The Water Cooler – What Should Replace Sport Chalet in Concord?

July 24, 2013 12:00 pm · 116 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

We told you last night that Sport Chalet on Willow Pass Rd. & Diamond Blvd. will soon close. What do you think should replace Sport Chalet?

Talk about it….

eric July 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The Good Guys

Mike July 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM


Analnymess July 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM


olives July 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

an olive garden.

How bout this, July 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Low income housing , half way house,
or perhaps a homeless shelter.

witchywoman July 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Squeeze In

Capt. Obvious July 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Olive Garden!!! am I first? 🙂

MTZnative July 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM


anon July 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM


Lindoda July 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

An ice arena

The Closer July 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I think an Olive Garden or a Cornsnake Shack would fare well in that location. Or maybe a domed theater. A Goodguys would be cool too, I hate going to Frys as it’s so confusing and hard to find someone to help you.

ClayDen July 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Whatever somebody wants to put in there to make money. It’s not up to any of us to decide, especially the Concord city officials. However, an Islands Restaurant would be great.

Cowellian July 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Olive Garden!

anonk July 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Domed theatre?

Reality says... July 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Olive Garden, of course.

Winston July 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

The Olive Garden. What else.

Actually, what I’d love to see in Concord is a Whole Foods or, even better a New Leaf (a better and cheaper organic food chain in Santa Cruz Co.)

Capt. Obvious July 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

How bout’

1. 24 Hour Fitness
2. McDonalds
3. Starbucks
4. Cheaper

now those are original!

The Professor July 24, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Olive Garden.

just me July 24, 2013 at 12:42 PM

2 words…Olive Garden!

Cabela's July 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Stocked full of guns and ammo !

Lumberjack July 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM
JD July 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM


Triple Canopy July 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Carl July 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Homemless shelter? The merchants would just LOVE that!!!!!

John July 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

World-class museum …

The Mamba July 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

A homeless corn snake shelter.

jtkatec July 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

If the management of OG ever reads this blog, they are going to think we are soooo DYING for their restaurant.

And what is a Cornsnake Shack? Is that where cornsnakes shack up?

Idiocracy July 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Olive Garden? Yuck! That’s the worst wannabe Italian Food out there! I like the Wholefoods idea way more… Yeah olive garden = more fat ppl food for ppl ignorant as to what real Italian food is. Hell the cabelas idea is better too…. I for one would like cheaper ammo. Anything but a fat person fast food chain factory. The gym idea is good too cause lord knows we have way too many FAT ppl in America. LOL

bokononsmoothie July 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I’d love to see a music venue of some kind right there. It would perfect – right between Guitar Center and Rasputin Records where music folks already congregate. It’s also near the freeway for out of towners and far from any residential areas where the noise would cause problems.

Elwood July 24, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Dome-shaped corn snake shelter!

Lexie's mom July 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Hobby Lobby!!

The Closer July 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

@ jtkatec
LOL!!! It’s like a Joes Crab Shack but with cornsnakes. I like your idea though,even cornsnakes need lovin sometimes.

Dino July 24, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Like to see a Dave & Busters in Contra Costa, plenty of parking at this location in the front and back, plus nearby business center to help support happy hour/lunch time business. But, I am not opposed to an Olive Garden. Who wants to drive to Antioch.

Get Off My Lawn July 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Anon777 July 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Dos Coyotes Border Cafe

just me July 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

A TOWERing SIMON’S home store filled with GOOD GUYS?

Latrine July 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Popeye’s Chicken

Blah Blah blah July 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Winco they are awesome to shop at

anon July 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Why do all you people want an Olive Garden. they sell $1.25 worth of food to you at a huge profit for mediocre food at best. Go to an independent restaurant and enjoy food that does not come in a frozen bag and is defrosted and served to you

Agree with JD July 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM


missimee July 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Cracker Barrel!

or Olive Garden or Dave and Busters

gimli July 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM

A bicycle shop or manufacturing facility. Or a Wegman’s grocery. For a Concord flair install a lifted truck parts/accessories shop. 🙂

EvilOreo July 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Carlos Murphy’s or Velvet Turtle….

Enfield303 July 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

@anon #39

You must be new here. Olive Garden and Cornsnakes are the running jokes on this site ,and the standard answer to most of the Mayors water cooler questions.

Richardsfamily July 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

that location screams Whole Foods or Dave & Busters….

Connie Dobbs July 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

#39 Clearly it’s because everyone here is stupid but you.

Pro Choice....Gun owner July 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Bass pro…. concert hall both great ideas

Anon Redux July 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I think it would be a great place to house Acorn’s Obamacare Navigators. They can explain to people why so many restaurant jobs are being switched from full-time to part-time.

OldStuff July 24, 2013 at 1:56 PM

All the old businesses we should never have closed…

Marie Calendars
Baker’s Square
Dome Theatre

Cowellian July 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

missimee, you wish!
I suspect Cracker Barrel will never get any closer than Arizona. My son is still in the Bay area, and he’s seriously considering a Cracker Barrel road trip.

George July 24, 2013 at 2:05 PM

A Home Depot decoy store. Move some or all of the day labors away from the real one. Make it a more pleasant shopping experience.

Mr. John July 24, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I think it should go empty and and up another neglected property. That seems to be a winning approach as so many of our former business locations in the Willows and throughout Concord have decided to take it.

We need to start drawing in some businesses that will draw people to Concord. The block is big enough – I say we try to lure in IKEA.

franchise July 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

have to say that a “lifted” truck shop would be great next to the “hoodies-r-us” franchise store.

frambley1 July 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Hey Anon Redux #48. Its because the people that run the businesses that are doing that prefer to be the only ones actually making a living at their companies. Obviously you think that requiring businesses to give people a wage and benefits combination that allows them to actually live through their job is silly. Isn’t that what a job is supposed to do? I guess you would prefer that people with jobs continue to need federal assistance just to put food on the table for their families. If you think its impossible for a business to thrive under the objective of people that work for them are actually making enough to live on, then you should look at businesses like Costco.

And, by the way, Acorn doesn’t exist anymore, much less does any government money go to them.

whatever floats your boat July 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Whole Foods.

We don’t need another doomed Sports Store like Dick’s.

Mama Jo July 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Whole Foods!!!

The Mamba July 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM

An electronics store where you can drive a car through the front of the building and create your own drive through.

Em Dubya July 24, 2013 at 2:31 PM

An internet sweepstakes cafe. A very big one.

Em Dubya July 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

I changed my mind. It should be a collection station for abandoned trash cans and dead deer.

Hey Franchise! July 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Hoodies-R-Us goes in with Crack-4-Less, like Carl’s Jr and Green Burrito. Lifted truck shops go elsewhere.

Glen July 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Maybe Hogan’s Sporting goods will come back…

bored@work July 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I agree with # 5, low-income housing or a homeless shelter. You can’t just ignore them and make them go away. How about showing some compassion for those less fortunate??? There but for the grace of God go I..

Nom de Plume July 24, 2013 at 2:58 PM

It’s already been said, but I agree


Sport Chalet closing just proves what I said before the tore down the Dome: sports stores do not last in this area so why destroy an historic place to build another one?!! Point proven but too late. However, we can rebuild!

jtkatec July 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM

A wind tunnel/paragliding/bungee jumping/ice and roller skating rink, with archery range.

Have I covered it all?

Capt. Obvious July 24, 2013 at 3:04 PM

what is it with some people not getting the ‘Olive ‘Garden’ & ‘Cornsnake’ jokes… is it all new to them or arethey just that dumb?

franchise July 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Have to agree @ Hey Franchise, Hoodies-R-Us and Crack-4-Less would go on one side of the strip mall and Truck Lifters will go in with Dashers on the other. Great idea! Of course there has to be a restaurant, so have to throw in a Som Din Wong noodle shop.

funny guy July 24, 2013 at 3:22 PM

when reality sets in…. the city counsel will push for and approve another dollar discount shop… this time a mega sized one July 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

I know how about a Internet Café or Hookah Din?????

just kidding

SS July 24, 2013 at 3:37 PM


Crabipat July 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Joes Crab Shack

Julio July 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Nothing. Tear it down and plant heat resistant, water conserving plants.

#1 Mom July 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Olive Garden

RanchgirlCA July 24, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I’d love a Home Good store, but that center seems to have bad luck. I do love going to Rasputin there. When/if the move back to the old location I’ll stop going there.

Nicky B. July 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Yuck, Olive Garden. That food is gross. Frozen and re-warmed by nuking it. Although the pricing is on the high side making it not very affordable, how about more healthier choices for groceries. Come on people, Whole Foods is pretty pricey. And why is anyone suggesting IKEA? That place is only a fraction of the square footage IKEA would need.

anonanonagain July 24, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Roller rink with an burger joint and Karaoke bar…..Or a British Pub!!!

shulla July 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

HomeGoods, Kirkland, SteinMart and Sonics.

Enfield303 July 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

If all these vacant stores are going to sit empty and rot,raze them and put in solar panels. At least they will be doing something useful.

Teacher Wannabe July 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Ive seen numerous mentions of.24.hour fitness, but theres one right down the street at the mall. Olive garden or whole foods cuz neither have close locations.

Jess July 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM

I like RanchgirlCA’s idea – a Home Goods store.

William July 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM

A movie theatre. Only this one would show 24 hour live roving shots from Detroit so California liberal Obama voters can get a good look at their future.

arely July 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM

A Target store.

Marty McFly July 24, 2013 at 4:39 PM

My brewery!

A 12-story JAIL July 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

To house the over abundance of criminals.

Your Local Official July 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Voters want an establishment that pays its employees a living wage. Therefore we will encourage a socially conscious, green, retailer whose prices are low while also paying cashiers $240,000/year.

When this idea fails, Mark Desaulnier will provide a public resolution inviting the vacant space to become an enrichment center where SEIU members can further their skills in basket weaving, coloring, and microwave cooking.

JW July 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Dunkin’ Donuts and whatever else will fit.

Elwood July 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

A male sheep farm.

MadMom July 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Whole Foods!
@Evil Oreo…I miss those places too

What Security July 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM

A grass roots office to change the constitution so Obama could run again..


Bob the Repaian July 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

How about a BART recruiting office to replace the existing strikers?

jw July 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Nom #64,

Don’t go breaking your arm patting yourself on the back because it’s idiotic to draw the conclusions you are from this. First off, the Dome was a money-losing eyesore and it was well past time it got the wrecking ball. Second, Sport Chalet had its own headwinds, as it had REI right across the street in a much better location with exponentially more foot traffic…and although not the exact same “type” of s/g store, things you can’t find at REI are a stone’s throw away at SA. SC just wasn’t that great of a store, certainly not one to warrant paying their higher prices, and their selection of gear for baseball/football/basketball was lacking. Finally, Dick’s crushes SC, just no comparison. But one more time: the Dome was a piece of junk, and whiners like you helped kill it because you didn’t patronize it…so I do thank you for that.

Carlos Danger July 24, 2013 at 5:33 PM


People actually drive to Antioch to eat at Olive Garden? OG in Antioch is a destination eating establishment?

Concord nutive July 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

BevMo. A corporate showcase store since there HQ is in Concord. Or maybe an Olive Garden. Their food is so wholesome and healthy! Wait! How about a BevMo and Olive Garden combo take-out place (with a drive thru)! Now that’s convenient, fun, healthy, fast and what more could you want! Bammm!

Anon Redux July 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM

@frambley1 #54

Actually, I envision Sports Authority being turned into “The Acorn Navigation Center for Obamacare”. It’s common knowledge that Acorn groups are still very active–just under different names.

Regarding your concern for employees who are have had their jobs cut from full-time to part-time: you imply that Obamacare is somehow a worthwhile solution to health care, and that businesses should embrace it. But you are forgetting that Obamacare is unpopular. And for good reason–it is a monstrous piece of legislation. Here are some of the many reasons why:

Most doctors don’t like it, because it greatly increases their paperwork burden while reducing the time they devote to actually practicing medicine.

There are very real privacy concerns due to the NSA and IRS scandals. The large amount of data collection required of health care providers, coupled with the social engineering aspects of Obamacare represent a very real loss of personal freedom–not to mention religious freedom.

There is no tort reform in Obamacare–instead over 1700 pages of complex regulations expose health care providers to even more law suits.

The head of Obamacare, Katherine Sebelius tried to pressure insurance providers into funding a PR campaign for Obamacare–a conflict of interest (also known as “pay-to-play”).

Sarah Hall Ingram, an IRS Official who was involved in the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal is now in charge of Obamacare tax enforcement.

Obamacare was unpopular when it was passed, and even more so now. Obamacare was only passed because the Democrats pushed it though using very questionable back-room deals and strong-arm tactics.

Sunnymoon July 24, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Nordstrom Rack. Definitely better parking then the future PH location.
Whole Foods is not a bad idea.

foonman July 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I’d vote for low income housing as soon as some are built at Marthas Vinyard. Otherwise no……

2 Cents July 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

How about an Olive Garden / Fitness Center.
Waiters are also Personal Trainers.

Frito Bandito July 24, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Put in a Giant Mi Pueblo Grocery!….Bankruptcy!!!???…We Don’t Need No Stinkin Bankruptcy!!!!!!

Old Chair July 24, 2013 at 8:33 PM

I believe a home consignment store would do well. The ones in Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill both seem to be thriving.

And this would be a good location. It’s close to the Willows Stores and Home Depot.

Andrea July 24, 2013 at 9:10 PM

1. Roller Rink; 2. Whole Foods; 3. Home Goods

Mtz Jen July 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Olive. Garden.

Dr. Jellyfinger July 24, 2013 at 9:37 PM

An Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club would be nice. Yes. Let’s do that.

BCuzItzClaycord July 24, 2013 at 10:10 PM

HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, DSW, SteinMart, Ulta

Foodie July 24, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Macaroni Grill

MR UMM July 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM

A homeless shelter halfway house or a christian nightclub jesus christ all day. Or a club.

O'Nonymous July 24, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Stein Mart, no question.

Retardo Montalbon July 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Texas Roadhouse

Claycord Mom July 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Whole Foods!

Danielle July 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM

How about Saks Fifth Avenue Rack? Do they have those? No shoplifting please.

dudebro July 25, 2013 at 8:19 AM

a homeless shelter serving olive garden meals. hopefully someone shows up

Mimi (original) July 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Hooters! LOL!!

jtkatec July 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

What I really want, a fabric store.

A fabric store which has rows and rows of fabric from 3.99 to 35.99 a yard.
A fabric store which does not have row upon row of fleece.
A fabric store which has challis, silk, cottons, hemp, double-knit, single knit, florals, pastels, dotted swiss, chintz, brocade.

Thousands of bolts all lined up by color, by weight, by content.

A fabric store which does not sell cheap, chintzy fabric, NOT JOANN’s.

I want a TRUE fabric store.

Cowellian July 25, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Un-Dress Barn

Anotherme July 25, 2013 at 12:17 PM

It’s a good location for centralized services – not necessarily overnight – but health, dental, food, commodities, employment retraining, back to work clothing, plus where to find this and other stuff along the same lines, – some of this is not so hard to find, but even employed people have trouble finding affordable or sliding- scale dental. And I mean just pull a tooth, not a beautiful crown or a root canal.

I could tell you (true) stories.

Trevbo July 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

I love the idea of a flagship BevMo store. The one out on Oak Grove or wherever is too far out of the way and with BevMo HQ right across the street it would be a fantastic location to experiment with different layouts/products/shopping experiences/tastings etc.

Teacher Wannabe July 26, 2013 at 10:44 PM

@ tkatec. Are you nuts?! Joann’s IS a true fabric store. Best around …well, the only one around. But still the best.

Antler July 27, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Teacher Wannabe at #116 ~ ~ ~ Sorry, but I completely agree with jtkatec about the quality of fabric at Joann’s. I fondly remember New York Fabrics, which used to be on Contra Costa Boulevard.

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