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 EatThis.com. 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.