News

Happy Donuts to reopen under new management Thursday

Popular Palo Alto store to have new operator

When Palo Alto's Happy Donuts abruptly announced its closure last week, fans feared the end of an era. But now they can rejoice. The doughnut shop will reopen under new management starting this Thursday, June 12.

New operator Dan Lu said he has owned the shop at 3916 El Camino Real for some time. Lu's daughter Ling and son John ran the shop. When they left to go to college, Lu leased the store to former employees Gerald Pak and Soknea Hort, who knew how to make the doughnuts the Happy Donuts way, he said.

But the two families couldn't come to a new lease agreement, so Lu is back to running the store again, he said. Customers can expect the same recipes and the same 24/7 service, he added.

"We will have a quality doughnut and very clean upgrades. We may change the food menu a bit to have a better product," he said.

Lu has been in the doughnut business for many years, starting in Los Angeles in 1983, he said. His family still runs a doughnut shop in Yucca Valley in San Bernardino County.

Lu also runs another Happy Donuts across from AT&T Park in San Francisco. Happy Donuts shops throughout the region are individually owned and operated. Lu purchased his shop in Palo Alto from the firm's original owner, Joe Carouba, he said.

Lu said he does not own the 3916 El Camino building.

Hort and Pak will operate another Happy Donuts in San Jose, they said.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Happy donuts has a great selection of coffee .. and their bear claws are the best around. This is capital news!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm

All I want to know is what time will they open on Thursday?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hahahahaha
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Is anyone else seriously laughing at this faux closing?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wilaloboez
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

1 word--TYBG


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:30 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jame
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:59 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:01 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Richard
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:04 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by nobody
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:16 am

Gerald and Sokia are pretty cool, and hard working with kids. Ling, John, and Dan are also good people. The problem I saw was the quality of homeless guys took a nose dive over the past couple years. One guy kept bringing his bicycle inside, another "responsible" one could never figure out how to do the extension cords for the laptops. And at least one other homeless homesteader looked over the studious beautiful girls in a way that made them uncomfortable.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pa kid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:46 am

This whole thing seems like a SCAM to me. Their abrupt announcement to "close" forever brought in 30 times more customers than they would usually get in the span of a few days. I saw what it was like in there -- people were in lines, clearing the shelves, ordering things they normally wouldn't get... In just a few days Happy Donuts sold a TON of donuts and other products, made headlines in the news, and made everyone feel nostalgic and crave Happy Donuts more. That got them a ton of money, free advertisement, and a whole city with a newfound love and respect for this place. And now, what, they're OPEN again? How convenient!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2014 at 3:40 am

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2014 at 7:24 am

SteveU is a registered user.

It would probably take Judge Judy to get to the bottom of what REALLY happened at HD.
All I hope is the quality and hours remain (and the prices do not approach 'Gourmet' level.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Seriously, Kids
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oh, for heaven's sake...
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Oh, for heavens sake. Give it a rest. Happy Doughnuts is a nice little neighborhood-serving business, and I am glad to see them stay here. I don't really care to read unbased,speculative comments on why things MIGHT have rolled out the way they did. We'll never know...and who cares? Time to close this silly thread.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Founder Daughter
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Yes, Happy Donut is under new management. The owner is taking back the business because the contract for the former family has ended. This has nothing to do with gready landlords or increase in rent. There was a contract and the family canceled the contract when they refused to continue making payments. As former employees of the owner, they were given a second chance to become successful (after their five finger employee discount incident). Now, they want a third chance. The owner has refused and now the two families are in court. Sadly it should not have come to this if some people had appreciated a helping hand.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by perspectives
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm

I'm not so sure they made scads more money after announcing the closing. When I went in on Friday morning, the shelves were bare and they weren't going to be making anymore donuts. The announcement of their closure was only 2 days earlier. If this was a ploy to get a lot of money, they missed the mark.

Regardless, very happy to have my donuts back!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by H
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Yes! This is happy news! 24-hour donuts. It's like the happiest phrase ever.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 3rd Generation
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm

[Post removed.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dan White
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm

YES!

Best part of the story -
"We may change the food menu a bit to have a better product."

The donuts were always good, but improved food is going to be awesome!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

Since everyone is going to say it anyway, just stopped by to be the first to say the donuts used to be better, even though they were what the guy taking wanted them to be before and now.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 pm

@ Sparty

Dude your a Buzzkill. Who does not like doughnuts? Just be happy that it is still open.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Whether it was willful or due to journalistic ineptitude, the Weekly's coverage of Happy Donuts closing is...wait for it...an unethical subsidy for the landlord...

See also:

Notice Regarding Bankruptcy: Debtor's Store Closing or Going-Out-of-Business Sales 11 USC 101 et seq. - To give notice to the California Attorney General of a motion or other bankruptcy proceeding that seeks authority for a debtor's store closing or going-out-of-business sales, present service to:

Consumer Law Section, Attn: Bankruptcy Notices
California Attorney General's Office
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000
San Francisco, CA 94102-7004

Molly Stump should look into this and take appropriate action. (Beyond ordering a box of jelly filled to go...)

Also, why don't you report on the name of the building owner? Apparently the residents circulated this info...

Bad reporter, no donut!!!!

The owners of this property must be in a coffee klatch with the people who run Alma Plaza...

The Maguffin here was the number of people who asked, at the fake closing, what would happen to the giant donut fixture and were told that it would stay with the property....D'oh!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm

If not Molly Stump, then at least Minne and Moo:

Web Link

I might have to do a little additional reporting myself.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Truedy
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

Pa kid--it's funny and almost sad that you think the closure was all a scam to make people purchase things they normally would not. If people felt compelled to over-purchase, it was their choice for their own personal reason -- greed, desperation, or just sentimentality. We're talking about donuts here, not water, gas, or Pokemon cards. Maybe the newly found love is a good thing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Raised glazed, maple frosted cake, plain old-fashioned, each tastes the same as before.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Duquesne
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:12 am

I think the doughnuts are now a little greasier--made me nauseous.


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