Concord, CA (formerly known as Todos Santos and as Drunken Indian) is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area.
Concord is located 29 miles east of San Francisco, meaning that the commute through the Caldecott Tunnel and across the Bay Bridge can be done in approximately thirty minutes when traffic is light, and in less than a week when traffic is heavy. The total area of the city is 31.13 square miles, and with over 120,000 residents Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County.
The focal point of downtown Concord is Todos Santos Plaza, which encompasses an entire city block and is known for its farmers market, free summer concerts, and large number of surrounding restaurants. Much of the area immediately around downtown has recently been redeveloped, with new high-density apartment and condominium projects to take advantage of the proximity to public transportation and the vibrant area surrounding the park. Despite this, some crime and homelessness remain issues in the downtown area.
To the north and east of downtown is the older residential area of Concord, with many homes dating back to before World War II. In the far northern edge of town is a primarily industrial area, dominated by the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery (which is actually not located within city limits). The southeastern area of the city, centered along Clayton Road, is primarily residential and was mostly developed in the 1960s and 1970s. In the southwest area of the city is the primarily Latino neighborhood known as Four Corners, centered around the intersection of Monument Boulevard and Oak Grove Road.
Concord is bordered on the west by Pleasant Hill and the unincorporated community of Pacheco, on the south by Walnut Creek, on the southeast by Clayton, on the northeast by Pittsburg and the unincorporated community of Bay Point, and on the north by the unincorporated community of Clyde. Though it shares no border with Concord, Martinez (the county seat) is located almost immediately adjacent to Concord on the northwest.
One of Concord's claims to fame is that it is the birth place of actor Tom Hanks, who is well known for numerous critically-acclaimed movies including Turner & Hooch, Bachelor Party and Joe Versus the Volcano. Jazz artist Dave Brubeck (of "Take Five" fame) is also from Concord and one of Concord's several parks is named in his honor.
There is a campus of Cal State East Bay in Concord.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stops at the Concord and North Concord stations.
Concord is accessible by car from Interstate Highway 680, and State Highways 242 and 4. When driving from Oakland take Highway 24 East to 680 North. County Connection buses also service the city.
Small planes and helicopters can land at Buchanan Field Airport (CCR). The closest international airport is Oakland International (OAK) while BART runs directly from all Concord stations to San Francisco International (SFO).
- Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, This memorial honors 320 individuals (including 200 young African American men) who were killed in a munitions accident during World War II while loading munitions and bombs onto ships bound for the Pacific Rim. Following the explosion many of the enlisted men refused to work, resulting in the Navy's largest mutiny trial and eventually helping to push the US Armed Forces to desegregate. Reservations are required to visit the memorial and can be made by calling (925) 838-0249. Tours are available Wednesday-Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM and take one hour. The memorial can be reached by exiting on the Port Chicago Highway exit from either highway 4 or highway 242, and heading north to the Concord Naval Weapons Station.
- Galindo House One of the few remaining Victorian homes left in the area, a 19th century home built in 1856, open to the public for daytime use.
- Waterworld USA, 1950 Waterworld Parkway (exit I-680 at Willow Pass Road and head two blocks east), A waterpark featuring slides, pools, and other manner of devices meant to utilize the Bay Area's limited water supply. Admission is $26.99 at the park, but can be purchased for $19.99 online at the park's web site.
- Diablo Creek Golf Course, 4050 Port Chicago Hwy An 18 hole golf course with a large practice putting green, pro shop, lighted driving range and also has a sports bar and restaurant.
- Sleep Train Pavillion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, (925) 676-8742. The local amphitheatre, the Pavillion hosts major and minor acts and events throughout the year. Capacity is 12,500.
- Brenden Theatres, 1985 Willow Pass Road, (925) 677-0484. The local cinema with twelve auditoriums. Relatively modern theater and very large. NOTE: Only one restroom in the entire building, located upstairs near the front of the cinema.
- Adult and Youth Sports in Concord
Strip malls, grocery stores, fast food restaurants, electronics megastores, and all other manner of American consumerism are readily available; following any major street will inevitably lead to some sort of shopping area.
- Sunvalley Mall, (located off of I-680 along Willow Pass road), . Concord's lone mega-mall caters to all manner of teenage fashion fantasies as well as the appliance fetishes of middle-aged women and shopping phobias of middle-aged men. The main area is two stories with escalators, stairs, and a large glass elevator. The main stores are Lucille's BBQ, BJ'S, Macy's, Forever 21 and H&M. In front of the elevator is a lounge area which is also used for live entertainment and the annual Christmas Santa event.
- Willows Shopping Center, (located near the Willows Pass Rd exit from I-680), . While not quite the labyrinth of Sunvalley, the Willows is an outdoor mall featuring REI, Old Navy, Claim Jumper & Pier 1 Imports. Most of the shops that don't face the parking lot have closed.
- Half Price Books, 1935 Mount Diablo Street, (925) 288-9060, A Concord branch of the famous Berkeley bookstore, right on Todos Santos plaza.
- Phoenix Games, 4425 Treat Boulevard, (925) 682-4263 . The local classic video game store has the latest games alongside games as old as the Atari 2600, as well as systems and accessories. They take trade-ins as well. Products can be returned within one month if defects are discovered.
- Black Diamond Games, 1950 Market St, Concord (925)681-0600 This is Concord's friendly local game store.
- Frys Electronics, 1695 Willow Pass Rd 1695 (925)852-3000
- Digger's Diner, 1895 Farm Bureau Rd., Ph: (925)825-8958. This is a family-run diner that got its unique name from the father of the family's unusual job digging graves. Although this is not his current occupation, there is a huge mural inside the establishment depicting a comical graveyard next to a bustling diner. Their friendly staff makes for a great atmosphere, and they are quick to serve and very good about special orders. The prices are usual for any diner; you could definitely get by eating lunch for under $10.
- El Aguacate, Clayton Road and Bailey, between Jack-in-the-Box and Taco Bell, Salvadorean restaurant with the best restaurant salsa. Try the pupusas and the delicious Salvadorean-style tamales. Less than $10 per person.
- Guadalajara Grill, 5400 Ygnacio Valley Rd # B6, (925) 672-4430. Possibly one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area, which is saying a lot. The super chicken burrito runs about $7.95 for lunch and $8.95 for dinner, and when combined with the never-ending chips and salsa is guaranteed to leave you full. Super fast service and free Tootsie Roll Pops seal this establishment's top-notch reputation. Serving lunch and dinner from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
- Taqueria Los Gallos, Located on Todos Santos Plaza across from the Old Spaghetti Factory, the downtown heart of Concord accessible from Clayton Road and Galindo (Monument). Possibly one of the best Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area, which is saying a lot. Try the carne guisada, a rare find in Mexican restaurants; this ranchero style beef is mildly spicy and majorly flavorful. A full salsa bar is a welcome plus. Less than $10 per person.
- Old Spaghetti Factory, 1955 Mount Diablo St (downtown Concord), Ph: (925) 687-5030. Yes, it's a chain, but the food is decent and the prices aren't unreasonable. Besides, what other restaurants in Concord offer specials that include ice cream?
- Pasta Primavera, 4425-F Treat Blvd., Ph: (925) 687-5300, A tasty mid-priced pasta restaurant.
- Swagat Indian Cuisine, 1901 Salvio Street, ☎ (925) 685-2777. Excellent Indian restaurant located across the street from Brenden Theatres and easily within walking distance of Todos Santos plaza. Great lunch buffet, and dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings. Food is served fresh and hot.
- Spice Grill Indian Cuisine, 2118 Willow pass Road, Suite 400, ☎ (925) 798-5488. This Indian restaurant opened in 2012 has become far by the best in the East Bay, Great quality, fresh and excellent flavors
- The Mediterranean, 1847 Willow Pass Road, ☎ (925) 825-0608. Tasty shawarma, kebab, falafel, dolmus, pita, hummus, fuul, and all your favorites from Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt!
- Claim Jumper, part of a chain of tasteful Old West themed restaurants featuring large proportions of good food. Especially recommended is the steak.
- DJ's Bistro, 1825 Sutter St, ☎ (925) 825-3277. A small, quaint restaurant serving primarily German cuisine. Many of the regular patrons are Eastern European, and the waitress is Czech. Has a bar with soccer playing on the LCD television all the time.
- I Love Teriyaki and Sushi/I Love Ramen and Noodles, 1950 and 1930 Salvio St (Todos Santos Plaza), ☎ 925-680-0888, . A linked pair of Japanese restaurants right next to each other in Todos Santos Plaza. I Love Teriyaki and Sushi (ILTS) has a more traditional ambiance (and menu), while I Love Ramen and Noodles (ILRN) is more of a diner-type place with more seating. If you're looking for both ramen and sushi, go to ILRN (they'll bring food over from ILTS if you ask).
- BJ's Brewhouse, 385 Sunvalley Mall, They are known for their pizza, pizookies (portmanteau of pizza + coookie) and their bar.
- Legends & Heroes Sports Bar, 4050 Port Chicago Hwy, Ph: (925) 687-4111. For those wanting to get their football/basketball/baseball fix while downing a few brews, Legends offers the TV and taps necessary to help you out.
- EJ Phair Brewing Co. & Ale House, 2151 Salvio Street, ☎ (925) 691-4253, Brewpub with a great ambiance and a rotating selection of home-brewed beer and selected microbrews right on Todos Santos plaza. There are two large, free parking garages in the adjacent blocks. Also, if you go on a Sunday afternoon you might see people on their laptops busily editing ConcordWiki. ;)
- Best Western Heritage Inn, 4600 Clayton Road, (925) 686-4466, Toll-free: (800) 622-6466, Fax: (925) 825-0581, . Catering to the business crowd, this hotel is unlikely to surprise anyone who has stayed in a Best Western anywhere else in the world. Rates from $70 to $90 per night for a single room.
- Comfort Inn East At The Pavilion, 5370 Clayton Road, Ph: (925) 674-9400, Fax: (925) 674-9595, . Offering free wireless internet and continental breakfast, this hotel's best feature might be its proximity to the fine Mexican dining at the Guadalajara Grill. The Concord Pavilion is also only one mile away for visitors wanting a hotel located close to the concert venue. Rates from $90 to $120 per night for a single room.
- Comfort Inn Concord, 1370 Monument Blvd., Ph: (925) 827-8998, Fax: (925) 798-3374, . Free continental breakfast, free local calls, free coffee, fitness center and seasonal outdoor pool. Rates from $80 to $120 per night for a single room.
- Hilton Concord, 1970 Diamond Blvd, Ph: (925) 827-2000, Fax: (925) 827-2113, . This hotel's proximity to I-680 makes it a desirable location for those wanting to stay in a Hilton located near an interstate. Rates from $150 to $220 per night for a single room.
- Holiday Inn, 1050 Burnett Avenue, (925) 687-5500
According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Mt. Diablo Unified School District||4,320|
|2||Wells Fargo Credit Center||1,500|
|5||Bank of America Technology Center||1,300|
|6||John Muir Medical Center||1,100|
|7||The Conco Companies||549|
|9||Adecco Employment Services||400|
In addition to these large employers, Concord provides many resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs. There is the John F. Kennedy University's Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership in Todos Santos Plaza, the Concord Small Business Administration and the Women's Initiative for Self-Employment among others.
Claycord.com Claycord is what they call the neighborhood that straddles the Concord/Clayton town line. People from Clayton don't like to be called part of Claycord because they're snobs. This news site chronicles events that happen in Claycord.
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