Shop Talk: New salon opens in Palo Alto, Pet Club closes and more

This week's retail news

PET CLUB OUT, WINE STORE IN ... Pet Club is calling it quits in Mountain View. It was a long run for the store, located next to Costco in The Rengstorff Center. After 22 years in business, or 147 in dog years, the store will close for good on May 1. Pet Club, like so many other stores in the area, became a victim of escalating rents. Pet Club spokesperson Tamm Lee explained, "The lease ended and the rent was too high to extend." The store is hoping to relocate, but there is "no new location to announce as of yet," said Lee. The Bay Area based, family-owned pet store has 11 other locations in the greater Bay Area the two closest are in San Mateo and San Jose. Taking over the 18,000-square-foot-space is Total Wine & More, an East Coast-based liquor chain. Its website claims it is "the country's largest independent retailer of fine wine." A typical store will carry more than 8,000 different wines and 2,500 different beers. Total Wine applied to sell alcoholic beverages in January, but no word yet on when the move will take place. There won't be any shortage of liquor in The Rengstorff Center. Its next-door neighbor, Costco, has an extensive inventory of spirits, and the small store Liquor, Tobacco & More is also located in the shopping strip. That particular liquor store received a modicum of fame a few years ago when it reportedly sold a $1 million lottery ticket, its second winning ticket in a period of three months during 2012.

SWEETGREEN TAKES TOP HONORS ... Talk about good timing. Just a few weeks before the new Sweetgreen is scheduled to open in downtown Palo Alto, it made the list of "The 35 Hottest Healthy Restaurants in America." The salad restaurant, specializing in local and organic items, came in first place in the Fast Casual category on the website of The eatery, currently putting on the finishing touches, is tentatively set to open in early May in the remodeled Birge Clark building at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Ramona Street, according to developer Chase Rapp. Two other area restaurants also made it in the top five listings of the Fast Casual category: Lyfe Kitchen, just one block away from Sweetgreen at 167 Hamilton Ave., and Veggie Grill in Mountain View's San Antonio Center. They were No. 3 and No. 4. Speaking of new restaurants, Vino Enoteca is one season away from opening at the Stanford Barn, 700 Welch Road, in the Stanford Shopping Center. Taking over the former location of the shuttered California Cafe, the Italian restaurant's remodel of the 6,500-square-foot space will be completed by this summer, according to its Facebook page. Vino Enoteca owner and chef Rocco Scordella is well-known at the Stanford Barn. He also owns Tootsies, the popular neighboring coffee shop and Italian lunch spot.

SOUTH P.A. GETS A NEW SPA ... Annabelle Salon & Spa is poised to open at 3918 Middlefield Road, in Palo Alto's Charleston Shopping Center. It replaces Huntington Learning Center, a tutoring franchise that closed last year after a three-year run. This particular retail space has an interesting history. It was vacant for nearly seven years after Neighborhood Liquor and Video moved out in 2005. The small space is currently undergoing a complete renovation for an anticipated summer opening. This will be the second location for Annabelle Spa. It is also located in Los Gatos. One retail insider predicts the spa may be just the right fit for the popular south Palo Alto strip mall, where Piazza's Market anchors one end and Peet's Coffee the other.

Got leads on interesting and newsworthy retail developments? Daryl Savage will check them out. Email

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17 people like this
Posted by No more spas
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

It would have been nice to have a good bakery or contemporary restaurant/cafe open in this space. Definitely don't need a spa!

14 people like this
Posted by Kay
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2016 at 10:43 am

Oh NOOOO!! another nail salon and spa. How about RETAIL, or hardware store, stationary,bakery,juice bar?

13 people like this
Posted by Mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

We're becoming a nation of drunkards. Don't need more liquor or wine stores! Has anyone noticed how much good farmland, especially in the central valley, is now growing grapes instead of tomatoes or cotton or other vegetables?

13 people like this
Posted by Pet Owner
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Will miss Pet Club and the long-time employees. Hopefully they will be able to work at the relocated store, if a new location is successfully found.

3 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Why do poster think that they public knows what kind of stores are needed and even at times force the city to get involved? The requirement of a grocery store and Alma and Edgewood Plaza have already been shown to be mistakes.

The idea of people clamoring for "...RETAIL, or hardware store, stationary,bakery,juice bar..." just show an ongoing misunderstanding of economics, the retail market place and buying patterns.

This is not the 1950's "local, neighborhood" stores don't make it any more. If you want a hardware store you go to the ACE, OSH or Home Depot. If you want to see what happens to "...local, neighborhood..." stores just take a look at Peninsula Hardware. The same for bakeries, stationary and art stores.

Do people remember "Harmony Bakery". Everyone moaned when they moved twice and then went out of business. Everyone claimed it was the landlord's fault. Then the ugly truth came out. For all the people claiming that they loved Harmony's products, not enough people were actually buying them. Harmony wasn't paying it's rent and not paying it's suppliers. Same with Country Fare, Fosters Freeze, Bermans, Wiedermans and lots of other.

I think that anytime that anyone/group starts clamoring for some specific type of business at a location, all the proponents should be required to sign binding contracts that they will personally shop at these businesses at some determined minimum amount. And that the proponents must gather enough binding contracts to make sure the business will be a success.


8 people like this
Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Wonder how the anthropologists of the future will describe the culture of the group who lived here based upon the artifacts of the businesses and restaurants left behind in the ruins?

3 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2016 at 9:33 pm

@Thoughtful It depends on how out of context anthropologists take the results of any location. You would have to compare the results of any ruin in terms of the TOTAL society.

You can't take the results of a single building in ancient societies and extrapolate their entire existence. Given that our current society has motorized vehicles and diameter of any social locus might encompass 10's of miles you would have to look at any ruins in context of what exists within a large diameter. It wouldn't be looking at just Charleston Plaza, California Ave, El Camino, Midtown, etc.

Attempting to use University Ave or Rengstorff Center as an example of the entire Silicon Valley society wouldn't be correct. Just as looking at one specific area of ancient Roman, Grecian or Indian ruins wouldn't be correct.


1 person likes this
Posted by Bean
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Not super surprising about Pet Club--you had Petco just across the street by Chipotle/Best Buy (which came in about 10 years ago, I believe), and I always thought it was a matter of time before one of them closed. Shame it was the smaller chain, though.

I wonder if a wine story is going to be successful, though. We have the (better-known) BevMo over by San Antonio, and wines for sale at all the major grocery stores--including Costco (which has a decent selection). I find it hard to believe they will survive long in that location.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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