Sprouts & Shutters: Upscale Restaurant Coming to Todos Santos

La Sen Bistro — an offshoot of Berkeley's popular La Rose Bistro — is moving into Sushi Ya's old space on Salvio Street. Here's what other businesses are coming and going in Concord and Central Contra Costa County.

Wondering what new businesses are opening and changing in your town? Our biweekly “Sprouts & Shutters” column highlights restaurant, retail and other business news in Concord — and Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and Pleasant Hill.


Opening: The owners of Berkeley’s award-winning La Rose Bistro are moving their popular California-French cuisine to Concord. At their new La Sen Bistro, You’ll find the same duck confit, salmon in saffron sauce, lamb racks, escargot and other dishes that earned La Rose recognition in the Michelin Guide and the Zagat survey. The new eatery opens this Thursday on Salvio Street in SushiYa’s old space. Learn more at lasenbistro.com

Opening: Southern California’s popular Lazy Dog Café plans to open its first Northern California restaurant in Concord next September. Lazy Dog Café isn’t just family-friendly—it’s dog-friendly, too. While Fido lounges by your table on the patio, hoping you drop a few morsels, you can dine on an eclectic array of dishes such as brick-oven pizzas, pot roast, spicy fried chicken “lollipops” and Carolina pulled-pork sandwiches. The full-service restaurant also features craft beer, cocktails and flat-screens. Lazy Dog Café will move into the space currently occupied by El Torito, expected to close early next year. Learn more at lazydogcafe.com.

Walnut Creek

Open: The women’s boutique Brandy Melville opened Oct. 20 in its new, much larger location on North Main in Walnut Creek across from Starbucks. Brandy Melville, an “original Italian brand inspired by L.A. lifestyle,” claims Paris Hilton, the Kardashians and Lindsay Lohan among the brand’s fans and runs stores in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, New York City and other major cities. It opened its first Northern California store late last year next to the Cheesecake Factory before relocating to this new space in the former Rochester Big & Tall. To learn more about Brandy Melville and browse selections go to brandymelvilleusa.com.

Opening: Walnut Creek gets its second Habit Burger Grill on Halloween. The new burger joint opens Wednesday on Geary Road near the new Sprouts Farmers Market. The other location is on South California Boulevard. Read more in earlier Patch coverage.

Event: Sample cuisine from top East Bay restaurants and taste local wines, beers and custom cocktails during Gourmet East Bay 2012 this Saturday from  7 – 10 p.m. at Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza. Va de Vi, Havana, Esin, Metro Lafayette and Sasa are just of the nearly thirty participating restaurants. You’ll also find Wente, Hannah Nicole, Grgich Hills and Ale Industries. Proceeds from a raffle and silent auction benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and Project Open Hand. The annual event usually sells out, so get your tickets soon at gourmeteastbay12.eventbrite.com.

Awards: Diablo's Food Awards went to Prima Ristorante, Eleve, Ottavio Osteria, Corners Tavern, Va De Vi in Walnut Creek.


Open: Looking for some indoor activities for the kids now that the cool weather has arrived? Lafayette’s new Flip-N-Fun Gymnastics, which opened last month, offers beginning gymnastics and movement classes for children ages 2 – 6. The classes feature bright, colorful mats and equipment designed for younger kids. The new gym shares space with the new Lamorinda Theatre Academy, which opened in June above Lamorinda Music on Lafayette Circle. The new academy features both dance and acting studios plus offers voice and music lessons and even yoga classes. Learn more about the two new businesses at flipnfungym.webstarts.com and lamorindatheatreacademy.com.

Changed: Lafayette’s La Boulange now offers catering. Learn more here on Patch.

Awards: Lafayette's Artisan Bistro and Chevalier made the coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand list of restaurants that offer "excellence on a budget." Diablo's Food Awards went to Artisan Bistro, Chevalier and Metro in Lafayette. 


Closed: Over in Orinda, the children’s shoe store Tiny Feet closed its shop at the Orinda Theatre Square. 

Pleasant Hill

Closing: Kmart will close its 40-year-old store at Pleasant Hill’s DVC Plaza Shopping Center. No date has been set for the closure. Read more about the closure here in earlier Patch coverage.

Event: The Pleasant Hill, Concord, Hispanic and Martinez chambers of commerce invite the community to the annual Business Expo to get to know local businesses and learn more about what they offer. The expo takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Concord this Thursday, Nov. 1, from 4 – 7 p.m. The event is free to the public. Learn more at pleasanthillchamber.com/business-expo-2012.php.

Opening Update: Pizza My Way, previewed in the last column, is now open in Pleasant Hill on Contra Costa Boulevard next to Subway.

Want to find out what else is opening in the East Bay? Sprouts & Shutters now covers 21 cities on 18 Patch sites. Read the latest columns for the Tri-Valley, Berkeley/Oakland and Milpitas/Tri-City communities.

Did you miss Patch's last retail and restaurant roundup? Read about these and more in our last Sprouts & Shutters column:  

  • Mixed Grain and Accent European closing in Walnut Creek
  • Yan's Restaurant and Susie Cakes update in Lamorinda
  • Wence's Restaurant and Pizza My Way in Pleasant Hill
  • Fresh and Gail in Concord

Know of a business opening or closing in Concord, Walnut Creek, Lamorinda or Pleasant Hill? Please tell Patch about it for a future Sprouts & Shutters column. Simply add it to this short form. Or send me a news tip at patchsprouts@gmail.com.

For more local business news, follow Patch on Twitter@EBayPatchBiz.

About this column: A biweekly roundup of retail, restaurant and other business news in the Central Contra Costa County area.

Lisa - Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano October 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Come by Habit Burger Grill on Geary Road between Noon and 2:00 today. All proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and the Contra Costa Humane Society. That’s right – -the cost of your entire meal will be donated to charity! This is a pre-opening event that is open to all, so we hope to see you there!
Emily Henry October 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I'm so excited about having a new restaurant to try in the Todos Santos area! Now, if we can only get someone to move into Sway's old spot and Suwa's empty place...
Eric J October 31, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I am exciting that a new restaurant is coming to downtown Concord. I will definitely have to try La Sen Bistro out.


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