Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - November 12, 2010

Shop Talk

by Daryl Savage 

HAMILTON NEWCOMERS ... A couple of new businesses have popped up on Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto. Both have a spa quality: One is specifically for feet and is owned by a podiatrist; the other is a more traditional spa and is owned by an esthetician. Podiatrist Brynn Ewen recently opened Stride Wellbeing for Your Feet at 512 Hamilton. The concept is that one's quality of life depends largely on the health of the person's feet. With that in mind, the business combines podiatric medical and surgical services with a medical spa dedicated to feet. The broad menu includes general podiatric medicine as well as foot massage and reflexology. Half a block away is Parasol Beauty Atelier, which opened Nov. 9 at 470 Hamilton. Formerly a vintage costume boutique called Trappings of Time, the 1,000-square-foot shop has been gutted for its transformation to a day spa. Owner Julice Chea, who had previously worked at Juut, another downtown salon, made the leap to create Parasol. "My dream was always to open my own day spa. And I couldn't ask for a better location. I'm fortunate to be downtown and have an established clientele that I built up at Juut," she said. Parasol offers skin care, waxing and makeup. Prices are nothing to blink at. A set of tattooed eyebrows run $750. "People appreciate top-quality work," Chea said.

NEW PHARMACY DRAWS CROWDS ... More than 300 people showed up at last week's grand opening of Menlo Park's newest store. Pharmaca at 871 Santa Cruz Ave. bills itself as an integrative pharmacy with a diverse product selection in its 4,700-square-foot building. The opening featured free massages, free flu shots and free goodie bags that were gone in a few hours, according to store manager Susan Joslin. The drug store occupies the former space of Xanadu Gallery, a folk-art gallery and jewelry store. In addition to conventional medicine and licensed pharmacists, Pharmaca also offers holistic and alternative therapies. "Our distinctive concept provides our customers with an opportunity to manage their own health care," CEO and President Mark Panzer said. The pharmacy is the Boulder-based company's 23rd store in the Western U.S. and its 10th in the Bay area.

A HOME FOR TALENT ... For those artsy folks waiting to be discovered, help is on the way. Talenthouse, a year-old networking website that matches artists with artists, has opened an office in Palo Alto. The former Jungle Copy building at 542 High St. has also been remodeled for performances. Talenthouse is the brainchild of Amos Pizzey, a British recording artist and advertising executive. "Coming up first as an artist then as a producer in the music industry, I saw so many talented young people that had no way of being seen and heard. For us, the Internet is the ultimate tool for them to create, collaborate and liberate their art for all time," Pizzey said. The High Street location will provide an actual space for creative people to come together, said Vice President Frederik Hermann. "We're looking forward to having live art and music events," he said. Talenthouse's first event will likely take place before the end of the year.

Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. She can be e-mailed at shoptalk@paweekly.com. 

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