Business
Health Unlimited Set to Celebrate 45 Years in Pelton Center PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 07 August 2014 11:57

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PHOTO BY AMY SYLVESTRI

Health Unlimited has been selling vitamins and health foods in Pelton Center since 1969, and they are celebrating with a customer appreciation day next Saturday, Aug. 16.

Health Unlimited is celebrating its 45th anniversary in Pelton Center this weekend with a customer appreciation day next Saturday,  Aug. 16.

There will be free giveaways and 25 percent off your entire purchase that day.

Health Unlimited sells a variety of vitamins, fresh organic produce, natural foods, cosmetics, herbal teas and more.

In August of 1969, the Falls family decided to trek into the world of health food stores and Health Unlimited open its doors. Nancy Falls knew very little about the industry she was getting into and how it would evolve over the years.

A mother of seven children, she took on the challenge of running a successful business in the historic Pelton Center, one of the oldest shopping centers in California.

As the years went on, Health Unlimited went through many changes. One location quickly grew to two and then finally three by 1971.

Health Unlimited been a family owned business from the start and the Falls family says they hope to continue serving the communities of San Leandro and Castro Valley for many years to come.

Health Unlimited currently has three generations working together at one time.

All seven of the Falls children helped out their mom by working at Health Unlimited at one point or another in their lives and now the grandchildren are working too.

Ethan Falls is currently works as the general manager for both the Castro Valley and San Leandro stores.

 

 
Brewery Breaks Ground at Former Kellogg’s Plant PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 10 July 2014 14:19

071014b1By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times

A brewery broke ground last month on the site of the former Kellogg’s cereal plant on Williams Street.

When it opens, the 95,000 square-foot 21st Amendment Brewery  will be one of the largest beer makers in the Bay Area.

Cofounder Nicco Frecia says that the brewery will eventually employ 100 people and brew up to 250,000 barrels of beer annually.

Freccia and cofounder Shaun O’Sullivan were joined by Mayor Stephen Cassidy at the ground-breaking, where everyone enjoyed a couple of cold ones from the brand’s line of beers – they have names like Brew Free or Die Hard, Bitter American, and Fireside Chat.

The 21st Amendment beer is currently brewed in Minnesota, having outgrown its original home in San Francisco, where it began as a 12 barrel operation in the year 2000. They still have a brewpub in San Francisco, though.

071014b2The construction in San Leandro will cost $21 million and the brewery is set to open before the end of the year. But there is a lot of work to do, as the old factory is basically gutted at the moment.

The brewery also plans to open a restaurant in 2015.

Cassidy called the groundbreaking “very exciting” and said it will help cement San Leandro as a destination for beer aficionados in the Bay Area, along with Drake’s Brewery at the Westgate Center and the soon-to-open Cleophus Quealy Beer Company  on Hester Street.

“This is part of a renaissance in San Leandro,” Cassidy said.

CAPTION 1: The founders of 21st Amendment Brewery and city officails dig in at the former Kellogg’s plant during a recent ground-breaking ceremony.

CAPTION 2: Co-founders Shaun O’Sullivan and Nicco Frecia play around before the ground breaking

PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEPHANIE MEDINA


 
High Tech Machining Company Opens on Whitney PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 12 June 2014 11:14

061214bBy Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times

At the grand opening of Methods Machine Tools Co. on Whitney Street last month, you could see the most accurate machine in the world.

That’s what general manager Fernando Garcia calls the machine at his company made by Yasda. The Japanese-made machine drills holes through solid steel, aluminum or titanium that are half a micron in diameter, or .000 millimeters.

To put it another way, a human hair would be about four times too thick to fit through the hole.

This kind of precision machining isn’t of much use to most people. But it’s a necessity to high tech, aviation, medical and other industries.

Methods Machine Tools started in Boston 55 years ago and is expanding to the West Coast – they’re in Los Angeles and their recently opened San Leandro office. They supply the machines but they’re more than just a distributor, Garcia says.

“We’re kind of an integrator of manufacturing technologies,” Garcia said. “We bring companies together.”

Representatives from a few dozen companies came to the Whitney Street office last month, displaying their products. Tony Gunn, an engineer with Air Turbine Technology, showed his company’s high speed, spindles and drills that run at 50,000 rpm.

Another company, called Visionx, provides inspection of products that have to be extremely accurate. A machine scanned a hip replacement part and displayed an enlarged image of the part on a screen.

“It’s highly accurate but it’s easy to use in the shop to make sure products are good,” said engineer Patrick Beauchemin about the machine.

CAPTION: Patrick Beauchemin demonstrates a visual inspection machine made by his Quebec, Canada company, VISIONx. The machine scans high tech parts for highly accurate visual inspection. The part that’s on the display screen in the photo is a titanium hip replacement.

PHOTO BY JIM KNOWLES


 
Harry’s Hofbrau Carves a New Niche PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 26 May 2014 16:01

052214bBy Greg Benson • San Leandro Times

Harkening back to the days of Prohibition, Americans have been fascinated with creating their own home brews. From the secretive speakeasies of the 1920s to the microbreweries of today, a creative crafting community evolved and is now thriving in the Bay Area.

Thousands of brew houses across the country are now crafting specialty beers and ales. From straw-colored lagers to chocolate-brown stouts, the detailed descriptions of these creative concoctions have beer geeks bellying up to the bar for a transformative taste of heavenly hoppiness.

One of the newest promoters of this craft beer craze is a young man behind the bar of Harry’s Hofbrau in San Leandro.

Kevin Olcese, nephew of owner Larry Kramer, reluctantly joined the family business in 2008 after completing his Bachelors’ Degree in Graphic Design at San Jose State. “After I graduated, I didn’t want any part of the family business,” said the 29-year-old Olcese. “But with the economic downturn, it was hard to get work. People were just not looking to outsource their graphic design projects.”

So, unable to find a fulfilling job in his field, Olcese joined his father and uncle in their 60-year-old business… with some fresh ideas.

Already a craft beer geek from his college days, Olcese eventually approached his elders with the idea of bringing in some different labels — something other than the stale stalwarts of Budweiser and Coors. “But what other beers are there?” exclaimed the paternal partners. “Trust me,” said Olcese.

That was six years ago in San Jose. And now, that location is one of the South Bay’s hot spots for craft beer connoisseurs.

“We were a little bit hesitant,” said Ron Olcese, Kevin’s father and Harry’s Hofbrau Director of Operations. “But we were interested in what he could do.”

Olcese next moved on to the Redwood City location — the original Harry’s Hofbrau which opened in 1954. He brought in 28 taps of craft beers, which he frequently alternates to serve a discerning craft beer community and help educate uninitiated palates.

“It’s brought in another generation,” said Ron. “Both myself and his uncle think he’s done a great job, and it’s been fun!”

From Redwood City, Olcese most recently came to San Leandro to transform its traditional bar into another craft beer gallery.

With its large bar area and outside patio, Olcese knew he could do something special there.

San Leandro has already embraced craft beer and its creators, with the long-established local brand of Drake’s Brewing and the upcoming opening of 21st Amendment Brewery at the old Kellogg’s factory on Williams Street — not to mention the fact that Porky’s Pizza has been pumping Drake’s Ale since 1989, and The Englander features 92 taps to choose from.

Now, there’s a new kid in town.

Every Thursday, Harry’s hosts “Pint Night.” The bar features one of the many craft beer breweries on tap with special pricing, discount flights and glassware giveaways.

Some local regulars have taken such a liking to the event that they now schedule theme nights to celebrate Olcese’s offerings… and dress accordingly. Earlier this month, the group celebrated Speakeasy Ales & Lagers by donning 1920’s attire. Tonight, the group is planning an ’80’s theme.

Many craft beers have a much higher alcohol content, so drink responsibly.

If dress-up isn’t your style, just belly up to the bar and have Kevin pull you a pint. And, if you were interested in learning more about craft beer, just ask. “He knows everything there is to know,” said bartender Jim Holtan of Olcese. “I call him Beerapedia.”

Harry’s is also planning a big event on Saturday, July 26 — “Barrels, Beats and BBQ.” Starting at 11 a.m., the event will feature DJ music out on the back patio, barbecue tri-tip and Firestone Walker specials.

Whether it’s a fun-filled night of flirting and flights or a quiet evening with some comfort food and a cool pint, San Leandro has a new taste in town to go with that traditional turkey sandwich.

Harry’s Hofbrau is located at 14900 E. 14th St. For more information on their upcoming events, “Like” them on Facebook, visit www.harryshofbrau.com or call 510-357-1707.

CAPTION: Kevin Olcese, Harry’s Hofbrau Director of Bar Operations and nephew of owner Larry Kramer, pulls a pint of Altamont Beer Works’ “Rich Mahogany” at the restaurant chain’s San Leandro location.

PHOTO BY GREG BENSON


 
Tool Company Opens Shop PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 26 May 2014 16:04

052214b2Methods Machine Tools, Inc., a  supplier of precision machine tools, automation and accessories, held a grand opening at their new state-of-the-art technology center at 650 Witney St. last week.

Following a ribbon cutting on May 14, Methods held a sake-barrel smashing, a traditional Japanese custom to grant good fortune to the new technology center. Approximately 300 manufacturing professionals celebrated the occasion.

The technology center features the latest machine tools and automation technology, and application experts are based on-site.

Live demonstrations of automation solutions included a RoboDrill JobShop Cell with fully integrated robotic loading/unloading, small hole-drilling on a RoboDrill, aerospace part machining, EDM wire cutting and more.

CAPTION: Fernando R. Garcia (General Manager, West Coast Operations, of Methods Machine Tools, Inc.), Kyle McIver (Owner and Director of Methods Machine Tools, Inc.), Takuto Yasuda (President of Yasda Precision Tools), Hideki Oka (Robodrill Sales Assistant Manager of Fanuc) and Bryon Deysher (President and CEO of Methods Machine Tools, Inc.) perform a sake barrel smashing ritual at the Grand Opening ceremony of Methods Machine Tools, Inc.

PHOTO COURTESY OF METHODS MACHINE TOOLS, INC.


 
3D Printing Company Looking to Hire San Leandrans PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 24 April 2014 14:01

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PHOTO BY AMY SYLVESTRI

Stefani Pellinen-Chavez shows off some of the 3D printing machines that Type A builds. The company is looking to hire San Leandrans for manufacturing and other jobs.

By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times

A tech-based start up is looking to hire San Leandrans for its new facility –  but they aren’t strictly looking for computer whiz-types.

Type A Machines makes 3D printers and they are looking to hire San Leandro residents to help make the machines themselves, says Stefani Pellinen-Chavez, Type A’s CFO.

“We are looking for people to build the printers,” said Pellinen-Chavez. “But it’s not like a repetitive assembly line, it’s intricate work.”

The company will also have other job openings soon, as they plan to grow from about 20 employees to more than 50 over the next several months.

Type A was founded in 2012 in San Francisco .then lured to San Leandro in January by the city’s new focus on technology, said Pellinen-Chavez.

They work out of a large warehouse space at “The Gate,” the second floor of the Westgate Center at 1933 Davis Street that has been recently transformed into work space for a variety of companies.

Pellinen-Chavez says that a lot of people don’t necessarily understand 3D printing and what Type A does.

Type A make 3D printers, which are machines that make objects in almost any shape by “printing” layers of material to form shapes. They can make anything from a small, intricately shaped part for a larger machine to a copy of a statue.

Type A makes the machines and sells them to the people who use the printers. last week, client Derick Lee was in the office. He makes mobile printing labs to take to schools and libraries and show off the technology to inspire kids.

Lee, who grew up in San Leandro, says he especially wants to motivate students who leave town for college to come back to the city and see the opportunities San Leandro has to offer. He is currently working with 10 high school interns, four from San Leandro High.

“I’m on a mission to build a city that I want to live in, that the next generation will want to live in,” said Lee. “Kids can see Type A, or the new tech campus downtown and say ‘Whoa, I like this place and I want to come back.’”

It wouldn’t be hard to see what young people could like about Type A – their office is far from a cubicle farm or a factory floor. There are couches to lounge on, a badminton court set up, a hopscotch grid laid out on the floor, and a dog napping in a corner.

For the current job openings, Pellinen-Chavez says that good candidates could be people with no experience in the tech field – their quality control officer came to Type A with a background in jewelry, for example.

Pellinen-Chavez says they have no problem attracting people from Silicon Valley with computer engineering degrees, but they are looking for something different.

“What we are looking to do is create an inclusive environment,” said Pellinen-Chavez. “One of the easiest ways to get a variety of thoughts and opinions is to get a group of people who are all different, who can offer different perspectives, ideas, and feedback.”

She says they are looking for people with a variety of backgrounds and one of the things that attracted them to San Leandro was the diversity. They are especially interested in women, veterans, even retirees who’ve gotten bored and want to re-enter the workforce.

“The ideal person for these jobs would be someone who works intricately –  people who like putting together jigsaw puzzles, grading papers, even people who enjoy assembling IKEA furniture,” said Pellinen-Chavez

Type A will have a booth at the Cherry Festival coming up in June so people can see what they are all about and talk with executives. For more information about the jobs, visit their website at www.typeamachines.com.

 

 
Congressman Visits TriNet in San Leandro PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 20 March 2014 13:15

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Representative Mike Thompson (D, CA) toured TriNet HR in San Leandro last month. Congressman Thompson is a sponsor of the Small Business Efficiency Act which would strengthen federal recognition of professional employer organizations like TriNet that small businesses turn to for their HR needs. During his visit, Thompson said, “The Small Business Efficiency Act means that companies such as TriNet can help California’s small businesses succeed.”

 
Ghirardelli and Too Good Gourmet Showcase their New Products PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2014 14:51

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PHOTOS BY LINDA SANDSMARK

Too Good Gourmet marketing and sales director Charlie Roper and company president Jennifer Finley display their products at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

By Linda Sandsmark • San Leandro Times

Two local companies were among over 1,000 specialty food vendors showing off their newest products at the annual Winter Fancy Food Show in January at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

031314b2San Leandro’s Ghirardelli Chocolate company provided an early look at their  new product, “Minis,” which should be appearing in stores in May.

“They’re half the size of our regular squares, in both weight and calories,” says brand manager Mazy Rhuberg. “They come 17 to a pouch and are a very snackable size that’s easy to take on the go.”

Ghirardelli Minis come in three varieties: milk chocolate caramel, dark chocolate,  and milk chocolate with sea salt and almond. They  will be offered in Walmart and Target in May, and in Safeway soon after.

Ghirardelli products are also sold at the factory outlet store at its chocolate factory and headquarters, 1111- 139th Ave. in San Leandro.

Too Good Gourmet in San Lorenzo

Too Good Gourmet cookie company of  San Lorenzo showcased its newest seasonal products, including Valentine’s Day, Easter, and spring  cookies in the company’s distinctive packaging. Too Good Gourmet also sells teas, candy, cocktail mixers, and even pet treats.

“We’re introducing new products all the time,” says sales director Charlie Roper. “Sweet and salted products are popular now, so our new products include Peanut Butter and Brownie Brittle Crisps.”

Too Good Gourmet’s products are sold at Mollie Stone Markets, in gift shops,  and at the company’s  discount showroom, 2300 Grant Ave. in San Lorenzo.

CAPTION 2: Ghirardelli brand manager Mazy Rhuberg holds the company’s new product, “Minis,” at the Winter Fancy Food Show at Moscone Center.


 
San Leandro Company Wins Award for Sustainability PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:06

Chemical-free waste-water pasteurization system beats out the other technologies

042513bBy Linda Sandsmark

San Leandro Times

At the intersection of renewable energy and clean technology sits Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) of San Leandro, a company whose forward-thinking water-purification systems have recently earned it an international award, a state award, and $5 million in venture capital funding.

PTG’s chemical-free wastewater pasteurization system was presented with a Katerva Award in February, which is also known as the “Nobel Prize of Sustainability,” beating out technologies from Brazil, India, Sweden other American companies.

“We’ve been fortunate to have some good things happen lately,” says PTG’s president Greg Ryan, Jr. “We’re super-pleased about winning the Katerva Award, because it’s a global recognition of our technology. They had an award ceremony in Europe. There is a lot of interest internationally in clean tech.  We’re focusing on California and the U.S. right now.”

PTG is finding that many municipalities and companies are attracted to its patented water-purification systems, which harness the biogas given off by wastewater solids to burn for pasteurization. Using an air-to-water heat exchanger, the water temperature is raised enough (180 degrees) to pasteurize water without chlorine or other chemicals.

“Chlorine is a bad carcinogen, and we don’t want to discharge that into waterways. Also, our system helps generate electricity, making our process 40 times more efficient than normally heating water.”

In March,  PTG’s water purification system in the city of Ventura won it a “Recycled Water Agency of the Year” award by the California WateReuse Association.  Ryan is particularly proud of this recognition, because the WateReuse Association is a tech group that thoroughly vetted and validated its system.

“It’s a big system in Ventura, which we assembled on-site. It processes 10 million gallons a day,” Ryan says.

Closer to home, the town of Graton, near Sebastopol, will install a PTG wastewater system in late spring. PTG is also in negotiations with a brewery and a citrus processor.

In addition, two clean-tech investors, EIC Ventures and Kennington, provided $5 million in Series A venture capital to the company on March 28.

“This is a good use of money,” says Ryan. “We’re growing, but we know if we have more staff and support we could grow faster.”

Currently PTG has six employees, and plans to add engineers and sales engineers to its workforce. The company was founded in 2007  on Teagarden Street in San Leandro.

Greg Ryan, Jr. and his father had previously been in the concentrated coffee business at that location. PTG is located at 2306 Merced St., San Leandro.

For more information, call 357-0562, or see www.pastechgroup.com.

CAPTION: Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) President Greg Ryan, Jr., displays his company’s many awards in their San Leandro office.

PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK

 
Stained Glass Artisans Start Their Own Shop in San Leandro PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2012 16:34

122012b1By Linda Sandsmark

San Leandro Times

A group of stained glass enthusiasts has decided to open their own shop in San Leandro, now that their favorite studio has closed and its owner retired.

The Stained Glass Design Studio opened last summer on Washington Avenue, just after I Love Stained Glass Shoppe closed in Castro Valley.

“They had given classes for years and years, and a lot of friends had been made there. I’ve seen people meet and get married there,” says Steve Hill, who has also been a stained glass instructor for 15 years.

“We wanted to keep our group going to make windows and do repairs,” says Hill.

Twila Lively, one of 11 “stockholder” partners in the new venture, says the group started thinking they could actually create a viable studio if the right space was found. All of the partners have full-time jobs, yet the group pulled their new business together in just 30 days. They located a vacant fabric shop at the corner of Washington and Harlan Street and got to work.

“On June 1 we got the lease here. We put in a new floor, painted, built tables, added workstations for the grinders, and put up a few walls,” says Lively.

The group chose the location for its large size and proximity to downtown.

“It’s very well centered, and easy to get around San Leandro,” Lively adds.

A visual record of their speedy renovations may be viewed online at www.stainedglassdesignsstudio.com.

The new venture is open seven days a week and offers classes, workspace, materials, and completed stained glass items for sale.  They  specialize in restorations, custom designs, and custom framing for windows.  Also on display are stained glass jewelry, a Raiders window, and a mosaic-covered bookcase.

122012b2“Stained glass is not just for church windows,” says Hill. “We make glass lamps, cabinet doors, and hundreds of restorations.  You can make something pretty out of just about anything.”

Students can come in at any time from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and weekends.  Hill says that out of the hundreds of people he’s known who have taken stained glass classes over the years, only a handful decided it’s not for them.

The Stained Glass Design Studio offers beginner through advanced classes to help people new to the hobby, or who want to learn a new technique.  New students don’t have to put a lot of money up front, and the tools are provided.  The studio has about 20 students already, with plenty of room for more.

“We give a variety of classes at a reasonable price. We already have a customer base, so our goal is to maintain it and keep the enjoyment going on for many years to come,” Hill says. “I grew up in San Leandro and went to Marina High and am glad to be coming back.”

The Stained Glass Design Studio is located at 2000 Washington Ave. in San Leandro.  Classes include Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Stained Glass and Lead/Bevel, Beginning Fusing, and Mosaic Garden Art, Jewelry, Coasters and seasonal decorations.  For more information, call 352-8044, drop by, or see their website at www.stainedglassdesignsstudio.com.

CAPTION 1: Instructor Steve Hill,  Twila Lively and Frank and Janette Franco show off their stained glass work at the new Stained Glass Design Studio.

CAPTION 2: Steve Hill shows how to cut glass at the Stained Glass Design Studio that opened this year on Washington Avenue.

PHOTOS BY LINDA SANDSMARK

 
Family Lawyer Celebrates Over 25 Years in San Leandro PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 13 July 2012 20:49

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PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK

Longtime San Leandro Attorney Matthew J. Gonsalves (center) with his legal secretary Carolina Martinez (left) and bookkeeper Diane Madden.


By Linda Sandsmark
San Leandro Times


Longtime family lawyer and San Leandro native Matthew Gonsalves has moved his office from the Bal Theatre neighborhood to a newly-remodeled location on Estudillo Avenue.

Over the years, Gonsalves has used legal expertise and gentle humor to build up a successful practice in family law.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a relative,” he jokes.  “People like to fight with their family— I’m in court a lot.”

Kidding aside, Gonsalves’ new office offers a roomy, calming atmosphere, where he and his staff specialize in family law, divorce, child custody, spousal and child support, domestic violence, contract law, probate, wills, and more.

One specialty that sets Gonsalves’ law office apart from others is “Marvin Cases,” meaning non-marital cohabitation cases. (The name is taken from actor Lee Marvin, whose live-in girlfriend sued for spousal support when the couple split up.)

Gonsalves  assists non-married partners from being “thrown under a bus” when one person leaves or dies. Often there are as many children, property items and problems to sort out as with married couples.

“We want to continue combining small-firm personal attention and service with the technology and experience people associate with larger firms,” says Gonsalves.

Gonsalves himself was raised in San Leandro’s  Floresta Gardens neighborhood. He attended St. Alphonsus Elementary, Bancroft Middle School and San Leandro High (class of ’73).

From there he went to Cal State Hayward (now called Cal State East Bay) where he worked in student government and at the college’s radio station, KSUH. He moved to Fullerton to attend Western State School of Law and graduated in 1980.

“I took the bar in Long Beach, packed my car and came back to San Leandro. It seemed like a good idea at the time, although Orange County was a beautiful place. It was much smaller when I was there,” says Gonsalves.

His first job in the legal field was at the law offices of Simonian and Pretzer, becoming a partner within a few years. He became certified to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court in 1985— a step few local attorneys have taken.

In 1986, Gonsalves took over the law office of retiring attorney Stanley Block. He opened his own practice on the 14000 block of East 14th Street, where he remained for a quarter century.  

Last year he decided to go from being a renter to an owner, buying and remodeling the building where his practice now resides.

Staff members include legal secretary Carolina Martinez, bookkeeper Diane Madden, and paralegal Cortland Kirkeby. The staff is fluent in Spanish, including reading, writing and interpreting.

Gonsalves is active in the San Leandro community, especially the arts. He served on the board of directors for California Conservatory Theater  for over 20 years.

“We are well-connected with the community. If you have a problem, even if not necessarily legal in nature, we try to refer you to the right person or place,” he says.

The Law Offices of Matthew J. Gonsalves are located at 438 Estudillo Ave., between the Main Library and the fire station.  Call 351-5102 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.gonsalvesatty.com.

 

 
Longtime Restaurant Banchero’s Closes PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 07 June 2012 13:46

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PHOTO BY AMY SYLVESTRI

Banchero’s opened its doors in 1948, but owner John Banchero and his son Joe decided to close this week.

By Amy Sylvestri

San Leandro Times

After over 60 years serving Italian family-style meals in unincorporated Hayward, Banchero’s restaurant has closed.

Owner John Banchero said that closing has been on his mind for a long time, but he didn’t make the final decision until Monday night.

Banchero inherited the business at 20102 Mission Boulevard from his father and it has always stayed in the family. He said that he wanted to honor his father’s memory by “going out on top.”

“The building is getting old, I’m getting old and I just really felt it was the right time to let it go,” said Banchero. “There was a lot of soul-searching.”

Operating costs had gotten higher and higher and a big piece of kitchen equipment needed a costly repair and Banchero said that was the final straw. He called his staff in for a meeting on Tuesday, had his son cook them a big meal, and broke the news.

“It was a great meal, but no one really felt like eating, it was a somber mood,” said Banchero. “But I wanted them to hear it first. I wanted to let them know they should be proud to have been a part of a place that’s sort of legendary in Alameda County.”

Banchero said that he definitely doesn’t want to sell the business under the Banchero name but it’s too early to say what will become of the restaurant in the future.

Banchero said that business never suffered and they had many loyal customers until the end – and that he hopes those customers understand his decision.

“I know that people will miss us and I know there will be complaints, the phone is already ringing off the hook,” said Banchero. “It’s nice to know so many people care, but we had a good run.”

 

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