, which, she says, amounts to about 10 percent of what you’ve purchased the past year. The stores continue the tradition of providing human-powered outdoor recreation equipment, says Behrbaum. In other words, you won’t find team sports equipment but, instead, anything you need for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, in addition to bike repair services and equipment for rent. REI is unique in that it offers a “large outdoor curriculum,” called the Outdoor School. The Bay Area and all it has to offer provides the perfect outdoor classroom for a variety of classes including basic map and compass navigation, how to tackle Yosemite’s Half Dome in a day, the John Muir Trail, backpacking techniques, evening kayak tours of the San Francisco Bay, wilderness first aid and more. Check out the REI website event page for the schedule. 7099 Amador Plaza Rd., Dublin, CA 94568, 925-828-9826, Stores in Fremont, Concord, Berkeley and Brentwood.




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Hardware Store Dale Hardware A fixture in downtown Fremont, Dale Hardware has been the go-to place for all things hardware since 1955. The population of Fremont may have increased 10-fold since then, but the basic principles of the business haven’t. “It’s all about the employees and customer service that we focus on,” says President Garth Smith, whose sister is the namesake of the store. Garth says the longevity of the employees is also a big factor of the store’s success. More than eight employees have been at Dale’s more than 30 years and another 20 employees have been there over 15 years. “Our employees are dedicated to the company and to their customers,” many of whom they know by name, he adds. It’s service with a smile, product knowledge and technical advice that has maintained this hardware store’s popularity all these years. Need help with a household or home repair project? Just ask online or in person. Dale Hardware, 3700 Thornton Ave., Fremont, 94536, 510-797-3700,

Nursery Navlet’s Garden Centers Chances are the East Bay is such a beautiful place to live and work because of Navlet’s Garden Centers. Since 1885 they have been providing tools, plants and know-how to generations of gardeners. California certified nursery professionals at every location expertly offer help selecting just the right plant, soil and planter for all the micro climates here in the Bay Area. Gardening classes from container gardening, rose pruning, organic gardening to drought tolerant gardens, pest control and more are available each Saturday at the stores. Before you dig, take advantage of their professional help to develop a personalized plan for your garden from the soil on up. Make the world a more beautiful place and begin in your own backyard.

Navlet’s Garden Centers, 1555 Kirker Pass Rd., Concord, CA 94521-3225, 925-681-0555; 800 Camino Ramon, Danville, CA 94526-4254, 925-8379144; 6740 Alhambra Ave., Martinez, CA 94553-6202, 925-935-9125; 2895 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill, CA 945234219, 925-939-9000,

RECREATIONAL AND FITNESS Casino Resort California Grand Casino If you think Lady Luck is on your side, better saddle up and venture out to the

historic California Grand Casino for some of the best poker in the state. What was once the Woodford Hotel and Saloon, and the Pacheco Inn during the Gold Rush Days, is now this popular destination with a spacious gaming area, 19 tables, full bar and The Grand Café restaurant and plenty of parking. Called “Your best bet in the Bay Area,” the 24-hour casino features several popular games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha 8 or Better, three-card poker and Hot Action Blackjack invented by owner Wil Wilkinson. There are cash jackpots and weekly tournaments in a friendly atmosphere. All you need to add is a little luck. California Grand Casino, 5988 Pacheco Blvd., Pacheco, CA 94553, 925-685-8397,

Ski/Snowboard Place Heavenly Mountain Resort The ski season may be over for the year, but it’s never too early to plan next season’s ski/snowboard trip to the favorite mountain and California’s largest resort, Heavenly Mountain Resort. There are more than 97 trails, 4,800 acres of terrain and 30 lifts including the eightpassenger Gondola, and eight high-speed quads and a breathtaking 10,067 summit elevation. Heavenly provides fun for skiers of all abilities during its typical season which runs from mid-November to mid-April. Stay in shape this summer by visualizing your next winter’s trip to Heavenly and get ready to hit those slopes with the first signs of snow. Heavenly Mountain Resort, 3860 Saddle Rd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, 775-586-7000,

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Fitness Club Clubsport, San Ramon When it’s time to get fit there’s only one place to go, according to East Bay residents who call Clubsport, San Ramon, the best with 80,000 square feet of space dedicated to a vast variety of features. Long, extended hours, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, certified personal trainers, childcare, youth programs, pool, spa, café, physical therapy and salon are but a few of the amenities that make getting fit actually fun and rewarding. After a workout, treat yourself to a specialized massage from hot stone, sports or Swedish massage by a licensed massage therapist. There are individual, couple and family memberships in addition to corporate membership plans. Clubsport, 350 Bollinger Canyon Rd., San Ramon, CA 94582, 925-735-8500,

DISCOVER Lindsay Wildlife Museum Get closer than you’ve ever been to live, wild animals. Learn about their world, from high in the sky to underground.




Yoga Studio The Studio Think longevity, being active and being fit — yoga may be just the thing for you. “We noticed maturing adults want to play longer in life, be active and continue to bike ride or ski,” says Erin Gilmour, general manager of The Studio in Danville. Yoga is a popular fitness routine because it does improve strength, flexibility and balance as well as a sense of well-being for the body and mind. There are about 25 yoga classes per week to choose from, beginning with Yoga Basics to Power Yoga and Yin Yoga. A total of 117 fitness classes per week are offered at the 22,000-square-foot facility which opened in December 2010. Says Gilmour, The Studio offers a smaller, more intimate exercise environment where the certified yoga instructors get to know and connect with their students. The Studio, 730 Camino Ramon, #200, Danville, CA 94525, 925838-9200,

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Dance Lesson Studio San Ramon Valley Dance Academy For more than 35 years, this dance studio has taught a variety of dance styles at all levels to children of all ages and adults. Original owners, renowned dancers and friends Joan Winton, Mo Ruslender and Karla and Klaudia Kobelt, created a partnership that combines superb dance experience, training and instruction for their students. The tradition continues today under the direction of current owners Jennifer Essel Burgardt and Janice Hamill. The 9,000-square-foot academy has four studios and a Dance Shoppe and hosts master classes taught by guest artists. The diverse curriculum includes ballet, jazz and tap and specialized classes including contemporary, hip hop, flexibility and special needs in addition to an introduction to dance for young children called “Color Me Dance.” Check out the summer schedule of classes and camps. San Ramon Valley Dance Academy, 101 Ryan Ct., San Ramon, CA 94583, 925-837-4656, MICHAEL RUSSELL

Live Music and Golf Course The Concerts at Wente/The Course at Wente Vineyards A double-category winner, Wente Vineyards in Livermore continues to be the best of the East Bay. A spectacular setting creates a unique venue for outdoor concerts that feature some of the biggest names in entertainment. The Concerts at Wente Vineyards begins its 27th season with tickets going on sale today (May 19) for a star-studded lineup including Martina McBride, Huey Lewis & The News, Counting Crows with the Wallflowers, Chicago, Chris Botti, Reo Speedwagon and the Under the Sun tour featuring Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and Gin Blossoms. Renowned golfer Greg Norman and Wente joined forces to create this championship 18-hole golf course in Livermore on some of the most beautiful terrain including the vineyards and rolling hills. This course has hosted the fifth stop on the PGA’s Nationwide Tour for three years. Memberships are available or you can plan a golf event. Before or after a round of golf enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch at The Grill at Wente Vineyards. The Grill features a relaxing place to meet friends and spend some time while enjoying casual fare in the dining room or outside on the terrace or patio. The Grill features a full bar and offers wireless network. Open for breakfast until 11 a.m. and lunch after 11 a.m. Call for current hours at 925-456-2481. Wente Vineyards, 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-456-2477,,

Social Media East Bay Blog/Facebook Page/Tweets LocalGruv A triple-category winner, LocalGruv serves the Tri-Valley and is the place to go for daily deals at restaurants, salons, family entertainment and more. All the deals are located in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, Danville and San Ramon. You can subscribe online to receive email alerts for promotion and offers. The brainchild of Matt Toorney, his wife Rebecca Navarro, Anna Navarro and Wayne Kool, Local Gruv hit the internet in September 2011 and specializes in the Tri-Valley, local

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businesses, local consumers and local charities. LocalGruv donates 10 percent of all profits on each deal to the non-profit chosen by the individual business and showcases the non-profit on its website. Non-profits including the TriValley YMCA and the Creative Autism Solutions Team have been supported. Learn more about LocalGruv at their booth at farmers markets, the Pleasanton First Wednesday Street Fair, Danville Street Fair, Livermore Children’s Fair and weekend events at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. Local Gruv, P.O. Box 3383, Livermore, CA 94550, 925-596-0311,

FOOD, DRINK, ENTERTAINMENT Wine Bar Underdog Wine and Spirits Great wine in a great atmosphere makes the ideal pairing for the best


wine bar. This sleek lounge and tasting room offers wines from the Livermore Valley and from around the world. Wines by the glass are served by varietal or by the brand. To accompany that special vintage are gourmet tapas, or small plates, of delectable seasonal foods prepared by award-winning chef Barbara Llewellyn. On the menu are sautéed crab cakes, a tower of ahi tuna tartar and mini cheeseburgers. Don’t forget the homemade ice cream made with wine. It’s a great place for a date, girls’ night out or gathering of friends. Located at the Concannon Winery site, the Underdog Wine bar hosts “Tasty Tuesdays”, “Wine Wednesdays” and features winemaker discussions and other special events. Underdog Wine and Spirits, 4590 Tesla Rd., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-583-1581, Brew Pub/American Cuisine First Street Alehouse Come to take a peek at the largest publicly displayed beer can collection in the nation (6,000) but stay



for a pint or two and enjoy the “home away from home” that owners and brothers Ron and Mike Witherspoon want it to be. They’ve owned it since 2000 and moved to this larger location in 2010. This double-category winner has 24 beers on tap, 11 of which rotate. Thursday night is “Pint Night” from 5 p.m. to midnight and Tuesday’s happy hour lasts all day. What’s great brew without delicious food to go with it? Enjoy a large selection of appetizers from, of course, the beer-battered Cajun fries and onion rings and fresh salads to the mouth-watering Alehouse Specials like the pork carnitas sandwich, grilled portabello mushroom sandwich, a variety of half-pound burgers and, yes, I’ll say it again, beer-battered fish and chips. The friendly atmosphere and staff, outdoor seating, great looking bar and large televisions to view the latest sporting event are among the elements that create the best brew pub. First Street Alehouse, 2106 First St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-3716588,

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Dive Bar V and E Club Join the regulars and belly up to the bar for good beer, wine and cocktails at the V and E Club. The classic jukebox and divey atmosphere create a unique place to hang out with friends and people watch. Located between K and L Streets in downtown Livermore, this club is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Grab a game of pool or shuffleboard or pick a seat to watch some sports. The club has been around since 1943. Leave your credit cards at home. V and E accepts only cash. And no, don’t look for a website anytime soon. V and E Club, 2071 First Street, Livermore, CA 94550, 925-447-3294. Sports Bar The Stadium Pub Walnut Creek’s oldest sport bar is your favorite! Think good food, drink

and watching your favorite team on one of 47 TV screens, thanks to owners Richard and Patty Sherman. Watch the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA hoops and UFC fights (If you don’t know what those letters stand for, then you’re not a sports fan). There’s also rugby, soccer and college football. Watching all those players work up a sweat can make any sports fan hungry so it’s a good thing there is a huge selection of appetizers, house specialties like ribs and fish tacos, burgers, dogs and famous fries and draught and Belgian beers to quench your thirst. Check out the website for special events including a special brunch menu for football season and the diehard fans. The Stadium Pub, 1420 Lincoln Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-256-7302,

Happy Hour/Mexican Food La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine Double-category winner, La Tapatia, with two locations, has the best happy hour and Mexican cuisine. Great atmosphere, food, drink and service combine to make this a perfect choice for authentic Mexican fare. Enjoy live Mariachi music every Friday and Sunday night. Owner Ernie Guerrero and staff have served delicious food for almost 20 years featuring authentic Jalisco cuisine from sizzling fajitas, enchiladas verde and a variety of seafood dishes. Happy hour features 100 different tequilas and the famous La Tapatia 32-ounce monster margarita. Build your own margarita with choice of tequila, make it a top-shelf drink with Grand Marnier or Cointreau and choose from lime, strawberry, banana, pina colada, peach, berry or mango. The bar and patio are open for Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday Winery for Tasting Concannon Vineyard James Concannon, an Irish immigrant, planted his first vineyards and built this Livermore landmark in 1883. Four generations later, Concannon continues to produce some of the best wines in the region and has been voted the best winery for tasting in the East Bay. The picturesque grounds, beautiful tasting room and knowledgeable staff create a memorable experience for small groups, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, bridal showers or corporate outings. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of the property are available by reservation for $20 per person and include a walking tour of the vineyard, the crushing/fermenting pad and barrel room followed by a private tasting of the wines in the wine library.


Concannon Vineyard, 4590 Tesla Rd., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-456-2505, 800-258-9866,

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through Friday and feature $4 appetizers, draft beer, drinks and house margaritas and wine. La Tapatia Mexican Cuisine, 1802 Willow Pass Rd., Concord, CA 94520, 925-685-1985, or 536 Main St., Martinez, CA 94553, 925-229-3866, Specialty Cocktail Barrel Aged Comfort Food & Classic Cocktails The cocktail menu at Barrel Aged is an adventure to read and makes it all the more difficult to decide, “What do I want to drink?” There’s the “Old Fashioned” like the American Trilogy and Red Hook; the “Older Fashioned” like Blood and Sand, Bees Knees and the Martinez or the “Farm and House” selections from a ginger margarita and peach mule to a pomegranate martian. Owner Ashley Afferino opened Barrel Aged last July and besides fresh California food with Southern inspiration, she features classic, handcrafted American cocktails with no pre-made juices or cocktail mixes. Come thirsty

and hungry and take your time to select your classic drink. Barrel Aged Comfort Food & Classic Cocktails, 823 Main St., Martinez, CA 94553, 925-228-7795, www. Italian/Seafood Chianti’s A little bit of Italy exists in charming downtown Pleasanton. Chianti’s, a double-category winner, features favorite Italian classics including lasagna, vegetarian creations like spinach gorgonzola and antipasti. Savory seafood with an Italian accent includes Vongole with baby manila clams; Risotto de Mare with sautéed clams, mussels and crab meat; the classic fish stew Cacciucco; and smoked salmon risotto. The outdoor seating, full bar and quiet ambience all work to create an ideal dining experience. Chianti’s, 426 Main St., Pleasanton, CA 94566, 925-484-3877,





French LaSen Bistro Relocating to Concord from its Berkeley location late last year, the owners of La Sen Bistro transformed a sushi bar into a charming French bistro. Located near Todos Santos Plaza, the bistro’s owners are Vietnamese immigrant chef Hai Tat Nguyen who, with his partner Thanh Dinh, are busy serving classic French cuisine with a California taste in a new setting. Beautifully garnished dishes like the Confit de Canard, and tasty traditional French fare like onion soup and nicoise are but a few of the selections on the substantial menu. La Sen Bistro, 2002 Salvio St., Concord, CA 94520, 925-3637870, Indian Clay Oven Restaurant and Bar Traditional Indian fare cooked in clay ovens or tandoori ovens produce delectable marinated meats, kebabs and flatbread. The Clay Oven in Livermore serves an Indian lunch buffet and dinner daily.

2012 2013


Jane Monheit WED JUN 5 7:30pm

The Quebe Sisters Band • We offer lessons for Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drums, Brass, Woodwinds, Oboe, and Voice. Lessons are for students of all skill level. • Our teachers are energetic, positive, friendly, encouraging, and are all professional teachers who also gig regularly.

• We give our students what they need to know to become better musicians: Improve music theory, sight-reading, musical composition, improvisational skills, and technique. • Our rooms are clean, well lit, and have air conditioning. • Above all, it’s about FUN!


925-828-JAMS (5267) 7282 San Ramon Road Dublin, CA 94568 In the Lamps Plus Plaza! Tues.-Fri- 10am-8pm, Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. 12pm-5pm •

FRI JUN 7 8pm

Don Edwards SAT JUN 8 8pm

Pavlo FRI JUN 28 8pm

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band SUN JUL 7 7pm CALL 925.373.6800



COME BY 2400 First Street • Downtown Livermore




SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013


Pizza Zachary’s Pizza If it’s pizza, it has to be Zachary’s Pizza, the most favorite among pie afficianados. The iconic Zachary’s is synonymous will all things pizza since Zach Zachowski and Barbara Gavel opened the flagship location on Oakland’s College Avenue in 1983. Now an employeeowned company since 2003, Zachary’s continues to dish up its classic Chicagostyle pizza and its traditional think crust pizza using the freshest ingredients. Everyone seems to have a favorite from Zachary’s Favorites to selecting from a variety of toppings to make an original creation. Winning more than 150 best pizza awards is a testament to its taste. Customers get involved in the restaurant as well, where winners of Zachary’s art contests display their original art on the walls of the four locations. Zachary’s Pizza, 3110 Crow Canyon Rd., San Ramon, CA 94583, 925-344-1222; 140 Crescent Dr., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, 925-602-7000; 5801 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618, 510-655-6385; 1853 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707, 510-525-5950;


The selections are cooked using the age-old method that features the clay oven fired up to 1,000 degrees. Clay oven dinners are prepared for two people and include savory menu items like tandoori chicken, botikababmsaagpaneer, papadam and more. At the Clay Oven you can also choose from a variety of appetizers, vegetarian dishes and seafood entrees. Clay Oven Restaurant and Bar, 2417 First St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-443-4100,

Thai Lemongrass Bistro The aromas of herbs and spices from the Southeast Asian countries of Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia fill the restaurant and

season the dishes made popular at Lemongrass Bistro open since 2009. A fresh addition to Martinez’s Main Street, the restaurant is owned by sisters Becky and Linda Pheng. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday featuring delicacies like mango chicken and stirfried red curry. Dinner offers a selection of appetizers, salads, soups and a wide selection of entrees. Lemongrass Bistro, 501 Main St., Martinez, CA 94553, 925-3870388, Vietnamese Pho Saigon City The savory and hearty Vietnamese dish of broth, rice noodles, herbs and either meat, chicken, seafood or tofu is widely popular and the best

place to savor the authentic flavors of this traditional dish is at Pho Saigon City in Pleasanton.They offer a wide selection of seafood including sweet and sour squid, tilapia and lemongrass prawns; tofu from braised to curry; or favorite daily specials like baby bokchoy and shitake mushrooms sautéed in oyster sauce with a choice of meat, prawns or tofu. The menu is extensive and selections are very affordable. There’s convenient take out, or eat in. Groups and kids are welcome too to this casual restaurant open seven days a week. Open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pho Saigon City, 44275 Rosewood Dr., Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-598-9888,

SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013

Japanese Kawa Sushi Since 1998, Kawa Sushi has been serving its fresh sushi to satisfied customers from all over the East Bay. A Teppan room allows customers to watch their food being prepared in front of them using a iron grill. It’s entertaining to watch and it has delicious results. What a fun way to celebrate a night out with a group of friends. Kawa Sushi also has a beautiful sushi bar where you can watch the art of handmade sushi while sipping a cocktail or flavorful saki. Owned by Jasmine Paek, this Japanese gem is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Kawa Sushi, 2180 Third St., Livermore, CA 94550,


the region’s premier wines. How do you say “Yum” in Chinese? Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard, 39 S. Livermore Ave., #125, Livermore, CA 94550, 925-449-7000,

Steakhouse Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse Sometimes you just need a good steak. Here you can get a great steak that is prepared perfectly because, well, that’s what they do best at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Using USDA prime steaks, fresh ingredients and local produce, there’s no doubt it’s a favorite place to dine. Served on sizzling 500-degree plates, the steaks are cooked to your liking with a choice of filet, ribeye, T-bone, New York strip or even a romantic porterhouse for two.

Chinese Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, The elegant and sophisticated dé1553 Olympic Blvd., cor at Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard as Walnut Creek, CA 94596, well as an extensive wine list (af925-977-3477, ter all they are in the midst of the Livermore Wine region) make this a favorite destination for anyone craving Chinese food. Oh, sure you can find those favorite lunch specials like Kung Po Chicken or Szechuan prawns, and there are Find out why we were voted the banquet menus for when you get the Best in the East Bay! whole gang together. Taking advantage of We’re a Full Service Salon the location, however, with a Great Team Uncle Yu’s has cre• Hair Care • Skin Care • Makeup ated a Chef & Som• Nail Care • Massage • Waxing melier’s three-course • Lash Extentions and six-course tasting menu. You get ible food selections 387 Grand Ave. • Oakland CA 94610 • 510-452-4569 paired with some of



Barbecue Sauced BBQ & Spirits The South has arrived in Northern California. It literally arrived in the form of reclaimed wood and corrugated ceiling material shipped here from barns in Georgia and North Carolina. With it came the dual power and talent of owners and cousins Barrett Gomes and Brenden Scanion, whose dream of owning a restaurant finally came true. The result is southern hospitality and authentic BBQ that took years of perfecting and was worth the wait. Brenden learned the craft of BBQ while competing in the barbecue circuit in Atlanta. Live music on the weekends and daily specials like “whiskey of the day” and “shot-and-beer” combos say it all. Fun and good food await. Sauced BBQ & Spirits, 2300 First St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-961-1300,


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SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013


Deli Genova Delicatessen and Ravioli Factory Of course this was chosen the best delicatessen in the East Bay. Where else do you go for authentic Italian fare like imported cheese, rosemary ham, prosciutto and soppraseta? We don’t all have an Italian grandmother making fresh ravioli, manicotti or preparing antipasto or minestrone. Hungry yet? One step into the deli and the delicious aromas embrace you. A fixture in the East Bay, Genova was founded by two Italian immigrants, Lorenzo Balbi and Pietro Pira, who opened the first delicatessen in Oakland in 1926, naming the deli after their hometown of Genoa. The Walnut Creek location was opened in 1969 by nephew, John DeVincenzi, Enjoy your lunch at the outdoor tables and, just for an afternoon, pretend you’re in Italy. Genova Delicatessen, 1105 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-939-3838,

Bakery A Sweet Affair Bakery and Café Does anyone bake from scratch anymore? Terry Babcock started his tradition of baking everything from scratch and avoiding preservatives when he opened the Walnut Creek bakery in 1984. His daughters Sarah and Jennifer continue that tradition and create freshly baked breads and sandwiches and all things, well, sweet. How to choose from the 10 different cake flavors is a tempting problem, unless you opt instead for a freshly baked fruit scone, filled croissant or any one of the 11 or so muffin varieties. Decisions, decisions, decisions. And don’t forgot to peruse the array of cookies and chocolate fudge brownies. Oh my! The bakery and café can even make your next event “sweet” with ca-

tering options. Come for breakfast, stay for lunch and take home treats for your sweetheart, too.

to orange burst and no sugar added blueberry. You pay by the ounce but enjoy by the minute.

A Sweet Affair Bakery and Café, 1815 F Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-944-1910, 190 Hartz Ave., Danville, CA 94526, 925-837-1911,

1st Treat Yogurt, 2127 First St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-292-4244,

Ice Cream Fentons Creamery I scream, you scream, we all scream for… Fentons Creamery! The East Bay landmark and destination for all things ice cream, Fentons is still the best. The retro ice cream shop just brings smiles to so many faces. The Creamery was founded in 1894 by Elbridge Seth Fenton and the fountain and café were added in 1922. We can thank his grandson, Melvin Fenton, for creating some of the most famous flavors of ice cream including Toasted Almond, Swiss Milk Chocolate and Rocky Road. Today, current owner Scott Whidden continues the tradition that Fenton started and creates handcrafted ice cream. Stop by and watch them handmix the Oreo pieces into the rich vanilla ice cream. Fentons Creamery, 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA 94611, 510-658-7000,

Frozen Yogurt 1st Treat Yogurt Select your cup, fill it up with one of eight revolving flavors of frozen yogurt and top it off with a variety of 40 toppings from fresh fruit and nuts to chocolate chips and gummy bears. Frozen Yogurt is fun, creative and it taste good too. The soft serve yogurt shop offers a lot of variety from chocolate and vanilla

Vegetarian Gather The entrees and selections at Gather are plentiful; many are vegan and glutenfree. Co-owners Eric Fenster and Ari Derfel and Executive Chef Sean Baker take great effort to “gather” ingredients from local farmers and are dedicated to these local farmers so much that they have a select list of suppliers for each food item. Full Belly Farms provides melons, eggplants, pepper and herbs and Blossom Bluff supplies citrus, stone fruit and persimmons, for example, while the Monterey Fish Market is the supplier of halibut, sardines and squid. Winners of several awards, Gather’s menus are planned based on what is planted and being harvested and customers can enjoy the freshest of ingredients. Even their liqueurs are handcrafted, again honoring local sources. The beers are from local craft brewers, and the wines hail from the local wine regions. Gather, 2200 Oxford St., Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-809-0400,

Karaoke Bar The Oak Door If you’re going to belt out a tune in front of a few friends and a bunch of strangers, it might as well be a good ‘ol country song. The country-and-westernthemed karaoke bar in Livermore’s Town

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Center features a rustic atmosphere and even a dance floor. A favorite place to hang out, The Oak Door has live music, a DJ and a party just waiting to happen. There is no cover charge and while the dress is casual, a cowboy hat may help you blend in with the locals. And if you work up a thirst with all that crooning, there’s a full bar with tequila and vodka and cocktail specialties, wine, and of course, beer. Weekdays they are open until 9 p.m., but you can party until 2 a.m. on weekends. The Oak Door, 3062 Pacific Ave., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-373-0400.

Live Theater Bankhead Theater This gorgeous 500-seat theater opened in October 2007 and has been the site of some amazing performances by local artists and artists from all over the Bay Area and nation. It’s a favorite among theater goers because of its intimate venue and variety of performers and special events scheduled there. There are music, theater, dance, lectures, civic events and conferences. Part of the Livermore Performing Arts Center, the Bankhead Theater hosted 200 performances and civic events during its first year to audiences of more than 76,000 people. See the website for a complete calendar of upcoming events and performances. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore, CA 94550, 925-373-6800,


Breakfast Vitality Bowls Didn’t mom tell us the most important meal of the day was breakfast? Bet she never imagined they’d be this healthy. The bowls start with Acai berry that is rich in nutrition and said to be a superfruit. Why? Because Acai berries only grow in the Amazon Rainforest and the Acai pulp is used in smoothies and bowls and combined with organic granola plus fresh fruits and vegetables. The result is a powerhouse of potassium, fiber, calcium and several vitamins. Is it great because it tastes good or because it is healthy for you? Maybe both. Vitality Bowls, 211 Market Place Dr., San Ramon, CA 94583, 925-804-6012, 2473 Stoneridge Mall Rd., Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-463-2224,




WHEELS Mechanic 8 Car Detailing 8 Dealership 8 Car Wash 9 HOME Window Installer 10 Home Furnishing Store 10 Real Estate Company 10 Door Installer 11 Kitchen and Bath Remodeling 11 Flooring 11 Interior Designer 11 Heating and Air Conditioning 12 Landscaper 12 PLACES AND SERVICES Wedding Photographer 12 Wedding Planner 13 Event Transportation 13 East Bay Landmark 13 Neighborhood Bookstore 14 Senior Living Facility 14 PETS Veterinarian 14

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Pet Day Care 15 Pet Store 15 Pet Groomer 15 Pet Park 16 FAMILY Summer Camp/Day Care Provider 16 Lindsey Wildlife Museum 16 Kid’s Party 17 HEALTH AND BEAUTY Hair Salon, Manicure/Pedicure 18 Lasik Surgery 18 Day Spa/Massage/Facial/ Beauty Supply Store 18 Chiropractic 19 Hearing Aid Center 19 Dentist 19 SHOPPING Downtown 20 Liquor/Wine Shop 20 Florist 20 Consignment/Jewelry Store 21 Wedding Dresses 22 Rental Tux 22

Lingerie 22 Boutique 22 Bike Shop 23 Toy Store 24 Neighborhood Grocery 24 Latino Grocery 25 Asian Market 25 Farmer’s Market 25 Green Business 25 Sporting Goods 25 Nursery 26 Hardware Store 26 RECREATIONAL AND FITNESS Casino Resort 26 Ski/Snowboard Place 26 Fitness Club 27 Yoga Studio 27 Golf Course/Live Music 28 Dance Lesson Studio 28 SOCIAL MEDIA East Bay Blog/Facebook Page/ Tweets 28

FOOD, DRINK, ENTERTAINMENT Wine Bar 29 Brew Pub/American Cuisine 29 Dive Bar 30 Sports Bar 30 Happy Hour/ Mexican Food 30 Winery for Tasting 30 Specialty Cocktail 31 Italian/Seafood 31 French 31 Indian 31 Thai 32 Vietnamese 32 Pizza 32 Japanese 33 Chinese 33 Steakhouse 33 Barbecue 33 Deli 34 Bakery 34 Ice Cream 34 Frozen Yogurt 34 Vegetarian 34 Karaoke Bar 34 Breakfast 35 Live Theater 35

SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013




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T I C K E TS O N S A L E N OW ! | 925-456-2424 | W E N T EV I N EYA R D S . C O M

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Setting the Arts on Fire The Firehouse Arts Center is dedicated to inspiring passion through the arts. Come enjoy world-class performing and visual arts, exciting interactive programs for all ages, and a state-of-the-art venue. We combine the sophistication of the culturally rich Bay Area arts landscape with the hospitality and intimacy of our home town. Be sure to visit us for Firehouse First Fridays this Summer! June 7, July 5 & August 2 5:00-7:00PM at the FIREHOUSE Our upcoming season offers the best in Pop Rock, Cabaret, Musical Theater and more! Visit our website for up to date information on current events.

Tickets Online: Tickets by Phone: (925) 931-4848 Tickets at the Box Office: 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton Box Office Hours: Wed-Fri 12-6PM Sat 10AM-4PM

4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton, CA (925) 931-4848 •

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Best in East Bay  
Best in East Bay