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T & C kicking out Rojoz???

Original post made by Rojoz fan on Nov 28, 2008

As a Paly parent, I have many times enjoyed a lunch time wrap with my student as well as at other times. I am shocked reading today's print edition (can't find it online) that Rojoz was made unwelcome and they wanted a mediterranean or Indian restaurant as they already had signed up another taquaria (which is not what rojoz is anyway).

T & C are making itself more unwelcome for Paly students and for the rest of us who want a quick light lunch.

I will miss Rojoz at T & C, but hope to visit them in Charleston where I hope they will be treated better.

Comments (22)

Posted by Thoughts, a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Rojoz is leaving, correct.

There's a high-end pizza place coming in next door. The owner has made mention of having a lunch special for students.

Please note that T&C has no moral obligation to provide lunch for the high school students across the street. I'd wager that most of the stores would prefer if the students did not frequent their shops. Whether or not this is short-sighted could be put up for debate.

Posted by Rojoz Fan, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 28, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Whereas I wholeheartedly agree that there is no obligation, moral or otherwise, of T & C providing lunch for Paly students, it is nonetheless true to say that the students will continue to frequent the center and for many of the food vendors, their bottom line is affected by the students. As a Paly parent, I do enjoy the occasional lunch with my student and Rojoz is great for that. The Cheese Shop is a zoo if you don't want one of their custom monstrous
sized sandwiches and Spot has gone. Our choices for a quick bite are more limited now even for a busy worker on their lunch break.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 28, 2008 at 8:21 pm

It seems like the quick/inexpensive bite may not be what T&C's owners are looking to offer. They certainly made Spot unwelcome. Not surprising considering the value of the real estate.

Posted by Thoughts, a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 28, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Trader Joe's should provide some solid alternatives at lunch in about 6 months.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 29, 2008 at 3:54 am

My youngest graduated from Paly this past June, and I must admit I know little of the lunch time eating practices of either of my 2 children when they were at Paly. This has more to do with what teen aged people are willing to share with a parent than it does with what a parent wants to know.

It does strike me that places that can appropriately "cater" to the Paly lunch crowd are a very logical part of the mix in T&C. If the current developers/property managers don't get this, they need a white cane and a seeing eye dog to accompany the blinders they apprear to be wearing.

On the other hand, the loss of Rojos, which I have enjoyed patronizing over the years, may or may not be an indicator of where the shopping center is headed. My persoanl opinion is that Rojos is the sort of "keeper" that the center should have, the developers are trying to revive what has been a tired and nelgected site, and things are still a work in process.

Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Based on the incoming mix of new stores (and the outgoing group) the mgt of T&C is trying to discourage the Paly kids from frequenting the plaza. They new stores so far are geared toward babies, young kids, expectant parents and upscale clothing and gift. The new restaurants are certainly not geared towards teenagers. On one hand, I can't blame T&C, the plaza gets pretty over run with kids at lunch and afterschool, discouraging other patrons perhaps.. but it has been a great source of independence for the Paly kids.

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

This is a simplistic, but I think fair, observation:

a real estate developer should be concerned about rents, not about the type of clientele that partonizes the retailers that choose to rent from the developer.

My observation is susceptible to all sorts of critque, but at the end of the day, the PALY kids are going to cross the street in the morning and the noon time hour, they have no where else to go, unless they are ambitious enough to head downtown or to California Ave.

Manage to the environment when you cannot manage the environment.

Posted by Happy neighbor, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 1, 2008 at 12:03 am

T&C's loss is our gain. Come visit Rojoz in south Palo Alto at their new location. We welcome them to the neighborhood!

Posted by Disappointed, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 2, 2008 at 11:56 pm

I was astonished yesterday to see they are gone. I sometimes stopped in for an early evening bite and they seemed to be prospering, lots of customers.
I hate what T and C is becoming. Overpriced Mommy stores and a huge toy store replacing that lovely Japanese stationery place. And $3.50 for a cupcake store. yuk.

Posted by Susan, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Dec 4, 2008 at 1:23 pm

I'm late here, but just went to get dinner at Rojoz and the place had disappeared. I'd been away but didn't notice anything odd when I was last there in mid-Nov. Could someone please tell me where it is moving to -- gotta get my fix!

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm

"Manage to the environment when you cannot manage the environment."

Paul Losch,

T&C CAN manage its environment, and it seems to be doing so. It is putting in stores that appeal to a different clientele than high school kids. There is no reason that T&C should be the smoking/hangout center for Paly bad boys and girls. It is in business to make money. Paly has every opporuntiy to become a closed campus, as many HS campuses are. Imagine that a student would be forced to eat at the cafeteria on campus?!

Remember, also, that an improved dollar flow at T&C means more taxes for our city coffers.

Posted by paly parent, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 5, 2008 at 3:01 pm

John -

As a paly parent, I have a huge issue with you categorizing the students as smokers and bad boys and girls. The vast majority of the kids are nice, polite and as health conscious as teenager are able to be. The current food services at Paly would never be able to accommodate the number of student on the campus (BTW, my kids bring their lunch.)

T&C can certainly have whatever businesses the would like and have no obligation to the Paly students, but as one of the "target customers" the only stores I frequent anymore are Sur la Table and Longs. If you are pregnant, nursing or have a child under 5, it seems like a decent destination.

Posted by Rojoz Fan, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm


As another Paly parent, I also take offence at your comment about smokers and bad boys and girls from Paly.

The Paly administration and food services know that Paly students are able to cross the street for lunch and there is not enough food available on campus as a result. Also, has it occurred to you that many of the T & C customers are Paly parents and Paly teachers who frequent T & C because of its proximity to Paly. As a destination shopping mall, T & C has never been on my radar, but it has because my kids have got to know it and they were the ones who recommended Rojoz to me in the first place.

The reasons for Paly not to be a closed campus are not to be argued here, but Paly and Gunn will have the same rules and any decision made for one will affect the other. Apart from anything else, closing the campus itself would be much too difficult to monitor. On top of this, many of the students go to T & C before or after school, so that would not stop the students going there, just during class time.

For the person who wanted to know where they are moving to it is supposed to be at Charleston Center by Piazas and Peets.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Paly parents,

I sent my kids to Paly, so I think I know the score.

T&C has been a hangout for Paly students for a couple of decades, at least. Many of them DO smoke ciagrettes over there, becasue it is not allowed on campus. Your protests do not persuade me, and I am immune to them, anyway.

T&C seems to understand what it is doing. It is not in business to placate Paly kids (or their parents). It is in business to make money, and that is the reason that it is making changes.

If the HS campuses were to be closed, a number of changes would ensue, most of them positive, IMO.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm

As far as I am concerned T&C is trying to become a junior version of the Stanford Shopping Center--there are very few stores that the "common people" can shop in. Most of the new stores are upscale, hoity-toity boutique stores, that seem to be the kind of stores that the PA ruling class want to see in their city in order to maintain the facade of being an upscale place to be. The same kind of changes have also come to downtown PA (remember the Ross that used to be on University Avenue?).
Maybe they can include T&C in their new destination Palo Alto push--after all there must be something historic about that shopping center as well.

Posted by Me Too, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2008 at 3:57 pm

RF, why do you think closing the campus would be difficult? I don't think difficulty of airtight enforcement is a good reason. And why does the Paly rule have to be the same as the Gunn rule?

My high school went from open to closed many years ago and, while believe me we grumbled, it was a very good thing. I have a child in high school now and the idea of kids coming and going from school as they please does not strike me as a good idea. I would be in favor of closing the campus.

Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 6, 2008 at 1:01 am

Rojoz seems like a good fit for the Charleston Center. I think it will do well there.

As for Town and Country, it's a convenient shopping center for me, the easiest place for me to get coffee. And with the opening of Sur la Table and Books Inc., it's been a place I visit a lot more open.

That said, student lunch hour is a mob scene and I hate getting stuck in that crowd.

Now, students have pretty limited budgets. If I'm discouraged from going to T and C around lunch because of the student crowds, I guarantee you other people are as well.

And this is an issue for the center. Why? Because I spend a lot more money during a visit than do the students. My business is more valuable to the center--a food court will make it on students alone, but nothing else will.

I think the center's strategy makes sense--it's clearly trying to appeal yuppie mom types. Goes with the city's family demographic and that group wants to meet for coffee or a quick bite. If there are boutiques and bookstores for browsing, they'll loiter. When the Trader Joe's opens, they'll get groceries there.

Marvin, it's not a facade of upscale--fact is, T and C is near some of the richest parts of a rich city. Though I consider it a bit more downhome than Stanford--Sur La Table has always been less hoity-toity than Williams-Sonoma, most of the eating places are a tad scruffy (except for Scott's). Trader Joe's has always focused on a sort of budget gourmet niche as opposed to Draeger's.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Anyone know when Rojos will open at Charleston Center? There has been a sign on the window for ages, but no sign of work being done or Rojos opening.

Posted by Palo Parent, a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 29, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Actually, it seems like some workers just kicked it in gear there this past week.

Posted by Rojoz Gourmet Wraps, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Rojoz has a tenative date of August 10th for opening. That is if everything goes smooth from this point on in the construction. To say that Palo Alto is one or is the hardest city to open a new business in the bay area is an understatement.Many new codes and safety issues to deal with. But all in all It's worth it when it's open. We (staff and I) are so happy to be opening here in Charleston Center next to Peet's Coffee. As the owner,the landlord has been just great,helpful in everyway to see this transition happen. See you all soon Rojoz staff.
R.S. We spell our restaurant with a "Z". Rojoz. (pronounced: Row-Joez)

Posted by Linda, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 25, 2009 at 1:38 pm

O.K., now it is almost November so when will the new Rojoz's really open!?!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Sign on the window says projected date now Nov. 4th. It looks ready and waiting to go so I expect it is an inspection they are waiting for.

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