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Turn Bar & Grill, coming soon to Los Altos

Uploaded: Jun 1, 2015
Two lifelong Los Altos residents, one who has long dreamed of opening his own restaurant, are behind Turn Bar & Grill, a casual, modern American restaurant opening in downtown Los Altos this month.

Jim and Julie Otis were both born and raised in Los Altos. Later in life, when they first met, Jim was working as a bartender at The Crow's Nest Restaurant in Santa Cruz. But his family business was elsewhere (publishing), so working in the restaurant world took a backseat.

Now, with their children grown and out of the house, the couple is finally pursuing Jim's dream. They snagged the large corner space at 295 Main St. (the former home of AG Ferrari Italian Foods) in October and found numerous investors to back the project, including the president and CEO of Intero Real Estate, Gino Blefari (who is also a Los Altos resident).

The restaurant is named for the couple's personal turn, or change in direction, but also for diners.

"This is definitely a change in the direction of his career," Julie said of her husband. "But for our customers it means it's an opportunity to switch gears and relax from a hectic day, meet with friends and have fun."

Julie said the concept behind Turn is "taking modern classics and reinventing them." There is, of course, an emphasis on farm to table, and all produce, meat, seafood and cheeses are locally sourced. Menu items will look like Alaskan halibut with roasted corn, tomato and roasted pepper puree; grilled Angus t-bone steak with an egg on top and sautéed spinach; braised short ribs, a Niman Ranch beef burger and a modern wedge salad.

Turn will also have a full bar. Juices for cocktails will all be made in house, Julie said. Enjoy Turn's "spa water" (gin, lemon and lime) or a sparkling white peach martini outside along Main Street, where there will be patio seating.

And most notably, perhaps, for Los Altos diners, the restaurant will stay open until 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

"We've heard a big complaint that after 9 o' clock nobody serves dinner. Where do you go? We're going to hopefully wake up the sleepy town," Julie said.

Turn's executive chef is Tom Lucero, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy with 30-plus years of experience at restaurants like McCormick & Schmicks, The Cheesecake Factory, YardHouse, Ruby Restaurant group and Black Angus Steakhouse in Los Altos.

Julie said they're aiming to open the week of June 15, with a soft opening the week before. They'll start with dinner and then add lunch, as well as weekend brunch.
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Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Turn and Cetrella are going to finally give some dining competition to Los Altos Grill. Without a reservation, the wait at LAG is often upwards of 60 minutes. I'm so glad to hear that people will get some alternatives in Los Altos. Although, no corkage fee at LAG is pretty hard to beat.

Posted by Dave Thompson, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

A new bar like this is going to be great for the area. I've been looking for a new place to try and Turn seems like the perfect place to try out. Most restaurants are only open till the latest 10 PM so staying open till 11 is going to definitely give this place a leg up on the competition. Web Link

Posted by Los Altan, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm

And now it's closed.

Posted by Los Altan, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Turn Bar & Grill? We hardly knew ye.

Posted by Los Altan, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

I guess business took a Turn for the worse.

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