True Food Kitchen and Muji come to Stanford Mall; Palo Alto boutique Bryn Walker moves from Cowper Street to Homer Avenue.
UNIQUE RETAILERS, RESTAURANTS COMING TO STANFORD MALL ... A restaurant with a focus on healthy eating and healthy living will be opening in Palo Alto's Stanford Shopping Center next year. True Food Kitchen is one of dozens of new shops and restaurants slated to replace the demolished Bloomingdale's building as part of Stanford's expansion project. An artist's rendering posted in the shopping center shows the new restaurant will be located on the El Camino side of the mall with a scheduled opening in mid-2016. The Stanford location is True Food's first Northern California location. The chain has 10 locations in six states and plans to add at least six more in the next two years. The menu for the Arizona-based restaurant features a large selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Unusual items on the menu include edamame dumplings, quinoa Johnny Cakes and a drink called Medicine Man (which has, as its first ingredient, "sea buckthorn"). Another newcomer to the Stanford Shopping Center is Muji, a Japanese retailer with more than 250 locations worldwide. Scheduled to open this summer, it will take over the 4,500-square-foot former site of Coldwater Creek as well as the current Giants Dugout Store. The move represents Muji's first location in a U.S. shopping center. Considered a no-frills retailer with an eye toward the environment, the store offers an assortment of home furnishings, stationery, cosmetics and clothing. Meanwhile, Stanford's Giants Dugout Store is moving again. It will briefly close in mid-May and reopen in June in a more central location in the shopping center, situated between Gap Kids and BCBG Maxazria, in the former site of Naartjie Kids, which closed about three months ago.
BRYN WALKER FORCED TO MOVE ... The Berkeley-based boutique Bryn Walker is poised for a move after 17 years in business at 515 Cowper St. in Palo Alto. The stylish women's clothing shop, which has 10 other company-owned stores and sells to nearly 1,000 boutiques throughout the country, had no choice but to relocate since the aging building it occupies is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new three-story office building. The current downtown store is tentatively eyeing a closing date in June so that it can relocate to 212 Homer Ave. "We're not yet sure of the exact date our store will close, but we are certainly looking forward to the move," said store manager Diane Kelly. "We love the new neighborhood." The new location is in the historic site of Thompson's Bakery. The white stucco building, which was constructed in 1907 and has since been restored, still has the words "Palo Alto Bread" near the rooftop of the structure. As the clothing store prepares for the move into the historic site on Homer Avenue, Kelly said, "I just hope they won't be tearing that building down too!"
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