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December 14, 2019
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Question of the Week

Do you like to shopping in downtown Watsonville?

Yes: 134 | No: 415

Public comment

Neera Bhatnagar: Parking is tricky and/or not safe. The shops are not generally meeting my needs. I try to go to the discount mall for my growing kid’s needs but quality and styles are questionable. I do frequent Fruteria Quetzal and El Frijolito. I will visit the skate shop now too. But the rest is sadly not what I need or usually want.

TOGO’S Sandwiches (Watsonville Downtown): Foreverfly Skate is a top-quality store downtown. TOGO’S Sandwiches just opened across the street at 445 Main St next to Ace Hardware in The Terrace building. More people in our community are investing in downtown area so stay tuned and support the places that are opening up and it will continue to attract more businesses. 

Kathryn Mizuno: My favorite is Yamashita Fish Market. They don’t have a lot of fish like they used to, but they have all sorts of Japanese groceries, China dishes and other Japanese things. It’s on Union Street.

Nissy Chantel Banuelos: Shopping Downtown is amazing!! So many hidden gems, everyone should get out of Target, and support the local shops!

Kimberly G. Contreras: I’m more of a late evening shopper and everything closes so early. But I do visit and shop and enjoy shopping downtown.

Sandra Cortez: We definitely need better stores to shop in…Miss Fords and JC Penny’s…I still remember when everyone would be downtown shopping especially when they had sidewalk sales.

Lisa Johnson Sandoval: The only places I shop in the heart of downtown are Goodwill, Ace on occasion, Ortiz Deli and CVS in a pinch. Most of the other places offer nothing I would shop for or are always closed. Eating-wise El Frijolito or Jalisco. El Alteño is overpriced (3 drinks and 1 beer $52) plus our food was cold last 3 times. My all-time favorite places, of course, Baker Bros & Laquer Beauty Lounge!!!

Claudette C Retana: Reading these posts, I’ve said this for years. We need shopping in Watsonville so that the revenue stays in our community. I do eat at Imura’s constantly because they are community-based, Jalisco and Cilantros and StrawHat Pizza. I am excited that the Mediterranean restaurant will be opening soon. Glad we have new businesses coming into our community. But it’s going to take a while to get the correct shopping experience. I don’t shop unless I go to Costco, or outlets in Gilroy or online. There’s nothing but cheap stuff here. Sorry but it’s true.

Dolores Dodie-Lola Tapiz: The question should be…….Where in Watsonville? We need more options.

Janey Malatesta Leonardich: I can’t seem to find a store or restaurant that carries anything I would purchase.

Araceli Gonzalez: ForeverFly clothing is the only store I will drive to downtown for.

Sandra Kaufman Niizawa: There isn’t any place to shop and no decent place to have lunch. SOOO away I go

Juanita Sulay Wilson: You need to bring the downtown back. Something like Redwood City. Make it the centerpiece of the town.

Kelly Anderson: I haven’t seen any store geared toward my demographics since Ford’s/ Gottschacks closed down. We’ve looked in the furniture stores when shopping for a couch, but unfortunately didn’t find what we were looking for. The skate shop has done a great job, but I don’t know any skateboarders personally. Ace is always handy. I wish the Fox Theatre would come back.

Connie Tafoya: Nope too many Taquerias. I’m so glad that we have Target or otherwise I’ll be shopping out of town.

Vickie Hernandez Sanchez: Watsonville is starting to have more services available to the community, and restaurants we have more than we need, it would be nice if there was more of a variety versus more of the same; many are mentioning the several services and restaurants we have here, but the survey is in regard to shopping and realistically downtown does not have the shops to meet the community’s needs or desires; you go into the shops that are available and what do you find…mostly Mexican textiles, which are beautiful but not what people are in the market for every day, go into the video store near the old Gotschalks building, what do they have…mostly bootleg movies and Mexican music not much of a variety for the rest of the community, Watsonville needs more of a variety, we need options for more than just the Hispanic community members, we need businesses that will support other businesses like Forever Fly; and our Farmer’s Market, in my opinion, doesn’t really qualify as a “Farmers Market” it should be called “Food Alley” it’s more food stands (tacos, pupusas, baked potatoes etc.) than actual farm fresh produce, flowers and goods; it’s a great weekly event and it’s great to see so many families gathering at this event but to call it a “Farmers Market” is misleading and sad being that we have so many crops within the Monterey Bay.

Karen Carlson: I would shop downtown if there were something interesting to buy, if you need to send money or cash a check there’s plenty of places to do that. I moved back to Watsonville about seven years ago, love my house as it was affordable seven years ago, we have great neighbors my fav restaurants aren’t downtown, Ella’s at the Airport is great, Miyuki’s, Awesome, Ranch Milk Mexican food and Brewery great fast food, all of these are in Freedom or out of downtown. I’ll stick to the outskirts for food and shop online or elsewhere until something changes, which I hope it does cause there are a lot of great folks in South County.

Geri Derpich Heebner: Our family has owned property downtown since 1947 on the 500 block. Prior to that my father owned a restaurant on the 400 block. Changes? So many. Some good but mostly negative since the 1989 earthquake. Parking has always been an issue. Crime is also a problem, especially with the homeless. We were born and raised in Watsonville and hopefully the revitalization project will be positive for everyone!

MariaElena DelaGarza: Farmer’s market, Taylor’s, Togos, La Perla, Ace. Plaza Vigil, 2nd St Cafe, Watsonville Yoga, Subway, New Age store on 400 block, Goodwill, Jaliscos, CAB nonprofit where I work, Community Bridges at La Manzana…and yes we need more business downtown.

Roxana Villanueva: It’d be nice to have more options more business to be able to shop from and be able to see how it use to be back in the day.

Erika Boyd: I like Forever Fly, Tutti Fruiti, Del Valle Produce, Jaliscos, La Colmena, The Bean, Taylor’s Hotdogs, Filipino Store and Farmer’s Market. Bank of America is my bank. Also, only reason I shop downtown is teach at Radcliff.

Debbie Guerrero: There’s nothing downtown worth shopping for. You have to have good stores to shop downtown. Can’t do that when you have a lot of empty buildings. I prefer shopping out of town.

Rodolfo Rocha: Stores are too bland in downtown. Watsonville really needs to start thinking of stores/restaurants that are well known. Take a page from downtown Santa Cruz (gap, vans, 5 guys burgers, or Monterey with it’s diners restaurants. Yes we do have great Mexican food, no doubt about it, but there has to be more. Fox theater needs to be turned into something else. Put another panda Express there and betcha it will be packed.

Jaime Sánchez: Y’all missing out. Top USA. Vickys produce, beach street video. Watsonville jeans. There’s a lot small business owners there.

Gigi Platero Rodriguez: What is there to shop for? Unfortunately most of my shopping is done out of town. Que lastima.

Mark Krikava: Downtown used to have a lot of solid destination businesses, reasons to go. What’s down there now is OK but none of it’s enough of a draw to deal with traffic and parking.

Maria Rojo: Not very good shopping stores available most stores are either flea mkt quality. Sorry to say cater to the hispanic population. Not enough eateries in watsonville

Evelyn Martin: On main st, downtown, I only get my nails done at Creative Nails (I know it’s not locally owned), all of my shopping is done 90% in gilroy, Costco, old navy, Walmart, outlets, if I must I go to target and or Ross here in Watsonville, there’s really no variety here, I would love to support more local shops, but I also need the quality and price I get over the hill.

Frances Eiliana: You all should come up with better poles…I have a couple. How many jobs do you have to work to live in Watsonville? How many of you would like to own a house but can’t due to high cost of houses? Do you have to live in a multiple-family household because of the high cost of living? Do you believe the city of Watsonville has the best interest of their community in mind? How much time do you spend in commute to get to your job?

Eva Ramirez: We need a kohl’s downtown where gottschalks used to be!!!! Please and thank you… or bring back JC penny’s I’m ok with that!!

Claudia Salas: Farmer’s Market is the only thing I go to Downtown for

Manuel Gonzalez: Shopping?? Lol there’s nothing to shop in downtown!! It’s gonna get worse when they bring Main Street to one lane each way.

Ana Sousa Schaffer: There’s nothing to draw me down there from Scotts Valley

Sam Ayala: Everything overpriced and rent being so high can’t support local business Watsonville needs good-paying union jobs and then the town will flourish

Krystel Betancourt: Shop what? Lol there’s nothing. We need a Mall

Monica Anthony Rodriguez: Watsonville has nothing to offer any shoppers

Judy Gulermovich Biskup: It’s no one’s fault, after the big earthquake, my home town not the same, but I have some great friends that love a care about their town and so do I…They say there’s no place like home and Watsonville memories will always be my home

Eric David Munoz: I’d like shopping downtown if it was cool. Maybe you guys could convince the greedy guy who owns the old Gottschalks to do something productive with his building rather than it remain empty for another 20 years.

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Editor’s note: To participate in the Question of the Week visit The Pajaronian Facebook page and cast your vote.

Tony Nuñez
Tony Nuñez
Managing Editor Tony Nuñez is a longtime member of the Watsonville community who served as Sports Editor for five years before entering his current role in 2019. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College and San Jose State University alumnus, he covers the city, business, housing, entertainment and more.

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