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Shop Talk: Maum wins Michelin star, boxing studio to open

The latest in local restaurant, retail news

In this week's Shop Talk column, read about Palo Alto's newest Michelin-starred restaurant, a new boxing studio and the expansion of the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market.

FARMERS MARKET GOES YEAR-ROUND ... After four decades of running as a seasonal market, the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market will now stay open year-round. The market's all-volunteer board of directors made the change for a host of reasons, including increasing market competition and a need to remain financially stable, according to board President Bob McDiarmid. In a survey of vendors and customers last year, they found that they were losing about a quarter of those customers who wouldn't return when the Saturday-morning market reopened in May, McDiarmid said. Another main driver was figuring out how to sustain a longtime practice of donating proceeds to Palo Alto senior services nonprofit Avenidas. (Members of the Avenidas board and staff founded the market in 1981 after downtown Palo Alto lost its last grocery store.) The market, which became an independent nonprofit in 1986, now donates about $20,000 a year to Avenidas. This year, the market will close for just two weeks around Christmas but otherwise will stay open year-round. They plan to bring in more local prepared foods, including an Indian eatery and dim sum stand, and are planning to offer cooking demos and other events. The Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market is located on Gilman Street between Hamilton and Forest avenues. It's open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. -- E.K.

RUMBLE BOXING COMING DOWNTOWN ... Rumble Boxing fitness studio is preparing to bring its high-energy workout program to downtown Palo Alto this fall. The company hasn't confirmed an official opening date yet, but there already are job listings posted on LinkedIn seeking fitness instructors, and "Coming Soon" signs are hanging outside the center's soon-to-be new home in a 6,518-square-foot groundfloor space at 611 Emerson St. Founded in New York City in 2016, the fitness studio has quickly gained attention (and a roster of celebrity clients, including Justin Bieber and Sylvester Stallone) for its use of lights and music to evoke a nightclub-like atmosphere during workouts: Its trainers also serve as DJs during classes. According to the company's website, the studio uses water-filled punching bags in the shape of teardrops, which reportedly reduce stress on joints. The high-energy, high-intensity classes incorporate shadow boxing, punching bags and strengthening exercises during 45-minute sessions aimed for a range of skill and ability levels. Palo Alto will be the company's second Bay Area location. It opened a studio in San Francisco last fall. --M.H.

MAUM WINS FIRST MICHELIN STAR ... Maum, which brought modern, high-end Korean dining the Peninsula last summer, has won its first Michelin star, joining a small but growing group of South Bay restaurants with the sought-after culinary distinction. Michelin announced the stars on Monday night in Huntington Beach for the company's inaugural California guide. In a tweet, Michelin described Maum as "heartfelt, precise, and focused." Husband-and-wife team Michael and Meichih Kim, who both previously cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants, lead the kitchen. Maum was first a private dining space, then opened to the public last July. Anonymous Michelin inspectors said that Maum, which means "from the heart" in Korean, creates an "incredibly exciting dining experience." The kitchen is fueled by a private farm in Los Altos Hills where the chefs work with a farmer to grow hard-to-find Korean produce for dishes such as kkakdugi brisket rice and abalone porridge. At Maum, which is open just for dinner four nights a week, diners eat at a long, wooden communal table that accommodates 16 people. With the 2019 guide, Palo Alto is now home to three Michelin stars: Maum, Protege and Baume. -- E.K.

Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Elena Kadvany and Maya Homan. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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