In this week's Shop Talk column, read about a family shoe store that has moved to Town & Country Village, a sushi bar expanding to Palo Alto and a new Vietnamese eatery downtown.
HOWARD'S SHOES RELOCATES ... The Howard brothers have relocated their longtime family shoe store at Stanford Shopping Center a little closer to downtown Palo Alto. Howard's Shoes for Children celebrated its grand opening at its new location at Town & Country Village on April 1. The family also operates a store in Cupertino. Launched in 1962 by Reginald Howard, the shoe store has served generations of local families from family-operated sites throughout the Bay Area, including the one at Stanford, which opened 30 years ago. From the start, Howard, who started out as a sales representative for Edward Shoe Company (StrideRite Corp.), sought out to stock each shop with hand-picked styles from the best brands on the market as such as Nike, New Balance and Pediped. His three eldest sons, Peter, Andrew and Tom, continued his legacy after taking over store operations in 1996. The Town & Country site sells everything from school and athletic shoes to ballet slippers and boots. —L.T.
SUSHI BAR EXPANDS INTO HIDDEN GARDEN SITE ... Palo Alto's Hidden Garden Sushi, which carried on its predecessor's tradition of serving brown-rice sushi, has closed and will be replaced by a traditional sushi restaurant. Hidden Garden Sushi opened about a year ago at 2363 Birch St., the former longtime home of Homma's Brown Rice Sushi. Its windows recently went dark and phone line was disconnected. Eric Peng, who owns Daigo Sushi in San Francisco, said that he has taken over the space and plans to open a second location there in about a month. The Palo Alto Daigo Sushi will serve teishoku, a Japanese meal set, for lunch and omakase for dinner, he said. Stay tuned on an opening date and more menu details. — E.K.
DOWNTOWN GETS VIETNAMESE EATERY ... Pho Banh Mi, a new Vietnamese restaurant, is now open in downtown Palo Alto — the only dedicated place to get pho and banh mi on University Avenue. The 405 University Ave. restaurant is from the owners of Green Bakery & Cafe in Los Altos. They took over the space after Cafe Epi closed. Pho Banh Mi serves several kinds of pho, including with filet mignon, brisket, beef, seafood, chicken and a vegan version. Diners can customize their pho with additional proteins, vegetables and spice. There are also five kinds of banh mi — chicken, pork, lemongrass beef, vegetarian and pate and shredded pork — all served traditionally with pickled carrots, daikon, jalapeño, cucumber, cilantro and mayonnaise on a French baguette. Other dishes include egg rolls, chicken wings, salads, vermicelli bowls and spring rolls. Pho Banh Mi also serves fresh tea, boba, smoothies, Vietnamese coffee, beer and wine. — E.K.
Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Elena Kadvany and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email [email protected].