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Shop Talk: Greek-Turkish eatery, vegan cafe, women's boutique open

The latest in local retail news

In the latest Shop Talk column, read about two new local restaurants, including one with a 100% plant-based menu, and a new women's clothing store.

SPALTI SPACE BECOMES GREEK-TURKISH RESTAURANT ... Longtime Palo Alto Italian restaurant Spalti has closed, and the owner has partnered with another local restauranteur to open a new concept: Smyrna, a Greek-Turkish restaurant. Philliph Bulutogli opened Spalti at 417 S. California Ave. nearly three decades ago. Though the restaurant served Northern Italian food, Bulutogli is a Turkish-born Kurd. Bulutogli sold the restaurant in 2012 to Ayhan Akgul, who is also from Turkey. Akgul teamed up with another native of Turkey and local restaurant owner, Zubi Duygu of Urfa Bistro in Los Altos, to open Smyrna this week, Duygu said. Urfa, which opened in downtown Los Altos in 2015, serves a primarily Turkish menu. The new restaurant is named for an ancient Greek city, once the site of the Greco-Turkish War and now known in Turkey by a different name, Izmir. Smyrna's tagline is "Two cultures, one journey," Duygu said. Smyrna is now open for dinner only from 5-9 p.m. -- E.K.

MÉLANGE OPENING AT STANFORD ... Chandan Allen, the Menlo Park designer who has carved out a local niche designing tailor-made clothes for professionals, mothers and entrepreneurs, is opening a women's boutique at Stanford Shopping Center in mid June. Mélange will feature Allen's clothing line "Chandan Allen" and her contemporary ready-to-wear brand "The Sancy." Every item in the shop has been designed in California and hand-crafted in Allen's family-run factory in Mumbai, India, according to the company's website. Allen is an Indian-born fashion designer who moved to California in 2014 after attending Central Saint Martins College of Fashion in London and launching her flagship Melange boutique in Cape Town, South Africa, where she was living in 2007. Her designs are characterized by contemporary, colorful styles infused with signature prints and surface ornamentation. According to Allen's website, she is committed to giving back to communities in India and Africa, and supports a network of artisans, sewers, pattern-makers, manufacturers and small business owners in India. -- L.T.

VEGAN CAFE OPENS AT AVA'S ... A vegan cafe opened this week inside Ava's Downtown Market & Deli in downtown Mountain View. HeyOEats took over the space last occupied by Omelette House inside the 340 Castro St. market. The owners of HeyOEats are focused on sustainability in the food and drink world, their first venture being a bottled bamboo leaf tea company called Igzu. The owner of Ava's Market, which sells the teas, approached Igzu co-founders Zachary Anderson and Courtney McCoy to see if they would want to open a storefront to replace Omelette House, Anderson said. Anderson, a vegan and Kentucky native, developed the HeyOEats menu, which includes an Impossible burger, grilled "chicken" from Beyond Meat and vegan garlic-herb cheese and butter from Miyoko's. There's also vegan beer cheese with pretzels, a vegan reuben sandwich, gluten-free skillet pastas and pad Thai made entirely from vegetables, among other dishes. HeyOEats will be open for lunch and dinner initially, then add breakfast and weekend brunch down the line. At HeyOEats, customers can order at a counter and eat their food inside the market or take it to go. HeyOEats will at first be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and later have the same hours as Ava's (8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily, until 9 p.m. on Sundays). -- 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 shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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Comments

2 people like this
Posted by PA Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 20, 2019 at 10:27 pm

Maybe a better name for the Turkish Greek restaurant would be 1922 Fire of Smyrna. In all seriousness choosing the name of the city whose destruction was a holocaust, meaning whole + burnt, for a restaurant that purports to be Turkish and Greek is insensitive and insulting to anyone who knows history.


Like this comment
Posted by PA Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 20, 2019 at 10:33 pm

Upon further thought, perhaps the new restaurant should be called Smyrna: Greek & Armenian Barbecue.
Germans are capable of accepting responsibility for the horrors the perpetrated in the 20th C. Turkish people should study the German example and learn from it.


Like this comment
Posted by Ranna Gill
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 21, 2019 at 1:15 am

Maybe a better name for the Turkish Greek restaurant would be 1922 Fire of Smyrna. In all seriousness choosing the name of the city whose destruction was a holocaust, meaning whole + burnt, for a restaurant that purports to be Turkish and Greek is insensitive and insulting to anyone who knows history.


Like this comment
Posted by Y. Bogosian
a resident of Community Center
on May 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm

>> perhaps the new restaurant should be called Smyrna: Greek & Armenian Barbecue.

In that case it should called Ottoman's Bar & Grill.

Besides given the history, no self-respecting Armenian would eat at a Turkish restaurant.


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