Palo Alto's Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant has closed its doors for a dramatic renovation, while Whole Foods celebrates "Love Fest" this month by offering cups of coffee for a quarter.
SIX-MONTH CLOSURE FOR GORDON BIERSCH ... New name, new menu, new beers -- these are just a few of the changes diners will notice at Palo Alto's Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 640 Emerson St., when it reopens in February of next year. The restaurant closes its doors this week in order to reinvent itself. "This is a total renovation inside and out. It's going to be pretty drastic," said restaurant founder Dan Gordon, who along with Dean Biersch opened Gordon Biersch in 1988. "I had hoped to do this in stealth mode and keep it under wraps, but the project keeps getting bigger and bigger." An email went out to customers earlier this month advising them of the closure. In its new incarnation, the restaurant will be called DG's GB -- an acronym for "Dan Gordon's Gordon Biersch." Gordon is working on the revamped restaurant with Steve Sinchek, who owns the popular downtown sports bar, The Old Pro. "Steve is actively involved and has been part of this company since day one," Gordon said. "He's been to Texas doing research on different ways of smoking meats." There are more than 30 Gordon Biersch restaurants nationwide. The Palo Alto restaurant is the only one being renamed. "Palo Alto is our flagship store. I know every inch of this place," Gordon said of the 5,200-square-foot-space. When DG's GB has been completely renovated, it will have elevated and communal dining tables, outdoor seating and a menu that nods toward the farm-to-table movement. There's also a promise of lower prices. "The most expensive item will be under $19," Gordon said. He is particularly excited to announce a new Bavarian-style pretzel that will be baked outside in a special oven. The restaurant will still operate as a brewery. "Not only that, but we're also going to make it a testing ground for trying out new beers," Gordon explained. "We're calling it Tank 21, because we've got Tanks 1 through 20 in our brewery in San Jose. This will be the 21st, and several experimental brews will be made available in Palo Alto."
COFFEE FOR A QUARTER ... Although it's hard to believe in this land of four-dollar lattes, the coffee bar at Whole Foods Market is offering a 12-ounce cup of brewed coffee for 25 cents until the end of September. It's part of the store's "Love Fest" national campaign. "We are looking forward to deepening our connections with customers and saying 'thank you' and 'we love you,' " said Whole Foods Market Executive VP of Operations David Lannon. Thanks for the cuppa, Whole Foods.
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