BACON IN A BOTTLE ... Imagine this: soda that tastes like bacon. "And if you add a little salt, it tastes exactly like a crisp strip of sizzling bacon," claims the owner of Rocket Fizz, a soda/candy/toy store that's preparing to open at 250 University Ave. in Palo Alto. San Jose resident Chris Dunn, who co-owns the store with his wife, Lisa Pelgrim, says Rocket Fizz is a step back in time. The inventory includes 1,500 different candies, 60 types of saltwater taffy and at least 500 flavors of soda. "The nostalgia aspect here is big. It brings you back to your childhood," Dunn said. The Palo Alto store will be the couple's second Rocket Fizz franchise. "We opened a store in Campbell last June. It's been so successful and fun that we wanted to bring it to Palo Alto," he said. In addition to the dizzying array of candy and the unusual variety of beverages, which also includes buffalo-wing soda and cotton-candy soda, there are vintage signs and gag gifts. It's a lot to fit into the long and narrow 1,600-square-foot shop that previously housed the American Express Travel store. A November opening is planned.
ROBAII REINVENTED ... It wasn't easy for Dar Nafar, owner of Robaii Falafel and Persian, a 12-year-old restaurant that closed in 2010, to find a location for his new venture. "For two years, I was looking for opportunities and studying my options," he said. His persistence paid off, and Nafar opened Thyme to Eat at 448 University Ave. in Palo Alto on Oct. 6. It replaces Hyderabad House, which closed earlier this year. Nafar said his new restaurant, although a little more upscale, is a continuation of the old Robaii, which was on the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Cowper Street. "I've missed my customers. I always hoped to return to Palo Alto," he said. Nafar has created a more extensive menu at Thyme to Eat. New items include vegan and gluten-free options, along with a few beverages such as Chia Rose Water Fresca and Sekanjeh Bean, a concoction of vinegar syrup and Persian-cucumber puree.
PIAZZA ADDITION DELAYED ... The 4,000-square-foot expansion project for Piazza Fine Foods in Palo Alto's Charleston Center that will dramatically increase the size of its cheese shop is in full swing, but taking longer than expected. Initial projections had pegged the opening for Oct. 1. "A small portion will open the first week in November; the rest will open in early January," assistant store manager Mike de Jesus said.