Viel Spass bei Bierhaus!

That headline translates to “lots of fun at Bierhaus!” And is that ever accurate! I was invited to Bierhaus‘ grand opening in Walnut Creek on Nov. 15, and had a great time. For those who aren’t familiar, Bierhaus is the second Bay Area location, behind Oakland.

As you can guess, Bierhaus is German-themed and inspired. They wanted to create another community-minded space where old and new friends gather over good food and beer. So, they created the Walnut Creek location with an extensive dining hall, large beer selection, and a Bottle Shop.

Beer can be purchased for both in-house consumption or for take home. Also, the large, outdoor biergarten itself is pet-friendly, which you know I love!

This grand opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony with the owner Mike Finley and city officials, including Cindy Silva, our current Mayor. After a brief dedication, the beer was flowing along with some tasty food that included two tables of cheese and charcuterie. In addition, servers walked around with platters of pork sliders, Bavarian pretzels, french fries, and currywurst!

I am most excited to come back and try their Schnitzel! They had a traditional German band playing the night of the grand opening and I saw another band playing last Sunday evening. If you are there with the kids, they also have a shelf of games that can be taken to the table and played. As part of their community outreach, they partnered with ARF and asked for a $20 donation to support ARF’s programs. They raised $840 for their charity partner! Wow, Walnut Creek!

I think Bierhaus is in a perfect location with city parking above, the movie theater a block away, and close to Broadway Plaza for an after shopping reprieve. Their price point also supports going and hanging out with friends and drinking some beer. I foresee the summer months will be packed full of people in the biergarten. If you are craving some good food, great company, and even better beer, check out Bierhaus in Walnut Creek at your next opportunity! Prost!

Pie Party / Trinity Donation!

Next week, my annual pie party and donation drive will be taking place! I am looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, along with some new ones.

This effort supports the Trinity Center in Walnut Creek, which is a homeless shelter helping to assist those in need around our area. I believe the reason Walntu Creek doesn’t have a large homeless problem is because of the good work done by the Trinity Center to offer them viable solutions.

I used to do a just a coat drive for the one warm coat, but the last three years I have made it a pumpkin pie pick-up party with a donation drive supporting the Trinity Center. I supply the pie, the party and people bring donations for Trinity, and it is a wonderful pre-holiday time to connect with neighbors and clients. Any pies that don’t get picked up, also get donated. Since I distribute this flyer in Parkmead, I usually hire students or moms to pass them out and pay $25. This year a neighbor Cynthia helped and asked me to donate the money to Trinity – I will be buying a Chevron gas card.

This year, they are asking specifically for some clothing items in both men’s and women’s sizes. See the image below for details. Items can be used, but clean with no holes or stains, but certain items like underwear should be new ;-).

As for the pies, reserve one today and make sure to bring a donation for the Trinity Center. If you can’t swing by to pick it up yourself, message me and we’ll arrange something. Try to come by and get it yourself, because the party I’m hosting will be a blast!

Event Round-Up: Nov. 16, 2019

Looking for some fun activities between your family time around Thanksgiving? I’ve got you covered. Here are five local events you can do over the next month or so!

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Walnut Creek on Ice! (thru Jan. 20, 2020)

If you haven’t taken advantage of Walnut Creek’s little ice rink in previous winters, now is your chance! Visit their website for more info on prices, hours, etc.

Leonids Meteor Shower (night of Nov. 17) – Anywhere!

This is a regular event, but still well-worth staying up late to watch! If it’s a clear night, you can wrap up in a blanket in the backyard and see a dazzling display of shooting meteors. One of nature’s best performances.

Exploratorium After Dark (Nov. 21) – San Francisco

This week’s Exploratorium After Dark is called “Nonsense Machines,” which sounds just so San Francisco. This is a super fun adult nighttime outing in the City. Tickets are about $20!

Jack London Square Christmas Tree Lighting (Nov. 22) – Oakland

Always wanted to witness a huge public Christmas tree get lit up? Now’s your chance! Go down to Jack London Square and bring the kids for this free event on a Friday night. The event begins at 5 p.m.

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Walnut Creek Holiday Stroll (Dec. 6)

Stroll down the streets of Walnut Creek and take advantage of open houses, sips and savors, caroling, live music, an ugly sweater contest, and more! It kicks off at Water Light Public Plaza at 5 p.m.

Art Town: Fountains

With so much changing around downtown Walnut Creek at any given moment, it’s sometimes nice to reflect on the places that have been around for years. One of those places is the J. Rockliff real estate building at the corner of N. Main and Civic.

You’d recognize the building by its brick-on-brick look. It sits right across Civic from City Hall and diagonally across from La Scala. It almost looks like a mini-brick castle. Anyway, they have fountains out front that I never stopped to look at before, and they are gorgeous!

The fountains complement the property and the real eye-catcher is the wrought-iron statue in the middle, perched atop a mosaic base. It’s quite mesmerizing up close!

Take a minute to recognize an old classic in Walnut Creek next time you’re in the area. With buildings and blocks changing all the time, it is nice to see something stay the same.

Pancoast Pizza expands!

Fellow pizza enthusiasts, rejoice! Pancoast Pizza, one of the best options in town, has expanded its space next to Las Lomas and now boasts a ton more seating options. To go along with it, they expanded their menu! The pizzas are pricier than most, I think it is because they have quality ingredients.

Pancoast is one of my favorite pizza joints in town (doesn’t hurt that it’s walking distance from my house!). I love thin-crust and theirs is delicious and it has to do with the cheese which comes from Wisconsin. I’m excited to see they’ve added some other options to the menu. They are still serving strombolis, and now there are hoagies, Philly cheesesteaks, and even chicken wings.

This is truly a small, local business in Walnut Creek. The owner is usually there and the staff is generally very friendly. It attracts a younger crowd, as you might expect with its location next to the high school. I often go after a late night at work and get a slice of the cheese pizza – it is addictive!

Have you used ThredUp?

I recently took about 10 items to ThredUp, but only one was accepted for a grand total of $7. The company will pay you for bringing in older clothes, much like Main Street Rags or Labels. The difference is that ThredUp will donate, recycle or put them on their website if they don’t buy it. They also will give them back to you if you want to directly donate it.

That’s what I really like about ThredUp. What they don’t take will get consigned on the website and you might end up getting more money or the material will get recycled and donated. So either I feel good about where it’s going or I might get some money out of it.

I also didn’t feel clothing-shamed (that it wasn’t good enough for the consignment store). I tend to hold on to items, and all consignments want items that are two or three years old. I recently Marie Kondo’d my closet for the first time in 10 years, so I have a bunch of (old) stuff to donate, and just have to do it seasonally. But, ThredUp accepted everything that I had (even if they only kept one item to sell). I left feeling good about it all, versus going to the snobby consignment store next door.

Whew, it feels good to get rid of a lot of old stuff (of course those are the items that I won’t get any money for). ThredUp was founded in 2009 and inspire their customers to think “#secondhandfirst.” It’s a very cool concept, and I hope you all give it a chance!

Brioche de Paris comes straight from France!

On Sept. 30th, owner Wissem Kheruji opened Brioche de Paris in downtown Walnut Creek. He is from Paris originally, and his family owns many Parisian bakeries. Wissem is the only member of his family in the U.S. He went into health and fitness, but ended up following in the family footsteps. Lucky us!

He opened this French-inspired cafe and bakery at Locust and Bonanza. They use imported flour and butter to make everything besides their baguette bread in-house. They are brand new, so the menu is still developing, but I’ve been told that a sweet and savory crepe menu should be available in a few weeks.

Brioche de Paris also offers espresso drinks, a daily soup, and salads. Their croissants are out of this world. They serve sandwiches between $6-$9 and pastries for $5 or less, and as little as $2.25. That’s right about in line with Walnut Creek prices.

The space itself is quite cozy and open, and they offer free WiFi with tons of outlets, which is usually a frustration in cafes. I’d highly recommend going to visit and getting a fresh croissant and enjoying a cup of joe at the newest bakery in town!

Another brewery in town!

You won’t believe this! Okay, maybe you will. There’s another brewery in Walnut Creek. We just finished recapping Rotator Brewery a couple of weeks ago, and now here I am to tell you about the San Diego-based Mike Hess Brewery that is situated in The Orchards shopping center on Ygnacio and Oak Grove!

The Mike Hess Brewery website isn’t working yet, so I can’t link you. But I stopped by to check it out and got a few pictures! The space has lots of seats inside, but the outdoor seating is the place to be. It is partially covered, and they often have live music on the weekends.

I really like the simple, sleek interior, and they had a spacious, cozy outdoor area with couches and a TV. They do host a trivia night every Wednesday, which should be fun, and they really pulled me in when I found it is a dog-friendly place! Bodie is getting old, but he would enjoy a sit on the patio. They don’t serve food, but you can order from the plethora of restaurants in the shopping center and some will bring it over to the brewery (Mod Pizza, Burger Lounge, etc. to name a few).

One cool thing that Mike Hess Brewery has done in the past is run “HessFest,” a charity fundraiser ever year. We can only hope they’ll bring the event up north with them, as Walnut Creek could use a few good brewfests! Go check out Mike Hess Brewery when you can!

Vici expanded!!

Vici, a hip women’s clothing store is expanding. I went to shop and see what changes are on the horizon. Vici, also has a location in Newport Beach, but the one in Walnut Creek is situated at N. California Blvd. and is open from 10 am to 7 pm Monday-Friday (and shorter hours on the weekends).

They are heavily focused on Instagram and their models always look much better than me in the outfit; they have some really cute, trendy clothing at affordable prices in a stylish and contemporary space, albeit small, but that is changing.

Vici calls itself “a haven for the modern woman,” and wants to make the act of shopping in a modern, digital age as effortless as possible. They offer a range of casual pieces to beautiful statement dresses and are known for eye-catching patterns.

As you can see, Vici is expanding with lots more room to show off all their clothing. It has come a long way from a tucked-away space in an office building on Olympic. Give it a look next time you’re out shopping and wanting some of the latest styles. You can always follow them on Instagram – they are constantly showing off their new items.