TESLA CHARGES UP ON EL CAMINO ... Unplug one electric car company and plug in another. That's what's happening in Palo Alto at 4180 El Camino Real, with the news that Tesla Motors opened its new showroom this week in the former Fisker Silicon Valley dealership. Fisker, which ran into financial trouble, was the first exclusively electric-car dealer in town; Tesla is the second. Tesla has been busy making upgrades to the 27,500-square-foot showroom and service center, which happens to be located next to yet another luxury car dealer, McLaren San Francisco, at 4192 El Camino, which shares its space with Volvo Palo Alto. The newly painted building is expected to house a variety of Teslas, making the northwest corner of Arastradero Road at El Camino Real one of the snazziest in town, automotively speaking.
NEW RESTAURANTS FLOCK TO PALO ALTO ... It's nearly impossible to miss the giant "EAT" sign on the outside wall of Gott's Roadside, the latest restaurant to open in Palo Alto's Town & Country Village. Gott's, which also has locations in San Francisco, Napa and St. Helena, opened last month. Occupying the former Hobee's restaurant site, the eatery is known for its variety of gourmet burgers. The menu also features seafood, salads and breakfasts. Also new to Palo Alto is the Corner Bakery Cafe, which opened Oct. 7 in the old Boston Market location at 3375 El Camino Real. Vacant since January, the site has been transformed to make room for the cafe. "New paint, new floors, new everything," General Manager Larry Iwasaki said. Note to jobseekers: The restaurant is hoping to hire 55 employees for its Palo Alto location. Next to open is Sam's Chowder House, a Half Moon Bay seafood restaurant that is expanding into Palo Alto. Located at 185 University Ave. in the former space of the short-lived pizza spot Campo 185, Sam's is expected to begin business later this month. And reopening in a new spot at the Stanford Shopping Center is Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The old Fleming's had a five-week closure at the mall while the new restaurant was being built. It now features a larger patio, main dining room and private dining spaces.
ICE CREAM TIMES FOUR ... There's a bevy of new ice cream shops in the Palo Alto area. Scoop is the latest one to hit the streets, at the former Haagen Dazs spot at 203 University Ave. Owners Dave and Cindy Somasunderam opened their store on Sept. 26, in their second venture into the ice cream industry. "We owned a frozen yogurt shop in New Jersey before moving out here. But now, we make our own ice cream fresh every day, using a liquid nitrogen method," Cindy Somasunderam said. The store has two huge tanks on display, each holding 265 liters of liquid nitrogen. She said the method they use at Scoop instantly freezes the ice cream, resulting in a richer, smoother, denser product. Yet another ice cream parlor, which also uses liquid nitrogen, is headed for this area. Scheduled to open in the next few months in Whole Foods Market at 4800 El Camino Real in Los Altos is Smitten, which began in San Francisco's Hayes Valley. It will occupy the front corner section of Whole Foods, taking over the 1,500-square-foot space that housed the grocery store's culinary center, which had a working kitchen and open seating for diners. Also: Cream opened in June at 440 University Ave., and is known for its ice cream sandwiches, and Tin Pot Creamery , the new ice cream parlor in Town & Country Village, features handcrafted ice cream made in small batches.
STANFORD MALL GETS JUICED ... Pressed Juicery is gearing up to open at the Stanford mall, replacing Happy Go Lucky Dog Boutique, which was open for only four months. The juice store, which has a dozen stores in Southern California and four more in the Bay Area, offers freshly bottled juices and nutritional juice cleansing programs.
LISA'S TEA RELOCATES ... Lisa's Tea Treasure is on the move. It closed its Menlo Park location at 1175 Merrill St. and reopened last month at 167 Main St. in Los Altos.
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