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The East Bay’s Most Buzzworthy Happenings of 2016

A look back at the best, worst, and weirdest East Bay headlines of 2016.


Hello / Good-bye

Long lines welcomed Dunkin’ Donuts to the Bay Area at its debut shop in Walnut Creek. / After 130 years in the East Bay, Navlet’s Garden Centers sold its four stores.

The 124-year-old, John Muir–founded Sierra Club and ride-share app Uber announced moves to Oakland. / Jamba Juice‘s headquarters left Emeryville for Texas.

Skincare company Rodan and Fields announced a new 150,000-square-foot presence in San Ramon’s Bishop Ranch. / Food Network star Guy Fieri pulled out of Johnny Garlic’s, his restaurant group with a Dublin location.



We’re Number One!

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry scored the NBA MVP award, and Steve Kerr was named Coach of the Year.

Berkeley author T. J. Stiles won his second Pulitzer Prize, for Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America.

Maggie Steffens of Danville earned her second consecutive Olympic gold medal, as part of the U.S. women’s water polo team.


Stars of the Silver Screen

Tom Hanks portrayed Danville pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in a film about the investigation of his emergency landing on the Hudson River.

Indie family drama Captain Fantastic, written and directed by Berkeley’s Matt Ross, scored a directing prize at Cannes.

Brenden Theatres in Concord made national news when a trailer for the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party was accidentally shown before Finding Dory.



Top Trend: Poke

Step aside, sushi. Poke was the East Bay’s raw fish fix of the year, with new restaurants in Berkeley, Concord, Dublin, Emeryville, Oakland, Pleasanton, and San Ramon (and soon, Danville) serving the Hawaiian-inspired bowls of cubed, seasoned, and topped ahi.



Hot Topic: Bees


Aggressive honeybees, originally thought to be Africanized killer bees, terrorized a Concord neighborhood (sending residents to the hospital and killing two dogs), while the Claremont Club and Spa welcomed friendlier hives to check in at the “bee hotel,” a tower of hole-filled logs.


By the Numbers

Billions of dollars made worldwide by Emeryville-based Pixar’s Finding Dory, which shattered box office records for an animated film.

Millions of YouTube views logged for Walnut Creek teen trumpeter Bryce Hayashi and his music teacher playing the Star Wars theme song outside John Williams’ house.

The yard line where Brentwood teen William Navarrete was tackled by field security after he disrupted a 49ers game, prompting a memorable play-by-play by broadcaster Kevin Harlan.

ZIP code of Pleasant Hill, which ranked second in Realtor.com’s list of the hottest housing markets in the country.

Square feet of space added to Broadway Plaza during its $250 million redevelopment.

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