« Climate Priorities | Main | Soccer on the Bayfront? »

July 16, 2017



While I have restaurants on my mind, Young Can Wok is pretty good on B'way. I happen to use Hot Wok Bistro here in the south instead--which is awesome, but they are good.


With the loss of Earthbeam, trips have become few and far between for this south-ender. Potpourri, a long ago Burlingame Avenue loss, is still my go-to gift place all year around. Que Seraw, with wonderful offerings, unfortunately has sort of fallen off my radar, since I used to combine the "trip" with Earthbeam.

I've frequently heard the notion that Brick and Mortar retail no longer has a place in today's downtowns. However, with this location, fairly close to the hotel district on the Bay front, I think if there were enough interesting and unique retailers on the street, there could be a tipping point to make it a destination worth visiting.

People may not bother for one or two, but if there were enough interesting (and affordable) ones close together, it might make parking the car, taking the trolley, or simply taking a longer stroll in that direction, worth the effort.

One thing that in my mind is not going to help at all is a ground floor tutoring establishment that I've heard may be considered by the Planning Commission, soon, in the main space of the former Earthbeam structure.

To that I think, wow, what a pity. Such a perfect, prominent corner location that could (should) become a real anchor and potential catalyst for the area--


I love Pot-Pourri, Footwear etc, All That Glitters, Preston's, that market with all the international foods -- I live in southern San Bruno and shop these stores. I also make it to Il Picolo now and then. I miss Earthbeam, though it wasn't quite the store it was in its heyday. It was going downhill.

Up the camino

We Millbaeites shop there too. It's sort of mid-scale to downscale just like Millbrae so we feel at home. Don't shine it up to much please.


There are numerous local cities which have vibrant downtown streets featuring interesting, independent retail shops with a healthy mix of food establishments.
A recent visit to Los Altos was enlightening. San Carlos and Menlo Park have a good mix of stores on their main streets.
Broadway lost Earthbeam and the Bua Thong restaurant due to retirements. But some storefronts remain vacant because of other issues, usually related to the cost of rent.
We hear that Broadway rents are reasonable...compared to Burlingame Avenue. Despite its proximity to Burlingame Avenue, Broadway is far away from The Avenew...

Behan's and Broadway Grill

High rents, relatively low demand from people that don't spend alot, weak coordination among the merchants and especially the landlords to modernize the area, Burlingame Ave has so much more momentum (that's broadly appealing to people from the regional area that spend more money) that Broadway is literally left in the dust...

The City Council should work with the landlords to come up with a plan to allow a taller height to encourage tear downs with underground parking, new high ceiling retail with apartments or office above.

Perhaps even all of the parking in back and underground, and wider pedestrian sidewalks. Thus, no stopping cars blocking traffic and less fumes and more efficient flow of traffic.

Certain buildings that have true historical facades might be preserved like the Broadway Grill building.

Behan's and Broadway Grill are the best establishments on Broadway.

Bruce Dickinson

Listen guys, Bruce Dickinson believes the Broadway area is a three-pronged problem, as it were. Let me elucidate.

First of all, the Broadway area is a victim of poor planning from the get-go. The street itself and surrounding streets are far too narrow for the 21st century and there is no natural buffer zone between the single family homes (many of which were expanded, needing room for more vehicles), the apartments and the businesses. These street widths really can only support single family residential--the apartment buildings are far too prevalent and too large. The lack of parking on adjacent streets makes it more of a nightmare to park there even compared to Burlingame Ave and as some mentioned above, probably needs more of a parking garage than its bourgeois street-sibling. Of course, the city won't learn any lessons from this and instead, proposes in the new Burlingame Plan more mixed use areas in an area that is very small and dense. This will only compound the headaches of accessibility.

Secondly, there is a lack of enforcement and clean up effort. Homelessness is prevalent and there often times is fecal matter and trash on the sidewalks. There needs to be more police enforcement (Bruce Dickinson very rarely sees cops there, maybe a donut shop would help) and a business association with greater pull.. The fact that massage parlor shenanigans were perpetuated here demonstrates the lack of oversight (although the cops do seem to eventually show up to 'sacrifice' themselves for the dirty undercover bust-work, if ya know what I mean?) but true enforcement is more of a day-to-day operation. Also, with that Wells Fargo being one of the most robbed banks in the area should suggests more of a law enforcement presence.

Third, the big revenue generator for the city is Burlingame Ave, which is home to small businesses but also outposts of large chains. Sales tax potential gets the money, and all efforts go into the Ave while Broadway remains neglected. The city knows what really butters its bread, without admitting as such, so of course you favor development and expansion where there is the ability to do so and with a higher probability of success in boosting sales tax revenues.

Let's face it folks, you don't need a PhD in urban studies to figure out the crux of the issue!


How would you fix things if you had the Power to do so?
I would really hate to see another "Asian Math School" installed into Earth Beam.
Are White, Latin, Blacks allowed in these after school programs?


They are allowed of course. Why do you make such comments?


Reviewing prior comments on this thread, should provide an answer to this question of yours Joe.
In my opinion, a majority of City of Burlingame people would like to maintain a Race Neutral, USA Main Street atmosphere.
Are you surprised Joe?
Being a blog editor does not allow you to share your true thoughts Joe.
Dear Joe, I think this is a perfect time to ask the Burlingame Voice members to be 100% honest regarding Asian Massage Parlors, Asian Hair, manicure/,massage Parlors, Foot Massage Parlors, and Dance Studios.
It started in San Bruno, then Millbrae, now Burlingame.
San Mateo does not have many Asian Fun Houses, as now in Burlingame.
Another Asian business on Broadway will have a long lasting impact on the overall community.
By the way, you may have the facts regarding the many business applications regarding Cannabis Clubs in Burlingame?
Thank You.
Could you comment please?
What do you think about the Foot Therapy Parlors on California Drive?
Have you been inside one yet?


I can barely follow your twisted arguement, but I can say that being a blog editor allows me to EXACTLY share my true thoughts! Duh!

I can also tell you that any "Asian Math School", whatever that is, that discriminated against non-Asians would be both stupid and sued out of business is short order.

If you want to talk about massage parlors and the like, I would summarize my position as being for strict policing. You also cannot tell me that all of the prostitution going on here or elsewhere on the Peninsula is Asian provided.

At least you gave me one useful tidbit--I am not aware of any Pot Club applications, but am curious.


Thank you Joe for your comment.
I apologize for my occasional "Bombastic" comments. I assure you Joe, as well as "Hillsider," that I am only interested in creating a Comic/entertainment aspect to dialog here.
That being stated, I have complete respect for your web site. As well thankful that you came up with this forum.
There is a very important need for the Serious, and behind the scenes glance at all things Burlingame.
I appreciate the work, and cost- you volunteer for the benefit of people who care about the future of "Our Fair City" Burlingame.
I as well as many others are very grateful for your gift to The City of Burlingame.
Kind Regards,


Nice to see you back on your meds


You are welcome.


Totally agree about the post offices ;)

Taste In Mediterranean, Young Can Wok, and Sesame are my favorites on B'way. And of course, Weimax.

Super sad to lose Earth Beam and Magdaluna. On weekends they have live music and belly dancers at Sahaara, I believe.


Who's the "admin" around here, Joe? You should delete the racist comments promptly, as they do not represent the values of the Voice (I assume).


Both Russ and I have "admin" privileges. We are very careful about deleting comments on the principle that open debate and strong reactions are more beneficial than just deleting comments. Deleting is a slippery slope and we don't get a lot of these. The Terms of Use are shown at the top of the right frame.

Peter Garrison

I agree with Joe and Russ for this reason: If you let a racist talk freely enough, you will discover he is racist. If you PC edit his speech or posts you won't discover his dysfunction.


Thanks, Peter. At the risk of getting back on topic-- there are a lot of nail salons and massage parlors all over the place; B'way, the Avenew, San Mateo downtown, 25th Street, etc etc. We have a restaurant limit, why not a grooming services limit?

 Abel Beth Maacah

Yea! It has turned into Asian-town just like Millbrae. Cheap-Cheap-Cheap. Sad to say but it looks like Can Tho or Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

I am all for converting the street to high-density housing. Believe me; based on the how few local residents visit Broadway it will never be a real shopping street. Our city would be smart to rezone and start building up. Bring in some young blood lets follow the success New York has had in some cool neighborhoods.

Moreover; I am tired of hearing all these same neighbors preaching about how they love Broadway while the Amazon and Ebay boxes pile-up on their porches.

Even more hilarious is watching these same do-gooders spending money at the Farmers Market rather than local grocery stores. They don't understand our local businesses give back more to the community, more of your dollars stay in the community and more jobs stay in the community when you buy local. But it "Feels Good" as they prance around the Market teaching their children all the wrong values. That's right; Wrong Values. Shame....Shame on you.

This failure on Broadway is an important strategic-inflection-point for Burlingame's citizens and one day you'll look back as your City is unable to fund schools, roads, parks, and police protection. It isn't that far off.

Bruce Dickinson

So, is it "our" city in the second paragraphs or "your" city in the last paragraph? Looks like someone is using yet another username in attempts to rile up BV readers in saying something inflammatory in that Broadway should go all multi-family.

Time to find some realistic solutions in attempting to improve a business district!

Also don't really understand the purported moral high ground of teaching "values" by avoiding going to farmers markets or shopping online. Seriously, folks, technology will continue to disrupt; not only local, but also national retail chains are also feeling the impact of online distribution.

There will always be a need for local businesses and restaurants, it's just that the bar is raised a little higher. This is a very common occurrence in a free-market, capitalistic society.

Forcing people to change shopping behavior due to increased demands for time out or where they go to get their vegetables has no place in this society. Those "values" belong in other countries where the economic system is NOT called capitalism.

Now on the other hand, if one believes in the ultimate displacement by technology, then worrying about a local corner market will be the least of your concerns, as most of your jobs are directly threatened by technology and you may be replaced. At that point, we will probably look at universal income or taxing the robots. Is that moral or immoral? Would society be better or worse off?

Wrap your noggin around that!!


I think the point is these farmers markets are really just distributors driving in from the Central Valley with the same stuff they sell Safeway and pretending its locally grown. Look at the boxes in their vans. It's a van sham.

John Q ByTheBay

This public square can get noisy, and off-topic....

Going back to the original question posed: too many nail/hair salons? Since I use neither, I would say yes. But if there is a cap on restaurants, then nail shops will fill the vacuum.

Vacancies: what is the deal with the owner of Taste/Magdaluna/old rug shop building. He/she seems to like to run out businesses that are making money. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but other threads suggest that Magdaluna and Taste were pushed out by the owner.

Traffic: Too many cars speeding broadway business district, except during evening hours when Uber/Lyft double parkers add to traffic jam. Seems like a traffic officer could do well standing on the corner of Broadway & Paloma. Does the BPD have a traffic officer? El Camino and California are racetracks during commute hours; booming San Mateo tech employees have discovered how to bypass 101 between Millbrae Ave and 3rd Ave.


Thank you, John Q. Russ and I were thinking about changing the mission statement to "Noisy and Off-Topic" but such is the nature of the publick square.

I can attest to the presence of traffic officers waiting on the side streets of Carolan Ave.--Larkspur and Morrell seem to be favorites, but you are on topic and correct to suggest more speed enforcement on California and EC.

Davis Merry Howard

I camped out on this Broadway one day and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee at a local shop just to observe the flow and heart of the street.

My assessment is:

1.It is not designed for friendly safe and quiet shopping. The noise of speeding loud trucks and cars, some 18 wheelers is unacceptable for a small shopping street.

2. The selection of shops is cute but minimal and won't justify a special trip to spend money. I noticed maybe 5 shops including food establishments I would even consider entering. The others look run-down and the window displays are awful.

3. I paid careful attention the openness and friendliness of your public and I would say compared to many other small towns similar in size, I first think standoffish and angry. Sorry, but this is how I saw it.

4. The are two major streets feeding non-stop cut-through traffic to this shopping street; a highway and an old-highway (El Camino)

Based on these brief points you'll never achieve your dream of turning this area into the sort of shopping street people speak about in these posts. No big names would ever locate here based on what I have observed.

You have a structure problem, not a shop problem. Change this and you might have a chance. I like the idea mentioned by a poster of rezoning it and build cool housing mixed with high-tech offices and a few dining places. The empty ugly building in the middle of the area should be torn down and made into a beautiful park to serve the community. It is way out of place.

If you are nice, I will tell you how to accomplish this and I might even finance it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.