May 13, 2005
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Palo Alto Online
Publication Date: Friday, May 13, 2005|
(May 13, 2005)
ShopTalk: Seats At Peet's?
by Daryl Savage
Coffee & Tea just opened in the Charleston Shopping Center.
Although this is Peet's third store in Palo Alto, there is one
big difference: Seats. Indoor and outdoor, and lots of them. Peet's is
building a wooden
deck into the parking lot toward Middlefield Road for additional chairs
and tables. "It will seat about 50 people," one employee said. The Homer
Avenue Peet's has no inside seats and the Town & Country Peet's has
"Yes, it's our first store with seating and we're excited about it. We've
always considered Palo Alto and the Peninsula to be our home base," said
Chris Sizemore, Peet's director of new stores, noting that Peet's Menlo
Park store on Santa Cruz Avenue opened 34 years ago. Although Peet's
officially opened May 9 at the Charleston center, its official opening
will be June
4, with free
coffee and tea and special sales.
As Peet's launches its new location, its next door neighbor will be packing
it up. Gymboree, the colorful, musical play store for young children,
May 13. "Our lease was up and we couldn't renew," said a staff worker
at the front desk. Another tenant, just two doors down, had a similar fate: Palo
Alto Orthopedic Company recently closed it doors. That site is still unoccupied,
but maybe not for long. Village Properties' Manager Larry Jacobs was spotted
looking long and hard through the window of the vacant site. But he was reticent
about discussing future plans, "We don't normally talk about things before
they happen," he said.
MIDTOWN GETS ITS BAKERY . . . And it's a good one. Esther's German Bakery confirmed
that it will open its first retail outlet August 1 -- probably -- in Midtown,
at 2737 Middlefield Rd., next to Subway, in the former One-Hour Photo space.
Robert Nio, who named his bakery after his wife, Esther, began his wholesale
business just one year ago.
"We grew like crazy. I couldn't believe it. We have challenges keeping up
with the demand," he said. One of Nio's customers is JJ&F Market.
"It flies out the door," JJ&F owner John Garcia said of Nio's pretzels
and breads. "We've only had these products for a month, they're brand new,
and our customers are already excited about it." Ironically, the
site is also next to the original Harmony Bakery location, when it first
The Harmony folks, meanwhile, Phil and Niki Nasr, are rumored to be eyeing a
site in either Ashland, Ore., or Santa Cruz for a fresh start.
AT A CROSSROADS . . . A new Eastern-European grocery, Crossroads World
Market, opened at the very tip of South Palo Alto, at 720 San Antonio
Hani Haddad completely transformed the interior of the 3,600-square-foot
a "Straw Hat Pizza" restaurant. It now is a specialty international
market that carries foods from Russia, Turkey, Poland, Italy and Czechoslovakia,
to name a few.
"It's like the United Nations here," Haddad said. "When customers
stand in line, you hear all these different languages being spoken. It's
nice because everyone gets along here. The Turks and Armenians get along.
and Israelis get along. Outside, people are in conflict, but not in here."
Haddad carries the international feature throughout his market. Not only
are the foods from different countries, so are the granite and marble
Pointing to the different shapes and colors of tile, Haddad could identify
where each originated: "From China, Italy, Brazil and the Philippines."
SPRING CLEANING, PALO ALTO STYLE . . . A few Palo Alto stores have decided it's
time for a new look. The Gap completely closed down its two-level store for a
remodel that will take four months. It plans to reopen right before the back-to-school
rush. Kids Gap and Baby Gap are still open. A neighbor of the Gap, Haagen Dazs
Ice Cream, also did a complete remodel and reopened last week in a sleeker, more
On the other end of the city, Goodwill, 4085 El Camino Way, is repainting,
reorganizing and reshuffling. The store is remaining open while it primps.
And Dastoor, an
Indian Restaurant on the Palo Alto/Mountain View border just a mile south
of Goodwill on El Camino, has redone its buffet, lowered its prices and
hired a new manager and chef.
Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out,
or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out.
She can be e-mailed at [email protected]
E-mail a friend a link to this story.