TRADER JOE'S MOVING FORWARD AT T&C ... Although there is still nothing to see on the site that indicates Trader Joe's is still a go for Town & Country Village, it is definitely going to happen, according to Caroline Morris, Asset Manager for Ellis Partners, the San Francisco-based firm that owns the shopping center. "We'll break ground in late summer and Trader Joe's should be open by the second quarter of 2009," Morris said. The new building will be located in the large parking lot facing Palo Alto High School, where the fall "pumpkin patch" is located. Morris said the specialty grocer is eager to get going and is delighted it will have a presence in Palo Alto. "It's a fantastic store, and everyone wants to move forward as quickly as possible," she said. Construction of the 12,000-square-foot building, which will be completely devoted to Trader Joe's, is awaiting final approval from the city. Once it is built, traffic signals on Embarcadero Road and pedestrian walkways in the parking lot and between Paly and T&C will be reconfigured. Shop Talk originally broke the news about Trader Joe's moving to Town & Country in mid-2006, despite initial denials (or non-denial denials) by corporate officials and T&C brass. Even city officials reportedly had to sign non-disclosure agreements before they were allowed to see preliminary plans.
TRANSFORMED CHEESE HOUSE OPENS ... The Village Cheese House in Town & Country Village reopened last week, April 16, after a five-month renovation. Although there were extensive renovations and upgrades, the sandwich, cheese, wine and snack shop, which has been a part of the shopping center for nearly 50 years, remains true to its roots. The sandwiches, which gave the shop its staying power, are virtually unchanged. There are a few additions to the menu, such as a vegetarian option and a variety of salads, but otherwise, the reconstructed shop maintains the same rustic feel and distinct character that made it famous.
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