News

Midtown's 'Creme de Cafe' coffee shop closes

Midtown's Creme de Cafe expresso coffee shop is the latest victim of the financial crunch and competition. It abruptly closed its doors Wednesday (Oct. 29), leaving behind only "Sorry, we're closed" signs with sad-mouthed smiley faces.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said the owners owed back rent of at least $14,000, plus utility bills. Finally, he said, the city cut off its power Wednesday and Creme de Cafe, 3191 Middlefield Road at Loma Verde Avenue, served its final cup of coffee.

"They just couldn't compete any more for customers -- too many other options for people to go," the source said.

Hand-written notes are taped to the front and side doors/ "Sorry, we're closed," they say, next to sad-mouthed "smiley faces." Tables and chairs are visible in the darkened interior, as are all the coffee mugs and cappuccino machines. Cookies remain in the cookie jars.

"They left quickly," according to the source.

Two out of three young men sitting at an outside table Saturday afternoon said they worked there, and one -- Sho Murphy-Shigamatsu of Palo Alto -- still had the key to the door.

He and Alex Glenard, also of Palo Alto, said they had worked there about six months. They indicated money was coming in but clearly the shop needed more customers.

They said a number of customers -- perhaps 30 or 40 -- had active prepaid "coffee cards" with balances ranging from $12 to $25.

Charla Ender was unaware Creme de Cafe had closed as she walked up to the locked front door Saturday and tried to open it. "I'm shocked," she said.

"I've been coming here on the weekends for years. I still have my coffee card. It's got 15 dollars left on it. Now what?," she asked. Make that "owed" amount $14,015-plus.

Owner/Manager Chiara Basso could not be reached for comment on the sudden closure.

The coffee shop was a popular, low-key, neighborhood meeting place. It gained international fame in 1996 when, Harley, a small, affectionate cat who was a favorite of customers, mysteriously disappeared. Turns out Harley was accidentally shipped to Japan -- a case of mistaken identity.

After several months, dozens of phone calls and stacks of paperwork, Harley was returned to Palo Alto in an ultimate "The cat came back ..." story. But Creme de Cafe seems gone for good.

-- Daryl Savage

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by liz
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2008 at 4:26 pm

What a bummer. This was the nicest coffee shop in Palo Alto in my opinion. I'll miss you!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm

That's pretty sad. I used to go to this cafe often when I lived in the area, and I just went back to visit about two weeks ago.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 1, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Unfortunately, there will probably be a lot more companies going out of business and a lot more unemployed workers before this recession is over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2008 at 6:40 pm

This was like "The day the coffee died" for me and several of my friends and neighbors whom I had met at La Creme. We were among the group you'd see in the early mornings every weekday or the ones lingering for hours on weekend mornings. First off, no one made a better soy latte. The roasted beans were perfect which made the coffee strong but not biter. I recall when La Creme first appeared on the corner of Middlefield and Loma Verde when all of Midtown and South Palo Alto must have called the fire department one too many times about the smell of smoke until we came to know the regular roasting schedule and enjoyed the familiarity of a homey-bohemeian new business on an otherwise abandoned spot. It is from La Creme that I now have some of my new best friends who were simply friendly neighbors who enjoyed good conversation. We have Palo Alto Cafe, Peets and Cafe Sophia nearby and the corporate one who shall not be named. I would like anyone who cares about our neighborhoods to continue to support the small local businesses; it is what makes up the character of our town. Through the years, as much as I loved it, it became a bit of a dive. A Boheme-dive, but it was OUR Bohene-dive. Thanks to everyone who supported it to its dying day; I will miss seeing you all there (and your little dogs too.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2008 at 7:05 pm

No!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I just put an espresso machine on my Christmas list. I have been to La Creme almost every day for years. My kids have practically grown up there, and our previous dog spent many minutes waiting for me outside the door (the new one was just getting the hang of the routine). I made many friends, both behind the counter and customers -- all ages and stages. I'll miss my morning ritual and all the friendly faces.

Thanks to the many people (and 4-legged companions) who made La Creme part of my day for so many years: Davide, Alex, Adam, Harley, Dobin, Mike, Hayley, Marina, Hana, Giancarlo, Chiara, Grace, Alex, Carolyn, the many friendly faces whose names I didn't know, Stella, Ann, Bill, Tom, Jeff, big-headphones/bike guy, Eleanor, Judy, Nancy, Ann, Elyse, Alice, Maria, D.O.G., Georgie, Glen and daughters, Malcolm. . . I'm sure I'm forgetting some.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by harley fan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm

hey half-caf, you forgot harley the beloved cat who made la creme de cafe his home... i guess the store can now go live with harley up in the big coffee shop in the sky...

Web Link


Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joyce
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Oh. No. La Creme is where I'd toddle my then-baby daughter, sit her on the counter, and she'd politely request "Whipped cream, please." On Christmas, we'd take a break from opening presents and truck over in our PJs and get our coffees (and hot cocoa.)

La Creme is where my son works on his fear of dogs (thanks, DOG!), and where the girls get together. The folks who worked there were (and are) awesome, making us feel at home.

This neighborhood establishment will truly be missed by my whole family.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Malcolm
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 2, 2008 at 1:12 am

I lovcd this place and will miss it terribly. Sure, it wasn't exactly spotless, the floor was warped, the chairs inside were all either rickety or riddled with stains, houseflies danced in airborne circles all summer nearby while you waited in line, there seemed to be no heat or AC, cigarette smoke constantly wafted in from the outside, anyone over 5'6" tall had to duck under a wall hanging to get through the doorway leading to the bathroom and yes, there may have been a slight scent of raw sewage in the air around certain seats, but these factors all (except maybe the sewage smell) contributed to La Creme's charms.

I also loved that La Creme's clientele consisted almost entirely of people either under 25 or over 70. I guess when you're young you don't care about all the abovementioned shortcomings, and when you're old you don't notice.

As Jane noted, while the staff was subject to frequent turnover, La Creme always attracted great people behind the counter, folks who might not be as comfortable in a more corporate environment. They were always friendly, engaging and conscientious, and never gave me too much of a hard time when I interrupted their smoke breaks to ask for service.

I will hold on to my coffee card in the hopes, however small, that La Creme will open up for business again and I can claim my remaining cups of coffee. Otherwise, I will be saddened every time I pass by but still fondly recall the many hours I enjoyed while seated at the big table inside either working at the computer, drinking coffee or chatting with the dozens of staff members and fellow customers I've had the pleasure to meet over the years. Thanks so much - I'm sorry it had to end.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by D-O-G
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 2, 2008 at 1:58 am

WOOF !! Already missing all my buddies, aaaROOOOOOoooooo....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary Forman
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 4:46 am

I am a former resident of midtown, Layne Court, and spent a lot of time enjoying Creme de Cafe. I often took my favorite Dalmation, Pebbles, who recently passed away. (sniff, sniff)

Please tell me where that gang will gather again? Miss you all, especially with this election going on.

Mary Forman
visitpebbles@yahoo.com


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:45 am

Harley Fan,

Check the list again - I included Harley for sure! Also, I realized that I forgot Tracy and Chloe.

My friends are urging me to find out what the rent is. I make chocolates, but know nothing about making/roasting coffee. . .


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cy & Andrew
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 9:31 am

Oh d-o-g, we will miss you. May your mouth stay stuffed with bones and chewtoys and your amiable owners continue smiling.

Here's hoping for a miracle... and we meet again at Creme de. May this not be "the day that the coffee died".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 10:13 am

I had been a La Creme's customer since we moved to Mid Town in 1992. I like having a good coffee shop within walking distance to my house.

However, around 6-12 months ago something changed and the quality of the espresso went downhill. I tried it a few more times and stopped going there. In hindsight, I don't remember the smell of roasting coffee in the neighborhood either recently. I suspect there was a change of management or owners that cut back on the quality.

I hope something good replaces it. I had been a loyal customer and would like to see another local coffee shop replace it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by b.e.b.
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 10:49 am

I must be missing something. I tried Creme de Cafe several times over the last couple years since moving into the neighborhood and I was consistently given terrible coffee by rude, wannabe hippies. I can see thinking it'd be a cool place to hang out when I was 15, but now I'd much prefer quality and service. I'm hoping another shop moves in and becomes the neighborhood coffee shop I long to patronize.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Client since 1989. I'll miss it. but it is a fact that it was going downhill fast.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tall Size
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Hopefully a Starbucks or Peets will open up in the same spot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JIM
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Note to b.e.b: why don't you go to Starbucks where you apparently belong? I believe it's wannabe-hippy free and you can lick the floors there. Or perhaps you are just too cool for Starbucks? Creme de Cafe was a coffee shop with heart and soul and will be missed. They had the best quality coffee in midtown and the people you called "rude wannabe hippies" always gave us samples and were consistently kind and considerate. Our family is sad to see this place close.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Agree
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I agree with Jim, it would be great to see a Starbucks or Peets in that space.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Thre are enough carbon copy coffee shops in Palo Alto. This one was different. The coffee and tea were good and they were served in mugs, not paper cups.

Down with paper cups that make the coffee and tea taste of wax!! And down with plastic mugs that make the coffee and tea taste of plastic!! Give me china cups and pottery mugs everytime.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Anybody interested in gathering for a "wake" to say goodbye to a slice of our neighborhood?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Umm
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Last time I was in Starbucks, they gave me a ceramic mug for my in-store order. Doesn't Peet's do the same? Did Creme give ceramic mugs to go?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Well it's been little over 24 hrs since I first posted on this and find that the 'word on the street' is that there is true greiving going on. We lost friends and our place of belonging. When some comment about corporations, I want to point something out that I have only heard faint hints about the owners of La Creme and the fact that they moved outside of the U.S. and never took care of the business after they left town. The reasons are moot. Owning a business that you do not oversee on a regular basis is an insult to the community. The demise and lack of business was brought on by lack of living with the day to day of the business and looking your customers in the eyes. That is a business ethics issue. It was clear when they started out that they brought us to them by quality coffee, friendliness and welcoming rememberances of our names and favorite drinks. It was a feeling of affection that brought back customer loyalty. The illicit cat in a food/beverage establishment kept us all in the sly together and strengthened the bond of customer and businessmen. It really was a brilliant although unintended/non-deliberate bonding strategy. When the Harley story went national well then we all became master storytellers. We were there.
<Sigh>


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Geri
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 8:11 am

I used to walk there. It was a ritual, especially when I visited the dry cleaners.

For a long time scratching Harley behind the ears was a daily mission. I was devastated when he died.

Le Creme was a Midtown institution.

One more sad commentary on the independent and small business owner's struggle.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by b.e.b.
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:16 am

Hi JIM,

I'll attribute your rudeness to the pain you're feeling after losing a business you loved. I can certainly appreciate where you're coming from. If you actually read what I said, I *do* want a non-Starbucks coffee shop near my house, and the Creme de Cafe location would be perfect. I grew up with wonderful local coffee shops surrounding me, where I could get excellent coffee in a mug and have great conversations with the employees and regulars. And the employees, were *actual* hippies, so trust me, I'm not poopooing free spirits. ;) I'm glad you were treated so well at Le Creme. I'm saying I never was, not once, and I gave it half a dozen tries. The coffee was terrible to boot. I find the selection of local coffee places in this area (the Peninsula in general, not just Midtown Palo Alto) pretty pathetic, so I was more than thrilled to be close to both Le Creme, and then subsequently disappointed with the reality of the place. And I think you're projecting -- I never once commented on the cleanliness of Le Creme, or did I express a desire to lick any floors.

I hope you're having a better day today.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Derek & Tristan
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:22 am

As many here have pointed out, La Creme was definitely a Midtown institution. The staff were always kind to me, and I liked the fact that I had my own latte card and Tristan had his own dog-treat card. We walked there most every morning--there was something wonderful to me about seeing the same people every morning either jogging/walking with their dogs, or jogging/walking/biking solo, exchanging pleasantries and small talk with them, and so on. Because of my work schedule, I could only say hi to the "regulars" at Le Creme during the week, but I loved sitting with everyone on the weekends: whether the topic du jour was earth-shatteringly important or utterly trivial, everyone gave it their full attention! I understand things change and these sorts of things happen; still, I'm deeply saddened that Le Creme has gone. I really do think it was very special. Certainly I could be accused of being biased, but a friend who visited several years ago from Wisconsin loved Le Creme, and felt it was very special, too. When Harley died, she sent a few memorial items which remained on "Harley's shelf" at Le Creme. I will always remember the cafe with great fondness.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Andrew L. Freedman
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

I used to go there when it was Rich Made Donuts in the 60's. If I was younger with more energy, I'd lease the place and have 5 items on the menu:

Eggs
Toast
Hash browns (the real hash browns)
Orange Juice and
Coffee

Each item would be the absolute BEST. It would be so good that I'd have to get a special permit to have side walk tables going 2 blocks down Loma Verde.

Andy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 9:48 am

The owners of the store need to be tracked down and prosecuted for theft, if it is true that they own $14K back rent and utilities.
This is theft and no matter what a great coffee place it was, it does not excuse criminal behavior.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joey
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:02 am

Too bad there are not photos of the 'sad-mouthed smiley faces'. Isn't that an oxymoron?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jonathan
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:11 am

This was the best coffeehouse in Palo Alto, with good coffee, friendly staff, nice pastries, and good deals on the day-olds. It will be very sorely missed.

Though Andy's idea above is perfect. Sadly, it would be likely impossible due to greedy landlords and the resulting high rents ...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:22 am

I guess if it was "the best coffeehouse in Palo Alto", then the criminal behavior of it's owners can be excused.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will miss it!
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2008 at 10:38 am

But not the bugs always flying around in the food display cases.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Meric
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Really sorry to hear that...This is coming from someone who lives in Istanbul now...I know the place since the day it opened...must be 1986 or so...owner used be a cook that worked at Stanford...years later he sold the place....then it changed so many hands but the quality of the coffee remained the same...I used to drink that coffee every day, I got the coffee shipped to Istanbul so many times...I visit the area twice or so every year and that is the first stop after I rent the car at the SFO...so many memories...
I am really gonna miss it... :(


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ally
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Starbucks and Peets??? - There are already both of those within a few blocks of that spot. It's a shame this independent coffee shop had to be the one to be squeezed out by this economy. I hope some new owners will take over and put a little refurbishment money into it and reopen it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A regular shmo
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Ah, the arguing...makes me miss Brian, Bill and Gina sparing off there so often and leaving with smiles after a great converstion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A regular shmo
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Ah, the arguing...makes me miss Brian, Bill and Gina sparing off there so often and leaving with smiles after a great converstion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mose
a resident of University South
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Hey 'Tall size' and others who wish for a peets or starbucks in place of Creme de Cafe, be careful what you wish for. The logical outcome is a world bereft of individuality, in particular, of the quirky local places that give a neighborhood its character, and its denizens a sense of place. I guess you prefer home despot to real hardware stores, and costco to most anyplace, and couldnt care less that there are almost no independent drug stores left.

Tho I have moved away from midtown, my car still tugs me to this cafe when I pass by.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by you are right
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm

You are right, Mose, I do prefer Home Depot (or actually OSH) to most local hardware places. I went to the midtown hardware store to buy a fluorescent bulb a few weeks back; I laughed when they told me $9 and got it the next day at OSH for $5. On the other hand, I will shop at Barron Park Supply for plumbing parts if I need help, since they are so knowledgeable there and have very deep inventory.

As for Costco, I have trouble shopping there (too chaotic for me) though I find many people like the prices.

Quirky stores are nice, but not at such a steep price. Frankly I find the character of neighborhood comes more from its residents than its retailers. People should shop where they like, and let the retailers compete to serve them best.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NG
a resident of Hoover School
on Nov 3, 2008 at 5:43 pm



I liked the staff at the cafe,
I did not like the drug users and what looked like dealers who would hang out outside, you could smell the smoked drugs every afternoon, a very bad example for kids on their way back from school.

This drug matter was obviously tolerated by the owners,
I reported it to the staff many time and asked them to get the owners to do something, no action was taken, I should have called the PAPD.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by former resident
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2008 at 8:27 pm

I just moved away from Palo Alto in August. I loved to stop at this coffee shop and did so for years, especially in the winter months. I loved their chai tea. I never smelled any wacky tobaccy being smoked there, else I would have asked for a hit!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pro Babysitter
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Nov 3, 2008 at 11:13 pm

If anyone is ever forced to go down to LA you should check out Java Man in Hermosa Beach - it has a great indy vibe and is in a funky old little house near the beach.

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Happy
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2008 at 11:50 am

I won't miss all the drugged out kids smoking on the patio!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Harley the Cat
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm


To the non believers:
There were those who understood what La Creme stood for and those who could never get it. This place took me in and it loved me, despite the challenges. These were my friends, my soul mates, the very few free spirited, anti-Starbucks elite left in Palo Alto today. This was my home, and if you could look past its tattered exterior, you could see it's history, feel the significance, the way it touched so many lives. It wasn't the coffee that brought us together, it was our commonality, the quirk in us all. Come all outcastes, come the abandoned, come the irritated, the old, the depressed, the hungry, the poor, come those who could not belong at home or at work or at school or in life. Because here is where you belonged. Here you are welcomed. Here is so many faces I will never forget, who excepted me, despite the fact I was a cat in a coffee shop. Despite that I pranced around this place where you purchased your food and drink, I was welcomed and loved, as was everyone.
If you don't get it you don't get it. And too many didn't get it. And that's why La Crème now joins me, Harley, in the world beyond. But friends, we will meet again. Around a latte, or a cup of joe, and I will bask in the sun while you scratch behind my ear and I ease drop on your discussions and debates of the world, and politics and life. And we will laugh at the neigh-sayers. Until then, goodbye friends….

~ Harley the cat


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Starbucks and Costco pay decent salaries and benifits. Oh, and they pay their rent too.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 4, 2008 at 9:24 pm

OK, I'm seriously considering planning a "wake" gathering outside La Creme for all the regulars, occasionals, and the many workers recent and not-so-recent to say goodbye to a slice of our neighborhood. I envision us sharing some baked goods (potluck-style) and raising our empty coffee cups to fond memories, warm conversations, much-needed caffeine, and the ever-changing, quirky place that was La Creme.

Who's in? Weekday morning or weekend morning?

Post here or email LaCremeWake at gmail dot com and email to your La Creme friends to do the same.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Nov 4, 2008 at 10:02 pm

A lot of these places under report their earnings; depriving our county, state, and federal government taxes. I know a tiny restaurant that makes 4 thousand just during lunch and report that they make less than 400 a day.

In one restuarant in Cupertino, we were told that they would accept cash only. No way to trace how much money is made. This place was packed on a mid-day on Saturday. It was clear that they could easily make over 10,000 a day.

We refuse to spend our money at these kinds of mom and pop places that grossly under report their earnings.

The tax board does not have enough staff to investigate each of these little places that are suspect. It is a huge loss to federal revenue too.

If you patronize one of these places you are contributing to their wealth - often at the expense of underpaid undocumented workers.
Many owners of these establishments have homes in other countries and launder money.

I don't know if this was the case here, but it is the case with many of these little restaurants and businesses.

This is a nationwide problem.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Girl
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Resident - how do you know that the businesses you boycott are evading taxes? Rumor? Stereotype? Or are you actually privy to their tax filings? If you KNOW something, then of course you are right to avoid patronizing them. But there are small business owners (like me) who report every penny, but most of us are profoundly struggling in these difficult economic times. While my business does accept credit cards, we pay a high price to the banks for doing so. I can understand a small business not accepting credit in effort to keep their costs down to their customers. But the fact that they do not, does not in and of itself mean that they are not reporting all of their income. While it is fair and right to patronize businesses that earn your business with great products and services, it is absolutely unfair to the rest of us to jump to conclusions about all small businesses based on rumors or assumptions about other(s).

Even under the best economic circumstances, it is difficult for us to compete for customers with the big chains. Not only do they procure the lowest prices on products that they sell you at HUGE profit, but they are able to write their own leases and push out budding entrepreneurs from their own communities. Small businesses, on the other hand, have the opportunity to get to know their neighbors in a very personal way and give back to their communities, and as so many mentioned in this blog, they ABSOLUTELY give neighborhoods character and bring people together.

Hats off to La Creme for it's long and fascinating history and for the mark it made in Midtown. My condolences to the gang who will miss it - - hopefully you will not have to succumb to the big chain in your quest for a good cup and some good conversation.

And by the way, anyone who wants a great cup of coffee roasted by one of La Creme's former roasters from way back when, (and a great place to hang out) go see Nima at Clocktower Coffee in Mountain View.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Long,longtime customer
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I think that the neighbors - those who were regular customers of La Creme, and those who occasionally stopped by - should try to organize a new lease and new management for the cafe. The location is ideal, the parking ample, outdoor seating plus the nearby deli for a sandwich lunch, make the place a really popular hang-out; it has much, much more appeal, atmosphere and just plain sunshine than any of the other local cafes. It could be a perfectly viable business, if run properly by someone with initiative and a good work ethic. It could be cleaned up, made a bit more attractive, and run more efficiently while still keeping its laid-back charm. We should try contacting the owners in Italy, and see what could be done. How about it, everybody? Shouldn't we try to do something to save our nice cafe corner?


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Posted by Soy-a-nara
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2008 at 10:02 pm

They owe too much $$$ you would not want to buy into a bad business. Better to start you own. I hear the landlord at that entire corner there is not doing much towards routine upkeep either.
1)Crabby staff and the liquor store
2)Deli is so-so but could work to keep the outdoor area cleaner.
3)Laundromat has broken machines.
4)Dry cleaners are very nice and I like that they switched to the non chemical cleaning process.
5)La creme would be very viable if someone had the $ to upgrade the floor, plumbing, deck patio overhangs and light fixtures, appliances, seating, landscaping and the horrible painting on the building.


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Posted by Change is Everywhere
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2008 at 8:52 am

It looks as if Creme de Cafe is the past.
What is the future??

A favorite table at Palo Alto Cafe? ... or at Sophia's ??
(I'd assume Starbuck's or Peet's would be wrong... but maybe not (?))


 +   Like this comment
Posted by T Bird
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 6, 2008 at 9:27 am

Ok, here is is December now and there just is not as good a coffee place around. No better coffee in the first place, no better amount of outdoor seating.... the lament goes on.... but I found a bag of La Creme beans in my freezer! Gold.
We can all do better to not spend 3 to 4 + $ on a stupid cup of coffee and maybe this really came at a good time to force us to save. It's also about the place in general, the central hang out with enough seating outdoors. Maybe we need a kiosk at the duck pond. Now, there's a happy place.
T Bird


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Posted by Elyse Feldman
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Dec 22, 2008 at 9:39 am

Wow, Great News. La Creme is coming back, won't be called La Creme, it will be Philz Coffee Shop, they own three in San Francisco and one will open in San Jose and our old location. You can check it out at Philz Coffee, San Francisco. I wrote to Phil and he got back to me and said he is very excited and expects to be open in one to two months, and he wants it to be very homey and friendly, etc. He sounds like quite an interesting man. So happy about this news. Fondly, Elyse Feldman (ce@feldmanshome.com)


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Posted by Happy Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2009 at 11:57 am

Best news this year! Hope Philz keeps it a laid-back, cozy place with friendly employees and lots of outdoor seating! Why not call it "Philz Creme de Cafe"? Anyhow, we are all waiting with bated breath for the moment when our cafe RE-OPENS! Hurrah!


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Posted by Julian
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 13, 2009 at 6:10 pm

They're going at it full speed. I can hardly wait to have a neighborhood place again. I've been sorely missing La Creme - missed the wake too, since it was scheduled while I was away at a conference. Wonder who'll be working there.


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Posted by half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 13, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Julian (and everyone),

I emailed Philz last week and got an almost-immediate, lovely response. I welcomed them to the neighborhood and made a suggestion that they reach out to the La Creme employees. They (Phil?) replied that some of the La Creme staff had already reached out to _them_, so they're in contact.

Another friend of mine also emailed them, suggesting they carry some vegan things. Again, the response was quick, friendly, and informative. They do carry vegan items (including donuts).

The phoenix rises. . .

Anyone know what happened to the Harley statue that was in the planter area with the rosebushes? Hope someone's keeping it and that it didn't get tossed.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Sorry you missed the "wake", Julian.


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Posted by Julian
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 16, 2009 at 12:18 am

Maybe we should have an anti-wake when Philz openz...
:-)


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Posted by half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

Abzolutely, Julian. Perhaps a "shower". . .


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Posted by Julian
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2009 at 11:37 am

The place was open yesterday so I looked in, and found Phil watching the wireless being installed. We got to chat for a while, and I got to see the new, roomier interior. He said maybe ten days until opening. After meeting him I'm *really* looking forward to having his place in the neighborhood.


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Posted by Half-Caf, Nonfat Latte/Jane
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm

It is looking spiffy! Looking forward to seeing everyone there.


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Posted by aficionado
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Wow! It DOES look spiffy now! Apparently it will open next Monday (3/3) and we can't wait! Even if it rains, we'll be there!


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Posted by reuben
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2009 at 12:45 am

this cafe has been so seriously abused by THIEF employees that i have the first hand information on it. MANY times i approached the owner and/or the landlord to sell this place to me so i can make it a successful and sightly business; no cooperation or willingness.
boooom! finally they hit the dust. sorry to see them go in misery but they built up their "future" in the "past"!


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Posted by sima
a resident of University South
on Sep 12, 2009 at 12:47 am

i have been to this shop recently. it is quit expensive. i don't think i want to visit them again:(


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