Town Square

Shop Talk: Babbo's and Ramona's shutter

Original post made on Jul 1, 2013

The venerable Babbo's Restaurant, a fixture for 24 years at the Stanford Shopping Center, closed last month. Ramona's Pizza on Birch Street closes to make way for the expansion of Anatolian Kitchen.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 1, 2013, 4:08 PM


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Does anyone know if Gott's Roadside will open? I thought that they had advertised a late-June opening. I went by on Sunday, but it still hasn't opened.

I visited the Gott's in St. Helena after seeing it on both the Food Network and the Travel Channel. We were impressed! I am confident that it will do well in Palo Alto!

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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I used to go to ramonas a few times a week for a good $2.50 slice of pizza, they will be missed. I wont spend 20+ dollars for a pizza anymore.

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Posted by RWC mom
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Loved Babbo's. Both my son and I loved their Calzone Rustica, just to name one of our favorite dishes. Enjoyed many good conversations with the Owners and the wait staff. Thank you for all the good times.

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Posted by Chrisc
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:36 am

I remember going to Ramona's restaurant in downtown. Sorry to see the last of the business disappear. You can get a good and hefty "slice" at Palo Alto Pizza Co on park. I don't know the cost, but it's delicious.
I'm also sorry to see the Fonos go. I used to love Bravo Fono.

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Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

I have so many wonderful memories of Bravo Fono...all linked to a dear friend who passed away a couple years ago.

And loved the Calzones at Ramona's.

It's true that all things must pass, but it's sad when they do.

I've lost many favorite restaurants over the years, and it really is like losing a friend.

Still hoping that Suraj (formerly on El Camino in RWC) will find a new location... and never did find out what happened to Rangoon.

Have found no respectable replacements.

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Posted by menlo mom
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

good riddance to Babbo's. They were so child unfriendly, and like most places in this area, had mediocre food.

But sorry to see Ramona's go.

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Posted by Nanny
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

We still miss Rangoon. We did not realize what a gem we had and such nice folks who ran it. I agree I would lve to know what happened there.

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Posted by Nacho
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm

[Post removed.]

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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Oh, I'm so sorry to learn about Babbo's. (I also loved Bravo Fono.) I feel bad I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to the wonderful, friendly staff. I usually dined there alone after shopping and they were very, very nice to me. Sadly, this sort of gracious establishment is disappearing.

As for being child-friendly, I observed that they were welcoming to everyone, no matter how young, loud, or picky a patron might be.

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

So sad to read about Babbo.
My daughter all time favorite restaurant in the area. She LOVES the staff and owners who always spoiled her with something extra. That was her first choice to celebrate special occasions. THANK YOU for may sweet memories!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

Unfortunately, soaring rents are forcing most moderately priced downtown restaurants out of business. Hopefully some of those can find a new home in other parts of town. Pedestrian traffic is really picking up on California Ave and even midtown these days. Younger families love walking around their neighborhoods and love to patronize businesses within walking distance of their homes.

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Posted by Downhill
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Bravo Fono and Babbo's were unique local restaurants which are
greatly missed for the food and ambiance. The transformation of Stanford Shopping Center under Simon Properties is very negative, very corporate. Remember Palo Alto Roasting Co? Starbucks took its place.

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Posted by Rebecca Lombardo
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

Heartbroken when we went to Palo Alto this evening to see our beloved Babbo's was gone...between Fono's and Cafe Andrea and then Babbos celebrated so many lovely occasions, late night holiday shopping suppers, warm afternoons under their umbrellas...we have lost a truly special spot. And one of my (now adult) daughter's very favorite spots. Bravo Fono's patio was one of the first "nice" restaurants I ever took her to when she was a little girl.

Their smoked salmon platter and a glass of bubbly on a summer evening was a slice of heaven...and the wait staff was always so sweet, remembering us from years of happy visits.

And with the Creamery gone as well...Stanford Shopping Center has, sadly, lost something for me.

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Posted by down-scale
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Stanford Shopping Center is steadily moving down-scale
after Simon Properties took over. Cutting back on maintenance
to boost the bottom line is one thing, but never cleaning the
overhang over the front entrance to Bloomingdale's on El Camino
which is now absolutely filthy is really crossing the line.
The old Bravo Fono area with the beautiful glass tiles, the nicest
feature in the entire center, was torn out right away to make way
for retail. Then the passageway was plastered with a Nike sign, etc,
etc. Expect this trend to continue. Simon is in way over its head
at Stanford and its focus is always bottom line and corporate culture.

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Posted by Marjorie
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Ate at Bravo Fono regularly from 1980 until it closed and also loved Babbo's. They were always friendly and courteous there. My children enjoyed eating there from a young age.So sorry to see them go.

If "child-friendly" means letting your children run amok while other are eating and run around tables grabbing onto other diners' chairs as I have often experienced in a certain popular M.P. restaurant then i'm not for it.

My children, nieces and nephews all grew up eating at Bravo Fono and it was never a problem as they stayed seated and knew how to behave at table.

I have TWO WORDS for those of you who inflict your toddlers out of control behavior on others while you ignore them and chat obliviously with friends BABY SITTER. It worked for previous generations.

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Posted by Chris
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 9, 2014 at 10:44 am


I'd love to get in contact with either of the owners of Babbo's, or the a chef. If you still have their contact info, please let me know-