Shop Talk: Pilates V and 'Community' pharmacy opening soon | News | Palo Alto Online |


Shop Talk: Pilates V and 'Community' pharmacy opening soon

The latest in local retail news


The short stretch along California Avenue from Birch Street to Park Boulevard could fast become Palo Alto's fitness row. Pilates V is slated to open on the ground floor of the Solid Electric Inc. building at 267 S. California Ave., sandwiched between Amity Crossfit -- which opened earlier this year -- and Pure Barre fitness centers. Performance Gaines, which opened in August 2016, is across the street less than a half block away at 310 S. California Ave. Each center caters to a different niche, according to descriptions on their websites. The high amount of foot traffic coming to and from the nearby Caltrain station has made that end of California Avenue particularly attractive for this type of business, Amity Crossfit owner Zach Height said when he opened his gym there. According to the Pilates V website, the fitness center is set to open this fall and is accepting applications for pilates instructors. Palo Alto will be the fourth studio in the family-owned chain, which launched in Sunnyvale in 2015 and has since expanded to Campbell and San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood and has plans to open a fifth location in San Mateo by early 2018. The studio offers classical Pilates "with a fusion of modern techniques and adaptations," according to its website. Earlier this week, a construction crew was completing interior renovations to the ground floor of the building, which has been divided into two storefronts. Raw Smoke Shop is scheduled to open next to Pilates V in the new, adjoining 951-square-foot storefront, according to city permit records.

-- L.T.

NEW 'COMMUNITY' PHARMACY ... National drug store chain Walgreens has applied to add a "community pharmacy" at 217 Alma St., the location of the former North Face store, according to documents filed with the city of Palo Alto. The company submitted its permit plans on Aug. 15.

The store would be the rear tenant at the 7,622-square-foot building and would occupy 3,350 square feet. The space would include a sales section, patient waiting area, pharmacy, compounding room, community/consulting room with seating and a 40-inch television screen, two consulting rooms, a restroom and three offices, according to the plans filed with the city. The new pharmacy would be called Community, a Walgreens Pharmacy, said Scott Goldberg, Walgreens senior manager of media relations. Walgreens' community pharmacies differ from the larger retail stores by not carrying other products such as beauty supplies and foods. Community pharmacies offer more preventative amenities and help patients manage more complex conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, HIV and organ transplants, Goldberg said. Such pharmacies offer personalized care and private patient-consultation rooms for managing medications, in addition to many types of immunizations, including those recommended for travelers. Walgreens currently has three full-sized retail stores in Palo Alto: 300 University Ave., 2605 Middlefield Road and 4170 El Camino Real. Walgreens Disco Rex, "specialty" drug-compounding pharmacy for patients with complex needs, is also in downtown at 328 University. The new pharmacy would not replace the existing retail store on University Avenue, Goldberg said. There is currently no additional information regarding whether Disco Rex will remain, he added.

-- S.D.

Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Linda Taaffe and Sue Dremann. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


5 people like this
Posted by What???
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

What??? A smoke shop? As in smoked meats, etc. - or selling lame vapes, cigarettes, and other such unsavory stuff? And next to the fitness places?
Please NO!

6 people like this
Posted by A Shame
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

That Cal Ave - our beloved user-friendly retail street - is becoming a fitness ghetto is lousy for shoppers trying to get life's errands done but losing more useful shops for doing so, and lousy for a healthy mix of actual small retail businesses which hurts retail owners.
To think the building that legendary Printers Inc Bookstore and then fully stocked Village Stationer were in, is now taken over by Performance Gains, is just sad. How many of these "sweat shops" do we need or are sustainable in this small area?
The City Council needs to reign in fitness studios just as it did with nail/hair salons on Cal Ave. They should not be retail protected.
Although there is a funny symmetry in a street with too many restaurants and too many sweat shops where people can freely over eat, step nextdoor and sweat it off in perpetual motion.

5 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@A Shame

I agree! I really, really miss Keeble & Shuchat and Village Stationers. CA Avenue is either fitness or hair/nail salons.

8 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Be realistic, bookstores, camera stores, and stationery stores were some of the first victims of Amazon. But don't just blame Amazon, blame the customers as well for shunning local retail. If we want retail businesses to remain in Palo Alto, we're going to have to support more businesses like gyms and salons and restaurants that Amazon that aren't hurt by Amazon's customers yet.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Anne Le Ziblatt, formerly of Tamarine and Bong Su, is back with a Vietnamese noodle bar in Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 7 comments | 3,755 views

Local Pols Debate Climate
By Sherry Listgarten | 11 comments | 3,067 views

Truth Matters (and so does good beer)
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,372 views

You Can Help: Scents and Migraines
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,180 views

The E.R.A. – no real equality yet. Why not?
By Diana Diamond | 15 comments | 1,067 views