Word of more empty storefronts in downtown Walnut Creek: Viking Home Chef and the months-old Little Star Café among the casualties

Just learned this week that Viking Home Chef at the prominent but increasingly empty corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Locust Street closed its doors.

And, after driving by Viking Home Chef, I saw that Z Gallerie was no more. But that’s not surprising. Back in April, I reported how the Southern-based retailing company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And just a couple weeks ago, I saw signs in the window advertising 75 percent off items inside. Seventy-five percent off: Survival not likely.

And, just learned today that Little Star Café, in the Newell Promenade, has closed. It was just maybe a month or so ago that I heard the Little Star owners describing their sophisticated approach to kid- friendly dining on the Dining Around with Gene Burns show on KGO radio. The owners talked about how mom and dad could sip a glass of wine while the little ones could run back and forth from the table to a supervised play areas.

The Little Star website has this note: “It is with heavy heart that we announce effective June 9, we will close our doors indefinitely. Like so many of us, we were hit hard by the falling economy and the owners’ compounding health issues which made it too difficult to run a family business. Thank you all for your support and kindness.”

A reader noted that the closure of Little Star is another blow to the Newell Promenade strip. Other vacant spots once housed Taxi’s hamburgers and the Walnut Creek Coffee Company.

7 thoughts on “Word of more empty storefronts in downtown Walnut Creek: Viking Home Chef and the months-old Little Star Café among the casualties

  1. With all these store closures traffic must be becoming such a breeze. Too bad nobody can afford to rent movies anymore but hey now you can get to Blockbuster in less than 5 minutes. At least I will enjoy my quick trip to the hardware store to pick up my for sale by owner sign.


  2. It's sad to see stores like Home Chef & Z Gallerie close down. It'll be interesting to see how this whole Neiman Marcus “political” drama will play out. If it actually gets built, how many local & even people from other towns would be willing to drive there with gas going over $3.00 per gallon. Not to mention how many could actually afford to shop there? Since the good old US dollar is now worth so much less, how can people continue to shop for such ridiculously overpriced items? I want to see how many of the higher end stores do like Talbots, Cole Haan and even the little boutiques that surround Broadway Plaza. To add to the list, Maggie Moo's ice creamery (next to Buckhorn Grill) is gone as well as the boutique shop on the corner across from DIVA and the new Cheesecake Factory. Talbots Kids didn't survive the market as well & their clothing for kids were well made but not practical for majority of parents of little ones. Scary to see what the future of retail in Walnut Creek So many of us are just trying to maintain a current status on our mortgages and put food on the table. Pray that this economy will stop it's freefall.


  3. Maybe the city should lighten up on the parking sitations.I and several others I know avoid downtown Walnut Creek because of the high price to park and the agressive ticketing by the PD


  4. Can you guys make up your mind. What is it?

    Is there not enough parking in downtown WC, so it is important for WCPD to strictly enforce the metered parking to create enough turn over of parking space.

    Or is there enough parking and thus strict enforment of metered parking is simply viewed as a hassle and source of revenue by the WCPD?


  5. Geez, they just hate that downtown has changed from what they remember… too crowded, bad food, little parking, aggressive enforcement. Face it, they look for reasons to say they don't go. Are these the same people that sign the petition? Why would they care if they never go downtown?


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