ALISON BAKERY OPENS ... Alison Bakery at 4131 El Camino Real in Palo Alto has been attempting to create a stronger sense of community with its food and services since it opened in July. With the bakery sandwiched between a Subway and a Starbucks, owner Fred Alison recognizes that many similar products are offered nearby, he said. He hopes to rectify this by offering an on-site baker, Ken Wilson, who makes baked goods fresh every morning. The bakery offers muffins, apple fritters, cookies and brownies, and a selection of such dessert pastries as eclairs and slices of cake. Wilson also creates special-order cakes for events such as birthdays and business meetings. Alison Bakery makes sandwiches for lunch as well. The bakery is talking with the Palo Alto Unified School District for an upcoming event, hoping to serve up to 400 students. For more about the bakery, call 650-494-3900.
PARIS IN PALO ALTO ... The international chain Paris Baguette recently opened at 383 University Ave. in Palo Alto. The location is managed by Toby Yi and Ted Kim, previous managers of the Santa Clara location for the past three-and-a-half years. Paris Baguette opens amidst a slew of coffee shops and bakeries in downtown Palo Alto; setting itself apart could prove to be challenging, but Yi said he has no worries. "We've had a strong reception," he said, noting that customers are already regularly filling the new cafe and that the early feedback on Yelp has been positive. Paris Baguette will offer Ritual Coffee and an array of Parisian baked goods, including the typical croissants, choux cream pastries and egg tarts as well as the lesser-known conch pies and chocolate feuilletees. Go to parisbaguetteusa.com or call 650-838-0404.
CPK 2.0 ...The Stanford Shopping Center outpost of the California Pizza Kitchen, once a "fast casual" version with a limited menu, reopened this week as a full-service restaurant. The menu is now complete with a few new additions, including crispy mac 'n' cheese, artichoke and broccoli soup, and caramelized peach salad, said Erin Murphy, director of public relations. To mark the expansion, the Stanford CPK will donate 50 percent of its dine-in sales during regular business hours on Oct. 11 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula in East Palo Alto. More about the chain is at cpk.com.