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Shop Talk: Popular lunch spot Korean BBQ closes

Original post made on Sep 21, 2012

Two more local restaurants are gone. The biggest surprise to many is the demise of Korean BBQ, which closed its doors Aug. 31 with little warning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 23, 2012, 2:20 PM

Comments (32)

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Posted by sad
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Very sad to hear that the Korean BBQ is gone. Did they get evicted because the landlord wants more expensive merchants in that space? This restaurant was popular for years, even though their location in the back of the mall made them hard to find.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm

The link to the story in your post is broken.

Is this the little Korean BBQ place in Town 7 Country
where the old deli used to be?

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Posted by link
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Link to the story is: Web Link

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Posted by C
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

In answer to what happened to their lease, the Paly Voice has an article that is a bit more detailed: Web Link
And anon, I don't know if it's where the "old" deli used to be, but it was located next to what used to be a small shop with rocks and other odd trinkets... geological shop? I don't know exactly what it was... some gallery?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Know Knew Books is a great place. I hope they are developing an online presence on the side, it really helps, and only makes sense for a used book place.

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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I am happy to know that Know Knew Books will stay open!

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Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

Korean BBQ was a favorite spot for lunch for me.

Very sorry to see it forced out by the greedy management of the Town and Country Village. (see link above to Paly Voice).

The center now has terrible parking problems and really is a good place to avoid.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

Korean BBQ was so popular, ongoingly, for so long. I know it became a fave of PAMF staff once PAMF moved in & I used to see Paly students threaded throughout the line, too.

The rock shop - The Nature Gallery - moved. That was a stunningly gorgeous place. I ran into the owner last year w/her jewelry line at a trunk show.

Change is inevitable, but some of the T&C changes haven't made us smile like the demise of Edgewood Plaza's horrible buildings did. Frankly, as T&T became so yuppified & the parking terrible, we've curtailed our shopping there by about 50%. For so many years it was better to meet local friends there than many other shopping areas because it was good for cyclists & drivers, easy to find & lots to choose from. We now make the effort to meet at Cafe Zoe, Marsh Manor Shopping Center, Mediterranean Wraps & other similar places for coffee. We still brave it for books, Howie's, gift shopping & TJ's, but we deliberately avoid it during highest traffic times.

Congrats to Know Knew Books!!! I've brought so many friends there, discovered plenty of now favorite authors while meandering their aisles & been so appreciative of this gem that knowing it's going to stay is a huge relief. I hope that Bill can now better plan his future - he is a solid guy. Woot!

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Posted by janisw
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

Miyake's on University Ave also seems to have joined the club of local long time restaurants to have quietly closed with no notice. Anyone know more about it?

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Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

Town & Country strikes again. After "about 20 years" in business at the location, Korean BBQ, apparently renting only allowed a month-to-month lease for seven years, is turned out. The story does not mention this, but anyone who remembers how other former T&C tenants have been rewarded for long-term residence (Stickney's), it seems safe to presume that Korean BBQ was deemed to be "less than" what T&C sees as desirable now and was greeted with a fat rent increase that they could not afford to pay.

Nice work, T&C. Your parking area is a mess and your “style” becomes more sterile with every change you make.

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Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

Every time we went there on Saturday night for dinner they were closed by mid-afternoon?

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Posted by Annette
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Another closure...
The Persian restaurant, Cafe Renaissance, 321 Hamilton Avenue, last day of business was 9/21/12. They were located between the dry cleaners and NY Pizza, near Bryant.

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Posted by shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

I used to like going to the T&C shopping center because they had a wider variety of businesses than the Stanford mall. Is T&C trying to kick out all their lower priced businesses to save their parking spaces for high end customers? If so, I'm going to take my shopping dollars to Mountain View.

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Posted by rem
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

rem is a registered user.

T & C - The new parking lot !!!!

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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Town & Country has become a disaster. The traffic jams are horrible. The design of the parking lot with the high walls is a hazard. I once entered off El Camino and practically smashed into a car I couldn't see because of the wall that was backed up in traffic.
And we know all about the ludicrous situation with the traffic lights that back up traffic past the Embarcadero underpass.

I still can't forgive the T&C management for refusing to allow the Prestige Boutique to move back into a smaller store. After DECADES in business, they forced them out. I miss them terrible and often joke, "Like this outfit I got at Prestige? You'll be seeing it for the next few decades."

During Presige's going-out-of-business party, I approached the young guy from the city and told him how bad the traffic light situation was and he replied, "We know. We're looking into it."

That was about 3 years ago and still NADA, Zilch, ZERO action.

I usually drive to the Menlo Park Trader Joe's to avoid Embarcadero and T&C. How much tax revenue does the city lose because of their inaction??

No prob. They'll just raise utility rates.

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Posted by Chrisc
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I loved the Korean BBQ. They had a great variety
Of healthy choices. I'm sure there is no place like it.
I think they were there longer than seven years.
I was in there about a week before they closed,
And I'm pretty sure that the owner said they'd been there
Closer to 20. Maybe it was 17. Of course T&C
Owners would rather have the new hip
Asian box across the way that has had abysmal
Reviews than a reasonably priced delicious
Non-trendy resto. It's very sad.

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Posted by shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Paly Voice has a much better article about the Korean BBQ: Web Link
They say the restaurant has been at that location for 22 years. The current owner took over 9 years ago. She is a Korean native who loved sharing her culture and cuisine with her customers.

The new "Asian Box" is like a big box store in comparison, very bland and impersonal.

I know there are other quality Korean BBQ restaurants down in Sunnyvale, but that's too far to ride my bicycle. The Korean tofu soup restaurant on El Camino is good, but that is a different style of Korean food that I don't like as well as the Korean BBQ.

No, I'm not Korean.

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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Maybe the T&C owners will shut down retail and put in condos, like Hyatt Rickeys did. Now that we do so much shopping online, what's retail for anyhow.

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Posted by Maya
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I avoid T & C as much as possible. Expensive, crowded, and just not that fun anymore.
Too bad about Korean BBQ. I wonder how long Scott's and Sushi House will last?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

It's cold comfort, but I appreciate reading comments from others' which echo my feelings about T&C.

The Korean place was there for more years than 7 - I recall co-workers going there more than a decade ago. I recall T&C management driving out Weight Watchers & The Cookbook awhile back. Then there's that dreadfully named Honeys & Heroes, the pregnancy/new baby place & the overpriced maternity store. It's that marketing for the "Look at me look at me, I'm a mommy!" crowd - sad. What I do like are the gorgeous flower arrangements. In 2011 they had those gorgeously scented double daffodils - but that's not the best advertisement for a shopping center. I still like Douce France & have been able to finagle going there at odd hours to avoid the heinous parking. But clearly I'm not the only one dropping my dollars at other locations. I hope the management is reading this thread!

Miyake closed AND Cafe Renaissance? Wow.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

T&C caters to the higher tier demographic from PA/MP/Stanford.

Who are willing and able to pay a premium for superior quality and service-good for them

the tax revenues from T&C are much greater than they were when it was a rundown embarrassment to the area.

Korean BBQ was not particularly cheap, healthy nor Korean.

T&C is a vast improvement on what it was

The solution to the parking issue is to have drivers pay for parking at peak hours and to expand the valet parking option.

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Posted by right on target
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Speaking of rundown embarrassments, Sharon!!

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

No one has ever figured out how to configure the red light leading out of T&C onto Embarcadero. It's been a nightmare for 50 years. Also, a friend of mine tried to rent a spot at T&C for a shop. He was told by the rental office that the owners of the property eventually want to tear down T&C and put up housing.

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Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The Korean BBQ reminds me of Cookbook: popular, affordable restaurants thaat Ellis Partners cut off abruptly at a financial loss to the restaurant owners. I just don't go to T & C anymore, especially not to the luxury baby shop that replaced Cookbook.

Will it be housing for Stanford staff & young faculty?

FYI: in addition to the TJ's in MP, there is one in San Antonio Shopping Center.

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Posted by havanagirl
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I had not eaten at Korean BBQ, but this article reminded me of how sad I was when T&C forced the Cookbook out of business. I don't think it every reopened locally, at least to my knowledge. I miss it!

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

At risk of revealing my pedestrian culinary taste, I'm disappointed in the closing of Marie Callender's.

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Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 25, 2012 at 7:43 am

Marie Callender's closed?! What a loss of normal place to eat.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

Musical - the last few times I went to Marie Callender's, it was sub-par. Shame on me for not ordering something like quiche or soup & cornbread - their reliable dishes. It was always a comforting go-to place during the week that we could enjoy w/our elders or if kids were involved.

And we have to remember - the Mike's in Menlo just closed, too.

I still miss The Cookbook - the baby place serves a purpose, but it seriously - it's no match for The Cookbook' ability to bring enjoyment to many since it only serves the few - pregnant & newer families - but it doesn't *feed* them.

Jane - there hasn't been at light at Embarcadero/T&C for 50 years - there wasn't one there when I was at Paly & it wasn't quite 5 decades ago ;-)

This is a reminder that the restaurant business is very difficult & that they're a moving target in this difficult times - if only by their scurrilous landlords, as even a loyal clientele is no guarantee of success.

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Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

I worked as a waitress at Marie Callender's back in the day when students had jobs in the 80s. It was a hip place, usually packed and served food like TGIFs/Red Robin. I moved back to Palo Alto and went there in 2006 and was discouraged that it had gone so downhill and was more of a coffee shop restaurant for senior citizens. The quality of pies and menu items had diminished too. The menu had changed and so did the clientele. I'm not surprised it closed, although saddened because of the memories.

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Posted by Jan H
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I am not surprised. The place was dirty, the floor was downright filthy, the food was either bland or hot, no real flavor. The service was chilly, too. Oh, and the second time I went there I came home with food poisoning, so perhaps there were other health code violations than just the viable ones.

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Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Jan H. is a registered user.

BTW! the new Town and Country SUCKS! I like a lot of the stores, especially Peet's Athleta, and Trader Joe''s, but the traffic is insufferable. They took out SO many parking spaces to make room for needless landscaping that people drive around and around continuously looking for parking.

It is very hard to get into the T&C parking lot, but absolute murder to get out of it. They created a real bottleneck on Embarcadero, right in the spot where the poor Paly employees have to leave their parking lot. Like they don't have enough hassles dealing with rowdy teens, they can hardly leave the place at the end of the day!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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