GOURMET DOGS UNLEASHED ON CAL AVE ... It's not easy turning an old, used bookstore into a new, modern restaurant, but Jacquetta Lannan is apparently up to the task.
The 33-year-old former attorney and recent culinary-school graduate has taken over the former site of Know Knew Books at 415 California Ave. in Palo Alto. She has big plans for her eatery, Chez Franc, which will serve gourmet hot dogs and sausages.
"I've always wanted to open my own restaurant. I have wonderful memories of my grandparents' restaurant in rural Nebraska. I used to sit near the kitchen and I always wanted to play there," said Lannan, who grew up in Lincoln, Neb.
Her dream came true this week, when she officially took over the 2,300-square-foot space on Sept. 1.
"I had been looking for a spot for six months. I knew I wanted to find something in Palo Alto because I live here. This is my community. In fact, I live less than a block away and I can see the space out of my window," she said. The construction of Chez Franc is expected to take eight to 10 weeks. I know that sounds pretty fast, but that's what the contractor told me. So I expect to be open in December or January," she said.
Calling her 49-seat restaurant a "modified, fast-casual" affair, Lannan said customers will place their orders at the counter and food will be served at tables.
"Most of the hot dogs will be in the $13 to $17 range. That may sound high, but we're making almost everything in-house and we're using organic and local produce as much as possible," she said, emphasizing that many of the "dogs" on the menu are not at all traditional. "We're creating the cassoulet dog, which is made with duck confit and beef cheeks and a bean puree. We also will have what I call an elevated take on the chili dog, made with Bolognese sauce with a burrata (cheese made with mozzarella and cream) basil topping," Lannan said.
A hot dog flight is also on the menu, with three smaller dogs, and customers will be able to peer through a viewing window to watch how the hot dogs and sausages are made.
DAY ONE MOVES OUT OF T&C ... Day One, the popular Palo Alto center for expectant and new moms, has closed its doors in Town & Country Village and plans to reopen downtown with a new name in October.
"We've been acquired by another company so we'll be changing our name and location but our team will stay the same. This is actually wonderful news for us," Day One president Nancy Held said.
Day One, which has been in the spot for about seven years, has services including classroom instruction on breastfeeding, and parenting workshops.
The new location is 522 Waverley St. in the former site of Congdon and Crome, a stationery store that closed after nearly 110 years in business in Palo Alto, the last nine at the Waverley location. The new Day One will be about the same size, 5,000 square feet, on two floors instead of one.
"Our first floor will be retail and the second will be where our classes are held along with seating areas for new moms," Held said. Day One's second location in San Francisco is also planning to relocate, Held said, adding that other Day One stores may be coming soon.