Changes abound in the restaurant world: House of Bagels moves to Edgewood Plaza, Palo Alto gets a Pizza Studio and Simply Sandwiches changes hands.
HOUSE OF BAGELS FINDS A NEW HOME ... After 26 years at 526 University Ave., Palo Alto, House of Bagels has found a new home. The bagel shop plans to move to the revamped Edgewood Plaza. "It's an exciting time, but it hasn't been easy," said owner Steve Stivala, who is looking forward to making the transition. "It's a lot of work to open a new store," he said. "Fortunately, I've got some great people helping me." The new space is slightly smaller than the current shop, "but it will seem bigger to our customers because we'll have lots of outdoor seating," Stivala said. There will also be an expanded number of items on the menu. "We'll be serving several fresh salads, and all of them will be made in house. Nothing will be brought in," Stivala said, adding that he is very happy to be a tenant at Edgewood Plaza. "It has a really good vibe to it," he said. The opening is expected for mid- or late December. "We've submitted all the plans to the city, and if everything goes as expected we hope to be open by Christmastime," Stivala said, predicting that the current shop will close in late November. The aging building that House of Bagels has been located in since the late 1980s is scheduled for demolition so that a new office building with ground floor retail and underground parking can be built. The plans call for a massive 16,000 square-foot, three-story, 60-foot-tall structure that will replace a total of five storefronts -- including House of Bagels. The others are: SimplyBe Salon and Spa, The Play Store, Palo Alto Rug Gallery and Shokolaat, which closed more than two years ago.
FAST PIZZA COMING TO CAL AVE. ... Palo Alto is the second city in Pizza Studio 's lofty goal to dot the Bay Area with a total of 25 shops in the next seven to eight years. The fast, casual restaurant is scheduled to open later this month at 365 S. California Ave., the former site of Tandoori Oven, which closed in July. "We completely demolished the entire space and started over. This will be a brand new restaurant," Pizza Studio franchise owner Jeff Burrill said. Burrill opened his first pizza shop in Mountain View's San Antonio Center earlier this year. A third outlet in Los Gatos is said to be coming soon. "Yes, it's an ambitious plan, but we believe in the brand," Burrill said. Possibly the most notable feature of Pizza Studio is the quick cooking time: just two minutes in the oven for a fresh pizza. "Our ovens are set between 600 and 700 degrees," explained Burrill. "It takes a couple hours to reach that high heat, which is why our folks come in at eight in the morning to start the oven."
SANDWICH SHOP SOLD ... One of Palo Alto's smallest-ever shops at 250 square feet, Simply Sandwiches has been sold. Congenial owners Rob and Jeannie Wimmel say they're ready to retire. "We're both 64 years old. We've had this place for 28 years. It's time," said Rob Wimmel. Located at 2435 Ash St., the tiny take-out eatery known for its reasonably-priced sandwiches -- all between $5 and $7 -- will continue on without its original owners. "Nothing will change here," Wimmel reassured. "We are currently training the new owner; that was part of the agreement. Everything will stay the same: the prices, the menu items, everything." Simply Sandwiches does not advertise; it relies strictly on word-of-mouth. The decision to retire was a tough one, according to Wimmel. "We have gotten to know hundreds of our customers by their first names. We'll miss all the people we've met and all the friendships we've made," he said. The Wimmels plan to retire to the Sierras.
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