Tracing Tracy Territory: Restaurateurs show taste for 10th Street
by Sam Matthews
Feb 01, 2013 | 4572 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy’s West 10th Street could be blossoming into a new downtown “restaurant row.” At least that’s how property owner Byron Alvarez sees it.

One new restaurant, The Commons, is already setting up at 49 W. 10th St. Two more locations — one five doors east at 31 W. 10th St., and the other in the next block at 110 W. 10th St., next to Barista’s — are close to being leased, Alvarez has reported.

He outlined the developments to members of a Tracy City Center Association business-attraction committee Wednesday morning.

“I’ve hit a sweet spot in attracting restaurants to Tracy’s downtown,” he told me after the meeting. “We are marketing specifically to restaurants and offering incentives for them to develop the properties.”

The incentives include rent credits for investments the restaurant owners make in the interiors of buildings, including expensive kitchen fixtures, he said.

“We’re making a real effort at making it easy for the restaurants to locate here, and it’s working,” said Alvarez, who owns the 10th Street buildings with his mother, Betty Ann Alvarez.

The first restaurant out of the blocks, The Commons, is the project of John Oh, a Tracy native who is embarking on his first restaurant venture.

Remodeling of the storefront at 49 W. 10th St. is beginning with the help of design consultants, and the restaurant should be open in June or July at the latest, he said.

“We will have 47 seats, including a full bar in a contemporary setting,” he said. “Our food can be described as nouveau American comfort food, known as ‘gastropub food’ in the trade.”

The 32-year-old Oh, who graduated from Tracy High in 1999 before attending UC Santa Barbara, said the restaurant will not serve lunch, at least the outset, but will be open well into the evening for food and beverages.

Five doors to the east, at 31 W. 10th St., owners of a restaurant featuring Korean barbecue have signed a letter of intent to locate there, Alvarez said.

In the block to the west, the space at 110 W. 10th St. across the breezeway from Barista’s won’t be available until next January, but already several restaurants, including one serving sushi, have shown serious interest, Alvarez reported.

If all three store spaces become home to restaurants, they will join five existing food purveyors on West 10th Street: DeVinci’s Town and Country at 27, The Roasted Bean at the corner of 10th and B streets, Fabio’s in Ten-Bee Village, Barista’s at 112 and Subway two doors west at 118-B.

“We’re working at getting a good mix of restaurant styles,” Alvarez said. “Altogether they have the potential of creating an exciting complex of restaurants that complement each other and draw people downtown.”

In the meantime, two blocks south on Central Avenue, the city of Tracy’s efforts to attract an eating establishment to the city-owned old West Side Market property remain very much a work in progress.

A good start

Monday night’s meeting to measure interest in resurrecting the Tracy Sports Hall of Fame was a successful start in that direction.

All 13 people at the meeting in the Press conference room signaled an interest in getting a new version of the Sports Hall of Fame up and running.

It will take a while to get organized, form committees and make some definite plans, but an awards dinner next fall or possibly in the spring of 2014 appears a solid bet.

Check out this week’s sports section for Sports Editor Bob Brownne’s report on the meeting.

The next meeting is Feb. 25.

One additional element is needed. Lina Longmire was the only woman present Monday night, and with the explosion of girls and women’s sports in recent decades, some additional female participation is needed.

• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at

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