Shop Talk | April 19, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - April 19, 2013

Shop Talk

KEEN GARAGE STEPS INTO PALO ALTO ... Look for a mid-May opening for the footwear company Keen Garage, coming to 278 University Ave. in downtown Palo Alto. Finishing touches are being put on the recently constructed building at the corner of University Avenue and Bryant Street. The original building, which once housed Noah's Bagels, was demolished to make way for the new four-story structure. Keen Garage's other three stores are in Tokyo, Toronto and its home base of Portland, Ore. The company has a commitment to sustainability. "Every store is made from locally re-harvested products. Our wood floor, for example, is made from scrap wood from local homes that have been torn down," spokeswoman Christa DePoe said. Although Keen is known for its high-quality sandals, it also has unusual socks: Each is made to fit either the left or the right foot. Pricing for the fitted socks starts at about $17, and shoes and sandals average $100 to $125, DePoe said. As for the other tenants in the building, a city permit has been issued to San Francisco-based InVitae for the second floor. InVitae is a firm of scientists, engineers and medical professionals working to make clinical genetic testing accessible and affordable. Emerson Collective has a permit for the top two floors. Little information is available about Emerson, but a Google search reveals that Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, is the founder and CEO. It's a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of under-served students and supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working in education, social justice and conservation. And it is coincidental that this is the third Keen enterprise of sorts in Palo Alto. First is City Manager James Keene , and second is High Street's Hotel Keen, which opened in 2010.

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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. Email


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