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Around Town: Collection of Antonio's Nut House items set for auction

'Pabst Palo Alto' sign, roulette wheel and more will be open for bids on March 21

Items that once filled Antonio's Nut House in Palo Alto, which is now closed, will be auctioned off on March 21. Embarcadero Media file photo by Sammy Dallal.

In the latest Around Town column, news about an upcoming auction of items that once filled Antonio's Nut House, residents concerned about how the enforcement of the city's 72-hour parking limit has impacted people living in RVs and Santa Clara County waiving permit fees for small businesses that have been financially challenged during the pandemic.

BIDDING FAREWELL ... Antonio's Nut House may have permanently closed after four rowdy, peanut-strewn decades on California Avenue, but you can still take home a piece of dive bar history. Clars, an auction gallery in Oakland, is auctioning off a collection of Nut House items on Sunday, March 21, including a neon "Pabst Palo Alto" sign, the famous nut-shaped tables, bar stools and a roulette wheel. "It's an honor to represent this collection at auction," Cristina Campion, associate director of the Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Clars, said in a press release. "There's a wide range of treasures that will certainly appeal to those who have fond memories of the Nut House." The one popular item that won't be up for auction is the fake gorilla that stood in a cage that was stocked with roasted salted peanuts for bar patrons. The beloved figure was accidentally taken to the gallery along with other items from the dive bar. It was rescued last month by resident Jeff Day, who hopes to include the gorilla in the future Palo Alto History Museum. Bidding for the online auction is available by phone, absentee bid and online at Live.Clars.com.

Palo Alto police issued 16 parking violations and towed three vehicles (two RVs and one trailer) between Jan. 1 and March 10. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

FORCED OUT ... Palo Alto's efforts to enforce its 72-hour limit on parking got some pushback this week from numerous residents, who urged the city to show some leniency when it comes to residents who live in recreational vehicles along El Camino Real. While the trend of people living in RVs along the main thoroughfare precedes the COVID-19 pandemic, critics contended at Monday night's City Council meeting that the city should suspend its enforcement during the health crisis. Angie Evans, a Crescent Park resident, argued that by notifying residents that their RVs will be towed if they don't move them, the city is depriving these residents of a safe place to live and pushing them into the streets or shelters. "It's not OK to push people onto the streets ever and it's really, really heinous to do that in the middle of a global pandemic," Evans said. Ebru Haritaoglu, a junior at Palo Alto High, agreed. "So many people are losing their jobs. ... Let's not make this tough time worse for them by removing them from their homes and towing the RVs," she said. While numerous speakers referred to the city's actions as an "eviction" of residents, City Manager Ed Shikada rejected that characterization. "That is a regular recurring activity that our Police Department undertakes," Shikada said at the meeting. The city has, however, stepped up its enforcement efforts since January. According to a March 10 blog post from the city, the Police Department had placed tow warning flyers on 450 vehicles between Jan 1 and March 10. The majority of those who received them have voluntarily complied and moved within the 72-hour period, according to the post. The department had issued 16 parking violations and towed three vehicles (two RVs and one trailer), all of which were unoccupied and were not "actively lived in," according to the city.

IN THE BEST INTEREST ... Small businesses that have faced financial hardships in Santa Clara County during the COVID-19 pandemic were given some relief Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, which approved a proposal to waive or reduce their permit fees for one year. It applies to restaurants, personal care services, gyms or fitness facilities, grocers and retailers that have less than 50 employees, according to a staff report. County staff also noted that businesses owned by minorities have been challenged by the pandemic. "Small businesses have payroll, bills and fixed debts so every fee we can reduce or waive as we begin to economically recover from the pandemic will help," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who worked on the proposal with Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. "Their stability means the economy's broader stability," Ellenberg said at Tuesday's board meeting. Eligible businesses can expect to see the waiver applied on their next invoice. County administrators plan to transfer $5.5 million from the General Contingency Fund to cover funds the Department of Environmental Health would lose from the waiver. Small businesses could also be eligible for temporary permit and license fee waivers from California under a legislative package Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last month.

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Around Town: Collection of Antonio's Nut House items set for auction

'Pabst Palo Alto' sign, roulette wheel and more will be open for bids on March 21

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Mar 13, 2021, 1:49 pm
Updated: Sun, Mar 14, 2021, 8:44 pm

In the latest Around Town column, news about an upcoming auction of items that once filled Antonio's Nut House, residents concerned about how the enforcement of the city's 72-hour parking limit has impacted people living in RVs and Santa Clara County waiving permit fees for small businesses that have been financially challenged during the pandemic.

BIDDING FAREWELL ... Antonio's Nut House may have permanently closed after four rowdy, peanut-strewn decades on California Avenue, but you can still take home a piece of dive bar history. Clars, an auction gallery in Oakland, is auctioning off a collection of Nut House items on Sunday, March 21, including a neon "Pabst Palo Alto" sign, the famous nut-shaped tables, bar stools and a roulette wheel. "It's an honor to represent this collection at auction," Cristina Campion, associate director of the Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Clars, said in a press release. "There's a wide range of treasures that will certainly appeal to those who have fond memories of the Nut House." The one popular item that won't be up for auction is the fake gorilla that stood in a cage that was stocked with roasted salted peanuts for bar patrons. The beloved figure was accidentally taken to the gallery along with other items from the dive bar. It was rescued last month by resident Jeff Day, who hopes to include the gorilla in the future Palo Alto History Museum. Bidding for the online auction is available by phone, absentee bid and online at Live.Clars.com.

FORCED OUT ... Palo Alto's efforts to enforce its 72-hour limit on parking got some pushback this week from numerous residents, who urged the city to show some leniency when it comes to residents who live in recreational vehicles along El Camino Real. While the trend of people living in RVs along the main thoroughfare precedes the COVID-19 pandemic, critics contended at Monday night's City Council meeting that the city should suspend its enforcement during the health crisis. Angie Evans, a Crescent Park resident, argued that by notifying residents that their RVs will be towed if they don't move them, the city is depriving these residents of a safe place to live and pushing them into the streets or shelters. "It's not OK to push people onto the streets ever and it's really, really heinous to do that in the middle of a global pandemic," Evans said. Ebru Haritaoglu, a junior at Palo Alto High, agreed. "So many people are losing their jobs. ... Let's not make this tough time worse for them by removing them from their homes and towing the RVs," she said. While numerous speakers referred to the city's actions as an "eviction" of residents, City Manager Ed Shikada rejected that characterization. "That is a regular recurring activity that our Police Department undertakes," Shikada said at the meeting. The city has, however, stepped up its enforcement efforts since January. According to a March 10 blog post from the city, the Police Department had placed tow warning flyers on 450 vehicles between Jan 1 and March 10. The majority of those who received them have voluntarily complied and moved within the 72-hour period, according to the post. The department had issued 16 parking violations and towed three vehicles (two RVs and one trailer), all of which were unoccupied and were not "actively lived in," according to the city.

IN THE BEST INTEREST ... Small businesses that have faced financial hardships in Santa Clara County during the COVID-19 pandemic were given some relief Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, which approved a proposal to waive or reduce their permit fees for one year. It applies to restaurants, personal care services, gyms or fitness facilities, grocers and retailers that have less than 50 employees, according to a staff report. County staff also noted that businesses owned by minorities have been challenged by the pandemic. "Small businesses have payroll, bills and fixed debts so every fee we can reduce or waive as we begin to economically recover from the pandemic will help," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who worked on the proposal with Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. "Their stability means the economy's broader stability," Ellenberg said at Tuesday's board meeting. Eligible businesses can expect to see the waiver applied on their next invoice. County administrators plan to transfer $5.5 million from the General Contingency Fund to cover funds the Department of Environmental Health would lose from the waiver. Small businesses could also be eligible for temporary permit and license fee waivers from California under a legislative package Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last month.

Comments

Jim L.
Registered user
another community
on Mar 13, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Jim L., another community
Registered user
on Mar 13, 2021 at 4:02 pm

Given the more tasteful items catalogued in the Clars upcoming auction, it is increasingly difficult to envision Antonio's Nut House paraphernalia in the same category.

Will people actually be bidding and paying top dollar for the smoke-stained, oversized pair of men's briefs that says 'the best source of natural gas' on the back?

Or a string of plastic chili pepper lights that were once strung above the bar?

Or perhaps a sentimental peanut shell that once graced the floor?

Even the salvaged gorilla as a potential Palo Alto museum piece raises some eyebrows.

Inquiring minds are curious.



WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2021 at 12:16 pm
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 12:16 pm

FORCED OUT ...

As a former volunteer at the community center, the 'residents' All had non-local id, not even california id...

These aren't 'residents' .



Kelly G.
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2021 at 1:23 pm
Kelly G., East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 1:23 pm

Much of the memorabilia from the Nut House are genuine historical artifacts (including the tobacco-stained briefs) and they deserve a rightful place in the Smithsonian Institute.

And if not, perhaps the Stanford Museum can find a place for them.

In years to come, local children who visit the future Palo Alto Historical Museum will point to the mechanical gorilla as a symbol of Palo Alto's storied legacy.

These various items represent a special sense of pride that all Palo Altans can embrace and be proud of.

And hopefully collectors from the Clars auction will not hoard these artifacts for their private collections.


Alexa
Registered user
Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2021 at 2:32 pm
Alexa, Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 2:32 pm

@Forced out. The majority of these vehicles are derelict and represent a serious health and safety hazard. They have done for years. Every time I drive by the ones on the edge of Stanford, I look for signs of life. These are few and far between. I agree that a notice on each vehicle should be posted, but there needs to be a short window for a response. The city will need to hire some heavy-duty tow trucks to get rid of the derelict vehicles. The city will also need to be prepared for many of them to fall apart when towing is attempted. The debris will need to be sent to a dump. All of these actions will cost big money which the city needs to appropriate now.


CJ/RV
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2021 at 3:07 pm
CJ/RV, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 3:07 pm

° All had non-local id, not even california id...
° These aren't 'residents'.

FWI. Some of the more recently-arrived RV tenants have not yet registered their new Palo Alto addresses at places like the UPS store, Social Services, and DMV.

And during this Covid-19 pandemic, it is increasingly difficult at times to schedule in-person appointments with various agencies.

Rome wasn't built in a day so you
might consider cutting RV residents some slack!


°Every time I drive by the ones on the edge of Stanford, I look for signs of life. These are few and far between.

A majority of the Palo Alto residents living in RVs prefer to either sleep-in or remain inside during certain parts of the day.

SC County residents still must abide to limited pandemic restrictions, remember?

And in some ways, RV residents are being far more responsible than local Palo Alto residents who feel compelled to make unecessary and frivolous trips to Starbucks every morning.

Must RV dwellers do their own cooking and make their own coffee inside the RV.

Please respect our privacy as we respect yours.


Paly Girl
Registered user
Midtown
on Mar 15, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Paly Girl, Midtown
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 3:55 pm

What happened to Antonio's was criminal. The building has been there for 99 years...one more year and it would have received historical protection. From my understanding, the Antonio's family put in a bid to buy the property and retain the business "as is" but someone else put in a lower bid that was accepted so they could redevelop the property. Shameful and duplicitous. And, yes. so many people want to own a piece of Antonio's memorabilia...that place hold very special memories for generations of Palo Altans.


Michael
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2021 at 4:42 pm
Michael, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 4:42 pm

@ Paly Girl

Having spent countless hours in that place (too many at times) I can assure you that the building is not a historical landmark and 100 years is not the sole criteria for historical preservation status in Palo Alto.

Otherwise, countless run-down buildings around town would be saved for the sake of antiquity and historical significance.

Covid-19 severely impacted its continued patronage and revenue along with many other dining and drinking establishments.

And as far as having any of that 'memorabilia' grace the interior of one's house, well there is no accounting for taste.

After Tony M. passed, the Nut House days were on the downswing and various staff changes like having male bartenders messed with the overall vibe.

Time to move on.


Alexa
Registered user
Mountain View
on Mar 15, 2021 at 5:40 pm
Alexa, Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2021 at 5:40 pm

@CJ/RV I notice that you did not comment on the presence of derelict/trashed vehicles. Do you propose that those remain undisturbed? The people who created this public health and safety issue do not deserve our sympathy. It's an extreme form of littering which should never be acceptable. Let alone the negative impact on the environment.


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