Biz Beat

A new shoe shop opens; burgers, pizza, Mexican food coming soon

Customer Cecilia Rodriguez of Turlock looks at shoes Thursday morning at Rack Room Shoes in Monte Vista Crossings in Turlock, Calif.
Customer Cecilia Rodriguez of Turlock looks at shoes Thursday morning at Rack Room Shoes in Monte Vista Crossings in Turlock, Calif.

Turlock’s Monte Vista Crossings continues to add retailers, with a new shoe store opening last week and three, count ’em three, restaurants under construction.

First up, Rack Room Shoes. The family shoe retailer, which operates more than 400 stores nationwide, opened up shop Wednesday, a day earlier than planned. That’s because, regional manager Dan Lazar said, things went more smoothly than expected and they were ready to open early.

According to its website, Phil Levinson started the company that would become Rack Room in 1920 in Salisbury, N.C. Levinson later passed the company to his son-in-law, Mort Lerner. By 1984, the company had 22 stores. That’s when it was purchased by The Deichmann Group, a shoe retailer based in Germany, and a period of major growth began.

Lazar said Thursday that while the company isn’t as well known in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, it has fans here already.

“We had people from Turlock who came to our Livermore store,” Lazar said. In fact, a few of them shopped on opening day – several shoppers already were members of the store’s rewards program.

Lazar said shoppers like the wide selection of shoes for men, women and children, as well as its “Buy One, Get One Half Off” program. On Wednesday, it seemed most folks were in the market for athletic shoes, he said. He pointed out that the store carries a number of popular brands, as well as its own line of shoes.

During the summer, Lazar said, Rack Room offers a temporary buy-one-get-one-free deal on sandals. That’s matched by an equal deal in the winter on boots. This may be bad news for my wallet, but good news for my feet.

Rack Room Shoes is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find it on Countryside Drive south of Monte Vista Avenue.

Across Monte Vista, PizzaRev and Dos Coyotes are under construction, as I reported earlier. Both companies are hiring for openings that have not yet been announced. And Hobby Lobby, down the street, is under construction and has also begun hiring – I found a job listing for an assistant manager posted a few days ago on

And in the parking lot shared by Rack Room, construction work on Habit Burger Grill is going gangbusters. The popular Santa Barbara-based Habit is known for for its fast-casual fresh burgers, famously judged by Consumer Reports as the best-tasting in America.

I previously reported that Habit had selected Turlock for its next growth area. I recently heard that the company hopes to open the first week of August. That means just a few more months until Turlockers can make it to Habit.