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July 21, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Q Café closing Q Café closing (July 21, 2004)

Owner won't comment on restaurant's status

by Bill D'Agostino

The Q Café on Alma Street near Palo Alto is closing at the end of the month, the building's owner reported this week.

The lease ends Aug. 1, and the owner of the restaurant/nightclub/pool hall hasn't asked for an extension, real estate developer Chop Keenan said.

"Restaurants have life cycles, and I think his has run the course there," Keenan said.

The manager of the restaurant refused to answer questions, insisting that a decision hadn't yet been made. The Q Café opened in 1994 with a 10-year lease. Keenan said the 6,000 square foot space brick building was the first he ever owned and has a "special place in my heart." He didn't yet know what would replace The Q Café, located next to a yoga center.

"We're getting all kinds of calls ... until we get in there it's hard to lease it, but it's a great space," he said. The lease will likely be in the $3-plus range, he added.

In June 2001, a 21-year-old college student was shot and killed outside the Q Cafe as she was exiting the club with friends. Despite a plethora of witnesses, police never found out who shot Maria Ann Hsiao, or why they did so. Three years later, fliers still adorn some downtown storefronts with her yellowed photo.

Staff writer Bill D'Agostino can be e-mailed at

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