Downtown Novato Emerges From a Long Winter with a Bevy of Spring Events

Plus, an update on Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and The Square Shopping Center.

Cold, winter weather isn’t exactly conducive to downtown shopping outings.  Since the city’s tree lighting ceremony in December, Downtown Novato has been relatively quiet. 

Downtown will spring back to life starting next month.  And nothing says spring like a demolition party.

On April 2, is throwing a party to kick off demolition of the “beloved” (their word, not mine) 999 Grant Ave. building. The whole town is invited to the corner of Grant and Redwood Boulevard for food, drinks, a clown and other fun for the whole family. 

Beverages have been donated by , and School Fuel and other organizations will offer food. 

Leave your sledge hammers at home, however, because demolition will not begin that day. In fact, Circle Bank isn't ready to announce when the wrecking ball will swing, so we'll all just have to sit tight for that date.

The Downtown Novato Business Association is having its annual Spring Celebration on Saturday, April 16. As in years past, there will be an egg hunt on Sherman Avenue, a visit from the Easter Bunny, face painting and more, according Don Cliver, president of the DNBA. 

The egg hunt for small children will be on the Civic Green, next to City Hall, and big kids will hunt for eggs across the street.

The DNBA said it is also looking forward to the opening of the Novato Farmers Market on Tuesday, May 3. The DNBA has partnered with the Farmers Market for eight or nine years, Cliver said. Returning vendors include Mami’s Crunch, Applebaum Bakery, G&S farms and Homemade Ravioli. New this year is Tara Firma Farms, which will be selling grass-fed, pasture-raised chicken, beef and pork. 

Also look for Mission Fish with a large selection of freshly caught fish. Julie Jacobson, owner and chef of “Baby Go Green Baby Food,” will be selling homemade style baby food, as well.

There have been rumors that the farmers market might be moved to the west side of Redwood Boulevard closer to the old Pini Ace Hardware building, but that's not true, said market manager Chris Blackburn.

"There were other options and we explored other ideas, but it comes down to the fact that we think it's a great fit for Grant Avenue between Machin and Reichert," he said.

The farmers market will be open each Tuesday afternoon through Sept. 27.


Powell’s Sweet Shoppe is Still Standing

After preparing to close its doors in January, two potential buyers came forward to purchase . Things didn’t work out with the first buyer, and according to owner, Tom Pierce, he is still working on a deal with the second buyer. 

Although he declined to go into detail about the negotiations, Pierce said, “more than likely it will keep running … things are a little up in the air right now.”

The Square Status Quo

Talks are still continuing with potential tenants at The Square Shopping Center on Novato Boulevard.  In November, a representative of Horizon Properties said it  hoped to announce new tenants at the end of January. 

Recently, David Chang, brother and business associate of The Square’s owner, Jeffry Chang, said they are still in discussions with some potential new tenants, but he could not provide any details at this time. Jeffry Chang was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

Andrea Swetland March 22, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Maybe The Square would be a good place for Ben Franklins to go. Throw that and a coffee shop that's open all day and we might just get more people thru there.
Kathleen March 23, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Andrea, that would be perfect. I really was wondering what we were going to do without Ben Franklin. I still want to know the story as to why the Starbucks on DeLong closed. There is a pretty wild story being passed around by the teenagers.
David L March 23, 2011 at 04:00 AM
The best thing that could be done to improve The Square shopping center is to demolish it and start from scratch. It's ugly and outdated. One thing that has people going to Hamilton and to the new place on Alameda del Prado is great outdoor space, but the owners of the Square don't even seem interested in minor improvements. How much would it cost to remove part of that half-empty parking lot and put in tables and chairs and other amenities?
Danny Skarka March 23, 2011 at 04:27 AM
I was once told by a town insider that it's the same owner as the Lucky Shopping Center as well as the shopping center with the DMV. The stories of the owner were less then positive, but I'm not sure of the truth. I will say they do keep the landscaping up and the graffiti down at The Square. Was Ben Franklin forced to move? With all the schools around The Square, I would think they would do well. But they need to get serious with Michael's as the competition. Starbucks closed because of problems with the building that Starbucks didn't want to pay for. And with the other stores in the area, it didn't make sense for them to invest. This according to the employees.
S.Y.S. March 23, 2011 at 03:18 PM
What time is Easter Egg Hunt begin? Not mentioned in the article. The Square needs a couple of newer fast food places, What about a WingStop? In & Out? Students will love them.


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