In this week's Shop Talk column, read about French luxury house Hermès' forthcoming Palo Alto store, plus the latest restaurant openings and closures.
HERMÈS OPENING SOON... Work on the exterior facade of the soon-to-be home of French luxury house Hermès of Paris is underway at Stanford Shopping Center, where the boutique is scheduled to open in early 2018. The company is adding a new parapet to the front of the 6,052-square-foot shop, according to city permit records. The shop's opening has been highly anticipated since the company announced in October 2016 that it would be opening a new store at Stanford adjacent to Cartier. The boutique will be the first Hermès has opened in the United States in more than five years. The family-run retailer has manufactured luxury goods for six generations -- including the $300,000-plus Hermes Birkin mattee Himalayan crocodile handbag that has been billed as "the most valuable handbag in the world." The boutique will offer a collection of men's, women's, home and equestrian collections. -- L.T.
'MICHELIN' RESTAURANT COMING TO CHANTILLY ... The restaurant group behind local establishments Mayfield Bakery & Cafe and The Village Pub plans to open a Michelin-caliber restaurant in Redwood City. Bacchus Management Group has taken over the former Chantilly space at 3001 El Camino Real, founding partner Tim Stannard said this week. Chantilly closed in April after 43 years of business. Chantilly had a long and storied history in the area, with rumors of high-profile Silicon Valley deals being made in its private rooms. Stannard said the new restaurant will be similar in concept to The Village Pub and Spruce in San Francisco, which Bacchus also owns, but with a special focus on premium steak. The restaurant will have formal wait service and a sommelier. Stannard said they hope to start construction in the next month or so, with a goal of opening in summer 2018. Staff are already in training at The Village Pub. -- E.K.
WAHLBURGERS OPENS DOWNTOWN... An outpost of Wahlburgers, the national burger chain from celebrity family the Wahlbergs, is now open in downtown Palo Alto. Wahlburgers soft opened at 185 University Ave. on Nov. 12, an employee said. Paul Wahlberg, together with his two brothers -- actor-producer Mark and actor-singer-songwriter Donnie -- started Wahlburgers in the Boston area in 2011. There are now locations in more than 10 states, including franchises, plus a reality show on A&E about the family-run company. The menu includes several burgers as well as sandwiches, salads and sides. The signature burger comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, "Paul's signature Wahl sauce" and housemade pickles. Burgers range in price from $9.25 to $12.95. The site at 185 University was previously occupied by Sam's Chowder House, whose owners sold the business to Wahlburgers last year. During the restaurant's soft-opening phase, Wahlburgers Palo Alto will be open from 11 a.m. to about 7 p.m., an employee said. The restaurant will eventually stay open late, until midnight. -- E.K.
'ROCKET' FIZZLES... Rocket Fizz, a quirky downtown Palo Alto candy store filled with items such as bacon cotton candy and buffalo wing-flavored soda, has closed, according to a sign posted in the store's windows at 250 University Ave. "The end of our lease is here," the message reads. "A special thank you to all of our friends and regular customers. We had a lot of fun with you and loved being your candy store." Rocket Fizz is a franchised chain that first started in Camarillo, California, in 2009. There are now dozens of locations across the country, including locally in Palo Alto and Mountain View. The Palo Alto franchisees, husband and wife Chris Dunn and Lisa Pelgrim, wrote on Facebook that they will be combining with another Rocket Fizz in Campbell, which they also own. They did not immediately return a request for comment. The couple opened the Palo Alto location in 2012. The shop sells novelty candy, toys and other memorabilia. In a 2015 interview, Palo Alto store manager Nichole Daviar said she had sampled nearly every candy that Rocket Fizz sells. -- E.K.
Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Elena Kadvany and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.