In the latest Shop Talk retail column, news about San Francisco-based luxury consignment shop The RealReal opening in downtown Palo Alto and casual Vietnamese restaurant Tam Tam closing its doors.
THE REALREAL MOVES INTO CHEESECAKE FACTORY … The RealReal, a San Francisco-based company that got its start selling consigned luxury goods online, was set to quietly open the doors of its new 4,300-square-foot shop in a portion of the former Cheesecake Factory at 379 University Ave. in downtown Palo Alto on Friday morning with temperature checks and limited capacity. Under normal circumstances, there would have been much more fanfare — and most likely a long line of customers — celebrating the newest shop from a company that has transformed the second-hand shopping experience. Company spokeswoman Megan Zamiska said shoppers looking for a discount on luxury brands will be able to find clothing, shoes, accessories and handbags from brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. The store also carries fine jewelry, watches, art, home goods and furniture: "Everything" in the store is for sale, even the couch that you might be sitting on, Zamiska said. Those looking to buy or sell items can consult with gemologists, handbag experts, resales specialists and valuation managers available on site to provide complimentary valuations and expertise on resale values. The store also offers repair services for handbags, shoes, jewelry and watches. The merchandise at the Palo Alto store has been specifically selected based on local shopping trends, Zamiska said. Men's bags, for example, are a big focus in Palo Alto. One of the more unique items for sale at the store is an $18,000 Hermes Togo kelly Galop Retourne 28 handbag that was released as part of a special edition equestrian series. Founded in 2011, The RealReal has grown into one of the largest online marketplaces for authenticated, consigned luxury items. The new store is part of the company's push to expand its reach offline and comes at a time when Zamiska said more people seem to be putting items on consignment. Since the shutdown in March, the company has experienced a 27% increase in new consignors and has handled 35,000 virtual appointments from those looking to consign. "A lot of people are cleaning out their closets with this new found time," she said. The company also has locations in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. — L.T.
TAM TAM CLOSES ITS DOORS ... The owners of Tamarine announced that their more casual Vietnamese spinoff Tam Tam , opened in downtown Palo Alto last fall, will be closing this weekend. Tanya Hartley and Tammy Huynh decided to not renew their lease at 140 University Ave., they wrote in an Instagram post. Tam Tam's last day will be this Sunday, Nov. 15. The sisters and co-owners opened Tam Tam last September, wanting to bring a more casual, less expensive and "strictly Vietnamese" restaurant to the area. The large corner space has seen numerous restaurants come and go over the years. Before Tam Tam, the space was occupied by Opa Authentic Greek Cuisine, Palo Alto Grill, the short-lived alkymists and Miyake.Hartley said the coronavirus shutdown has been hard for the relatively new restaurant, which initially shifted to takeout only in the spring and then resumed outdoor and indoor dining more recently — though with only two outdoor tables. Reopening the dining room didn't help much, Hartley said, because Tam Tam hadn't been open long enough pre-pandemic to develop an established customer base. "COVID made it hard for our future in Palo Alto," Hartley said.hey're hoping to find a new space for Tam Tam in the area, Hartley said. In the meantime, they plan to offer a few Tam Tam dishes down the street at Tamarine, which is open for indoor and outdoor dining. The sisters are also still planning to open a fast-casual Vietnamese eatery in Mountain View. — E.K.
Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Linda Taaffe and Elena Kadvany. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email [email protected].