ACE GOES DRIVERLESS ... Palo Alto's Hassett ACE Hardware store at 875 Alma St. is partnering with Mountain View-based tech company ThorDriveto bring same-day, autonomous driving delivery service to customers in Palo Alto and eventually the greater Silicon Valley. Ace will launch its driverless delivery service on Nov. 29 to select residents of Channing House in Palo Alto before expanding to other customers. A spokeswoman from Ace said the Department of Motor Vehicles has issued the company a permit to operate retrofitted Ford Transit Connect vans with a safety driver in the car for now. The idea behind driverless technology movement is that by cutting out the need for a driver, businesses can also cut costs and provide delivery services at lower prices. "This is simply the next step in providing the 'above-and-beyond' customer service we are known for," said Eric Hassett, owner of Hassett Ace Hardware.
BLUE BOTTLE COMING TO STANFORD ...
Third-wave coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee is opening a new location at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Outlines of coffee cups with the company's trademark bright-blue bottle image recently appeared on scaffolding covering a space next to the new Jeffrey clothing store, on the El Camino Real side of the shopping center. A Blue Bottle spokesperson confirmed the new location but declined to share further details. The opening is "still quite a ways out," the spokesperson said. Blue Bottle got its start in Oakland in 2002 and has since expanded beyond the Bay Area with dozens of locations on the West and East coasts as well as in Japan. The Stanford Shopping Center Blue Bottle will join a cafe nearby that opened inside the historic Varsity Theatre in downtown Palo Alto in 2015 — Blue Bottle's first Peninsula location. That cafe serves espresso, blend and single-origin coffees as well as breakfast and lunch.
Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Elena Kadvany and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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