NEW BLOOMIES UNDERWAY AT MALL ... A new Bloomingdale's is scheduled to open at Stanford Shopping Center later this year. It will be located in the former parking lot in front of the current Bloomingdale's, which will remain open until the new three-story building is completed, according to a source familiar with the construction.
Plans then call for the older building to be demolished to make way for a cluster of small stores. "We're shooting for an October opening. The store will have about the same square footage as it does now, but the new Bloomingdale's will be taller and narrower," the source said.
TWO NEWCOMERS, FOUR GONERS DOWNTOWN ... Lots of movement lately in downtown Palo Alto. Brand-new to University Avenue is Marine Layer, a San Francisco-based clothing store that opened last month at 435 University.
It initially came to Palo Alto as a holiday pop-up store but now looks like it may be a keeper.
"We'll be at this location for at least a couple more months," Marine Layer marketing director Meg Williams said, adding: "We'll see how our sales do, but we're very excited we finally found a spot in Palo Alto."
This is Marine Layer's third store in the Bay Area. The company, which also has locations in Venice, Calif., and Portland, Ore., says all of its clothing uses 100 percent California-made fabric. Another fairly new business downtown is Infinite Beauty, a skin-care shop at 267 University. The menu for facials has prices ranging from $50 for a 20-minute eye treatment to more than $500 for a "Platinum Facial."
Among businesses that will no longer grace the street, at least for now, is Rudy's Pub, whose last day in business was Jan. 1. The pub was a 50-plus-year fixture in Palo Alto that was a throwback to the 1960s, according to one patron who described himself as a regular named Joe.
"I don't go for fancy. Rudy's has everything I need. They know me. I know them. Just grab me a beer," he said.
Pub owner Megan Kawkab said some her "regulars" have been coming to Rudy's for 45 years.
"I'm going to miss this place. I know every square inch of every nook and cranny," Kawkab said. But she also expressed optimism. "We hope to reopen just down the street in six months, maybe less. I can't tell you exactly where yet, but it will be on University Avenue," she said.
And although Rudy's is gone, its sister restaurant, The Patio, which opened in 2011, will remain in business at 412 Emerson St. Also gone is Mango Caribbean, a Jamaican-style restaurant at 435 Hamilton Ave. Best known for its jerk chicken, it closed in November after eight years in business. Empire Vintage Clothing, which sold clothing and costumes from the 1940s through the '80s, closed its doors last week at 443 Waverley St. and will be opening later this month in Mountain View, at 831 Villa St.
"My rent went up by 35 percent. There's just not enough foot traffic anymore to justify that increase. There are too many restaurants downtown and people don't come here to shop like they used to," Empire Vintage owner Tiffany Gush said. She said the move to Mountain View is a prudent one because "The rent is cheaper, and the space is bigger."
And the 65-year-old art supply and gift store University Art announced that it plans to close its 267 Hamilton Ave. location this spring and move to Redwood City.