Shop Talk

Hotel parking problems, new Town & Country tenants, Grocery Outlet coming soon

PARKING CONCERNS AS NEW HOTEL OPENS DOWNTOWN ... As workers put the finishing touches on the highly anticipated Epiphany Hotel, scheduled to open next month in the transformed site of the iconic Casa Olga, 180 Hamilton Ave., at least one Palo Alto developer is concerned about the apparent lack of parking spaces. The eight-story, 86-room luxury hotel does not have a parking lot or garage for its guests. "I don't know how they're going to do it. How do you run a hotel without parking spaces? Parking is gold," said local developer Chop Keenan, who owns hotels in Half Moon Bay and Hermosa Beach. The Epiphany will offer valet parking to its guests, according to the hotel website, but it has one nearby business owner wondering if an already over-parked downtown could get worse. "We're excited about the Epiphany opening around the corner. It looks like a beautiful hotel and it will be great to have more people staying downtown overnight, but our customers already complain about parking here," said one merchant who runs a small business on Ramona Street. Asking that her name not be used in this story, she worries about hotel guests who opt out of valet parking and prefer to find street parking on their own. "I hope it doesn't impact Ramona (Street)," she said.


Shop Talk columnist Daryl Savage
An upscale, sustainable furniture store is about to take root in Palo Alto. Moving into the former Day One space in Town & Country Village, Cisco Home will feature a wide array of handcrafted home furnishings. All of Cisco's furniture is made by local craftspeople at its Los Angeles headquarters. The Palo Alto store is the company's sixth location and the second Cisco in the Bay Area -- the first is in San Francisco's Hayes Valley. Cisco spokesperson Natalie Pinedo is anticipating the Town & Country store will be open in the next few weeks. "Our Palo Alto store is the first one in a shopping center. We're very excited about this one. All of our other stores are stand-alones," she said. Pinedo, who is the daughter of Cisco Pinedo, the founder of Cisco Home, said the company wants to have a greater presence in northern California. "We're looking forward to becoming part of the Palo Alto community," she said. With a sharp eye toward the environment, an unusual part of Cisco Home is the "Inside Green" collection, says Pinedo, which uses building materials that are made from organic and sustainable sources. Another "made-in-America" store recently opened in Town & Country Village. Malia Mills is a New York-based boutique that specializes in bra-sized swimwear. "Instead of looking for a small, medium or large, you buy by your bra-size. It's a much better fit," said Malia Mills manager Olivia Moray. The swimsuits are on the pricey side; they start at about $375. Acknowledging the price tag, Moray said, "Yes, it's expensive, but it's an investment, and the swimsuits will pay off year after year."


After Grocery Outlet obtained final approval in December from the City of Palo Alto regarding its 26-foot-tall sign at Alma Village, it is now full-speed-ahead for the discount grocer to move into the space that formerly housed the short-lived Miki's Farm Fresh Market. Grocery Outlet is scheduled to open in April.

Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.


Like this comment
Posted by Amaryllis
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Mar 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Grocery Outlet proved it can bully the city council into letting it break the rules with its signage; they think they need it to attract more customers. But small local businesses are personality-driven in their success, while what they've created is a scenario in which every person who goes in there will be supporting the idea that these guys think they can just tell us all to go stuff it. That's the kind of neighbor Grocery Outlet is? What were they thinking? I have no intention of ever setting foot in their store.

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