Around Town | August 8, 2014 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 8, 2014

Around Town

HEY! NOT MY BARISTA ... Local coffee lovers likely rejoiced this week with the news that third-wave coffee pioneer Blue Bottle Coffee will be opening a cafe inside the historic Varsity Theatre on downtown Palo Alto's University Avenue. The cafe is part of a project backed by high-tech software company SAP that plans to transform the building, which opened as the theater in 1927, into a "working cafe" concept dubbed HanaHaus (read about it in the Upfront section of this paper). SAP provided the Weekly with a rendering of the cafe, including a barista counter manned by a hipster-looking man wearing a dark vest, tie and dark fedora. Soon after the image was posted on PaloAltoOnline, an urgent request came in from Blue Bottle to take the rendering down. That man is, in fact, a barista for Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a Blue Bottle competitor based in Portland, Oregon, Blue Bottle said. SAP had (unwittingly) chosen the gentleman for its mockup. The two companies are now working together on a new image. Perhaps they'll work it out over a cup of joe.

CHAMBER'S NEW DIGS ... The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce finally moved into its new home inside Lytton Gateway on July 30 and is now fully operational inside the new development at the corner of Lytton Avenue and Alma Street. The news that the Chamber would be the nonprofit tenant in the four-story building anchored by online-survey company Survey Monkey came in February with an announcement that the Chamber had signed a 10-year lease on the ground floor of the development. The building at 101 Lytton Ave. won the city's approval under the "planned community" zone process, which allows developers to exceed zoning regulations in exchange for negotiated public benefits. One of the benefits for the project to include was space for a nonprofit group, with rent subsidized by the developer. Chamber of Commerce CEO David MacKenzie said in a statement at the time that the move into Lytton Gateway would "provide more visibility for the Chamber, our enriching programs and our vibrant membership." Two ground-floor retail spaces at Lytton Gateway have yet to be leased, but — lucky for the Chamber — a third opened as a gelato shop this week.

SECURITY BREACH AT PF. CHANG'S ... Did you nosh on some kung pao or shaking beef at the Palo Alto P.F. Chang's in April, May or early June? Check your bank statements, because your credit- or debit-card information might have been stolen. The Stanford Shopping Center location is one of 33 of the restaurant chain's outposts impacted by a serious security breach. The Arizona-based company has had a team of forensics experts on the case since the U.S. Secret Service informed P.F. Chang's about it on June 10, CEO Rick Federico said in a statement this week. The company does not yet know if any credit-card data was actually stolen, but customers who used their cards at one of the affected restaurants should review their account statements for unusual activity and notify their card companies if they find any, Federico said. Customers may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which can be reached by phone at 877-438-4338, company officials said. P.F. Chang's has enrolled affected customers in an identity protection service called AllClear Secure for the next 12 months. Customers experiencing problems with identity theft may call the service at 877-412-7152, according to Federico.

LGBT-FRIENDLY CAMPUS ... Stanford University has garnered a new college-ranking distinction: the most LGBT-friendly campus in the nation. The ranking is one of many in the Princeton Review's "The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition." To determine this year's rankings, the test-prep company sent online surveys to 130,000 students. The survey has more than 80 questions in four main sections: "About Yourself," "Your School's Academics/Administration," "Students" and "Life at Your School," with probing questions on everything from financial aid to campus food options. Stanford also came out at No. 4 for best college library and No. 7 in top undergraduate entrepreneurial programs but dropped to No. 15 for financial aid and No. 18 for best quality of life. View the full rankings at


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Save $5 when you register by Monday, July 31

Registration is now open for the 33rd annual Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run and Walk. This family-friendly event which benefits local nonprofits serving kids and families will take place on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Palo Alto Baylands.

Register Here