HALF-PRICED PASTRIES, IF YOU'RE LUCKY ... It's never announced ahead of time -- a sign is simply slapped on the front door, usually at night, and usually if there are a lot of surplus pastries left. "It's pretty random," said a cashier at Paris Baguette, 383 University, Palo Alto, describing how the downtown bakery will sell its food items, such as green pea bread, sweet rice donuts or coffee buns, for half price at arbitrary times. "People are surprised when we do it. When that half-price sign goes up in the front, things move pretty fast. Customers love it," she said.
FITNESS STUDIO EYES EDGEWOOD PLAZA ... A new fitness studio that combines group exercise with high-intensity interval training is scheduled to open in Palo Alto's renovated Edgewood Plaza near Embarcadero Road and U.S. Highway 101. Orangetheory Fitness, a franchise based in Florida, was started in 2009 and now has 200 locations. "There's nothing else like it in this area," said Kendall Riding, a Bay Area native who, along with her two partners, plans to open an Orangetheory in Palo Alto this fall. "We chose Edgewood Plaza because this particular shopping center is a neighborhood-serving center. Plus, it's a great location because of its proximity to the highway, and it has a big parking lot," Riding said. A former real estate developer, Riding, who lives in San Francisco, says that Palo Alto was her first choice for the new business. "Assuming we make it through a few more hurdles, it looks like it will be an October or November opening," Riding said. Following the city-permit process, Orangetheory will join Fresh Market and Chase Bank at Edgewood Plaza, with other new tenants expected to sign on soon.
ANATOLIAN KITCHEN DOUBLES ITS SPACE ... It took a little longer than expected, but the Mediterranean restaurant, Anatolian Kitchen, 2323 Birch St., Palo Alto, is nearly finished with its expansion. Once the adjacent building is completed, it will add about 1,000 square feet to the existing restaurant, which will just about double its current size. The additional space is in the former site of Ramona's Pizza, which closed unexpectedly in May 2013. Owner Dino Tekdemir, who opened Anatolian Kitchen in 2010, will be adding a banquet room to the new structure. "We're also going to have live music on the weekends and belly dancers," he said, adding there will be a new bar menu and happy hour. The grand opening of the newly renovated space will likely be in July, according to Tekdemir.
PHILZ TO MAKE A SPLASH IN SANTA MONICA ... Philz Coffee, which started in San Francisco in 2003 and has two popular locations in Palo Alto, continues its explosive growth with the announcement that it is opening its first store in Southern California. "We've gotten so many requests on social media to open a shop in that area. We decided on Santa Monica because its culture of innovation and technology is similar to what we have here in the Bay Area. It's going to be a great fit," said Philz CEO Jacob Jaber. Scheduled to open next month, Philz Santa Monica will bring the total number of Philz cafes to 15. Additionally, Philz has been serving its coffee on all Virgin America flights since 2011.
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