Monthly Archives

September 2015

Community Events, Downtown, Local Business

Wine Walk 2015

This year the Downtown San Mateo Association is putting on the 19th annual Wine Walk in downtown San Mateo.

Come enjoy an afternoon downtown with friends to taste local and greater California wines. Downtown shops and restaurants will be hosting tasting rooms where you can enjoy your wine as well as tasty bites.

This year the San Mateo Wine Walk has many stores participating as well as a large handful of restaurants. While some places have participated for many years it is others’ first time, so make sure you stop by your old favorites and also welcome the new to the event

Friends&wineThis is the first year Hourglass Boutique is participating in the event and store owner Lindsay Hoffman shared her excitement with us and said, “We decided to participate in the Wine Walk because it’s a great opportunity to draw people to this side of the downtown area…this is a chance to introduce them to our shop and neighboring businesses that they may not be familiar with. We are excited about participating because it is a fun way for the community to discover new places and enjoy what the ever-changing downtown area has to offer.”

Seasoned Wine Walk participating merchant, Colleen Rafferty of Christensen & Rafferty Fine Jewelry is also excited about participating this year. She said “We had great fun last year and this year is shaping up to be even better with our jazz/R&B trio, Kenya B Trio! What attendees liked about our venue last year was our fun wine lounge.  We set up our entrance with lounge furniture so the attendees could stop, sip and chat with other guests. The energy was great.”

This will be the third year David Hunsaker, owner of the restaurant 31st Union, will be hosting a tasting room and he is also looking forward to the community event. David said, “It’s about getting the community together, trying new wines, seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, trying pairings they haven’t tried before, and being able to showcase our food.”

Restaurant Block 34 is only a year old but is participating in its second Wine Walk. Restaurant Manager Mario Fuerty said, “Our food is modern American and we try our best to use local purveyors and buy locally. We have some exciting things coming up around the corner and are excited to show off at Wine Walk.”

Rustic board with cheese selection,tapas style appetizer

In addition to fabulous wine and food the event will also feature live music, prizes, and an overall fun atmosphere. The event ends just in time for dinner so stick around to enjoy a meal at one of your favorite Downtown San Mateo spots.

Participating wineries include Azari Vineyards, BoaVentura de Caires, Cuvee Cellars, Flying Suitcase, Hunter DeHaven, J. Lohr, Jazz Cellars, Left Bend, Lion Ranch, Rosenblum, and Russian Ridge.

The event runs from 2:00pm-5:00pm on Saturday, October 3rd. Get your tickets by September 30th for the discounted price of $35. If you miss the deal, not to worry, tickets will still be available for $40 after September 30th.

For more information visit:

For tickets visit:


Community, Downtown, Sustainability

San Mateo Named One of the Best Places to Live In

This year San Mateo ranked #12 as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2016 by, a company that researches cities to help attract and retain residents and businesses.Being #12 ranked us above other popular cities such as San Luis Obispo, Honolulu, Miami Beach, Napa, and Berkeley.

IMG_7965When determining how livable a city is the team at looked into how accessible, affordable, diverse, and utilized the following items are: amenities, demographics, economy, education, healthcare, transportation and infrastructure, and social and civic capital. Ranking #12 shows that San Mateo has done quite well in these areas.

On the topic of education the San Mateo-Foster City school district rates 7/10 by Great Schools, a non-profit organization that profiles more than 200,000 prek-12 schools. San Mateo offers many public and private schools for all grade levels, offering parents a wide selection when it comes to their child’s education.

The median home price in San Mateo is $990,500 (according to and there are over 40,000 housing units in the city. The city is contained within 15.88 square miles so you are always close to a collection of historic buildings, restaurants, parks, and entertainment areas no matter where you live in San Mateo.

IMG_812485% of residents in San Mateo report having a healthy lifestyle. To support that lifestyle, San Mateo has 920 doctors within city limits with top specialties in psychiatry, anesthesiology, and internal medicine. Healthcare is even one of San Mateo’s top fields of employment with others such as finance, technology, and retail.

Looking at these amazing facts it is no wonder how San Mateo earned the #12 spot on this list. Last year we came in at #15 and it is our goal for next year to make it into the top 10. As a thriving city we have no doubt that we will be able to make this goal a reality.

These are just some standout snippets from the research that has done. If you would like to learn more about this research and San Mateo’s ranking as #12 go to We also encourage you to leave us a comment and tell us why you think San Mateo is a livable city and what you love about being a resident here.


Community, Sustainability

San Mateo Rises to the Challenge of Saving Water

San Mateo achieved a 29.1% reduction in water use from August 2013 to August 2015 – well exceeding the State mandate of 16%.

The seriousness of California’s drought is ringing loud and clear throughout San Mateo. Residents and businesses are taking great strides to reduce water usage and conserve our most precious resource. Since 2009 the City of San Mateo has incorporated water reduction practices into its daily operations. Through these combined efforts the San Mateo community is well on its way to adapting to the new norm of using less water.

“The San Mateo community has really stepped up and is an example to other cities throughout the region,” says San Mateo Mayor, Maureen Freschet. “Our residents, businesses and city staff take the drought seriously and have adjusted their daily habits to create a more sustainable community.”

When the State issued the 16% water reduction mandate earlier this year, San Mateo was well positioned to meet the challenge. The City began reducing water usage at parks in 2009 through a comprehensive water management plan and when the voluntary reductions were first announced in 2013 the San Mateo community rallied and reduced water usage by 11%.

“These early efforts resulted in a much lower water mandate for San Mateo,” says Kathy Kleinbaum, San Mateo Sustainability Manager. “Other Bay Area communities had much higher mandates; some as high as 36%.”

Conserving water takes a little getting used.

Reduce Water Use

Reducing water use is now mandatory. Cal Water has established monthly water allotments to help customers conserve water.

While many residents adapted early to the drought by taking shorter showers, flushing toilets less, installing water efficient appliances and converting lawns to drought tolerant landscaping, it didn’t really resonate until Cal Water enacted a water allotment for residential and business customers. The monetary incentive it provides to stay within the allocation speaks to many residents and forces them to think about their overall usage.

“My family and I are looking for ways to do more,” says Carla Paoletti, a San Mateo resident living in the Lanes neighborhood. “We are taking shorter showers, flushing only when necessary, and barely water the yard. We are exploring ways and would like more information about using greywater from the tub and shower for our lawn. The more each family can do the better off our community will be in the future.”

Businesses are stepping up too.

Heavy water users such as hotels and car washes are doing a great deal to reduce water usage through the use of improved technologies and appliances, communicating water conservation practices with employees, customers and guests, installing water efficient fixtures, and implementing environmentally friendly ways to capture and dispose of water.

The San Mateo Marriott is listed as a certified 2015 Green Leaders Partner through Trip Advisor and Ducky’s Car Wash has implemented several innovative water conservation practices ranging from reclaiming and reusing 80% of the water needed for washing cars, using a computerized system that uses 50% less water than hand washing cars at home, as well as capturing run-off and disposing of it in an environmentally friendly manner.

The City has taken significant strides to reduce water usage and meet the State mandate.

Parks and Recreation has pledged to reduce water usage in City parks and at publicly owned properties by shutting off water features, allocating water to areas of higher priority such as sports fields that must be maintained for health and safety reasons, and requesting that pool patrons take shorter showers. To date the City Parks Division has reduced irrigation over 20% by yellowing or browning out passive turf areas, limiting watering of shrubs, and only using overhead spray irrigation from 6 pm to 8 am.

Additionally, the City is working closely with Cal Water to build awareness throughout the community about drought regulations and hosting workshops that provide residents and businesses with the information they need to reduce water use. Topics include drought tolerant landscaping, new irrigation technologies and greywater usage.


The recent installation of the synthetic field at Los Prados Park will save 7 million gallons of water per year. Photo credit: Ms. Michele P, Yelp.

The City recently completed a capital project converting Los Prados Park to artificial turf. This action is anticipated to save 7 million gallons of water per year. The City is also planning to install drought tolerant landscaping at City Hall. The City and Cal Water are jointly exploring the installation of additional wells on City-owned land to support park operations and produce additional supply, while the use of reclaimed water at the Waste Water Treatment Plant is being analyzed as part of the Clean Water Program.

Water conservation and meeting the State reduction mandate is a communal effort that the San Mateo community fully supports. The immediate actions being taken by residents, businesses and City operations are producing great results. These efforts combined with long-term projects that look towards our city’s future demonstrate the innovation and adaptability needed to address the seriousness of the issue.

“I’m really proud of all our community has done to meet the State mandate and conserve water,” says Mayor Freschet. “These actions will maintain San Mateo’s quality of life now and for future generations.”

For more information about San Mateo’s Sustainability programs and water reduction efforts, please visit

Wine Walk 2014
Community, Community Events, Downtown

Fall Events & Activities

Let’s Celebrate 2015 Harvest Season Together!

The first day of Autumn is September 23, 2015. As Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt once wrote, “It is the summer’s great last heat. It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.” 

In San Mateo, there’s plenty to celebrate during this harvest season, including the 19th Annual Wine Walk, the scrumptious Bacon & Brew Festival and San Mateo on Ice – a quintessential outdoor ice skating rink opening in Central Park on November 14th!

Below is a lineup of events & activities taking place in San Mateo this Fall Season. Explore the best of San Mateo together with your friends and family!

San Mateo Health & Wellness Fair

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Health and Wellness Fair Event will feature:
• Community Resources
• Free Screenings
• Speakers
• Demonstrations
• Health & Wellness Vendors

View event flyer for more details.

The Great Estates of the Peninsula

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Explore the grand homes of the Peninsula in the late 1800’s as San Francisco millionaires sought to impress their neighbors. Learn about the suburban lifestyles at the time and discover the fate of some the great estates of the Peninsula. Presented by Carmen Blair, Deputy Director of the San Mateo County Historical Association.

First Fridays San Mateo

Friday, October 2, 2015 & Friday, November 6, 2015

Knits for Life_San Mateo

Knits For Life @ Claremont Art Studios #DowntownSanMateo

A group of San Mateo artists are inviting the public to come join the city’s expanded First Friday, now at several open studio locations in San Mateo, CA. Check out this month’s First Friday activities, including art, dance, music, jewelry, and food!

First Fridays are a popular event held in cities throughout the United States and San Mateo artists hope to create a thriving event by opening the doors to Claremont Studios, Scribble Me Happy, The Shop at Flywheel Press, Neologian Art Gallery, Arts Unity Movement and others.

Subscribe to our blog to stay informed about future events.

First Fridays at The Shop Flywheel Press_San Mateo

First Fridays @ The Shop at Flywheel Press #DowntownSanMateo

The Shop at Flywheel Press, which first began the local event about two years ago, has organized a street market filled with vendors selling locally crafted good, drinks, a food truck and live music for the public to enjoy this Friday.

“It’s a nationally recognized event that happens all over the country and usually it happens in art districts. But San Mateo doesn’t really have an art district,” Flywheel Press owner Amber Seguine said. “We kind of just took it upon ourselves to host the first First Friday and it’s grown a ton and it’s amazing.” Source: The Daily Journal Article, July 2014, by Samantha Weigel

Mark your calendars for the First Friday of each month. See you there!

Like us on Facebook to stay informed about artist exhibits at other First Fridays & other community events.

Friends of the San Mateo Public Library Annual Fall Booksale

Friday, October 2 through Sunday, October 4, 2015

Shop all three days – new books everyday! Pick from a great selection of books at bargain prices. Proceeds will help develop the Library’s collections.

Grow Your Own Salad Gardening Workshop

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Grow Your Own Salad Gardening Workshop

From beets, carrots and radishes to sweet butter lettuce, peppery arugula and crisp romaine, learn everything you need to know about growing your favorite salads. Join us October 3, 1-2pm for this hands-on gardening workshop. The monthly Edible Gardening classes are hosted by Star Apple Edible + Fine Gardening and take place at Persimmon Park Community Garden in Bay Meadows.

Click here for event details.

San Mateo 19th Annual Wine Walk

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wine Walk 2015Enjoy an afternoon in Downtown San Mateo celebrating the 19th year of this community favorite. San Mateo Wine Walk 2015 is Saturday Oct 3, 2-5pm.

Downtown merchants open their shops as “tasting rooms” where you can sip and savor wines from California’s best wine regions. Participating businesses go all out and invite you to explore all they have to offer! Many partner with local restaurants or provide light bites to nibble while you taste.

Music, entertainment, prizes and a lively atmosphere are all part of the experience for Wine Walk attendees and our downtown businesses won’t disappoint! The event ends just in time for dinner, so stay downtown and enjoy some of our fine dining and make the most of your time in San Mateo.

Master Gardener Plant Clinics

Sunday, October 4, 2015 & Sunday, November 1, 2015

succulentsThe Master Gardeners are available at this plant clinic, to answer your questions from general information to advice about specific problems. You may bring samples of your plants for better diagnosis. Use a Ziploc or similar bag to carry your sample. If you suspect insect damage, try to include some of the insects so they can be correctly identified.

Click here for more information about this plant clinic event.

Choosing California Native Plants

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A color slide presentation of choice California native plants for Bay Area gardens, rendered through a modern lens by Geoffrey Coffey, president of Madrono Landscape Design Studio in San Francisco. Geoff knows how to weave native plants and fine materials through a modern lens, putting color, texture, and aroma into the built landscape.

Native plants are wildlife friendly, drought-tolerant, and locally appropriate — not to mention beautiful. Hosted By: San Mateo Arboretum Society.

San Mateo Bacon & Brew Festival

Saturday, October 10, 2015

San Mateo Bacon Brew Festival 2015




The San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce its 3rd Annual Bacon and Brew Festival San Mateo, which will be held Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Central Park in Downtown San Mateo. The high profile Saturday festival will feature an expo offering food vendors, craft artisans, live music, craft brew tastings and much more!

Each food vendor has to incorporate bacon in their food.  Some of the items:  Bacon fried chicken, porky fries, bacon kettle corn, bacon lobster rolls, po boys with bacon, beer and bacon ice cream, kahlúa pork tacos, and so much more!

Parking Information:

Get your tickets now!

 Youth in Government Day: Grades 9-12

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Are you wondering how your local government makes decisions that impact you and your friends? Do you want to have input into future teen programs your city provides? The City of San Mateo’s Annual Youth in Government Day is is open to students attending Aragon, San Mateo, Hillsdale and Serra High Schools, and provides a great opportunity for students to learn how a local government agency functions and makes decisions.

This one-day event is sponsored by the San Mateo City Council, San Mateo High School District and the San Mateo Rotary Club. A day of school will be missed, but not as an absence. Please contact the teen department for details on how you can get involved! Visit event listing online. Or contact Tracy Brumett 650-522.7478

Halloween Fun Fest

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Family Fun Fest San Mateo

Come in costume and trick-or-treat along 3rd Avenue and beyond. Free for the whole family! Hosted by Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA)

Saturday, October 24th, 2015 (11am- 2pm) in the US Bank Parking Lot.

Bay Tree Bistro Halloween Celebration for Seniors

Thursday, October 29 & Friday, October 30, 2015

Discover Bay Tree Bistro, a neighborhood lunch destination featuring gourmet meals. Our affordable lunches are ideal for meeting–up with your friends or making some new ones. Join us weekdays for daily delicious meals prepared by Executive Chef Artie Serrano of Creekside Grill.

These healthy and nutritious meals typically include a starter, main course and dessert. Lunch is at 12 noon each Day and the doors open at 11:30am. Reservations may be made by phone, email or in person; 650.522.7490 or @ View event online.

Halloween Event at King Center

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Join us for a fun, safe and spooktacular Halloween event for the entire family! Enter the costume contest, you may be a winner.

Win prizes, play games, create Halloween crafts and take a walk through our Enchanted Forest.

This event is primarily designed for preschool and elementary school-age children. Click here for more details.

Business Networking Opportunities in San Mateo

Dates vary

San Mateo Chamber LogoLooking for ways to grow your business and expand your connections? Network and socialize with business owners, professionals and community leaders in a business casual, energetic, and FUN San Mateo business referral network. Great networking opportunities are available. Visit the San Mateo Chamber Calendar of Events webpage and RSVP to or (650) 401-2440.

The San Mateo Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business on the mid-San Francisco Peninsula. Our Chamber promotes business and the public interest through representation, advocacy and sponsorship. The Chamber organizes and funds programs that support the economic, civic, cultural and educational excellence of the San Mateo.

 Holiday Ice Skating in Central Park

November 14, 2015 thru January 10, 2016

San Mateo On Ice 2015Celebrate the holiday season with San Mateo on Ice! Open to the public on Saturday, November 14th, and will be open daily (including holidays) through Sunday, January 10th, 2016; weekdays: 2-10 p.m. –Weekends & Holidays: 12-10 p.m. Located in Central Park, San Mateo. The outdoor ice rink features 9,000 square feet of REAL ice. Skaters will be able to skate in the sunshine during the day, and under the stars at night.

Open to all ages, offering daily recreational ice skating, free skate rental included. San Mateo on Ice also offers parties, private ice time, special events, and skating lessons. Tickets are good all day (no in and out privileges)

Tickets will be available starting October 1st. Click here for more information.

$15.00 to skate all day, includes free skate rental.
*Same day re-entry – $5

Senior Center Thanksgiving Luncheon

Friday, November 20, 2015

Join us for our favorite feast. Wear your best for this celebration of thanks. Pre-registration is required. Course # 67526.

 Stay up to date on local events

San Mateo City Insider provides a comprehensive event listing of the events taking place throughout the San Mateo  community. Subscribe to our blog for an inside look at all that’s happening at the City of San Mateo and throughout the community.

Sharona's Chocolates
Community, Downtown, Local Business

Female Entrepreneurs Succeed in San Mateo

San Mateo Ranked #44 out of 405 as Best City in the U.S. For Female Entreprenuers to Launch their Business. Outranking other California cities, including Roseville, Rocklin and Chino.

The City of San Mateo, CA was ranked #44 in a new report by data-science group GoodCall as one of the best cities in the U.S. for female entrepreneurs to launch their business.

“San Mateo provides women entrepreneurs with a healthy economy, networking potential and a large number of women-owned businesses – 31.48% of the city’s establishments are owned by women, more than the national average,” says Eppie Vojt founder of GoodCall.

Chef and Proprietor Alicia Petrakis at Three restaurant and bar in San Mateo,

Chef and Proprietor Alicia Petrakis at Three restaurant and bar in San Mateo.

“The City of San Mateo is honored to be listed as one of the top 50 cities across the nation for women entrepreneurs,” says Mayor Maureen Freschet. “Women hold a number of leadership positions throughout San Mateo and a growing number are taking the plunge to start their own businesses. In one commercial area, women own 50% of the businesses, while our chamber of commerce and downtown association support the success of women through board appointments and networking events. Since becoming Mayor and serving on the City Council, I am constantly amazed by the creativity, energy and innovation our female leaders bring to the community.”

A total of 405 cities were evaluated on the metrics of core economic strength, business climate for women, professional networking potential and female education values.

The report also features advice for women entrepreneurs provided by national experts from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership , The National Women’s Business Council and the American Association of University Women.

Read the full report regarding San Mateo’s ranking, including methodology and data sources here:

About GoodCall: The GoodCall research team analyzes official government data to develop reports that help students, recent graduates and financial consumers make decisions about their careers, college choices and more. The GoodCall Data Center was born from the idea that in an increasingly complex online marketplace, consumers deserve access to the information they need to make educated financial decisions.