Biz Beat

Business Beat: New stores getting going in Modesto and Turlock

The stores at the Monte Vista Crossings expansion in Turlock are set to open soon, with the exception of Kirkland’s, which was already doing business Friday.
The stores at the Monte Vista Crossings expansion in Turlock are set to open soon, with the exception of Kirkland’s, which was already doing business Friday.

This is a fun week, because I get to tell you about some new stuff coming to Modesto and when some already announced businesses will open in Turlock.

I have received a few calls and emails asking what is going in at Scenic Drive and Oakdale Road in Modesto, in front of We Donut Shop. Starbucks aficionados will be pleased to hear that according to records with the city of Modesto, it’s another location for the coffee giant.

I tried to contact the public relations folks at Starbucks for an opening date, but I haven’t heard back yet. The new shop would bring to 15 the number of Starbucks shops in Modesto. That assumes that the location in Century Center remains open, which seems a little doubtful since it’s smack dab in between the new spot and the Starbucks at Merle and Oakdale.

Century Center, of course, isn’t the bustling shopping hub it once was since Gottschalks and, later, Raley’s closed. Planet Fitness occupies a large spot, but it would be great to see another anchor tenant in that center, which holds a place close to my heart because I worked at that Gottschalks for several years.

I did hear back from representatives of Panera, which is under construction at 2103 McHenry Ave. That’s across from McDonald’s and in front of Burlington Coat Factory between Tokay and Bowen avenues.

The bakery/restaurant has plans for an opening in early 2015. Panera’s Amanda Burns said she will keep me posted as a firm date is established, and I’ll pass along that information when I have it.

A bit to the south, construction on the stores in the new expansion of Monte Vista Crossings in Turlock is nearing completion – or, in the case of one store, done.

Kirkland’s, a home furnishings and accessories store, has a grand opening set for Saturday. But when I went by Friday, I noticed it’s open for business.

Erin Bell of Hall Equities Group, which owns Monte Vista Crossings, said more of the new shops will be opening soon. The shopping center is on Countryside Drive just off Highway 99.

Though firm dates are not available, the shops will be, in order of opening date: Styles for Less, Tilly’s, Maurice’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Justice and Skechers. Last is JoAnn’s Crafts, which right now is scheduled to open in late November.

In front of that strip of stores, work is progressing quickly on a restaurant pad. Bell said she would be able to say in a couple of weeks which eatery is signed for that location. I suspect it’s Buffalo Wild Wings, as I have seen some ads posted online for employment at a Turlock site of that chain.

Elsewhere around the business beat

Area residents were disappointed when Sam’s Food City closed its small chain of grocery stores. I heard most often from people who lived near the Carver Road store, who expressed dismay at losing access to fresh produce and meat at a walkable distance from their homes.

A new grocery store has opened at the site, in the part of the building not occupied by Dollar General. David and Ling Leong opened Sam’s Market last week, Ling Leong said.

The store, which she described as a miniature grocery store, specializes in meat and produce. David Leong is the former meat department manager and butcher at Sam’s Food City and has been cutting meat for 30 years.

Sam’s Market is at 1100 Carver Road. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (209) 300-7638.