Shop Talk | October 25, 2006 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 25, 2006

Shop Talk

ANOTHER KEPLERS TALE? ... The mere suggestion that JJ&F, College Terrace's independent, family-owned grocery store, may be forced to close it doors has put neighbors and longtime customers on high alert.The official reasons for the possible ousting are redevelopment and rent hikes. The unofficial reasons are misunderstandings and lack of trust. "Maybe we should Keplerize it," a member of a small group talking earnestly in front of the grocery store at 520 College Ave. said last week. "I like it. That's a great idea," longtime neighborhood leader Pria Graves replied. The term "Keplerize" was created last year when Kepler's, Menlo Park's 50-year-old independent bookstore, abruptly closed one day. A sense of loss and outrage spread through the community and within days a group of Kepler fans got together to raise enough money to keep the store in business. "I only hope there is sufficient will in this community to keep JJ&F in business," Graves said. JJ&F's current lease runs through 2011, although rent increases may make closure more imminent. These events are in stark contrast to the mood just 18 months ago, when JJ&F spoke of plans to enlarge the family-owned store to nearly three times its current 8,000 square feet. It now looks like the entire square block could be razed for a brand new development. And feelings have soured between JJ&F owners and the landlord, who has sued the JJ&F family for $350,000 back rent. See story in last Friday's Weekly for details, online at www.PaloAltoOnline.com.

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Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. She can be e-mailed at shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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