Learning Express Toys Opens in Downtown Lafayette

3568 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Last month we learned that Learning Express Toys would be opening in downtown Lafayette on Mt. Diablo Blvd. and they are now open. It’s been over two years since Lafayette has had a toy store so this is good news especially with the holidays around the corner.

From their website:

Learning Express Toys of Lafayette will set itself apart from the “big-box” toy stores with educational toys, gifts, and exclusive products—all of which inspire imagination, creativity, and intellectual and physical development. Learning Express Toys provides customized services such as free gift wrapping, complimentary personalization of a variety of items, and an exceptional “birthday box” gift registry.

I stopped by and thought the selection was great; very interesting stuff that I haven’t seen elsewhere at various price points which I appreciated. I’ll definitely be back!

Lafayette Parking Workshop Tomorrow


Lafayette Parking Workshop:

Lafayette Library & Learning Center
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
6:00pm – 8:00pm | Free

Join us for a workshop to discuss downtown parking and potential
strategies to address the issue. We are interested in hearing your
thoughts on parking and ways to solve the issues that we face.

This is the second in a series of downtown parking workshops to
obtain feedback from the community to help the City draft its
future parking policies. The focus of this meeting will be the East
End, as circled in the map below.

Beards, Brews and Bites Fundraiser for Contra Costa Oncology


Beards, Brews and Bites Fundraiser:

18-8 Fine Men’s Salon
15 Fiesta Lane, Lafayette
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
6:00pm – 8:00pm | $25

Attention Ladies and Gents!
Help raise funds and awareness for the Cancer Support Community and join Contra Costa Oncology at 18-8 Fine Men’s Salon (near Fiesta Square in Lafayette) for an evening of Beards, Brews & Bites!
Ticket price includes appetizers provided by the Cooperage, 2 drinks (wine or beer), plus complimentary stache/beard trims (optional)!

Enter the Sweetest Stache Contest for your chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Sign up at the event.

No fair, no face hair? Try your hand at Battle of the Sexes Trivia and the pushup contest. Plus, there are plenty of prizes to be won in the raffle, including Renaissance Club Sport memberships, Oakland Raiders tickets, $100 Gift Certificate to the Cooperage, and many more!

Fashion Scuttlebutt – Patrizia Marrone Boutique Moving to Lafayette

11 Fiesta Ln, Lafayette

Thanks to a reader for sending word that the footwear and apparel boutique Patrizia Marrone, that used to be located in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville is moving to Fiesta Lane in downtown Lafayette. This is right in the middle of the newly opened stores Amphora and 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons with The Cooperage at the end.

From their Facebook page:

Patrizia Marrone specializes in fashion forward merchandise from exclusive designers all over the world. Come see our must haves in luscious leathers, sensuous gowns, fancy furs, chic bags, cropped jackets, footwear, jewelry, belts, and more!

The Blackhawk Plaza location closed about a month ago:

Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery Coming to Downtown Lafayette

Park Plaza, Lafayette

The gluten-free bakery Mariposa, with locations in the Ferry Building in San Francisco and Oakland is opening a third store next spring right in downtown Lafayette in the new Park Plaza development, the same block where Squirrel’s Coffee Shop used to be. According to Inside Scoop, “Mariposa will occupy a 2,900-square-foot space in which it will run a retail café offering gluten-free baked goods (some of which will be baked on-site), as well as a seasonally changing selection of breakfast and lunch items, such as sandwiches.” Check out the article here.

From the Mariposa website:

Mariposa started in 2004 because founder Patti Furey Crane was gluten-intolerant, baking a lot of baked goods to satisfy her own cravings and there were few gluten-free artisan baked goods available on the market at that time.

Sweet Thursday with Author Joe Di Prisco at Lafayette Library this Thursday


Sweet Thursday with author Joe Di Prisco:

Lafayette Library and Learning Center
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
Thursday, November 6th, 2014
7:00pm – 8:00pm | Free

Di Prisco, local author of Subway to California, will discuss his highly acclaimed book in which he recounts his personal demons, bargains struck with angels, and family truces. With Subway to California, Di Prisco has created a richly colorful tale that reads like great fiction.

A free event; refreshments provided.

Amphora Opens in Lafayette

7 Fiesta Ln, Lafayette

Last week we learned that Berkeley-based olive oil and balsamic vinegar company Amphora would be soft-opening over the weekend in downtown Lafayette and I had a chance to drop by and try out their extra virgin olive oils (infused and non-infused) and balsamic vinegar. As you can see in the photos below it feels spacious inside and there is a huge selection of oils.

Everything I tasted was incredible! My favorite non-infused extra virgin olive oil was the Australian Hojiblanca and among the infused oils I enjoyed Persian lime olive oil and the savory wild mushroom and sage olive oil. At a reasonable $7/$12/$18 for small/medium/large bottles I’ll definitely be back for more.

Owner Nate Bradley:

More photos of the inside after the jump… Continue reading