HOTELS DELAYED; ECONOMY BLAMED ... The one-month-old Pattaya Thai restaurant, adjoined to Palo Alto Bowl at 4329 El Camino Real, is the first clue that the bowling alley has been given a temporary reprieve from demolition — as in a reported 4-year lease extension. Pattaya has replaced the old Thai Garden restaurant, and construction plans are now on hold for the planned four-story hotel that was to be built on that site. Seems the economy needs to show some strength in the hotel segment before building will begin, according to hotel-industry sources. Also on hold are plans to turn Ming's Restaurant at 1700 Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto into a hotel. The original project, which was recently approved by the City Council, called for a smaller restaurant and a 147-room hotel. Planning and subsequent construction are expected to resume once the economy bounces back, Ming's owner Vicky Ching said. She added that it's difficult for banks to see their way to finance hotels, which are struggling, but that the city approvals are good for several years. "So for now we're going to concentrate on the restaurant."
HELLO, VINCE; GOODBYE, ARTHUR ... The luxury clothing store with a great-sounding name is coming to Stanford Shopping Center this month. "Vince" will open its 14th boutique as part of a major retail expansion. Known for cashmere and leather contemporary clothing, Vince goes for the "casual chic" look and is big on comfort. A farewell to Arthur Beren, the designer shoe store in the middle of the mall that closed last month. Arthur Beren in San Francisco's Union Square will remain open. And one more shoe store recently closed at Stanford: The Walking Company is gone. Storefront windows are blacked out. No word yet on what will replace it.
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