News

Shop Talk: 'Secret' Apple store taking shape

Also, what's next for Empire Tap Room property

"Secret" Apple store taking shape ... Apple's newest and possibly grandest store, while still hidden from ground-level view by tall black sheeting, is taking shape on the west end of Stanford Shopping Center.

Although officials at both the mall and Apple's Cupertino headquarters continue to be tight-lipped about the huge structure, construction is in full swing seven days a week, usually beginning at 7 a.m., according to a security guard at the site. A large crane towers above the single-story, 23-foot-tall store to carefully lift glass panels into place.

When asked about the status of the store last week, company spokesperson Michaela Wilkinson would say only: "We have made no announcement about a store at that location." The identical statement was given to the Weekly one year ago, when the story first was printed about the 12,000-square-foot store beginning construction.

At that time, a source familiar with the project said that initial estimates were for a grand opening in November 2012. The apparent delays may be due to the sensitive glass design of the building.

"Apple is a great innovator of glass. The glass technique used in this building is very advanced. Unlike other materials, there is no forgiveness with glass. It has to be precise and must fit perfectly. There's no margin of error. It's a complicated process but will be well worth the time and investment to create the indoor/outdoor environment in the design of the building," said the source, who would speak only under the condition of anonymity.

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Although the project is obscured from shoppers in the mall, and even Google maps fail to yield clues since the satellite photo of the location has not been updated in more than a year, there is one way to see it, thanks to a creative Weekly reader. A two-story parking garage that faces Neiman Marcus makes for adequate viewing. Climb the 20 steps to the upper level to get a fairly unobstructed panorama of the sheer size and elegant design of the new Apple store.

Pizzeria Delfina to replace Empire Tap Room ... The unexpected closing last month of the Empire Tap Room, a Palo Alto fixture for 21 years, has made way for a new restaurant. Pizzeria Delfina will move into 651 Emerson St. after remodeling.

The pizzeria has a long history in San Francisco. The original Delfina restaurant opened in 1998 in San Francisco's Mission District; seven years later, Pizzeria Delfina opened next door. It became known for its Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pizza. In 2008, the second Pizzeria Delfina opened in Pacific Heights.

Palo Alto is the third location, and downtown Burlingame will be the fourth. Both Palo Alto and Burlingame are looking at late September/early October openings, according to Craig Stoll, who owns the restaurants with his wife, Anne. The couple also owns Locanda Osteria, a two-year-old Italian restaurant/bar on Valencia Street in San Francisco.

"We've been coming to Palo Alto for years and looking for locations for a restaurant, and then lo and behold, we got the call that Empire Tap Room was closing," Stoll said. He plans to renovate the aging building. "But we don't know to what extent yet. We'll see what we can afford," he said.

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New breakfast option in Palo Alto's Midtown ... Midtown's newest restaurant is ready to open. Owner John Hsu has pegged June 11 as the first day of business for The Palo Alto Breakfast House. He took over the Cafe Sophia spot at 2706 Middlefield Road and transformed the Afghani restaurant into a casual, colorful, light and airy space that will serve breakfast all day.

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Shop Talk: 'Secret' Apple store taking shape

Also, what's next for Empire Tap Room property

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Jun 8, 2013, 3:26 pm
Updated: Mon, Jun 10, 2013, 9:11 am

"Secret" Apple store taking shape ... Apple's newest and possibly grandest store, while still hidden from ground-level view by tall black sheeting, is taking shape on the west end of Stanford Shopping Center.

Although officials at both the mall and Apple's Cupertino headquarters continue to be tight-lipped about the huge structure, construction is in full swing seven days a week, usually beginning at 7 a.m., according to a security guard at the site. A large crane towers above the single-story, 23-foot-tall store to carefully lift glass panels into place.

When asked about the status of the store last week, company spokesperson Michaela Wilkinson would say only: "We have made no announcement about a store at that location." The identical statement was given to the Weekly one year ago, when the story first was printed about the 12,000-square-foot store beginning construction.

At that time, a source familiar with the project said that initial estimates were for a grand opening in November 2012. The apparent delays may be due to the sensitive glass design of the building.

"Apple is a great innovator of glass. The glass technique used in this building is very advanced. Unlike other materials, there is no forgiveness with glass. It has to be precise and must fit perfectly. There's no margin of error. It's a complicated process but will be well worth the time and investment to create the indoor/outdoor environment in the design of the building," said the source, who would speak only under the condition of anonymity.

Although the project is obscured from shoppers in the mall, and even Google maps fail to yield clues since the satellite photo of the location has not been updated in more than a year, there is one way to see it, thanks to a creative Weekly reader. A two-story parking garage that faces Neiman Marcus makes for adequate viewing. Climb the 20 steps to the upper level to get a fairly unobstructed panorama of the sheer size and elegant design of the new Apple store.

Pizzeria Delfina to replace Empire Tap Room ... The unexpected closing last month of the Empire Tap Room, a Palo Alto fixture for 21 years, has made way for a new restaurant. Pizzeria Delfina will move into 651 Emerson St. after remodeling.

The pizzeria has a long history in San Francisco. The original Delfina restaurant opened in 1998 in San Francisco's Mission District; seven years later, Pizzeria Delfina opened next door. It became known for its Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pizza. In 2008, the second Pizzeria Delfina opened in Pacific Heights.

Palo Alto is the third location, and downtown Burlingame will be the fourth. Both Palo Alto and Burlingame are looking at late September/early October openings, according to Craig Stoll, who owns the restaurants with his wife, Anne. The couple also owns Locanda Osteria, a two-year-old Italian restaurant/bar on Valencia Street in San Francisco.

"We've been coming to Palo Alto for years and looking for locations for a restaurant, and then lo and behold, we got the call that Empire Tap Room was closing," Stoll said. He plans to renovate the aging building. "But we don't know to what extent yet. We'll see what we can afford," he said.

New breakfast option in Palo Alto's Midtown ... Midtown's newest restaurant is ready to open. Owner John Hsu has pegged June 11 as the first day of business for The Palo Alto Breakfast House. He took over the Cafe Sophia spot at 2706 Middlefield Road and transformed the Afghani restaurant into a casual, colorful, light and airy space that will serve breakfast all day.

Comments

Louis
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Louis, Old Palo Alto
on Jun 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Like this comment

Instead of climbing the stairs, you might surf this Web site for photos just posted:

Web Link


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm
Like this comment

Thanks for that visualization link Louis. I'm sure at first glance this building looks slick ... but Apple is really starting to become the MicroSoftosaur of its age.

Instead of being new and avant-garde this is just another slick bad architectural steel and glass design - you might say Apple is stuck in a rut and cannot get out. The biggest monument to which is that white elephant monster yacht Steve Jobs commissioned.

You would think they would learn that the all glass structures are nothing but a big greenhouse ... kind of a tribute to climate change deniers. In addition to being destructive of the hearing of the employees who work in such environments it costs a lot to cool. The next decade will be the decade of Apple decline ... if not the whole USA's.

No wonder we are so quick to bail out our "capitalists", it is the only thing where we still have power, aside from our national white elephant military that we will be forced to use since we have put all our eggs is that basket. It is the nature of these corporate officers to take their employees down with them (ask former Sun Micro employees) and the nature of the military officers and politicians to take their countries down with them.


Crescent park known
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm
Crescent park known, Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Like this comment

> Crescent park known

[Portion removed.]

I do have a tip for you though, try reading "Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America" by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Have you actually gone to the Apple store? Do you know what level of noise creates hearing loss? Do you believe it is a positive thing to ignore that a company wants to put its employees and customers in such an environment, for no particular reason other than they think it's cool?


Crescent park known
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm
Crescent park known, Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm
Like this comment

[Portion removed.]

Have been to the new apple store-- sound did not seem out of the ordinary. But if you want to make that claim about apple, provide some proof.

[Portion removed.]


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Crescent park known
Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm
Crescent park known, Crescent Park
on Jun 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Alan
Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm
Alan, Downtown North
on Jun 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm
Like this comment

The new Apple store on Univ. Ave. has horrible acoustics, no doubt by design, very careful innovative stylish very high tech design. The din of noise from conversations within that store spills onto the sidewalk. Walk by if you have not it's quite remarkable, was that the desired affect? Is the point so you can have a loud conversation with yourself and not be heard?


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2013 at 1:50 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2013 at 1:50 am
Like this comment

> Walk by if you have not it's quite remarkable, was that the desired affect?

You must work for marketing ... what was such expert spin. Flip everything to the positive side and stick to it. I'd predict the noise in this style of store will be a legal issue at some point from Apple employees who spend a lot of time in these stores and suffer hearing loss.

I wonder if Apple has ever monitored the noise level in these types of stores over a week of open time and I'd bet there are dangerous levels of noise enough to cause damage - of course that's beside being an obstacle to customers who want to be able to perceive and process information. That would not even get the sound intensity that happens between people when they have to always shout at each other to be heard, that is a directed wave that is not picked up by a room monitor.

If you read the book on Steve Jobs you know how precise he was about every details of these stores, and the fact is these stores are like a designed assault on your sense. While looking at all aspects of these stores anyone so picky would not have missed that, so it was probably decided on purposefully. Either that or once the decided on a "style" they stick with it no matter what and stopped paying attention to employees and customers.

Anyway, I hope they check it out and do something about it when or if they notice a problem.


Neal
Community Center
on Jun 9, 2013 at 8:02 am
Neal, Community Center
on Jun 9, 2013 at 8:02 am
Like this comment

The acoustics at the downtown Apple store is atrocious. Even if the sound level is below OSHA thresholds for hearing loss, being exposed to that kind of noise for long periods of time is unpleasant, recreates considerable stress and can be damaging to the sensitive high frequency spectrum of hearing. I don't like shouting to be heard and it's an unpleasant experience to go to the genius bar or take a class. I feel sorry for the employees. Hearing loss to acoustic trauma is cumulative and insidious and their young ears are probably being damaged, but aren't aware of it yet. Apple should do the right thing and tone things down, but I'm sure they think creating a "buzz" is good for business.


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2013 at 9:14 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 9, 2013 at 9:14 am
Like this comment

Neal said:
> Apple should do the right thing and tone things down, but I'm sure they think creating a "buzz" is good for business.

Almost certainly, read the Steve Jobs book by Walter Issacson and there is about a whole chapter, chapter 29, devoted to how picky Steve Jobs was about every even minute detail of how he wanted the stores to be.

The other thing that I find not very nice about the downtown Apple Store is it's lack of a public restroom. When a place has customers sitting for classes or one on ones for extended periods of time relegating them to the Starbuck's restroom to me seems anti-social and not exactly customer-centric.

It is so strange that this is such a tribute to the idea of engineering the people when Apple started out with that 1984 commercial and the image of empowering the individual ... why 1984 won't be 1984 ... no ... it will be delayed a bit, and oh - by the way grab a hearing aid. ;-)


Android
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Android, Charleston Meadows
on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Like this comment

Apple needs all the help it can get right now. I moved away from them and will never turn back. They really don't care about anything other than sales. Innovation used to be a big goal, but not any more.


John Galt
Fairmeadow
on Jun 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm
John Galt, Fairmeadow
on Jun 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm
Like this comment

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Climate change has been with us for billions of years and will go on for millennia, long after the current hoopla is forgotten.


pam
Charleston Gardens
on Jun 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm
pam, Charleston Gardens
on Jun 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm
Like this comment

Apple will fold within the next five years anyway so who cares? Their products B I T E


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Jun 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Like this comment

John Galt said:
> Climate change has been with us for billions of years

Is that something Ayn Rand told you? LOL, we have not even been with us for billions of years. Modern humans are only around 200,000 years old.


John Galt
Fairmeadow
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:59 am
John Galt, Fairmeadow
on Jun 11, 2013 at 11:59 am
Like this comment

CrescentParkAnon
My comments regarding the redefinition of Global Warming to Climate Change were deleted.


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