Summer saw a flurry of closures and arrivals on the Peninsula. While local diners mourned the departure of Palo Alto bakery stalwart Prolific Oven, Portola Valley regained an institution with the reopening of the historic Alpine Inn. Other local cities now have new, exciting options for sweets, coffee and cocktails, with more on their way this fall.
Read on to catch up on what opened and closed this summer.
This year will go down as the year Palo Alto lost two of its longer-standing food businesses, The Prolific Oven and Round Table Pizza. The beloved Waverley Street bakery closed in August after 39 years due to a "severe" labor shortage and increasing cost of doing business in the Bay Area, the owner said (but not before people overwhelmed the bakery with last-minute cake orders). Round Table, which one diner called "one of the last bastions for blue collar lunch" in downtown Palo Alto, also shuttered. Also in August, Italian wine shop Biondivino closed after four years at Town & Country Village.
Meanwhile, Palo Alto got several new food and drink options this summer. Morsey's Creamery, a spinoff concept from the owners of Morsey's Farmhouse in Los Altos, is now scooping ultra-creamy gelato made from buffalo milk at 125 University Ave. Stanford Shopping Center got a new caffeine option in Blue Bottle Coffee, serving drip coffee and espresso drinks plus liège waffles, sandwiches and savory and sweet toasts. Anyone who can't decide between satisfying their cravings for pizza and Indian food no longer has to choose; Curry Pizza House is now slinging chili paneer pizzas, desi pesto bread sticks and other fusion food at 320 University Ave.
Silicon Valley references abound at Fairchilds Public House, the Peninsula's newest hotel-restaurant inside the Hyatt at 409 San Antonio Road. The restaurant uses as decor interactive QR codes, old Atari game cartridges and the periodic table symbol for silicon; cocktails have names like "the gigabit" and "encryption margarita."
Mountain View this summer also got its own Ike's, the Bay Area cult favorite sandwich shop, at 1020 N. Rengstorff Ave., Suite F. Exclusive to this location is a new, cheekily named roast beef sandwich: "Larry Page & I Have The Same Birthday, So Basically I Invented Google Too."
Taiwanese shaved snow, milk tea and baked goods are on the menu at the newly opened Oh! Honey Snow Ice at 1030 Castro St. Suite A, next to Le's Alterations at the Elan building. Look for several flavors of shaved snow, including strawberry, mango, banana-Oreo, dragonfruit and taro, plus cream-filled choux pastries, madeleines and cookies shaped like ice cream scoops.
Australian-inspired cafe chain Bluestone Lane opened its first sit-down Bay Area location at 288 1st St., the historic train station that last housed Voyageur du Temps. There's avocado toast, vegemite, flat whites, "wellness" spritzes and plenty of beachy Australian vibes.
After losing Honcho Bar, Los Altos gained a new watering hole this summer: Amandine Project, a Japanese-style cocktail bar at 235 1st St. Jean-Luc Kayigire, a Los Altos resident and former bar and restaurant owner, opened the bar to encourage Los Altans to spend more time in Los Altos proper rather than going to neighboring cities for quality drinks.
San Francisco third-wave coffee shop Saint Frank Coffee is now pouring single-origin espressos from a 250-square-foot outdoor kiosk in Menlo Park. Saint Frank, which sources beans from small growers in lesser-known regions around the world, is located at 1018 Alma St., across the street from the Caltrain station.
A new kind of business for downtown Menlo Park: Green Bubble Cafe opened at 604 Santa Cruz Ave. in late August, serving Taiwanese milk tea as well as Hong Kong egg waffles, mochi waffles and savory rice bowls with teriyaki chicken, chicken curry, unagi and beef.
August marked the much-anticipated return of Portola Valley's Alpine Inn, better known to locals as Zott's. New owners refurbished the 167-year-old institution, rebuilding the floor, removing asbestos, cleaning old license plates and beer bottles that decorated the walls and adding wood-fired pizza to the menu while still working to retain the treasured restaurant's spirit. Zott's is now open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday.
Coffeebar is enjoying enormous success after opening its first Peninsula location in Menlo Park in January 2018. The Truckee-based coffee company is set to open at 2020 Broadway St. in downtown Redwood City next week, followed by a third outpost in November on the Facebook campus (it will be a public cafe). The Redwood City Coffeebar will have the same core menu items as Menlo Park -- coffee and espresso, avocado toast, baguette sandwiches, pastries -- but will also serve fresh handmade pasta and tasca, or ciabatta stuffed with fillings like meatballs, chicken or tomato, basil and mozzarella.
More coffee for downtown: Coupa Cafe opened its 10th cafe in August at 695 Main St., in the ground floor of the new Marston Building apartment complex. Beyond Coupa's popular Venezuelan coffee and espresso, tea and other drinks, the Redwood City location serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus beer and wine.
After nearly four decades of serving frozen yogurt and ice cream, Yumi Yogurt announced this week that the 947 El Camino Real shop will close on Sunday, Sept. 15. "Our ultimate goal was to provide a service, experience and product that was unique, memorable and unlike anything else," an announcement reads on Facebook. "It is through our great team here and loyal customers that we have had such a tremendous run." Disappointed Yumi Yogurt fans can still visit the San Mateo and Santa Clara locations.