Learning Express Toys Opening Nov. 21st in Downtown Lafayette

3568 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

After a few years without a toy store, a new toy store called Learning Express Toys is opening in downtown Lafayette on November 21st where Traction Cycling used to be on Mt. Diablo Blvd. Learning Express Toys has locations nationwide with the nearest location in San Ramon.

From their website:

Learning Express is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores. To date, there are more than 130 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. These local stores are dedicated to providing quality toys, expert staff, exceptional customer service, and community support through fundraising—the keystones of the Learning Express brand.

jinny Women’s Designer Boutique Opening Soon in Downtown Walnut Creek

1575 Botelho Dr, Walnut Creek

The women’s fashion boutique jinny, originally based in Columbus, Ohio, is moving to downtown Walnut Creek next to the men’s clothing store Atlas on Botelho Dr.

From their website:

jinny, a women’s designer boutique destination founded by L.A. fashion industry transplant Jin H Fillinger, marked its launch on August 19, 2006 in the heart of the Short North neighborhood of Downtown Columbus, OH.

Finding a lack of aspirational boutiques in Columbus to satiate her fashion pangs, Jin developed jinny in the creative and burgeoning Downtown market to give women with similar frustrations an outlet for their sartorial enthusiasm.

Amphora Opening Late October in Downtown Lafayette

7 Fiesta Ln, Lafayette

Berkeley-based olive oil and balsamic vinegar company Amphora that we learned would be opening next to the Cooperage in downtown Lafayette is planning to open in late October. In addition to offering extra virgin olive oil, infused olive oils and balsamic vinegar from around the world, this Lafayette location will also feature small bites such as hummus, salads, and popcorn to highlight the various olive oils and balsamic vinegar they will be offering. As you can see in the photo above there will be outdoor tables in front as well as seating inside to enjoy these small bites. Note that the patio furniture will change from the current design.

Check out their website here. Below are the canisters used for their balsamic vinegar. Stay tuned for more updates…


Athleta Opening Oct. 21st in Broadway Plaza

Broadway Plaza

Last month we learned that the women’s sports clothing store Athleta would be opening next to Starbucks and the Tesla showroom in Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek and the signage is up now and they will be opening on October 21st. Athleta is owned by GAP.

Considering that the previous store Bracciale closed only a couple of weeks ago I think this is the fastest I’ve ever seen a new store open up!

Livermore Cyclery Opening Soon in Alamo


Thanks to a reader for sending the photo above from the Alamo Plaza Shopping Center. According to the Livermore Cyclery Facebook page this location is expected to open in a “few more weeks”. This will be their third location after Livermore and Dublin.

From their website:

Livermore Cyclery is a family-owned bicycle shop in the San Francisco Bay Area, with stores in both Livermore and Dublin, California. Livermore Cyclery maintains a large selection of high quality inventory, emphasizes customer service with precise fittings, and has a large service department staffed by extremely knowledgeable mechanics.

Founded by cyclist and mechanic Steve Howard, Livermore Cyclery has now employed four generations of the Howard family. Livermore Cyclery’s first location opened for business in 1976 in downtown Livermore, followed by a second location in Dublin which opened for business in 1994.

Stein Mart, Crunch and Petco Coming to Safeway Orchards in Walnut Creek

Rendering of the Orchards Safeway stores

Earlier this month I posted some scuttlebutt about Campo Di Bocce, an Italian restaurant and bocce facility possibly coming to the Orchards Safeway development in Walnut Creek at Ygnacio Valley Rd. and Oak Grove Rd. and according to an article in the Contra Costa Times, “Safeway officials continuously hint of a deal in the works”, although the exact restaurant wasn’t named.

The article also notes that the department store Stein Mart, the gym Crunch and the pet store Petco will be coming to this development as well. I’m already familiar with Petco and Crunch.

From the Stein Mart “Fashion & Value for over 100 years” website:

Dear Friend, I personally invite you to see what Stein Mart has in store for you.  This season, find more designer brands, more colors, a bigger selection and exciting new ways to save every day.  And now, online shopping, so you can experience us at home and in your local store.

Either way, I promise that we are going to keep the WOWs coming.  Look forward to the latest fashion, the most unique home décor and gifts, and the season’s must-have accessories – at prices that fit your budget perfectly.