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Sprouts & Shutters: Francesca's Collections, Freebirds, FHL Styles & More

Here’s your biweekly roundup of retail, restaurant and other business news and happenings in Walnut Creek, Lamorinda, Concord and Pleasant Hill.

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

Mark your calendars and get out your folding chairs: Walnut Creek’s new Freebirds World Burrito opens Dec. 18 and it’s giving away free burritos for a year to the first 25 people in line. Freebirds runs 85 locations nationwide, specializing in customizable burritos and bowls made with “freshly prepared ingredients including hormone-free, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, hand-cut peppers and veggies plus homemade salsas and guac.” (Sounds a bit like Chipotle, doesn’t it?) Freebirds will open on Geary Road near the new Sprouts Farmers Market and new Habit Burger. 

Walnut Creek’s Redux Lounge’s nightclub hopes to lure not just dancers but also diners with its new restaurant. The new Redux Bistro & Lounge, which opened Oct. 30, serves “Japanese-French inspired plates” (such as “Smokin Crawfish,” pan-roasted organic chicken and tempura banana ice cream) for dinner and custom housemade pizzas and small plates for lunch and lounge hours. It now also runs "happy hour" all day, every day. Redux Bistro shares space with the nightclub on Locust Street next across from Pyramid. See the full menus atreduxlounge.com.

Opening Update: Chick-Fil-A opened Nov. 8 on North Main Street amidst a small gathering of protesters and patrons. Read more about the opening and protests in earlier Patch coverage. 

This Saturday is Pleasant Hill’s last Farmers Market of the season. Pick up your crisp fall apples, homemade jams, local honey, winter squash and more this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Crescent Drive at Monument Plaza. Farmers Market resumes in the spring.

Opening Update: Zachary’s Pizza, previewed in an August Sprouts, has pushed back its opening date a bit. Originally expected to open in November, the new pizza restaurant is now scheduled to open in mid January. The opening coincides with Zachary’s celebration of its 30th anniversary, which it will celebrate throughout 2013. 

Lafayette shoppers will soon have a women’s clothing boutique right next door to the new men’s clothing boutique, Venture. Francesca’s Collections, which sells an eclectic array of apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories and gifts, is expected to open in February at the Clocktower on Mt. Diablo Boulevard. Can’t wait? You can shop now at the recently opened Francesca’s Collections in Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza and Pleasanton’s Stoneridge Shopping Center. Learn more about the new women’s fashion boutique at francescas.com.

Kaur Photography and The Club Lafayette opened in a shared space on Golden Gate Way. Read about the new businesses in an earlier Patch story.

Did you miss Patch’s article about proposed changes to Lafayette Safeway’s crowded parking lot? Catch up in recent Patch coverage.

Opening Update: Yan’s Restaurant, previewed in an October column, is now open in Orinda in the former Hsiangs space on Orinda Way.

FHL Styles opened Oct. 26 in Concord’s Sun Valley shopping center. The Los Angeles based regional chain specializes in inexpensive trendy clothing and accessories for young women. 

Concord’s longtime family-owned Wentling Studios closed its downtown photography studio last month. But Dirk and Nancy Wentling say that although the storefront may have closed, their business has not. Wentling Studio is now home-based and still serving clients. Learn more at wentlingstudio.com.

Opening Update: La Sen Bistro, previewed in the last column, is now open in Todos Santos on Salvio Street. (A printable PDF coupon for a 15 percent discount accompanies this column.)

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:  

  • Flip-N-Fun Gymnastics and Tiny Feet in Lamorinda
  • Brandy Melville and Habit Burger Grill in Walnut Creek
  • Kmart and Pizza My Way Pleasant Hill
  • La Sen Bistro and Lazy Dog Cafe in Concord

Know of a business opening or closing in Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill or Concord? 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 area.

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