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Popular spot: Livermore’s downtown packs in people

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Popular spot: Livermore’s downtown packs in people

Sidewalk dining is one of the many attractions that Downtown Livermore offers – making it a popular destination on summer evenings.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED July 14, 2012 1:27 a.m.

LIVERMORE – It’s Friday night in Downtown Livermore and there isn’t a parking space to be found.

Restaurants are full. Sidewalks are packed. And more and more people are trickling into the outdoor amphitheater outside of the Bankhead Theater to listen to the free Friday concert series that turns the city’s historic district into the place to be in the Tri-Valley area.

While the community might have once been known mainly for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the scientific advances discovered within, more than 80,000 people now call the community home.

So what makes Livermore any different from the other East Bay communities that surround it?

Whether it’s families filing into the park on a Friday for free music or its unique feel and charm, Livermore brings plenty to the table as it moves from a community known for its agricultural roots into a bustling suburb of San Francisco – which at one time held the distinction of being the third-wealthiest midsized city in the nation.

Here are a few of the more popular attractions that can be found downtown and what makes them popular with local residents:

•Harry’s Hofbrau – A carvery located deep in the heart of Downtown Livermore, Harry’s Hofbrau – famous for its turkey – is a popular dinner stop any time of the year. Locations in Redwood City, Foster City and San Jose serve the tech corridor while Livermore’s site doubles over as more of a family restaurant. 1491 1st Street. (925) 606-1154.

•First Street Alehouse – Is it a craft beer that you crave on a scorching summer day? Tucked along First Street is this unique and friendly watering hole that offers up some of the best brews in Northern California. Several are offered on a rotating basis to provide customers with a chance to expand their palate, and traditional pub fare helps satisfy those food cravings. 2106 1st Street. (925) 371-6588.

•The Vine Theater and Alehouse – There are art house theaters. And then there are art house theaters that serve restaurant quality food and offer up on-tap microbrews to their customers to present a truly unique movie experience. The Vine is the second type of establishment. With tables, chairs and couches to complement the existing theater seats, the viewing experience is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. 1722 1st Street. (925) 447-2545.

•Blacksmith Square – A pair of historic buildings within walking distance of Downtown Livermore, Blacksmith Square offers dining and wine tasting and a chance to soak up the historical significance that helps set the city apart. Live music on Saturday afternoons helps attract a wide range of customers and tourists coming to enjoy a bite to eat at Green Leaf BBQ or a glass of wine at Swirl on the Square or John Christopher Cellars. Artistic Edge and Victorine Olive Oil are also located on the site. 21 and 25 S. Livermore Avenue.

•Bankhead Theater – This 500-seat theater that opened in 2007 as part of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center is perfect for everything from plays to concert performances. Operas, symphonies and other fine-arts performances are commonplace and help expand the arts offerings in the community. 2400 1st Street. (925) 373-6800.

•Wente Vineyards – The country’s oldest, continuously-operating family-owned winery, Wente Vineyards and the rolling hills that surround it help set the area apart from others. Popular summer concerts, regular wine-tasting and golf offerings are all part of what the premier destination offers up its patrons. 5050 Arroyo Road. (925) 456-2400.

 

— JASON CAMPBELL

209 staff reporter

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