AU REVOIR ... Palo Alto's Pastis Bistro, a California Avenue staple of casual French cuisine, closed earlier this month. Located at 447 California Ave., the restaurant was in business for more than a decade after Bernard Cartal and his nephew, Max Roucoule opened it in 2011. Serkan Karabacak, who also owned Palo Alto restaurants Cafe Brioche and Tuba, was the restaurant's most recent owner. During the pandemic shutdown in early 2020, Karabacak refused to take any of the 35 staff members he employed at his five restaurants (including two in San Francisco) off the payroll, and he served donated meals to around 120 residents at Palo Alto's Stevenson House, an affordable senior-living community. "People have always come to support me. ... We have to help each other," Karabacak told the Weekly at the time.
Since opening in late 2011, taking over the spot that Joanie's Cafe had previously occupied, the restaurant had received rave reviews. The restaurant offered "possibly the most authentic casual French restaurant experience in the area," according to Palo Alto Weekly food critic Dale Bentson in a 2012 review. "Pastis is a vibrant addition to the California Avenue corridor. It's French all right, from the waitstaff to the decor. And the food is bistro-worthy: tasty, filling and well-prepared, with prices that don't offend," Bentson wrote.
ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY ... Palo Alto's planned transitional housing complex received a boost from Santa Clara County supervisors as they unanimously approved $4 million from the Challenge Grant program to support the project on Oct. 4. The pending development on San Antonio Road is part of the first cycle of the Challenge Grant, which has set aside $40 million in county funding to support the development of interim housing sites. Projects can receive up to $4 million from the grant for capital and operational expenses. The project has received financial support from the state's Homekey program, which awards grants for housing projects benefiting the homeless or those at risk of homelessness. "The hope is that cities and nonprofit partners throughout the county will be able to leverage these funds, combined with other sources, to move these projects forward quickly," according to a press release from supervisors Joe Simitian and Otto Lee. The Palo Alto project, which is being co-developed with the nonprofit LifeMoves and the city of Palo Alto, plans on using modular units stacked two to three stories high that ultimately will serve 64 single adults and 24 families, accommodating more than 200 people annually.
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