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Sprouts & Shutters: The Kitchen, TA Naturals, Sports Academy and More

Here's the latest roundup of retail, restaurant and other business news and happenings in the Tri-Valley area.

Wondering what’s moving into your neighborhood shopping center? Our weekly Sprouts & Shutters column highlights the latest Tri-Valley restaurant, retail and other business news.

Livermore’s Tap 25 is hopping (no beer pun intended) and will soon be expanding: The popular Blacksmith Square taproom is taking over the former Green Leaf BBQ next door, doubling seating capacity and making more room for live performances. Tap 25 also recently added a small bottle selection that, like its beers on tap, rotates through limited and special release brews. Follow remodeling progress and see a list of beer specials and upcoming events on Tap 25’s facebook page

This weekend you can shop for boutique gifts, listen to holiday music and taste Livermore wines during Holidays in the Vineyards. The annual event takes place at more than two dozen participating wineries, including Bent Creek Winery, Cedar Mountain Winery, Concannon Vineyard, Crooked Vine Winery, Cuda Ridge Wines, Fenestra Winery, Las Positas Vineyards, Longevity Wines, Mitchell Katz Winery, Murrieta's Well, Tamás Estates, Wente Vineyards, Wood Family Vineyards and more. Guests are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys when they visit the wineries for local Toys for Tots programs. For a full list of wineries and scheduled events, visit lvwine.org.

TA Naturals relocated from Livermore to Pleasanton. Owner Thuy Huynh, who is pursuing a master’s degree in alternative medicine, makes the soaps, shampoos, perfumes, skin-care products and mineral makeup she sells in her new downtown store, located behind Main Street Brewery. TA Naturals also recently launched “Elixir of Youth,” a new line of herbal powdered smoothie mixes. The store celebrates its grand opening with specials Dec. 11 – 15. Learn more at tanaturals.com.

Former major leaguer Gregg Jefferies recently opened a 12,000 square-foot indoor sports training academy in Pleasanton. The new Gregg Jefferies Sports Academy, located on Koll Center Parkway, offers hitting and pitching classes, speed and agility classes, team programs, strength and core training, party rentals and more. The new academy celebrates its grand opening Dec. 1 from 3 – 7 p.m. with free food, prizes, throwing games, use of batting cages and other activities. Learn more at greggjefferies.wordpress.com.

Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday outing this Saturday, Dec. 1, at Dublin’s Heritage Park and Museums, where you can shop for handmade gifts, visit with Old St. Nick, make holiday crafts, listen to traditional carols and tour decorated historic buildings. The Holiday Faire, which runs from 12 – 5 p.m. includes both free and paid activities. Learn more at ci.dublin.ca.us.

When you shop for premium kitchenware, you probably don't consider hardware stores. But now you can purchase high-end kitchen products at Alamo Ace Hardware's The Kitchen, a new 1,600 square-foot “store within a store.” In The Kitchen you’ll find cookware, table linens, kitchen gadgets, canning supplies, storage containers and more from lines like Bodum, USA Pans, Le Creuset, Lodge and Swiss Diamond. You’ll find the new store in the south end of Ace, located on Danville Boulevard.

Rakestraw Books recently moved next door to its former location on Hartz. Thanks to dozens of bookstore patrons who volunteered to help, Rakestraw moved into its new space in less than a day. Check out the new store Friday, Nov. 30, during Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham’s visit. For details and tickets, visit rakestrawbooks.com/upcoming-events.

Opening Update: Togo's, previewed in an earlier column, is now open in Danville’s Town & Country shopping center.

Weight Watchers will soon move next door to BevMo in San Ramon’s Diablo Plaza shopping center. The American-based international company, which offers dieting products and services, will occupy a newly subdivided space formerly occupied by Design Furniture Consignment. To learn more, visit weightwatchers.com.

Opening Update: San Ramon's new Buffalo Wild Wings opens this Wednesday, Nov. 28. The first 100 guests through the door will receive a Buffalo Wild Wings bag full of goodies and coupons. Doors open at 11 a.m. on Montgomery Street in the MarketPlace shopping center. Read more in earlier Patch coverage.

Patch is inviting East Bay business owners to its next Main Street U, a free workshop about social media and online marketing. The workshop is 8:30 a.m., Dec. 13, at Hotel Shattuck in Berkeley. For more details or to RSVP, click here.

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 Central Contra Costa, Berkeley/Oakland and Fremont/Tri-Cities communities.

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

  • The Backyard Factory and Danville CrossFit in Danville
  • Dickey's Barbecue and Itrim in San Ramon
  • Oliveta in Dublin
  • La Boulangerie and Talbots in Pleasanton 
  • Patxi's Pizza and Milano Joe's in Livermore

Know of a business opening or closing in the Tri-Valley? 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.

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