SHADY LANE MOVES TO MENLO ... One of downtown Palo Alto's oldest shops is closing next month and moving to Sharon Heights Shopping Center in Menlo Park. Shady Lane, 441 University Ave., is an eclectic craft store, art gallery and gift boutique. Owner and artisan Alice Deutscher said she will miss having her shop downtown, but she had no choice. "It's been a wonderful experience being on University Avenue for 40 years, but our building is being demolished," she said. "It's definitely a bump in the road, but I'm a survivor." Shady Lane will close next month, approximately one week after Valentine's Day; its tentative Menlo Park opening date is early March. Deutscher found an octagonal-shaped building for the store's rebirth. "It's the only stand-alone building in the Sharon Heights Shopping Center," she said. "It's about the same size as my current shop, but it looks bigger because it's wider." The boutique's new location has been vacant for about a year, ever since Fino Fino, a hat shop, moved out of the center. The unusually shaped space is located between Wells Fargo Bank and Starbucks, and Deutscher has big plans for it. "It has a courtyard, so I can hold outdoor artisan events," she said. During her four decades on University Avenue, Deutscher witnessed many changes. "Rents have increased so much that a lot of the independent stores had no other option but to close," she said. "Then the chain stores moved in. We still have local businesses here, but they are holding on for dear life." Shady Lane's move will also include the store dog, Abby Rae, a six-pound Chihuahua who relaxes in a dog bed near the front door. Also involved in the planned demolition is the upscale furniture store, Design Within Reach, located at 447 University Ave. next to Shady Lane at the corner of Kipling Street. That store's current lease expires in July 2015 and is expected to continue on a month-to-month basis until further notice, according to a shop employee. The proposal for the new development calls for a four-story, 50-foot building at 429-447 University Ave., replacing the two current shops as well as the two vacancies established when yogurt shop Red Mango and clothing store Fashion Passion closed. Plans detail a concept for new ground floor retail, with a mix of offices, apartments and commercial space on the upper three floors.
TALKING TURKEY: ANATOLIAN KITCHEN EXPANDS ... It took nearly 18 months and more than $250,000, but restaurant owner Dino Tekdemir finally has managed to double the size of his Turkish restaurant. The addition to Anatolian Kitchen, 2323 Birch St., Palo Alto, opened last month. "I couldn't be happier or prouder. It's hard to believe this used to be a pizza place," said Tekdemir, referring to the new wing of his restaurant, formerly the home of Ramona's Pizza, which unexpectedly closed in May 2013. It was then that Tekdemir grabbed the space, which was adjacent to his restaurant. "I completely gutted it and started fresh," he said. The casual pizza joint has been transformed into an elegant bar and lounge. Pointing to the suede stools and elaborate marble bar, Tekdemir said, "Everything here has been custom-made from A to Z, and it's all from Turkey. Once customers sit in these chairs, they don't want to get up; that's how comfortable they are." A collection of Turkish rugs decorates the walls and floors of the 1,000-square-foot addition. Tekdemir has thrown himself into his restaurant. "I sold my other restaurant in San Francisco last year," he said. "It was too much. I couldn't keep going back and forth. My time and energy had to be focused on my Palo Alto restaurant. I even moved to Palo Alto recently so that I can walk to work every day." Menu prices have not increased as a result of the expansion. "It's killing me, but we have not raised our prices. Everything has remained the same," Tekdemir said, adding that he has big plans for the future of his restaurant. "We're going to add live music and belly dancers. And we'll be announcing a happy hour." Anatolian Kitchen is a family-based business. Tekdemir's brother and wife work at the restaurant. "But I consider everyone who works here my family," he added. "My success is their success."
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