Original post made
by nat, Midtown,
on Feb 26, 2013
If you look back a week or two I think you will find a post talking about this. I believe they said it was rant increased, just the cost of doing business in Midtown. I'd hate to open a business in Midtown and have be held ransom by these landlords there.
Does anyone know who or what companies own what properties in Midtown and what their rents are relative to other commercial space in the area?
The article recently published was "Shop Talk: Burgers, bison and more", the relevant passage:
CAFE SOPHIA CLOSES
It's the end of the line for Midtown Palo Alto's cozy Afghani restaurant. Cafe Sophia at 2706 Middlefield Road closed on Feb. 12 after a nearly eight-year run. Owner Sophia Omar, who had a significant presence in her restaurant, has had a long history in Palo Alto. She started Sophia's Cafe in Charleston Shopping Center more than a decade ago, serving coffee and pastries in the small space that Peet's Coffee now occupies. Omar, saddened by the closure of her cafe, politely declined to give details or be interviewed for this story. The restaurant is dark and locked, awaiting a new tenant.
By the way, one of my favorite places also recently closed ... Hobee's in Town & Country. I believe it was due to rent increases.
I remember the days when a PALY student could go to the Cheese House and get a sandwich, better than the ones today, and a drink for $2.10 because that is what my lunch money used to be when I was there. There is no reasonable place to eat for kids these days ... the used to at least have Town & Country Market, but that is long gone now.
Apparently it is a case of skyrocketing rent that few can afford. How much do Palo Alto landlords think they can rent out these old musty buildings for, anyway. You can only cheat so many peopleso many times!
Higher rents force restaurants to charge higher prices to their customers. Some types of restaurants, especially family restaurants and ethnic restaurants, just cannot justify those prices and thus go out of business. Ever wonder why Mountain View and Sunnyvale restaurants are so much more diverse than here in Palo Alto? Blame the greedy Palo Alto landlords. My family drives down to Mountain View half the time just because of the diversity.
I'm sad to hear of their closing. Sophia's had good food. I used to live in Midtown so I had more occasion to go, but I live on the other side of town now. I tried to bring my parents and friends in December, but they were closed. Next visit with my wife, we went next door to Indochine (Web Link), which also has good food (I'm partial to #76 Egg Plant Khee Mao), but now I feel bad that we didn't go to Sophia's to help her stay open. Still my once or twice a year patronage wouldn't make or break her business. I wish her good luck in her next venture.
There are a lot of good shops and restaurants in that area. Mike's was a favorite for weekend brunch or any dinner, and Peninsula Hardware folks are always helpful, to name a couple. Last year I brought Gary, of the hardware store, a photo I'd taken of a Peninsula Hardware in Tasmania (Web Link).
I am so sad about cafe Sophia's . I liked her. I liked her Buffett.
She cooked healthy food with exotic spices instead of just salt and
Sugar as a hook. I could put my main dish on a bed of lettuce.
I loved her hummus and Afghan yogart , her carrot rice and her
Chicken suuces. Lunch was only 10, dollars for a Buffett , which
Is when I started going there regularly. Plus, there was a lovely
Atmosphere with ethnic decorations.
Peace and love to you and your family, Sophia .