More bad news for The Globe

Our chain’s business reporter is writing a story for tomorrow concerning the Globe, the most ambitious empty strip mall ever built in Fremont.

“The project’s lender has filed a notice of default for a loan that is in arrears. And across the street, another retail development — controlled by the those who launched The Globe — is being scheduled for an auction and foreclosure on an $18 million note.”


Soon to be ex-Chronicle workers protest in Fremont

Fremont doesn’t generate a lot of news, but next month it will generate a lot of newspapers. The Chronicle is in the midst of outsourcing its printing press from a company-owned plant in Union City to a Fremont plant, owned by the Canadian company Transcontinental.

That’s bad news for the 100+ guys who’ve been working for the Chronicle. They say Transcontinental doesn’t want the the new plant to be union and doesn’t want to hire any of them.

They’ll be unemployed as of June 28. “We’re trying to send a message to these guys that they can’t oursource our work,” said Angel Eaquivel, who has worked at the plant for ten years.

The guys on the picket line said they made about $22 an hour. They said Transcontintal, whose plant is on Kato Road just off of I-880, was offering about half that.


Puppy Love Boutique reportedly out of business

UPDATE: Puppy Love is getting evicted. They have until 6:01 a.m. tomorrow to leave.

It always seemed that Fremont’s only dog store drew more protesters than patrons. Now, not surprisingly, it is no more.

A protest leader sent out an email this weekend announcing that the store, which opened last summer, has closed. Protesters had rallied outside many weekends outside the store, which they said obtained many of its puppies from breeding mills where dogs are horribly mistreated. The store’s co-owner Joey Kakar insisted that wasn’t the case.

The store, located on Mowry between Blacow and Farwell, was best known for a daring late night heist last December, in which 17 puppies were stolen. The next day, a store official was severely injured after falling through a skylight on the store’s roof while trying to show police how he thought the burglars entered the store.

To read the email, click where it says to click Continue Reading



Joe’s Corner is going to close … again. Just heard that the rowdy Niles bar turned clean and sober community center will likely close by the end of the month. A volunteer said it just didn’t get the community support.

Too bad. It was a really great place. Click here to read how wonderful it was.


Fremont almost had a Whole Foods

Former Council Candidate Al Stirling did a lot of talking at last night’s Fremont Citizens Network  community forum with Anu Natarajan.

In addition to encouraging people to tip over strawberry baskets sold by unlicensed street vendors, he lamented that Fremont residents want Santana Row and Whole Foods, but have gotten a Hooters and tattoo parlor.

I have been told that Whole Foods only wants to move into the corner of Mowry and Fremont Boulevard. But Gus Morrison said last night that several years ago Fremont had Whole Foods signed up  to move to the Kragen’s site in Irvington. But Whole Foods backed out, and now wants the more central location.

Meanwhile, Natarajan said that some people in Fremont must have wanted Hooters because it’s doing good business.
I can vouch for that.


Cyclo Cafe: good stuff, steep prices

UPDATE 8 p.m.: I was wrong. The council is talking about new landscaping requirments. Me sleepy.

I’m getting old. I remember when you could buy a slice of pizza for $1. And it was good pizza, because it wasn’t made by Californians or transplanted Chicagoans. Now there’s a place in Fremont where a small coffee sets you back $2.25.

But in defense of Cyclo Cafe, it’s a really good cup of coffee. They offer some kind of fancy brand called Barefoot. It’s potent. The City Council can chatter till 2 a.m. tonight for all I care. I’m ready to roll.

Cyclo also has solid food and wi-fi access. And while you’re sipping or surfing, you can look out on to an ocean of vacant storefronts and daydream about striking it rich as an Asian-themed business owner.

The Globe still doesn’t have much going for it. What was to be Fremont’s Epcot Center now has a cafe, Vietnamese restaurant and a bank. There are banners heralding the arrival of a frozen desert store and another restaurant. And several store fronts have signs proclaiming that they’ve been leased, but no evidence of anything coming soon.


Score one for The Globe

I never thought I’d see the day, but the Cyclo Cafe is open for business. If any establishment epitomized the troubles for The Globe shopping center, Cyclo was the one.

It was all set to open for more than a year, but ownership problems kept the doors locked even though all the furniture was in place. Now it’s open at Stevenson Boulevard near Albrae.

Here’s a blurb from their press release:

Cyclo Cafe boasts upscale eco-friendly and warm interior design offering an artisan famous Barefoot Coffee and Imperial Tea coupled with awesome bakery and panini sandwich. Upon entering the restaurant, guests will discover a laid back yet elegant atmosphere. The cafe aims to create a community meeting place experience where guests feel that they can truly eat and drink among friends.

Co-owner Jenny Pham, a well known fashion designer and self thought chef uses locally available ingredient, her menu focuses on freshly prepared bread and meat coupled with exciting vegetable combinations and delicious sauces and chutneys influenced by the international flavors. Menu items include breakfast specialties, delicious lunch and dinner entrees such as fresh salads, panini sandwiches, homemade soups, quiches and classic comfort foods.


Newark movie theater could be next to close

When Shiraz Jivani decided to show Hollywood films at the NAZ 8, he was operating on the assumption that the Cinedome 7 Newark was not long for this world.

Why would he think that? Click here.

It’s a plan for a new development on Mowry in Newark. If you go to pages five and six, you see that the Cinedome is proposed to become a gym.

I called Cinemark, which owns the theater, but they didn’t call back.


Say Goodbye to Bollywood, NAZ is going mainstream

When I talk about Fremont to my friends back east,  one of the first things I mention is that the city has its own Bollywood movie theater. It pretty much says everything you need to know about the city’s diversity and thriving Indo-American population.

Well, I’m going to need a new example.

Starting Friday, NAZ8 Cinemas is transitioning from Bollywood to Hollywood. It will be debuting “Night at the Museum,” this Friday. Within a few weeks, it will devote five screens to mainstream, first-run Hollywood flicks, and two screens for Bollywood movies.

Ticket prices will be increased to $9.50. But the popcorn will be free, and they’ll still have samosas.

Shiraz Jivani, the theater’s owner, said he got permission from the big Hollywood studios to go mainstream after Cinedome 8 closed earlier this year, leaving Fremont without a first-run English language theater.

He said his business had suffered from tech slowdown, Bollywood movie piracy, and Bollywood’s inconsistency in releasing films. Bollywood producers have been on strike for more than a month, forcing Jivani to show reruns.

We’ll have a full story about this in the paper later this week. I just got back from the theater, and the reaction missed. A couple of people, both Indian said they were happy the theater would also show Hollywood flicks. A couple of others, both white Bollywood film buffs from Berkeley, were sad to hear the news.