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Blackhawk Plaza -- 25 years later

Original post made on Jul 26, 2013

Nearly 25 years ago, rumors of gold-plated grocery carts began spreading through the Tri-Valley as Blackhawk Plaza welcomed its first customers to its tiled mall with soaring ceilings and domes leading to open-air walkways overlooking koi ponds, waterfalls and fountains at the upscale shopping center six miles east of Interstate 680.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:51 PM

Comments (14)

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Posted by Mim
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

We go to Blackhawk Plaza for movies and Starbucks. I used to go to Draegers, but found better pricing for specialty items at Lunardi's, otherwise Safeway or Costco are my go to places for groceries. My teenager &her friends do not shop at the plaza because they were followed closely by security and that made them uncomfortable. The plaza is toddler friendly, but once they are older there is little to attract them to go shopping with me so we just go elsewhere . It still has an exclusive rep because the stores are on the high end and you can only take so many poor experiences to know you are not welcome. It seems only the eateries last .


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Posted by Morgan
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

The restaurants even come and go, the only one making any money are the contractors. How many times has the space at the new Field House been renevated since Blue Footed Booby Canoe Club? Let's see Laurus, Roti 8, and now Field House. I think I'm forgetting one What about the location of the Prickley Pear Cantina. Alberto's, Coa, and now Prickely Pear. The restaurants need to have some real lunch specials for bring in the locals. The turn over is very high for these restaurants. I've lived here nine years and I'm still waiting for a real anchor store. It's not Drager's; everytime I go in there, it seams to have more employee's than shoppers. I agree too exspensive for everyday shopping. Safeway, Costco, and the local Farmer's Markets take's care of my needs. Bring back Ann Taylor and Restoration Hardware.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2013 at 12:10 pm

This article is too long to actually read, but it would have been nice to see pictures from 25 years ago, or how it has changed through the years…we all know what it looks like now!

I do agree with the comments above. I used to go there for Cold Stone, but I no longer shop there and I don't know anyone who does. Too expensive and not enough good stores! The only thing it's good for is to show-off to someone visiting the area.


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Posted by PE
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I would love it if there were more practical stores there mixed with unique boutiques. People around here do enjoy a bargain and don't necessarily like to pay top prices for goods that can be bought at other stores not in the plaza. I also like to buy from stores that don't give me a hard time in returning something later that I didn't use or need after the purchase. Draeger's gave me such a hard time once for returning a couple of items that it became humiliating and they lost my business. As far as portions are concerned at restaurants, I rather have too much food on my plate leftover than none at all while still feeling I wish I had more without having to order more. The prices of food at many restaurants with a tip are high enough without having to feel that the restaurant is cheap with their food portions. No thanks, I will pay for the gas to go to a great restaurant with good sized portions, quality food and service that is deserving of my tips.


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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Jul 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

I agree with all the comments above, and find it revealing that this article did not mention the real "anchor" business - the Blackhawk Plastic Surgery Center. They fly in burn victims from poor Latin countries, and help those cannot afford reconstructive surgery after disease or injury claims parts of their bodies.
And if you believe that, I'll find you a shallow, vapid, nip-tucked, silicon-enhanced, peroxide-infused Blackhawk republican lady who can clean your bathroom.


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Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2013 at 10:45 am

Hmmmm a lot of annoyed people here. How about hearing from those that DO enjoy the mall. Chances are they aren't here reading the online version :) I happen to LOVE that mall and find that there is a GOOD mix of high end and moderate priced businesses there. It's a beautiful mall where you can sit and enjoy the well constructed center water courts and cute ducks without paying anything. Free concerts on Fridays, stroll around and purchase items at Reasonable prices at places like Doodlebugs, have lunch also at Normal prices at any number of places there. ~

The mall caters to people who want the Finer things in life and the Average bear too. I enjoy being around the finer things even if I'm not dropping dollar bills every time I step in the door of a store. Anyone heard of Window Shopping? Yes security is there, as they should be because there are so many incidents of theft, mugging and vandalism at malls. If you aren't doing anything wrong, feel blessed.

You don't have to spend money to enjoy what that mall has to offer... Wake up and take a stroll it's FREE! Gather a few friends and sit in some comfy chairs, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the environment, it's FREE. Think of it as a City Park with a Visual Assortments of Nature and Retail, Window Shop if you Can't afford to buy, until you can afford it. Mid to High end is What ALL MALLS have, which makes it No Different than ANY OTHER MALL.


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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm

It's a great place to stroll around, and I enjoy the free Friday evening concerts during the summer. My wife does some shopping there, but we're more likely to eat there, primarily at one of the three "Pear family" restaurants - Little Pear, Prickly Pear Cantina, and Ferrari's. Good food at all three, with good portions. The museum is also a nice place to take visitors from out of town, at least if they have an interest in classic cars.

I agree that the plaza doesn't really have a true anchor store. So I hope that the current mix of stores and restaurants is enough to sustain a critical mass of shoppers. In the end, business owners have to price things competitively, as convenience can only go so far.


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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:45 am

I am glad to see some recent positive posts after reading all of the negativity a few days ago. My husband and I were just talking about all of the positive changes which have happened at the Plaza in recent years. There are quite a few affordable stores and some really good restaurants. Our area has been craving a sports bar/restaurant and Firehouse seems it will prove successful. The Friday night summer concert series is a huge success. My teenage daughter has some really good shopping options here.

As for an anchor store, Draegers will obviously not last. They are simply too expensive. As the earlier person spoke, more employees than customers. Put a Trader Joes at that location and it will be a completely different story!

Keep up the good work!


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Posted by Blackhawk plaza user
a resident of Diablo
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

We find the food delicious and prices reasonable at the Prickly Pear and Little Pear. For more expensive dining, we go to the always-great Blackhawk Grill and when the weather is right we sit outside.

I used to shop regularly at Gottschalk's--nice clothes at reasonable prices. Also, loved Starz childrens' apparel store when my children were small.

Anthropologie is a very nice store to get women's fashions. Let's hope it doesn't leave! Please patronize it!


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Posted by Oiseau Noir
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:29 am

The setting is nice, and we'll try the Prickly Pear now, based on the reviews above.

I just never have much reason to go there -- carppy blockbuster movies, other over-priced carp (not meaning those nice fish) for folks who'll pay extra for labels, an abundance of couture shoppes -- and nary a bookstore to be found since the inception of the place. I fear it's a commentary.


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Posted by Carolyn
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:43 am

I agree with both the positive and negative comments. My family and I have lived here almost 20 years and I do my best to shop at the plaza to keep it alive, but the turn over in EVERY location has been amazing. Although Draegers has a nice kitchen area, I truly miss the culinary store that now houses the nannies and tutors shop. I also miss the French restaurant that was located were Prickly Pear is now, but we do enjoy Rodney's restaurants and look forward to venturing to Napa to try the newest one. The Eddie Bauer and Ann Taylor stores are also sorely missed, but Apricot Lane does have some cute stuff. I always try the plaza first, but unfortunately end up at the mall most times.


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Posted by New Business
a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:08 pm

This Mall is a Visual Feast!

* I'm testing the waters with an Idea to open a Business that brings together People in one location to Socialize while: Wine Tasting, Food Tasting and getting their Creativity ON with Family, Friends and Lovers :)

What do you think about having this at the Blackhawk Mall? Would you attend?


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Posted by Peter Drucker
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

How many lovers, and do you plan to supply them? ;-)

Alamo Plaza has a surprisingly active coffee house scene -- there actually seems to be some 'community' expressed there. It may be more convenient to the demographic you seek. I'd at least check it out, and good luck -- I hope you succeed!


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Posted by Ava Traina
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

Yesterday's Doc Mcstuffin children morning was a fiasco. The space was too small for the crowds and strollers. Part of the lineS ran us onto squishy wet lawns. Why weren't the Drager cookie handouts set up out of the store? There was no Doc Mcstuffin to be seen and the clinic was a joke. Very poor planning.


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