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Longtime dim sum spot, Cho's on California Avenue, to close

Original post made on Jan 28, 2014

Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum, a 35-year-old hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant on California Avenue, will be serving potstickers, dumplings and other morsels for the last time on March 15.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 6:04 PM

Comments (141)

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

How sad? I am not surprised, though. Best of luck to the Chos. I'm really sorry that you got shafted like this.


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm

California Ave used to be a great place for small family-oriented storefronts. Sounds like the landlords are kicking out them all out and trying to replace them with dot-com offices and expensive yuppie restaurants. That is really too bad. Palo Alto already has upscale University Ave and the Stanford Mall. California Ave works best as a cheaper alternative for middle income families.


Posted by Local, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 28, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Some of the best buns since my grandmother's. You will be missed. So sorry to see this happening. This is where I wish some of our more well-heeled residents would help make it possible for us to keep some of what makes Palo Alto a livable place... Set up a liveability investment fund....


Posted by Sue Ross - So Unfair!, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by OldSchoolPA, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:16 pm

So disappointed in the greed that has become Palo Alto today. 60 days notice is nothing for a business to re-adapt and formulate a new plan. The only one who "wins" here is the landlord. Sorry to hear two of Palo Alto's finest businesses are being destroyed by someone else's ruthlessness. May the Cho and Vierra families prosper infinitely!


Posted by Cheeseguy, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

This is a terrible loss. Last month the original La Bamba on Old Middlefield in Mt View gets forcibly evicted by the City of Mt View and now this happens to Cho's. It seems that any place with real character or individuality is being tossed out to make way for more cookie cutter trash. Very sad indeed.


Posted by Pat Markevitch, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Is this the same landlord that kicked out Casa Isabel?


Posted by Dottie, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm

The only way you can win is to own the building outright.

Sorry for your loss.


Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

The only thing constant is change.


Posted by Rachel, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I just revisited Cho's only a few weeks ago for the first time in many many years. It was something of a myth to me, a place my parents reminisced about. To rediscover that memory was wonderful.

I'm so sad to hear this. My best to Cho Yu and his family, I'm sorry it has to be this way.


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jan 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Old Palo Alto died the day real estate greedsters convinced clueless yuppies to worship and pay six figures for Eichlers.

Forcing out Cho's is just the latest in the greed driven yuppification of Palo Alto.




Posted by Fred Balin, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Fred Balin is a registered user.

My wife, her sister, and our brother-in-law have been customers since they opened. I brought home vegetarian spring rolls, pot stickers and soup the other night. Mr Cho is always super-courteous. After 35 years serving Palo Alto, he deserves respect and a longer notice.


Posted by Very Sad, a resident of Nixon School
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Major bummer. Very sad to hear this news. I've been a loyal Cho's fan since they opened. I love Cho's hot sauce - mixed at the cash register as I'm paying. I'm sad for them, and now I have a Cho's craving too.


Posted by Marchelle, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:11 pm

I'm sorry for the way the Ross handled this. Her family owned the block for years, I'm sure greed played a big role in this. I hope someone can help the Cho family out.


Posted by OPar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm

It's awful that the Cho's and Vierra weren't given a longer notice. Clearly, if the Cho's had bought supplies, they weren't planning to retire immediately.

What a crappy way to treat long-term tenants.


Posted by Booooo, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I lived in Palo Alto for my entire life until leaving to college a few years ago. Now every time I come back I'm sickened by how little of the Palo Alto I grew up with is still here. Stories such as this, evicting a couple that has been there for THIRTY FIVES years on such short notice, is only one of the reasons why I encourage my parents to get out of this now overpriced, greed-driven town. Cho's you will be missed!


Posted by Andrew Rosenblum, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Very disappointing to see Sue Ross and her brother treat Cho Yu and Ron Vierra in such a callous manner. These are both longtime small businessmen in Palo Alto who were clearly planning on keeping their businesses running, and instead are evicted with just 2 months notice. I have been eating at Cho's since the late 80s, and am so disappointed to see this great hole-in-the-wall restaurant driven out of business without the landlord even making an offer on raising the rent. I love how Ross tries to frame evicting a mom-and-pop business with a full year's of supplies as somehow allowing Cho to retire. Keep telling yourself that lady! Don't know how you sleep at night.


Posted by Matt, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:59 pm

And to kick them out right before Chinese New Year; it's like getting an eviction notice on Christmas Eve. So disrespectful.


Posted by very sad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:09 am

for someone who grew up with in palo alto their entire life, it is incredibly sad to see cho's go. as i will not be in the area until the summer, it is devastating to think of the idea that i will never be able to get one last taste of cho's before they go. shame on you palo alto and your greedy ways.


Posted by VERY UPSET ABOUT CHO'S, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:39 am

More upset than I can say about the prospect of losing Cho's Restaurant. Why on earth can't we, as a community, do something to prevent this loss? Can't someone talk some kindness and commonsense into the landlords? Can't we have a decent, normal set of small businesses in Palo Alto supported by decent, normal people - instead of the appalling greed we now observe in every facet of Palo Alto's so-called "upward mobility"?


Posted by a neighbor, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:59 am

its all about the money Cho...that's all they want. they could care less about you.


Posted by Still more greed, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:41 am

"that's a bonus for Palo Alto, too."
No it is not. It's a stupid justification for a cruel act.
Greed is not a justification, you are making money now, but you want still more, more, more.


Posted by Jenny, a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

How heartbreaking, disrespectful of not only the longtime business but of the community as well. I really hate how the recent boom has only killed people's morals. I'm sure it's more profitable to kick them out. But it's not the right thing to do, and no matter what excuse you use for the press does not make it right.


Posted by Social Butterfly, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:14 am

I am a life long Palo Altan..I have been ill for the last few years and have not been downtown University Avenue in many many months. I lately took a drive down University Avenue and kept putting my brakes on, gawking at ALL the new businesses that are now there~ in the places that I had fondly remembered as being there! GONE!! I let the cars behind me honk, then I would go a little faster, it was like I was in another dimension...on a merry go round ride. Very few original shops left. The same has been happening to California Avenue. Very disappointed when the street was stripped of the trees that I remembered as a youngster. It is going to take many many years for them to grow to full size to beautify the Avenue again........I have sympathy for those small businesses who are being evicted. They are "in the way of PROGRESS"....They should have been notified by the landlords intentions of remodeling and given a year to relocate and given money to move. (That is what they did when the City wanted Terman Middle School again...they paid the Jewish Community Center a whole lot of money to relocate....) How is this scenario so different, other than it is being done by a private landowner???????? I would suggest Ross to rethink her timing being baby brother has his time off to upgrade.....and give the businesses time to regroup.


Posted by ChoLoverJim, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 7:37 am

This behavior on the part of the landlord taints the property. I will be very much disinclined to patronize whatever business replaces Cho's. Potential tenets should be disclosed that you have left a very bad taste in the mouth of many community members.

Ill will comes around.


Posted by BoycottRoss, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:19 am

I will never again patronize any business owned by these people. How nasty to kick out Cho's after 35 years on 60 days notice supposedly because they had time to remodel. I grew up with California Ave as my neighborhood business area, and still live here. I understand economic change but not nasty behavior. Shame on you Ross.


Posted by Me too, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:02 am

This is not the way to treat a 35-year tenant. I will also make sure to boycott whatever new businesses replace the old ones.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Addison School
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:09 am

This is a disgrace. The owners of this property have no backbone and no moral compass. I have gone to Cho"s since I was in my teens. This institution is a heritage landmark and special place. This family worked their tails off for years and are an example of what makes America a great place. The first generation business owner success story only to end in pursuit of a cleaner looking storefront and possibly a few extra bucks. I understand that business is business but to not even work with Cho and his family to meet both interests is reprehensible. To Cho and his family thanks for your contribution to the Palo Alto community and the great food and memories.
Nick


Posted by ChoLegend, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:22 am

Greed. Plain and simple. The landlords should be ashamed of this last minute eviction for a gentleman and his wife who have served tens of thousands of folks oiver the years. I moved from Palo Alto 20 years ago, went to Cho's many times in the 80's, and am saddened to what is happening to my hometown. Zero interest in ever returning because of greedy behavior like this. I hope the community rally's around Mr. and Mrs. Yu to keep this last piece of the real Palo Alto open for years to come.


Posted by Alex Chavez, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:25 am

There used to be a music store on California ave. There used to be a pet store, there used to be a hobby shop.

Places that had imagination and were bizzare in the best ways.

People call Palo Alto "a special place", which is true but its now special for different reasons.

I would make "keep Palo Alto weird" stickers but I'd be too late.

Next thing you know Santa Cruz will have a GAP and a Starbucks, and our cool art cites will become trashy (yet classy) strip malls.

Mmmm...Strip malls...

It just feels warm and squishy when you say it...
Warm and squishy...just like dog poop.


Posted by P.A. Native, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:03 am

I have been eating at Cho's since I was old enough to go somewhere and pay for food by myself. I have great memories there, and remember fondly when it was just the register room and we'd have to squeeze in just to sit and eat. Everything cool in Palo Alto is going, and it's going fast. The city we grew up in and love is dying.

Have you seen the old bowling alley lately? Condos built to the sidewalk, just like Rickey's. Only after they're built will everyone realize just how ugly it looks.

Anyways, apologies to Cho and Daisy for the unfair treatment they have received at the end of their work life. And a big thanks for all of the potstickers you have served me over the years. See you soon.


Posted by Susie, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

I've lived in CT for 14 years and it's sad what becoming of my neighborhood. I don't like what Cal Ave is morphing into.


Posted by S. Brown, a resident of Community Center
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:21 am

About time for the remodel. Who needs the insurance company, it can move elsewhere. Cho's is quaint but I would prefer a higher end place. Palo Alto and Calif ave is much different than it was 30yrs. Times change.


Posted by Lizard, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

Cho's personality and simple menu has made his place a favorite of mine for almost 30 years. While I no longer live in the the Bay Area, I make it a point to visit Cho's whenever I am in town. Nothing better than some hot and sour soup and potstickers. Great memories of when my roommates and I lived down the street on Park Blvd and roshambo'ed to see who would go and get a bunch of pot stickers on a Saturday afternoon. I hope Cho reconsiders his retirement plans and relocates.


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

Sue Ross said she's talked to Cho about his retirement. But she didn't talk to him about her plans to close the restaurant. She just hit him with the 30-day notice. Any classy human being, dealing with a loyal, reliable, long-time tenant would have given the Cho's much longer notice. What Cho is asking for, as well as the insurance salesman, is significantly more than a mere 30-day notice. Sue Ross's attempts at a justification for what she did are PATHETIC and besides the point. A client who is reliable and trustworthy deserves to be treated with respect and to be afforded more than 30 days in order to find another locale for its business. Instead, Ross, like many other property owners, will do no more than what is legally required and dismiss any consideration of humane and empathic treatment of her clients.
PATHETIC AND DISGUSTING!!!!


Posted by Cho's Fan, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

This Sue Ross sounds like a real character: Cho spoke about retiring, so she made the decision to retire for him? How arrogant. I hope with all this attention there is someone who can help get Cho relocated; I will go anywhere on the peninsula to get his dumplings.


Posted by son loves cho's, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:38 am

You would think with the out pouring of support coupled with the abundant supply of practicing attorneys in the area that some pro bono work could be arranged to assist the long time tenants.


Posted by Anon , a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

I agree with an earlier poster . The Chos deserved longer notice and more respect.
As our continues to swallowed by rapacious development we are losing our very soul and individuality.

Very sad indeed for such a great city to be lost for simple greed.


Posted by New to Palo Alto, a resident of Ventura
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:40 am

Im a new resident to palo alto and living walking distance to California Ave. it is sad to see this long time establishment go. My coworkers rave about this place.

What Cho should do is open up a food truck to cater to the so called yuppies that are ruining Palo Alto. He'd make a killing ;)


Posted by Neilson Buchanan, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

Sounds like Thomas Perkins' western style economic justice system for this small business.

Maybe on the Ides of March someone can organize a citizen group to sing Pete Seeger's "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" on the day it closes! and follow up with "If I Had A Hammer". Another tangible example of Palo Alto's race to the future.


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:45 am

P.S. This is all too typical of what the new money-grubbing, money-obsessed, increasingly gentrified Palo Alto is becoming. Yuppified, boring, money-maximizing, character-dismissing, development-obsessed, and ethically challenged. If the market supported it, the spineless City Council would abjectly allow a phalanx of wall-to-wall Cheesecake Factory restaurants on University or California Avenue. This city is losing its distinctive soul. It is becoming as obsessive about money and property development as the worst of Wall Street and the charm and pleasure of the Old Palo Alto is fast disappearing before our eyes. It's only a matter of time until the entire population of Palo Alto will consist of people able to afford homes priced at $1.2 million and above and condos at $1 million and above. What will Palo Alto be like and feel like then? More conspicuous consumption, luxury cars, sterile stores, and less genuine community. Bank on it.


Posted by saddened, a resident of Ventura
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:47 am

Sue Ross sounds like a TYPICAL PA landlord. With only $$ in their eyes. She should remember "what goes around, comes around" and when she has her "discussion about her retirement" with HER kids, they will just stick her in a nursing home and and grab her money, ignoring her, because her actions speak louder than her words.


Posted by David Wu, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

Please don't leave us, Cho!!! Been visiting since Cho's was at the original location in downtown Mountain View in 1985. It's an institution for me. Maybe someone can start a grass roots movement to save Cho's.


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:52 am

P.P.S. By the way, the "property manager" is NOT going to "upgrade" the restaurant and insurance office. Both spaces will surely be made into spiffy offices and rented to those willing to pay the highest rents, all this so that the owners can have more money in their bank accounts to buy more material goods to make them feel good. Another characterful business (Cho's) along California Avenue goes down the toilet because of owner greed, to be replaced by yet two more antiseptic, sterile, faceless offices. Is there something seriously wrong here? You bet there is.


Posted by CC, a resident of University South
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

So as we are all sad about this. Devastated is the word I'm using. Can we do anything to save Cho's? I think the entire town of PA is sadened by this news. Maybe all except the scum landlords kicking them out.

Keplers was saved.

Can we do anything to help save Cho's

Don't even know where to start. But maybe someone had a good idea????


Posted by Pat, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

What a bummer! It's so clear by the comments here how sad the community is by losing Cho's. Like any longtime PA resident, I grew up going here and will definitely miss it. I really hope California Ave doesn't become so crazy like University has become now. My husband and I were priced out of buying a home in Palo Alto and bought a home in Redwood City. So if Cho's wants to come up to Redwood City, we will gladly welcome you and frequent your place often! I hope someone shows these comments to the Chos so they are aware of how much they meant to so many people. Better yet, go there in person and buy as much as you can. What a shame that this Sue didn't have the heart or brain to realize that you need to give a business a longer time to make a business decision and that anytime you effectively kick out a long time business, people will be upset.


Posted by Ellen, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

Three generations of my family have been Cho's fans. I'm sorry my grandchildren can't continue to enjoy the best potstickers on the mid-Peninsula. But I know that Cho's new grandson will, and that is some solace.

Good luck, Cho! Thanks for the memories.


Posted by Zachary Freier-Harrison, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

I could not be more sad to hear Cho's is closing. My mom, who grew up in Palo Alto remembers Cho's fondly when it first opened during her time at Stanford. My friends and I have been going to Cho's since elementary school, it's been a constant in my upbringing in Palo Alto. I'm angered to hear the disrespect with which Cho's and Farmer's Insurance have been treated. Owners are of course entitled to do what they want with their property, but the blatant distaste and disrespect the owners have for, in my mind, the most beloved restaurant in Palo Alto, is disgusting.


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

@CC: you want a "good idea" about how to stop this outrage? I'll give you one. If people started demonstrating peacefully outside of Cho's and the insurance office with placards on which was written: "SUE ROSS is greedy! Give Cho's a year's notice!!!!" (and the same for Mr. Vierra) and people chanted that for a few hours a day so that it got into the local media, that might cause SUE ROSS to rethink her insensitive and unfair treatment of Cho and Vierra. Won't happen. People are too busy making money and checking e-mail.


Posted by anon , a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

A food truck would be GREAT!


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

The draw of California Ave has always been its diversity, especially compared to University Ave or the Stanford Mall. California Ave had a wide variety of price ranges as well as different types of restaurants and stores. If landlords start killing the diversity, we're going to stop going to California Ave.


Posted by Shameful conduct and values at work here, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

Very disappointing way to treat a person with whom you have a long-term business relationship. Really shameful conduct and values.


Posted by CC, a resident of University South
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:16 am

Robert. I like your thinking. I was thinking that a peaceful protest might gain some attention.

I work. But would be willing to try to get people together for a peaceful protest. I could start Friday early afternoon. Willing to go out sat and sun too. Would be great to get a big group out in front Sunday, the day of the farmers market. That too will probably be taken from us too.

I'm thinking about creating a save Cho's Facebook page. I'll let you know how i do.

Who's in to protest and try to save Cho's and the insurance co. Come all. The more the better


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:18 am

If greed was the only motivation for the property owner, then I am sure she would have acted years ago when rents started to escalate. The building is very old and needs a facelift. It's unfortunate that the Cho's are being forced out but I can see the flip side of this coin.


Posted by Midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:19 am

Anyone who eats at Baume's is a traitor only enriching the landlord, Ms Ross. Some economic arm twisting might modify the outcome here.


Posted by member, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

Sorry to hear. Kids at Paly love to visit Cho's and get a great lunch for cheap.
And love to tell stories of when Cho is out of an item his "No #3, you want #4 today"


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

As long as I can remember my life mantra has been "live life to the fullest for the good of all concerned."

Sadly marketing glommed onto it somewhere along the way, eliminating the most important half of the mantra and poisoning the mindset of the population.

Now people don't seem to consider the affects of their choices beyond their own good.

"No man is an island," people! Every choice we make truly affects everyone...even if it seems to be something that only affects the self. Ripple effects.

I deal with the affects of those choices every day as places I rely on go out of business and are not replaced, leaving only glitzier places that take more money and give little in return.

I'd rather have people value me for my presence than to have cold hard cash in the bank.


Posted by Another P.A. native, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

There are still a few "weird" (see Alex Chavez' post) businesses left on Cal Ave. We should support them. I get my coffee at Zombierunner, my healthy food at Country Sun, and my occasional nightcap at Antonia's. I too am sad to see Cho's go.


Posted by Now, Let's All Focus, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:33 am

Change happens. But change must be intelligently planned, and courtesy goes a long way, first, in maintaining good relationships between individuals, and secondly, with the community.

Giving businesses that have been loyal tenants since 1969 more notice (like one year!) is not unreasonable. But giving them this short notice is unreasonable, especially for such flimsy and selfish reasons.

If this story has been reported correctly (it may not have been, especially because the ONLY edited comment is one supposedly written by Ms. Ross), then yes: shame on the owners that handled this so badly. What goes around will come around.

With how this has already gone down, I hope Cho's gets a food truck. They could use what they ordered; it would make lemonade out of a lemon, because the community could help him do that, and so could THE CITY and THE PRESS.

Food trucks placed near high schools, libraries, and parks, would help people save time and fuel, driving to business areas during peak daytime hours. It would leave the evening hours open for upscale restaurants to draw diners during the dinner hours. Food trucks have been very well received. Further, THE CITY could help Cho's become a participant in the Sunday Farmer's Market.

As for Mr. Vierra, his valuable business may be helped to move during the construction, under the umbrella of another office/ or another more business friendly landlord. Not everyone is greedy. There must be ONE landlord that can help out.

Regarding what goes in there - Cal Ave is, I believe, still required to have First Floor RETAIL, so another office may not be able to go there. I hope another restaurant will not go in, under any circumstance. There are already enough restaurants, and enough hair salons. WE NEED RETAIL.

Let's all remember that while Keplers was helped out, Printer's Inc was not. Yet, as a result, the Avenue got Village Stationers, and that has proved successful. That business even gives back to schools, and it fills a community need.


Posted by wbp, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:35 am

wbp is a registered user.

So sad to hear of this! I've been going to Cho's for over 30 years. CC, how about a Kickstarter project?


Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

I grew up near California Avenue, and it was a GOOD thing that "Calif Ave" was so different than downtown, midtown, etc. To state the obvious, that's gone and as long as property owners are free to redesign their buildings at will, once again the past is for our memories. To the Ross family, you have apparently "owned that block of California Avenue for decades...". How nice for you. Please refrain from excuses like "talked about his (Cho's) retirement several times" (what authority do you have to dictate his retirement?) or worse, deflecting responsibility by saying that you have "put out calls to people who are already lined up for the remodel to ask if they can postpone...". You OWN the plan, schedule, and consequences! It is bad when new owners push out old businesses that they find dated or dull, but even worse when an owner who has long worked with a loyal tenant decides that it's time to pull the plug on that tenant's life and dreams to suit your schedule. Shame on you, good luck with the trendy updates.


Posted by Love Dumplings, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:38 am

Is there another restaurant in the vicinity that could let Cho's operate within their facility? They really don't take up much room, and they could provide foot traffic for another place. Maybe Antonio's or even one of the Chinese restaurants downtown.

A sublet deal might help Mr. and Mrs. Cho pass on their dim sum wisdom so their creations are still available after they retire.


Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:48 am

NO!!! My adult children will be crushed (as I am) b/c Cho's is the quintessential hole in the wall great spot in Palo Alto. We've been going there for years and love it.

Fred Balin and others are absolutely right: Cho's deserved more notice than 60 days.


Posted by Keepontruckin, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:50 am

The food truck is a great idea. And they should park it right in front of the current location!!


Posted by Robert, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm

You can either plan for the future or have change forced upon you. Palo Alto has chosen to go with the latter.


Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Giving any business merely 60 days notice to move or close is just plain mean. Period.

I love the idea of a food truck, if someone close to the Cho's talk to them about it and see if they are interested, a kickstarter campaign could get them funding.

And if someone has a little extra office space to offer the Insurance agent, that would be great too!


Posted by Cho is a great guy!, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I lived in Palo Alto for many years, and ate at Cho's more times than I can count. This is just not fair, and does not reflect well on Sue Ross and her brother. You simply don't give a 35-year lessee a 60 day notice to quit business. Mssrs. Cho and Vierra helped the Ross family to afford their lifestyles, why not return the favor with some respect. Please reconsider your notice and your renovation. Surely, if you've waited this long a few more years won't hurt.


Posted by eviction, remodel, more taxes?, a resident of Community Center
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

This is terrible! Absolutely horrible to do this to small business owners who have been at the same location for over three decades--and with only 60 days notice. The food truck idea is a good one at this point as long as the Cho's are open to it. The property owner should have to pay for and outfit the food truck within 60 days. They should be allowed to park and serve either in front or in the back parking area for free for as long as they want. Not sure what the alternatives are for the insurance agent, but he should receive some sort of relocation assistance and compensation as well.

Hope that at least the city will be able to reassess the commercial property *with* the improvements made in 2008 along with what the owners have planned (did they already pull permits?) to bring their tax base to that closer to fair market value. Bet they are taking advantage of loop holes and still at tax levels from before the property was upgraded to attract the "new renters" while treating long term tenants like this and not paying current market rates for commercial property taxes. Anyone look into that? This is exactly what is wrong with the commercial property loop holes in Prop 13.

If there isn't a more striking commentary on the state of greed in Palo Alto and why others call this place Shallow Alto. How many locals are regulars of Baume versus Cho's? Who really thinks that Baume has a shot at surviving for 35 years, $200+ for lunch and dinner and only a few nights a week...please.

Locals need to let the commercial property owners know that this type of practice is not okay and does not reflect our community values.


Posted by anon , a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

We are also going to lose the the second hand benefit shop the florist shop the art store on Cal and the key and lock store around the corner on ECR among others.
I dont think its very realistic for small businesses such as the to be able to afford space in new buildings.

Alas


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Suggestion to evicted businesses --- come to Redwood City downtown. It's growing fast. We'll treat you right.


Posted by Chloe, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm

This is incredibly disappointing. When we keep evicting old school vendors like this one, and putting in super expensive, fancy places, we lose SO MUCH of what Palo Alto is (or at least used to be). This makes me so so sad as I've been going here since I was 10. I love the modest atmosphere and the low prices and how it's just a wonderful couple there day in and day out. As a teenager, it felt like one of the only restaurants you could BE in Palo Alto, comfortably. What a loss! I really hope the town fights it!


Posted by Native Palo Altan, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Emily, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I was born and raised in Palo Alto, and used to LOVE going to Cho's every week with my dad. It's been a tradition we've had as long as I can remember. I'm in college now, and it seems that every time I come home, Palo Alto is changing more and more rapidly from the town I loved growing up. The news of Cho's closing of the owner's own will would be heartbreaking enough; to learn that this beloved institution is being pushed out to make room for an "upgrade" is more than appalling. Do we really need another upscale organic yogurt shop or free-range baby shoe store or whatever they're planning on moving in? Enough is enough.


Posted by Taking a Deep Breath, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm

This is just cruel, such an evil deed committed. Mr Cho is an institution in Palo Alto, and a long-time, well-respected one at that. But, certainly the landlords don't care about that.

This is truly a slap in the face to those of us who have patronized Cho's since childhood.


Posted by jardins, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

What's happening to Cho's is what will happen again and again elsewhere on California Avenue--the city's insistence on "upgrading" the street will lead more and more landlords to feel justified in ejecting their longstanding tenants in favor of others who can pay higher rents.


Posted by Long-time resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Hi,
I have often wondered if there isn't a way to appeal to our many local billionaires and multi-millionaires -- not just in Palo Alto, but also Los Altos, Mountain View, Menlo Park - to form a liveability investor club. The goal would not be to make the most money, but to invest in local liveability and happiness, especially for the kids. But it wouldn't be a charity, they would buy and hang onto a lot of local property for the long term stability of businesses, clubs, and other endeavors that contribute to civic life.

For example, such a club might have bought up the bowling alley property and let the bowling alley owner have a long-term lease so she could upgrade. The group could probably have built another large building behind in the empty parking lot and considered proposals for the most creative tenants to contribute to civic life.

There would probably be a way to tie in such an endeavor with a non-profit for kids, and the real estate would of course be a long-term investment, so it wouldn't necessarily be charity.

It's just, there will be nothing but soulless offices and in-your-face block buildings here soon if we don't do something. (Those in-your-face block buildings make it impossible for us to adapt to a better transportation system -- if we are even going to pretend we care about walkability and accessibility, the sidewalk really should be wide enough for one person and a wheel chair (or other personal mobility device like a Segue) to comfortably travel side by side, without encountering obstructions as they go. Allowing these buildings right up to the street mean we'll never have that opportunity even when we do wake up and realize we are building the most unfriendly unwalkable city possible.)

I don't know any billionaires, but maybe someone reading this does? How about it?


Posted by Hutch 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm

This sucks! I've been eating at Cho's since 1990. I'm so tired of the current trend of Yuppifying Palo Alto. I miss the old Palo Alto (pre 1998) Money, gluteny, and greed has ruined this town.


Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm

If you really care (I do), go eat there as much as you can over the next month. Go get takeout for the office. Make sure he has some extra money to either retire, or open somewhere else. Cho's is great (Cho is great), and will be missed. And say thanks for the years of great food and memories.


Posted by Resident since 1991, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm

It's sad to see another long-time resident of California Ave leaving. I still miss Drapers Music Store. Worse yet is the way it's been handled, with such short notices being given to the tenants.


Posted by Student, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

It's like town and country village all over again. First they throw out all the small affordable places and replace them with upscale impractical places. We already have Stanford and University Ave. and Town and Country. Don't change California too. Now where will us poor students eat?


Posted by Tom Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm

[Portion removed.]

I have eaten at Cho's many times. I guess Ill have to try and go a few times over the next few weeks.

As for Baumes I have eaten there twice, pretty good place Sorry but I guess I'll have to not patronize them anymore or who ever moves into either of the 2 other addresses...


Posted by We Love Potstickers!, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Cho's has been one of our favorites for 3 decades. Very sad to hear about the way this went down. We have nothing but great memories of eating potstickers! It's always ready in "about ten minutes".


Posted by Yyyy, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Has anyone suggested a food cart to Cho? There are less permits involved and it's less of an investment. Someone should suggest this to them if they are in contact with the couple.


Posted by Rose, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I was so sorry to hear this news. Cho has been great--I have not eaten there as often as I used to (when I live in College Terrace). I remember making a run to the restaurant when I was in college in the 1980's. I hope that there is a way to extend his stay or that Cho will have more of a say in how his business ends. Cho's has been one the special places in Palo Alto, good food, great value, and it's own special charm.


Posted by Cho's For 25+Years, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:59 pm

A local Palo Alto individual has started this on Change.org to petition Sue to have Cho extend the lease. Please take a minute to sign this petition and in true Palo Alto Pride let our voices be heard.

Web Link

Also you can see Cho's Facebook page for updates as well!

Web Link

One goal is to save Cho's!


Posted by Monika, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Too bad. Cho's will be missed!


Posted by Debbie, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Dear Long Time Resident,
Eric Schmidt, the billionaire and former CEO of Google and other ventures, has a home in Nantucket, MA. His wife, Wendy, has purchased a number of buildings on the historic main streets of historic Nantucket. She has renovated the charming buildings back to their historic glory, and then rented the storefronts to small independent business owners, at reasonable rents. As a result, Nantucket's downtown hasn't been destroyed. She is ensuring that the historic buildings aren't being torn down, and also ensuring that there is an eclectic mix of independent shops for everyone to enjoy.
Unfortunately, Palo Alto isn't so lucky. The town is losing its soul, at an alarming rate, due to greedy, out of town landlords. Sadly, Californians doesn't have much interest in saving history.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Professorville
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Debbie - interesting story about Eric Schmidt. Apparently Sergey Brin (another Googler who lives in Los Altos Hills) is doing the same thing in Los Altos; buying up downtown retail buildings specifically to help family-owned family-oriented businesses stay in business. Here's a story from the Wall Street Journal: Web Link

There is a 3rd Googler who lives right across the train tracks from California Ave. Get the hint, Larry Page?


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Greed. Pure, unadulterated greed. To hell with a sense of community, Palo Ato has a whole new look, one tainted by the color green.

@Long Time Resident: Good luck if you think that any of the local billionaires give a damn. After all, it's their companies that are bringing about these changes to our community. It's their campaigning and dollars looking to change the laws so that they can import more workers from other countries, which will displace more residents. I have lived here 40 years and have seen the changes to Palo Alto. Many say "change is good," but they are mostly young people with no sense of history and continuation.

Most people on these forums call it 'envy.' The displaced are calling it 'greed.' I know that I don't envy what others have, but I am furious about the fact that I can no longer afford to live not only in Palo Alto, but in the whole Bay Area. As one blogger put it, these overpaid techies are not curing cancer, so what makes their occupations so much more important than any of the rest of us? Add to that the blatant ageism practiced by these companies. Anyone over the age of 40, 35 really, is useless and unemployable.

I was here when things went south in 1991. I was here when the bubble burst in the mid 2000's. What was bad for some, was good for others. Like me. I could once again afford to live and work in my own community, close to my family and friends. I probably won't be able to ride it out this time, and at some point will have to throw in the towel and move out of California.

What I find really interesting is that during the first bubble, there was prosperity but there was also a degree of caution. We saw Boxtsers and other new cars, and displays of material wealth, but it wasn't too over the top. I was also saw when the new young millionaires lost everything, their homes with huge mortgages, their expensive cars, EVERYTHING. I was selling luxury cars at the time, I remember showing up to the lot and finding an expensive car abandoned there with the keys and paperwork in the glove box.

This time, I don't see the same caution. Driving around this county is like watching a travelling luxury car show. I must see at least fifteen to twenty 75k + cars pass me on my commute home from work each night. The homes that are being torn down just to be rebuilt, the homes that are having addresses changed to accommodate "feng shui" notions, and the homes that are being purchased so that local billionaires can own a whole street are all symptoms of the new excess.

We who actually work in this community have seen the arrogant attitude of the nouveau riche...the barely concealed contempt for anyone not of their (self assigned) status. We have seen people in 130k Maserati's run up a restaurant bill of $800, only to tip $14. We have seen people right in this very forum tell people who can't afford to live here to get out, go whine somewhere else. We see these people act out in public like entitled nasty brats, and there's nothing we can do about it. Wealth can provide material things. It won't purchase class. I don't even have to prove my statement. If this comment stays on the board (which also seems to cater lately to the powers that be), there will be a rash of nasty comments directed my way. I don't care. I know the truth, and so do those of us who have been here for decades.

Palo Alto is losing its diversity, its local color, its very soul to a new kind of wealth. The ugly kind. It's an egregious situation, and one that's not going to improve anytime soon. :(


Posted by Wing Wong, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Cho's has been considered a MUST for most folks who are new to PA. Every company I've been at in the bay area, not just in/around Palo Alto, but in the whole of the bay area, knows about Cho's.

60 day notice of eviction? That's like a slap in the face.

The bit about having talked with the Cho's about retiring is just adding insult to injury. If you, the landlord, want to make more money or make your space more marketable by kicking out your current tenants, then just say so. Own up to your decisions.

You don't care about over three decades of history and want to just make more money? That's fine. Say that. Don't put words in other peoples' mouths and sound like you are doing them and the community a favor when all you are doing is doing yourself a favor.

California Ave used to be a nice place to walk up and down, but it's become more and more like a nameless and faceless street with no personality. If I wanted to walk a strip mall of cookie cutter shops, I can do that anywhere.

I hope people who love Cho's and with the means to do so, reach out to the Cho's and help them get set up in a new location where their long history and unique and generally enjoyed cooking will live on. Maybe have them partner up with a company in closer to Palo Alto proper near University.

*shakes head* 60 day notice. Convenient for the landlord and her brother. Cheating the California Ave community out of a unique and treasured restraunt and personality. And basically ruining the Cho's business by evicting them on such short notice.

For the folks who are going to protest near Cho's... do them a favor and buy their food. Help support them or do a relocation fund raiser for them. It would be a crying shame if a small restraunt is basically put out of business and a community that has enjoyed their cooking for so many decades can't come together to raise monies to help them out when they are put in a bind.



Posted by Boycott Sue Ross!, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm

[Portion removed.] I agree we should all boycott any business that they are a part of. This is just so unfair to the Cho's. Sue and Bob should be ashamed of themselves.


Posted by Dred, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm

"We're not changing the front of the building at all because that's the charm of Palo Alto, right?"

No, Ms. Ross, the "charm of Palo Alto" isn't the nondescript facade of your building - it's the little dumpling shop inside it. THAT is the charm of Palo Alto, and you are destroying it. Nice work.


Posted by Save Cho's, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 5:02 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by no name, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm

How TERRIBLE!!!! Very disrespectful and mean. [Portion removed.] There is plenty of space all around. Preserve the uniqueness. Stop being greedy and flashy Sue Ross and your brother. Keep it real and DO THE RIGHT THING!


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Palo Alto is slowly being sanitized. If you want a decent selection of Asian-style restaurants, you should drive down to Mountain View instead of hunting for it in Palo Alto.


Posted by Nickster, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

There is a petition on change.org. If you want the restaurant to stay opened, sign it!

Web Link

I personally think 60 days of notice, while totally legal, does not make business sense. Sue Ross, put yourself in the restaurant operator's or the insurance agent's shoes , can you find another lease in 60 days? You can do better than giving a60-day notice.

Time for some lawyer working pro-bono to extend the time for these two establishment.


Posted by Todd, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Wow, such outrage, maybe deflecting the fact that you only have yourselves to blame? What's next, you'll get angry over seniors not having a place to live in Palo Alto?


Posted by Brian, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:32 pm

You saw it coming. Remember what University Avenue used to be like 30 years ago. 20 years ago it went through it's redevelopment and I never walk downtown anymore. Now I will not support any establishment that replaces the Chu's or the Mr Vierra's location even though I haven't used their services in years. The only real power any of us have is how we spend our money and I will not support the Ross's.

Maybe it's time for me to retire from the area? Fortunately, I own my house so it will be MY decision.

So long California Avenue!!!


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm

@Todd,

"you only have yourselves to blame?"

How so? Please explain?


Posted by Pat, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I am tired of Palo Alto. It has lost its charm. Born in Palo Alto, worked my whole life here but could not buy a home in this town. Raised my child here. California Ave was the only street left. Now that is almost gone, along with the trees.
Landlords, think, think, think!!! You are killing us!


Posted by Newest supporter, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm

I have only lived here a few years, never heard of this place but went there today. It was cute. iHappy to see a line out the door, and I made sure the people behind me in line saw that I left a tip in the tip jar five times the amount of my bill. As I waited for my order, sure enough the person behind me left a large tip in the tip jar. I hope many others do the same.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 8:53 pm

SUE ROSS

PLEASE DO THE RIGHT AND HONORABLE THING. WHAT IF THE SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT?


Posted by BRS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Rents will be dramatically increased, yet the property tax will remain essentially unchanged. Prop 13 in action.


Posted by BRS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Rents will be dramatically increased, yet the property tax will remain essentially unchanged. Prop 13 in action.


Posted by ODB, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

If the money-grubbing landlord had one shred of decency, she could have waited a couple of years for the Chos to retire on their own schedule. I suspect their "discussion" of retirement ended with the words "and don't let the door hit you in the a** on the way out". Clearly the Chos aren't ready to retire and retirement is being forced on them. I, like other posters, plan to boycott whatever business takes over that space.

This is what Palo Alto has become. People move to Palo Alto because they smell money. Just drive around in your SUV and look at all the Mcmansions. The city is overrun with greed to the point that just plain folks -- police officers, firefighters, teachers, librarians, retail workers, etc -- can't afford to live here and must move to far-off low-rent suburbs. It wasn't that way when I was born here almost 60 years ago.

Enjoy your money, Ms. Ross.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:15 pm

Article from 1998:

Web Link

The Canton province native admits he has a "simple menu," a formula that works for him. He used to run a dim sum restaurant on Castro Street in Mountain View but closed it eight years ago. The California Avenue location is here to stay, however, because of the "good lease, good landlord and good location."

Things have certainly change....What happened to the "good landlord"


Posted by Nickster, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Thank you for bringing up the 1998 article. This isn't your father's lease (as vs. Oldsmobole), or landlord anymore...


Posted by Stephen, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Don't forget that something like this also happened to the late great Casa Isabel (formerly around the corner), a family owned business that lost its lease to be replaced by yet another pizza place.


Posted by JPK, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

We may not be getting the whole story; however, the bottom line is the same - Cho's gets the short end of the stick after being a fair tenant for 35 years. Certainly seems unfair to me. The neighborhood treasure will be missed!!


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2014 at 11:37 pm

One thing we all probably need to remember is whenever we have an economic transaction, it's a good thing to know where your money is going. Anymore, I do not like to see my money going to landlords I consider greedy and not part of the community - bloodsucker who prefer to remain in the background taking more and more even though in most cases long term property owners are making a killing even without being greedy.

I wish I could know who and what the owners of properties were before I put my money into a business that pays them, and how they have behaved in the community. In our economic republic we are supposed to be able to vote with our dollars, but that doesn't seem to work too well. Hmmm, like Palo Alto these days.


Posted by Kris, a resident of Addison School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:47 am

I grew up in Palo Alto and frequent Chos every time I come home. I am so saddened to hear this. Does everything have to be shiny and new in Palo Alto? I miss the old Palo Alto.

Good luck to the Chos.

....and to the Ross'...you suck.


Posted by Laura Michele, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:49 am

After reading many of these comments, I just remembered that Cho's was the first place I ever bought lunch for myself when I was a young teen-ager! After that I stopped in for a pork bun many times.

How completely selfish of the owner. It is hard to believe that someone could be so heartless and disrespectful. I hope she changes her mind.

I, too, am liking Palo Alto less and less. I am tired of the increase of traffic, monster homes and Starbucks. Not to mention a sky-scraper-a-month. This homogenization and super-sizing mentality reminds me of the short-sightedness of the PAUSD in the 60's and 70's when they closed and sold the property of two school per year due to (temporary) decline in population, leaving us now with hundreds of kids crammed into portable on the playing fields and large buildings being constructed in their place. People in charge are abusing their positions to make decisions that affect the lives of all of us.

I just signed the Change.org petition to try to save Cho's. (Scroll up to see a link.)


Posted by Ruthless Landlord, a resident of Professorville
on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:02 am

For a residential tenant, California requires landlord to give a minimum of 60 days notice for any residential tenant that stay in their rental for more than one year.

For a business, 60 days eviction notice is like taking Cho's business away without giving them any compensation. That is really a ruthless treatment for any human being, especially for a 35 years tenant. Susan Ross really gives landlord a bad name. This is more than greed. Her act is legal but it is really a very unethical behavior.

The same treatment has been given to Peking Duck Restaurant a few years ago. They lost their long term least agreement without even given any options. They found out about the termination of their lease agreement not from the landlord but from a notice accidentally sent to them by the City of Palo Alto of a plan that was about to remodel their restaurant. How sad! Does our high level education cultivate this level of mankind? Which ivory league schools do that?!

I am a landlord but I am ashame that this is happening more and more. I am saddened by this behavior. Susan Ross, can you reconsider what you have done? Building your wealth and happiness on others' expenses is not a good karma for yourself or your family in the long run.


Posted by A resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2014 at 5:43 am

Wait, isn't Palo Alto a lawyer's town? Can someone point out what the law about length for giving a lease termination notice? Is it purely based on the contract? It appears the notice came as a surprise, as the restaurant owner just ordered supply that would last more than 60 days. This would be a very good lesson for all folks assuming the law would take care of us, or folks who believe common sense as much as the law.

Also, we have websites that review everything, from business to appearance (like hotornot), websites with location of registered sex offenders, of mug shots, can someone create one that highlights bad unethical landlords? I bet someone can whip one up on the way home after work (in the wi-fi equipped bus).


Posted by anon , a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

A similar situation occurred last fall, when the Khoury Family who operated the old JJ&F grocery for about three years was given 30 days to get out!

The store which was in horrible disrepair has been empty ever since adding to the blight on the corner of ECR College.


Posted by Mike T., a resident of Midtown
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

Very sad to hear about this.

Been eating there since I went to JLS.

Please consider signing this petition to save Chos!

Web Link


Posted by Amused Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

What a bunch of sanctimonious hypocrites. Why should this private property owner subsidize your burning self-righteousness? "All about greed", eh? Why don't YOU buy the damn building and rent it to poor old Mr. Cho for peanuts? If you are Palo Alto residents you can surely afford it, or you couldn't live in this overpriced bubble of pretentiousness.

By the way, I walk past Cho's at least twice a day, five or six days a week, and hardly ever see a soul in the place. So color me skeptical about the willingness of most of these posters to even patronize Mr. Cho (much less pony up for his rent). They should reconsider, though -- his potstickers are pretty tasty. I'm sorry to see him go, too. Just not enough to presume to tell someone what they can and can't do with their own property.


Posted by Star Teachout, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:44 am

I agree with all of it, including Mr. Amused above. There is, however, a huge value in today's world of having more continuity with the past, particularly with the acceleration of change. Cho's offers some of that continuity. I'm fearful of California Ave. losing its usefulness, and it might one day be the reason for leaving town. I pray there are some good developers contributing to a bigger vision than simply high profit, ones with community spirit in mind.

Yes, this is kooky, but perhaps Ms. Ross could let the Cho's operate out of the next door restaurant (Baume)? If that business is only open for lunch and dinner on Friday/Saturday and dinner only on Wednesday/Thursday the Cho's could operate out of that while the space is remodeled--Business as usual Sunday-Tuesday, lunches only on Wed/Th, and have the weekends off (or perhaps sell their frozen products for take-out?


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:48 am

Wish I was a developer, I would build buildings so businesses like Chi's can stay.


Posted by Long-time Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I think I will break my vegetarianism to have another pork bun at Cho's before it closes. Darn it!

What about starting our own Liveability Conservancy, kind of like the Nature Conservancy, only to save the liveability of this place? (including some urban open space and nature!)

Seriously, what would be the best way to implement such a thing? Could we allow lots of people to invest small amounts of money in Palo Real Estate, or would it be the conservancy owning the real estate, or would it be part conservancy, part small business owner kind of like the BMR program so they get some equity? Would there be an application process and criteria? Let's make this work! Who wants to join me?


Posted by Silly, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Cho's-For-25-Years,

Thanks for posting the link to the petition above. My signature is #964.


Posted by Alexis Hamilton, a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jan 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Send a message of support to the chos and sign the online petition on Change.org. I won't post the link because it looks like this is being removed. Even if the petition won't bring Chos back, it will show the Chos how much we care for all the wonderful food and memories they have given all of us over the years. Maybe they will get a booth at the farmers market. We would love to keep them as part of our community.


Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

I'm so very sorry. I've eaten at Cho's since 1982. It was a miracle that such a low cost place lasted as long as it did. For a short while, they had a second place on Castro in Mountain View, which was very good too. I'm really sorry they can't relocate to a city more friendly to small business. At least they must have gotten their kids through college from this business as I remember the baby from a long, long time ago. I hope he will have his frozen dumplings that we can stock up on.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:49 pm

And only minor health code violations...
Not enough inspectors (funding) to keep up with all the restaurants in the county.

Web Link


Posted by Kickstarter campaign, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2014 at 2:51 am

Maybe someone should create a Kickstarter campaign to get Cho's a food truck, if they will accept one.


Posted by Shocked!, a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 31, 2014 at 8:03 am

Our lives will be ruined. Please don't leave us, Cho!!!


Posted by Elliot Racine, a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

Sue Ross,

Do you have any sort of moral compass whatsoever? First of all, Cho Yu is the person who decides when he retires, not you.

Secondly, Cho's has been an important part of the Palo Alto community since before I can remember. My friends and I used to ride our bikes there after school as children, and now at age 30, I drive my car there for lunch before work. Just like many of the other people who have posted here, I grew up with Cho's, and Cho's is still a part of my life. Let me ask you Sue Ross, how many people do you think are going to be saying that about the next over-the-top, over-priced, too-shiny restaurant that will invade Palo Alto?

Ms. Ross, what would you rather have: a sense of community, a heart, or just more empty glitz? You can walk away from this with two of the three. The decision is up to you.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:02 pm

On the other hand, the property owner could just get fed up with these comments and simply sell out to a developer who would tear the whole place down and put in a 50-foot edifice of office cubicles.

This outpouring, however, prompted my first ever venture into Cho's after all these years of walking by and hardly noticing the place (my dining taste runs more toward Hobee's or Celia's, go ahead and laugh). I'm no restaurant reviewer, but Cho's food is fine and the prices are great.

The surprising effect for me was the reminder of how special it is to be served directly and personally by courteous proprietors of a very small establishment. Kind of like a slice of "It's a Wonderful Life" that is very difficult to maintain around here. I see why long-time patrons will miss the place and will miss Mr & Mrs Yu. I'll return to sample the rest of their menu while I have the chance.


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

@Amused Resident:

1. I don't recall anyone asking that the owner of the property "subsidize" the writers in this form who are supporting Cho. That's a figment of your imagination and is complete rubbish.

2. Your phrase "your burning self-righteousness" is pathetic. People are speaking up in support of someone who is being treated shabbily, not being "self-righteous." Apparently in your mind anyone who makes a moral judgment about a situation in which someone is being shabbily treated is being "self-righteous," whereas you think you're not being self-righteous, even though you are obviously making your own moral judgment, that a property owner SHOULD have license to treat the parties to whom s/he is renting however s/he sees fit. I know which side of that disagreement has the stronger ethical case.

2. Nice non sequitur to ask the people who believe that greed is involved why they don't buy the property and rent it to "poor old Mr. Cho for peanuts." As if NOT buying that property -- who said it's for sale? -- disqualifies people from charging the owner with greed or insensitivity. A refresher course in Logic 101 is clearly in order for "Amused Resident" who is, in spite of that self-appellation, anything but amused.

3. Yeah, you keep a careful eye on Cho's twice a day six days a week and hardly ever see people in the place. Many if not most of Cho's customers get their food to go, not wishing to sit in the Spartan surroundings. Sorry to introduce facts into your thought world.

4. Finally, and most importantly, you apparently are seriously reading challenged. Most of the posts supporting Cho's are NOT attempting to keep the property owner from doing what she wants to do with her property. What they are concerned about is HOW she is doing what is, unfortunately within her legal right: precipitously forcing Cho out by giving him only 30 days notice.

It is truly heartwarming to see you rise to the defense of the property owner in question, defend her right to treat her long-term renter shabbily, and accuse those who are attempting to help Cho get more time before he is thrown out of his place of business of being liars, phonies, and self-righteous. Frankly, sir, you come across as a insensitive (not at all "amused") person who is seriously lacking in empathy and who has serious anger-and-sarcasm issues.


Posted by Glass house, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2014 at 6:47 pm

"4. Finally, and most importantly, you apparently are seriously reading challenged. Most of the posts supporting Cho's are NOT attempting to keep the property owner from doing what she wants to do with her property. What they are concerned about is HOW she is doing what is, unfortunately within her legal right: precipitously forcing Cho out by giving him only 30 days notice. "

Well, you just negated all of your points by claiming that the other poster was " reading challenged". Seems that you are as well-- cho got 60 days notice as the story states. People who live in glass houses....


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:16 pm

@Glass House: mea culpa, that was my mistake. I apologize for writing 30 instead of 60.

Since you apparently read the story, you read that Cho stated that he had already bought supplies for a time considerably after March 15. I suppose that doesn't matter to you.

That's probably of no consequence to you and Amused Resident.

As to whether my factual error, writing 30 instead of 60, "negates" all my other points, you apparently believe it does.
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

Thanks for pointing out my error of fact, "Glass House."


Posted by Glass house, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Robert-- you are very quick to jump to conclusions -- nowhere did I state my opinion on the issue. I just stated that if you are going to claim that someone is reading challenged, do not be that way yourself.
Oh and BTW, it was Daisy that said they had bought supplies for the whole year, not Cho. Maybe you should go and actually read the article .


Posted by Sad, a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2014 at 11:39 am


Really? Does pursuit of the almighty dollar have to override every bit of common decency?

Cho's is an institution. It's one thing that change happens and other significantly more profitable tenants may be on the horizon, but I find it shocking and disappointing that Ms Ross would only give the Yu's 60 days notice after a 35 year tenancy.

Reasonable notice on the order of a year would be the minimum I would consider to represent a pretext of decency.

And I say that as a landlord myself. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I had treated my long term tenant/customer with so little respect. Apparently your mileage may vary.

Sad and dismayed.


Posted by Nick Miller, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Feb 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Sad. I always go to Chos when I come to visit. I miss it already. Hope he keeps it going somewhere else.


Posted by Robert Knuist, a resident of Woodside
on Feb 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Not only will this make you angry but break your heart also.Sue Ross is the worst Evil in Greed personified...Remember when Calif Ave was a really fun,funky and unique part of Palo Alto... no more and with Cho's being forced out after 35 years with a 60 day notice its lost it's Soul...


Posted by Chinese-American, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 3, 2014 at 1:02 am

Perhaps he can sell frozen dumplings to The Milk Pail, Country Sun or Piazza's.

Here are two great dim sum restaurants in the area:

Dynasty at Vallco Mall in Cupertino - go on the weekends when the food is best (food is not so good on weekdays). Nice, large restaurant that's usually packed with Chinese - no need to speak Chinese, however. It's located on the ground floor - you have to cut through Macy's mens department to see the entrance to Dynasty.

BEST > Yank Sing at the Rincon Plaza in S.F.


Posted by Chinese-American, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 3, 2014 at 1:02 am

Perhaps he can sell frozen dumplings to The Milk Pail, Country Sun or Piazza's.

Here are two great dim sum restaurants in the area:

Dynasty at Vallco Mall in Cupertino - go on the weekends when the food is best (food is not so good on weekdays). Nice, large restaurant that's usually packed with Chinese - no need to speak Chinese, however. It's located on the ground floor - you have to cut through Macy's mens department to see the entrance to Dynasty.

BEST > Yank Sing at the Rincon Plaza in S.F.


Posted by Gern Blansen, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 11, 2014 at 9:03 pm

"Well, I have the time this year.' I said, 'Well, you're still young enough; I'm still young enough; I think it's time,'"...and that how people in Palo Alto make their choices, with no regard to other human beings! Shame on you Sue and Bob Ross you liken you selves to one Ebenezer Scrooge, well, keep laboring on that chain and enjoy your money while you are destroying your souls... I feel for you, I really feel for you!


Posted by Foodie, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Baume is planning to move into the Cho's space and the insurance office... Hope Bruno will reconsider.


Posted by Marty, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

No Cho's?! Yikes, what is this town coming to? I dare not tell my husband -- he will want to put a for sale sign on the pace and start packing. It's like a death in the family. So sad.


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