A home with history was exactly what Michael and Linda were looking for. So, when they found a home in Martinez that was built in 1904, they were smitten (and all the charming features didn’t hurt!).
The home showed off its colorful garden with giant, blooming hydrangeas and an entry with vining roses and birds painted on the walls. The kitchen has been remodeled with a Cappiello-style mural that is a talking point of the room. The mural included the spitting image of the previous owner’s dog, Sylvester.
The house even has a basement. The location is an added perk – they are located within walking distance of downtown Martinez – a prime location for the afternoon Martini Breeze as the previous owner called it. Michael is also a fan of tiki bars and is excited to set up his own home version of a tiki bar in that spectacular backyard. It’s safe to say Michael and Linda struck gold here!
Colombe and I spent a lot of time together this Fall. As a single mother with a good job, she decided it was time to buy a house and quit paying rent. She wanted to keep her son zoned for the same school (College Park), so we focused on detached homes south of Highway 4 in Martinez. These first 3 pictures are the staged house before purchase.
I think we wrote about 10 offers – Martinez was a hot market this Fall, ranging from $650,000 to $750,000. That’s still affordable for a detached home, but we were getting beat out by all-cash offers. There were people selling their homes in Walnut Creek and Danville and downsizing to Martinez, which allowed them to take their tax basis and still stay in the Bay Area. Below” are the “after pictures” with Colombe’s decorating!
We finally got an offer accepted on Redwood, though we had to navigate an appraisal issue and finally closed right before Thanksgiving. It was a long road, but paid off! I’m so happy for Colombe! p.s. the dog is named Chewy … so cute!
Even though all the fish you eat, whether in raw or cooked form, is technically dead, the term “dead fish” conjures up images of scaly carcasses washed up on a beach. Needless to say, that’s not very appetizing. However, The Dead Fish in Crockett gives reason to love its namesake with their food and stunning atmosphere.
The Dead Fish is located about 25 minutes North of Walnut Creek. It is just up the coast from Martinez, and across the Bay from Vallejo. It’s worth discovering, if only for its endless view of the Carquinez Straits. That’s the first thing that catches your eye when you arrive at the restaurant: round-the-dining-room views of the water, the lit-up bridge, and the hills that accentuate both.
The owners of The Dead Fish also own such Bay Area seafood hotspots as Franciscan Crab Restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf, The Stinking Rose in North Beach, and Salito’s in Sausalito. For what it’s worth, The Dead Fish gets its name from the chef’s Nonna, who cooked for a large family, and couldn’t keep track of all the different recipes she prepared. So, when the chef (her grandson) asked what kind of fish she cooked, she told him, “It’s a dead fish!” Hilarious!
Anyway, the food itself at The Dead Fish is what you’ll come for as they are known for their Dungeness crab, which is only bought if it weighs more than two pounds (to ensure peak meatiness), and is only caught in the Pacific Ocean. They do have options for prime rib, filet mignon, and other non-seafood meals. Menus are subject to change daily, so make sure you check online before you go!
I went for lunch. when the atmosphere is a little more light-hearted and not as crowded and you can fully make out the little decorations hanging from the ceiling. From all the photos I’ve seen, it is more of a dimly-lit, low-key vibe in there for dinner. Anyway, the food was good but not as incredible as the reviews said it would be. I still enjoyed my meal though! I had the asparagus with blue cheese and the single crab enchilada. Overall, I’d give The Dead Fish 3.5 Mt. Diablo’s out of 5.
Recently I have had some car problems. I have been wanting another SUV that I can take up to the mountains, put my skis and dog in, and also looks nice for clients. So, last year I decided it was time to sell my Mini Cooper. But, I kept getting the “check engine” light on and occasionally it would overheat. I needed to get it fixed before I sold it and that became a drawn-out process. Luckily, I have a great mechanic who has bent over backward to help me stay on the road.
CK Auto Repair in Martinez has taken great care of me and my cars over past few years after a friend recommended them after the BMW dealership cost me $800 for an oil change, check-up and air in my tires. Highway robbery! That coincided with a poker tournament I was playing in and a couple of the guys were raving about their mechanic and how he is the only one they want fixing their classic cars. Lo and behold, it was Danny at CK Auto.
After much soul-searching and replacing of parts when the engine light came on, we discovered that my Mini needed a walnut flush. That is where it gets rid of the carbon build-up. I bought it pre-owned and had always put in premium gas, but I’m not sure what the previous owner did.
I feel Danny was always fair; I was in there a lot and got to know Danny and his son Jessie, along with the rest of the crew as they were searching for a solution. He even would occasionally lend me a car so I could still work without having to rent one every couple of weeks. If you need any kind of help with one of your cars in the East Bay, I can’t recommend CK Auto Repair highly enough. Say my name and they’ll take good care of you! And, if you are in the market for a Mini Cooper (2009), give me a call. It has a lot of new parts and is running sweet again!
Come check out 407 Midway Place in Martinez this weekend for a home with great curb appeal! It’s situated on a cozy court and has a large, flat backyard with redwoods scattered throughout with enough space for a pool if so desired! An entertainer’s delight with plenty of privacy, good shade and stone retaining walls with landscaping, and a basement area with water that can be built for an outdoor bathroom.
In total, it is a 4-bed, 2.5-bath with vaulted ceilings, multiple decks, a formal dining room and a kitchen-family room open-concept combination. The master bathroom is delightfully decadent, and the half-bath upstairs also draws high praise.
The home contains triple-pane windows, and welcomes in lots of light. An Owens Corning roof, new rain gutters, a high-efficiency water heater, and exterior paint creates the charming curb appeal. The landscaping in the front and side yards were re-done in 2014, and solar panels with a 20-year lease were added that year, too.
The aforementioned master bathroom was remodeled as recently as 2015, and an entertainment system with surround sound was added to the family room in 2016. The pictures, beautiful as they are, do not do this place justice. You have to swing by and check it out for yourself. You will be amazed!
The Open House will be held from 1-4 p.m. this weekend, on both Saturday, Mar. 10th and Sunday, Mar. 11th.
I recently helped Maria and Kehl find a new home as they were relocating to the Bay Area! It was an awesome process working with two California newbies, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
They left Houston just in the nick of time, but what has struck them most is how friendly people are here. Initially, they did not want to be in the downtown area of Martinez, but still wanted to be close to the Shell refinery. They ended up staying three months in an AirBNB in downtown Martinez and came to love the proximity to work, the easy and quick access to open space and all the fun things Martinez has to offer. It is a changing downtown area as the city is incorporating more events and family-friendly activities. Even their lender came to their signing – thanks, Sean!
Are you an avid biker? Is that your summertime physical activity of choice? Even if that’s not the case, you might want to give this cool bike challenge in Walnut Creek a try!
It’s a great way to force yourself outside to enjoy the beautiful Bay Area summer weather, get a little exercise, and be environmentally-friendly all at once. Basically, there is a Walnut Creek Summer Bike Challenge that asks you to download a challenge card and complete it before the summer is over.
Destinations include Cream in downtown Walnut Creek (what better motivation for going on a ride is there than having ice cream at the finish line?), Heather Farm and Civic Park.
If the exercise, enjoyment and gas savings aren’t enough incentive, there are also prizes! Some squares on the challenge card offer instant prizes or free stuff upon completion, and the program’s grand prize is an iPad.
Other Bay Area cities hosting a challenge like this are Brentwood, Martinez, Oakley and Pleasant Hill. Give it a shot and explore our wonderful little town in a whole new way. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a SoulCycle subscription!
For the 24 years I have lived in Walnut Creek, there have been no public 4th of July fireworks displays. According to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, fireworks are illegal in the county, so good luck trying to put on your own show!
However, you can buy fireworks in Alameda County – Dublin is not that far away – but with the drought, the law is probably a good thing to abide by.
Luckily, some cities close by are shooting off fireworks, so grab a spot on a hill, go to the location itself, or maybe a friend has a bird’s eye view from their house:
Antioch – Contra Costa Fairgrounds (Dusk)
Benicia – Benicia City Park (9:00 p.m.)
Berkeley – Berkeley Marina (9:30 p.m.)
Concord – Mt. Diablo High School & Todos Santos Plaza (9:00 p.m.)
Livermore – Downtown (Dusk)
Martinez – Waterfront (9:30 p.m.)
Moraga – Moraga Country Club (Dusk)
Pittsburg – Pittsburg Marina (Dusk)
Pleasant Hill – College Park High School & Pleasant Hill Country Club (9:10 p.m.)
Pleasanton – Alameda County Fairgrounds (9:30 p.m.)