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Hobee's at Town & Country to close

Original post made on Sep 27, 2012

Longtime Palo Alto icon Hobee's California Restaurant will close at Town & Country Village shopping center in January, property owner Ellis Partners announced on Thursday, Sept. 27.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 27, 2012, 3:58 PM

Comments (94)

Posted by Dianne Beties
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Yah, but maybe an Applebee's will open up!!!! Please please please be a national chain restaurant so that when m relatives from Ohio come out they won't be scared by anything different.

Posted by Bob_R
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Diane -

Most likely the space available wouldn't be enough for a chain such as Applebees. And the rental/lease rates wouldn't justify expansion of a chain concentrating on reasonable pricing. In all probability, the space will be filled by a "boutique" restaurant charging $27 for spaghetti and meatballs. That's the reality of Palo Alto today.

Posted by Katie
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Stay home and cook or order out - problem solved. Drinking too much kool-aid lately. Take a walk - get some FRESH air.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Hobee's was a real community asset. Good healthy natural food served with good service in a local location and at a reasonable price.

I am really sad to hear this. Town & Country will be the worse for this stupid mistake. Palo Altan will lose at least half of a really good thing ... half since thankfully there is still the Hobee's on El Camino, until those landlords get too greedy as well.

There was a time when I ate at Hobee's several times a week after work and I always got good food great service that was I have to say mostly a significantly superior value to what you get in Palo Alto in other places. A more than competent and fantastic mix of location, comfort, service, nutrition and personality.

What a bummer, just another swipe away at the good stuff in Palo Alto that is making this town not so much fun anymore.

I'm very unhappy to see this happen.

Posted by Foodie
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

If people would actually read the article, they would find that Gott's Roadside Web Link is going to move into the space. When you look at the menu, you will find the food shouldn't scare most people except those on low-fat, low-cholesterol, or low-salt diets.

Stupid catchpas.

Posted by :(
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm


Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Does Gott's serve blueberry coffeecake? We already have Kirk's for your burgers!!!!

Posted by Old PA Grump
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm

So, in reality they are kicking out Hobee's and Kirk's! That sucks. Those are two of the most Palo Alto of restaurants. I would say 50% of my visits over the last 5 years to that property were for those two places. I can assure you I will not be going to their expensive new Roadside burger place for breakfast. Look at all the local memorabilia in both restaurants - both real institutions for families and kids. Sometimes, the desire to go upscale just goes over the top.

I have no clue the names of the ongoing list of new and soon to be closed restaurants constantly popping up on University Avenue. My kids have gone to Hobees and Kirks for the last 20 years. Very, very sad.

Posted by Hobee's Prez
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Sep 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your support! A difficult day has been made better just by reading these comments.

Posted by :-(
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hobee's is the one place in town where I feel completely at home and will go out to eat even when I don't feel like going out (but am not in the mood to cook). The T&C location was open the one night the Hobee's on El Camino was closed, so I'll admit I'm an El Camino customer but occasionally went over to T&C. Bummer! Reasonably-priced, good healthy food. And the staff remembers who you are, your substitutions, likes, dislikes, and for years when my child had to be careful about unusual allergies, they always remembered without our asking.

Ugh, the whole problem with the cost of real estate in this area! I'm worried about Estrellita's, too, their rent was just doubled, probably because of the nearby construction --

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Argh. That Hobee's is my go-to place for a reasonable meal in a peaceful atmosphere when out-of-towners come to talk business or just be social. I had a leisurely salmon dinner there this past Friday night with a visitor from L.A. It's a convenient five minute walk from the Westin. Alternatives I've tried down on University are just too noisy or otherwise uncomfortable.

Recently I've been worried about the future of the El Camino location down past Arastradero, where I'm a sufficiently regular 7am breakfast patron that they know my usual order. The feel of that venue has changed since the view of green trees and blue sky over Rickey's was blotted out by the new development. It's only a matter of time now that the whole length of El Camino becomes an unwelcoming if not hostile urban canyon.

Posted by The local 1%
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

Ellis Partners has kicked out any number of fine stores and restaurants, the beloved "egg" restaurant, the Korean place, now Hobee's and Kirks. Ellis' problem is these aren't sufficiently overpriced glossy places to give the nouveau riche self confidence that they really are special.
Those folks need a $3 cupcake or a $9 teething ring for a baby to reassure themselves that they are superior. The local 1%.

Posted by Michael Vilain
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:18 am

I've been eating at Hobee's for over 20 years. I had soup at Mayfield Bakery and while it was good, the menu was to pricey for what you got. Same with Califia. Asian Box is wonderful and I hope they make a go of it. But I'll miss Hobee's and Kirk's.

Posted by Long time Hobee's fan
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 6:10 am

This is the saddest thing I've read today.

Posted by April
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:23 am

I'm so sad to hear of this news. My husband and I frequent Hobee's at least once a week for a quick, tasty lunch during the workday. You will be missed!

Posted by Anon
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

Our daughter had her first restaurant dining experience at this Hobee's in 1996, when she was two weeks old. We have been dining at Hobee's for the last thirty years, and will really miss going here. I'm getting sick of the gentrification of T&C. Hope they make a lot of money - seems to be the only goal these days.

Posted by Just Sad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

Makes the decision to stop shopping there so much easier. No parking, wildly overpriced restaurants, useless things like Day Spas and BlowDry palaces and cupcake stores storefronts predominating. I am so glad we'll have a reasonably priced restaurant option like Scott's Seafood (oh, wait, their hamburgers are $17 and cheese is extra.....).

Town and Country used to be a practical place to buy things, shop and eat. Now it no different than University Avenue.

Hey maybe John Arrilliaga could build like 8 20 story buildings on the property and make it the largest upscale retail/office complex in America.....

Posted by Clay
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

Agreed. This is terrible. I think Ellis is making a mistake.

Posted by Tim Burks
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Many thanks to Hobee's for its consistent support of the local community through events like tonight's Moonlight Run & Walk in Palo Alto.

May Jim Ellis and Ellis Partners go forward and do likewise.

Posted by former palo altan
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

grew up in pa - worked at edy's while in high school (and delivered the pa times) - had many a meal at hobee's (loved their cinnamon dutch crunch thing) - personally, i don't think that yuppies can afford what's being done to the old town anymore ! it's sad that money drives everything these days !!

Posted by Maigret
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

This is so Town and Country. They've run way too many good retail businesses and restaurants out of that center -- I still miss the Cookbook. Greedy good-for-nothings.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:39 am

If Ellis Partners doesn't force Kirk's Steakburgers out, they will go out of business anyhow. Gott's Roadside will destroy Kirk's.

The landlord doesn't want homey old-school businesses like Kirk's, Hobee's, Stickney's, etc. They want upscale eateries like Mayfield, Howie's, Scott's, Gott's, etc.

Posted by Maggie
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hobee's was the only reason that I went to Town and Country. . . otherwise the parking is so bad that it just wasn't worth it.

I will miss Hobee's -- can't tell you how many business breakfasts I have had at Hobee's over the years!

Posted by Marie
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hobee's will be missed...especially around the Holidays when the cranberry coffee cake was put on the menu. I patronize many of the new eateries, shops and services offered in the revamped T&C but I'd love to wave a magic wand and bring Stickney's back.

Posted by Tax lady
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

With the parking problems at Town and Country and the loss of Hobees and other older good restaurants, why go there?

Posted by GEORGE
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

OMG!! What's gonna happen to Sergio, Francisco, Celia, José, and the rest of the crew. I saw that management will try to keep them employed, but where? And will it really happen?

Hobee's has been a great citizen, supporting the community through donations whenever asked. I've been going to Hobee's every Thursday morning for 10 years. We will miss Hobee's a lot!

Very sad.

Posted by Sally
a resident of Triple El
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:49 am

This is so frustrating - so many people from widely varied walks of life, with techie (or not) colleagues, children, out of town guests, PALY sports teams, and on and on, made Hobee's their routine place to go. I just ate there this morning with a friend with whom I've had breakfast there weekly for years and years - prior to Hobee's, we were at the Good Earth in downtown PA.
HEY! There's an idea, could Hobee's reopen where Lavanda is moving out from? We'd happily go downtown if so!!

Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hobee's won the prize from Pre-School family parents for best place to take kids to eat. Love those fruit plates! And when my kids got to college age, they wanted to go to In-N-Out when they came back to California. Now their college town has one of those, so I asked where do we go now when you come home? The answer -- Hobee's!!

Posted by Sw
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:55 am

I am so bummed to read this. Hobee's is our family's favorite place to have dinner out on the weekend. Each of us can find something healthy and tasty on the menu. We also used to go to Marie Callendars and that is closed too. Hopefully, the El Camino location will have weekend evening dinners. It sounds like it will.

Posted by Nick
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

Sad to hear. We've been going to Hobees for a year or so since we've lived in PA. We'll miss the kids Mickey's pancakes and the interesting ommies and scrambles!.

Posted by 40 year PA resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

Sorry to hear that. So many fond memories of eating there with friends and family over the years.

Recently had surgery and the first thing i asked for when i could eat again was a takeout slice of Hobbee's coffee cake.

Thanks Hobbee's!

Posted by Experienced Cyclist
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

Oh, man. I don't have anything original to add to the previous comments, but my wife and I have breakfast at the T&CV Hobee's most Saturday mornings when we are in town. This is a huge bummer.

The Korean BBQ and now Hobee's. I assume they'll be nuking The Village Cheese House next to make it a trifecta.

Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:27 am

OK, this settles it for me.

I've been eating at Hobee's at Town & Country a couple of times a month for many years now. I love their salmon fettucine.

Because of the draw of Hobee's, I used to drop in at Books, Inc. and/or window shop at other stores there. I bought a fair number of books at Books Inc. because of this.

I won't be buying any more books at Books, Inc. Keplers will now get ALL my book buying.

I don't plan to ever go to Town & Country again.

Posted by SAD
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

This is very SAD news.
Hobees has been a HUGE support to our community! Their coffee cake has greeted many of us at the finish of most (if not all) races here in PA and many other community events.
Thank you for all of your generous donations Hobbes! We will miss you at T&C.

Posted by Farrah
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:35 am

Say it isn't so! Hobbee's IS Palo Alto. I've been going to this restaurant since moving to PA in 1987. What is happening to this town? Pretty soon I won't recognize it anymore. What a shame!! Additionally, Kirk's steak burgers are the best. Why try Gott's? Not necessary in my book.

Posted by JF
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

This ruined my Friday ;-).

To the contrary, I felt Hobees was such an added value to T & C. We ate their often, headed to Kara's for cupcakes and haircuts at SnipIts. It filled a great void of family friendly, healthy and reasonably priced breakfasts.

Sorry to see you go. Please consider Palo Alto North, Menlo Park or Redwood City!

Posted by Becky
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

Of course decisions being made are financially driven, people! These are businesses and this is only natural. I think Ellis has made great changes to T&C and apparently so do many other people as is evident by the popularity of the center since the renovations began. Hobees didn't get "run out" of T&C - they made a business decision based on their business model and financial requirements.

Posted by Midtown
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

Move Hobee's to one of the spaces near shopping/starbucks in Midtown! Are you kidding, Midtown would eat it up!! Yes, literally.

Posted by AV
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

We've lived here for just over a year, but during one of our pre-relocation visits I took my little boy to Hobee's at T&C for lunch and couldn't believe what an affordable and tasty meal we had. It really gave me one of many good impressions of PA and we're big fans. I hope their new home will be Midtown or any place with easier parking!

Posted by hungry neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

While I'm sorta sorry that Hobee's is going there are several other branches in the vacinity. Gott's is GREAT and I'm really looking forward to having it nearby.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Town & Country does have some great restaurants but I'm very sorry to see Hobee's being pushed out. To require a restaurant tenant to pay for the seismic upgrades is ludicrous and shows how greedy the landlord is. I wish the city of Palo Alto would do a ratio check of restaurant seating to parking spaces - isn't there a requirement of a certain number of spaces available? And T&C keeps adding "to go" restaurants with very little or no indoor seating but tables and chairs right outside their doors that belong to the shopping center rather than the restaurant. The parking is awful at T&C only during the lunch hours of 11:45 to 2:30 and after that you can easily find parking - for some reason the dinner hour doesn't make you crazy. Change is good but so is community involvement and support and Hobee's has helped Palo Alto in so many ways, not the least of which donating trays and trays of coffee cakes to school functions. What exactly has Ellis Partners done to support Palo Alto?

Posted by Katie
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

This is such a bummer - Hobees was a great place for weekend brunch and a true restaurant of the community. We'd love to see them open a location on California Ave!

I also think it's crazy to open a Gott's when Kirk's is just a few stores down. How does Kirk's feel about this?

While it's nice having new stores at T&C (although some incredibly overpriced, the overall layout of the place between parking and leaving stinks. I disagree that going there during lunch time is the only crowded time. Have you tried shopping for groceries after work?

Posted by Cur Mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

We don't eat out all that much, but Hobie's is always a fave.
Of course, here in South PA, the MV and El Camino locations are actually closer and no T & C parking hassles.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Since Mike's in Menlo closed, maybe that location is available...

Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

The Ellis people are on a roll. Clearly, they won't stop until T&C is torn down and replaced by a higher-rent conglomeration of offices and residence, perhaps with a boutique hotel and spa tossed in for good measure.

Hobee's was a fun, comfortable place to get really good food without hyping itself. Its patrons handed out enough credit and thanks for giving them an option that was cool like an old MG convertible. It's not the cutting edge of today's style but its indelible coolness cannot be stripped away - only removed from sight.

I noticed a comment that foretold of El Camino's "urban canyon" future. How sad but true. Is this how Palo Alto experiences being part of the "47%"? Clearly, the money makers do not care about your experience, but wish to only attract temporary customers who crave all things new and are willing to overpay for it.

Posted by Bobbi Fox
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

ED FIKES AND PETE TABER are more than restauranteurs of Hobees.

They are wise and charitable people that have brought our community a gem never to be replaced. We will all lose a treasure.

I know I join with many generations of people that are saddened by this event.....

Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

This will be a huge loss for the local community, including Stanford students and families. Hobee's has been a GENEROUS contributor to all sorts of local organizations and efforts. This is just wrong wrong wrong.

Posted by local gurl
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

And Kirk's should have had a clause in their lease saying the landlord couldn't open another burger joint next door. What a mess.

Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

It's great that they've upgraded T&C. Back in the 80s when I attended Paly, there was no traffic signal because there was "nothing" at T&C besides The Cheese House.

However, it seems they have gone too far. I wanted to pick up some items at Trader Joe's today at 1:00 and could not find a parking space so had to leave. There isn't enough parking there and it's a real issue.

Posted by Stanford Alum
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I have been going to Hobee's T&C for all 28 years - starting as a Stanford student and now with my family. We love it as a place for families. It is reasonably priced, has good and wholesome food and is welcoming.

We already don't shop at Stanford Mall anymore - too upscale. Now, it seems as if T&C wants to go completely upscale too. Where are the affordable places for families? We've lost Chili's, Chevy's, Fresh Choice and now Hobee's.

Thank goodness for Jeffrey's!

Sad, sad, sad day. :-(

Posted by sandy gifford
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I'm in sync with Dianne Beties---relatives from Missouri shy away from eclectic California Cuisine! (course that's why I moved here and didn't stay in MO)

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Maybe they can skip Gott's and put in a Cartier or a Bvlgari. You know, Stanford style. Palo Alto destroys all the classic spots. I'm still missing Stickney's and Eddy's!

Thanks to the awesome Hobee's crew at T&C. Always friendly and with great service. Hope to see you in Mtn. View or on El Camino!

Posted by litebug
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Sounds like a continuation of what some of us fought so long and hard when this outfit took over T&C and started kicking out the businesses we patronized. Their rents were drastically raised and other unreasonable demands were put on them so that they were forced out. Same story now with Hobees. Many predicted exactly what has happened to T&C despite all the phony reassurances at the time. The way the whole takeover of T&C was done by Ellis left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I quit patronizing the center at that time. The way The Cookbook had been treated, same with my hair stylist, the disappearance of the consignment place and other stores were more than enough reason for me to vow never to set foot in the place again, a promise I kept up until we moved from P.A. in 08. It's clear that Palo Alto, always pricey and somewhat snabbish, is increasingly to be exclusively for the 1% and their Santana Row tastes and budgets. Stanford and downtown went that way years ago and I quit shopping there as everything was way over my budget and all my favorite businesses were replaced by ones in which I had no interest. When we moved there in 70, I did almost all my shopping in town. By the time we moved out, in 08, I did very little shopping in P.A. The whole place had become so yuppy-fied and dedicated to conspicuous consumption, so rapidly filling with ugly dense building, that it started to be a big turn-off. The quality of life in P.A. for the 38 years I lived there went down down down as the place got more and more "fancy", smug and exlusive. The problem is that the developers increasingly controlled the government. The tail wags the dog in P.A. to the detriment of the quality of life of many/most? residents.

Posted by One More Time
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

It turns out that Ellis Partners chose to announce this publically to the newspapers before Hobbee's had a chance to tell their employees!

WHAT A CLASS ACT Ellis Partners is not.

Ellis Partners is hell bent on creating a 4,000 square foot restaurant to take over Jamba Juice and the Ticket Store as well. Not that I will miss the ticket store.

$17 hamburgers here we come!

Posted by midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

We have lived in Palo Alto for 38 years. It is a shame and a disgrace that so many of the old establishments - popular with both young and old - are being hounded out by greedy landlords and developers with no sense of aesthetics- all in the name of "improvement", "modernizing", "and worst of all "high-end"ing. Palo Alto was a beautiful, cosy, (still affordable), family and student-oriented town when we moved here. Sure, the espresso bars are a nice addition - but do we need Starbucks on every corner? Where are the Hobees, the Woolworths, the Sears, the vintage bookstores, the little Mom-and Pop establishments that were part of the strong fibre of the community? Places one could actually afford to shop?
Eateries where the waitresses still remembered old customers? Where is the bowling alley, a place of innocent enjoyment for the whole family?
Gone, gone - and with them, the charm and welcome that used to make Palo Alto a pleasant place to live.

Posted by Health-conscious neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Hobees IS a Palo Alto tradition, no doubt, and we have lots of good memories of home-style, reasonably priced, meals at Hobees. However, the owners should know that in the last year we stopped going to our neighborhood El Camino location because the ambiance is downright awful. The place has a dirty old co-op feel which should make me nostalgic but instead makes me shudder at the thought of what the kitchen might be like if the public space is so run-down and dirty. The walls are literally crumbling, the A/C system is ancient and drafty. Over the years the food has gotten saltier & less fresh tasting, the salad bar is unappealing, and quality control in the kitchen is spotty.

I am sad to see that the one well-maintained Hobees in T&C is going away. Maybe the owners can put some effort into the El Camino "flagship"location! When this column runs that story we'll rush to give our old favorite another try.

Posted by JA3
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Glad to see Gott's Roadside coming in! Fantastic news.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Southgate
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Sad to see Hobee's go. Maybe if we boycott Gott's and frequent Kirk's more, T&C can salvage a little continuity with the past.

Posted by Herman
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Lets bring back Edy's Ice Cream, Spiros Sporting Goods, Stickney's..nobody had heard of Hobey's when these fine establishments were going strong at Town and Country. Change is always bad.

Posted by Anna
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm

SO SAD! My kids are 15 and we have been going there ever since they were born. The other places are great but too fancy for every week. I am still mad that Rojos wraps was forced to leave- they are MUCH better than the replacement mexican place. I so hope that Hobees will be able to find another Palo Alto location- the El Camino site is quite small.

Posted by ken
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm

A huge loss? They have like a dozen other "stores". Go to those if you crave their mediocre dated food. Lets face it, the place is substandard and hasnt served a decent meal in years. Brown rice, wheat tortillas, chewy meat, gooey cheese, overcooked hash browns, tough meat... I mean thats not what eating today is. thats 1978. Before it burned it was going downhill with dirty worn carpet and tired old tables. Affordable? I went to the Belmont one last week and it was $38 for two lousy orders of quesadillas and a soda each. Wake up and smell the present, people. whats happening at the T&C today is so much better, with owners who are innovative and have PRIDE in their food and interiors.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Ken's having a bad day. He needs a piece of that great Hobee's coffee cake.

Posted by Gail
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Thank you Hobe's, for all the generous contributions to various community organizations throughout the years. We will miss you.
And yes, the owners of T&C eventually do want to tear down the shopping center. I was told that, first hand, by the T&C rental office.

I still miss Edy's Ice Cream Parlor, the pharmacy, and Stickneys, too.

Posted by charmed
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hobees has been a local institution, and for many of us, emblematic of the characteristics that drew us to this area in the first place. Friendly, homespun, with the scent of cinnamon wafting through the dining area. Vs glitzy, hipster, and faux chic. The new Palo Alto is all about tearing down and renovating; newer is always better. Preserving the best of the past is not a value in a culture that is increasingly focused on maximizing the ROI of our soaring property values.

Posted by Lauri, former Stanford Student
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

What a sad turn of events. I am glad that Hobee's is elsewhere and I will continue to enjoy the coffeecake and egg scrambles when I visit friends in the area. However, the location next to Stanford allowed students to taste the yumminess that is Hobee's whether they walked, had a bike or a car. The locations further away may prohibit students from experiencing a tradition since 1984. I understand it is a business decision but sometimes traditions create and keep a community.

Posted by Eric
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm

No one goes to T&C anymore because the parking is so bad! :) In all seriousness I'm really sad about Hobee's closing. It's a classic Palo Alto restaurant and one of my favorite spots in T&C. One less reason....

Posted by Veronica
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 29, 2012 at 7:11 am

I have nothing new/different to add to the above. Hobee's is a much-loved Palo Alto institution. Hobee's has always been a very generous supporter of community groups and its presence at Town & Country will be sorely missed.

Posted by Yvette
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 29, 2012 at 7:26 am

This is terrible news. I eat at this Hobee's location 2-3 times per week. The owners truly underestimate the draw that Hobee's brings to Town & Country. If I'm waiting for a table, I usually walk to Books Inc. to browse and purchase books or go to CVS to pick up a few items. Sometimes I do some shopping after my meal at Trader Joe's, the University store, etc. But without Hobee's there, I don't have any reason to shop in that center. The businesses that surround the other Hobee's locations can look forward to some new customers.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 29, 2012 at 8:34 am

Very sad to hear this bad news. As a student, I would frequent Hobee's by riding my bike or walking to T & C. As an alumn, I make a point of eating there because of the great food and memories. Ellis Partners is making some terrible business decisions by pushing out some of these great businesses with deep roots in the community. It's happening in many towns, now PA too.

Posted by Zucker family
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oh No! We love Hobees! We love Sona! We hope the workers don't lose their jobs! We are so sad. This is horrible. :(

Isaac and Zalman, two sad six year olds

Posted by Editingwhiz
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

Drat. We just received a nice gift card for Hobee's, too. Better put it to use right away.

Posted by Chris P.
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

The real backstory on this has to be that a new tenant (um, Taylor's, perhaps?) is waiting for a spot in the T&C Village and will pay more in rent. Hobee's, bless its heart, has been in place for quite a long time and undoubtedly has a favorable rent rate. Business is business, but a community institution should be treated like one.

Posted by Last of the baby boomers...
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Thank you Hobee's restauranteurs Ed Fikes and Pete Taber. Thank you for giving to the community and for being a family friendly place to go to for your *GREAT* blueberry coffee cake and comfortable atmosphere. You have been an anchor to the community and T&C and I am so sorry that you were not accommodated by Ellis Partners.

Posted by Paco
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

So long Hobee's!
The unfortunate news is that the T&C shopping center most likely will be strained to make it through the next large quake as the railroad ties used to support the structure are severely damaged from termite infestation and water damage. Palo Alto Building Inspectors notified owners as far back as the late 80's that the structure was seismically unsafe but were thwarted in reporting unsafe conditions by the Building Official and City Manager. "Keep the taxes rolling in..." was their response to inspector reports. Today the same railroad ties used to build the shopping center exist with only minor improvements and support the structure.

Posted by Leslie
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm

We love Hobee's. The food is great and the menu changes with the seasons. We alway take out-of-town guests there for breakfast or lunch. Even the most finicky eaters love it and they have some good vegetarian menu choices as well. Thankfully the location in Sunnyvale is still open.

Posted by Jim M
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Generations of Stanford alum have just had their heart broken in the name of greed. These property managers clearly have no respect for tradition, and care not for the Stanford community. I, for one, will boycott all there except the local bookstore.

Posted by Maybe
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I'm surprised to see this outpouring for Hobee's. We ate there some when we moved here 10 years ago, but never liked it that much (food ok, pricing high), and eventually found other places we liked better. A lot of people seem to have sentimental ties to it, which is fine, but hey, times move on and perhaps people will develop sentimental ties to whatever the new place is over time. Farewell Hobee's, welcome new place!

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm

They were good enough to move in when they needed tenants. Now it seems to be drive them out! Hobees will go somewhere else and their followers will go there. T&C you lost a loyal tenant!!!

Posted by Palo Alto Food on the Upswing
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The food in Palo Alto is just awful, Hobee's is the quintessential example of it, and now I know why -- the city is full of people who are morning the loss of a banal, tired restaurant. I cannot believe how many posts there are that express regret at its closing. Apparently the same people who are mourning the closing of Marie Callender's.

Finally, for whatever reason, the food here is on the upswing: La Boulange, Oren's, Paris Baguette are just a few examples of the recently opened places here that serve edible food. Gott's will be another. They're all reasonably priced, but offer food that is several levels up from Hobee's. To those who think Gott's will sell a $17 hamburger: they charge $7 at their Ferry Building location and wouldn't expect the prices to be higher here.

I, for one, don't consider overpriced places like the Mayfield Bakery or Evvia, for that matter, exciting places to eat. But lower-priced places serving innovative and interesting and even artisanal food, Palo Alto could use more.

Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Some of the comments are puzzling. A large proportion of Palo Alto residents could not possibly afford the houses they live in now, especially if they inherited them. Ditto Mountain View. San Antonio Center for the time being will be the only place in the area to shop for more or less middle income or many older people, though I don't know anything about East PA.

The purpose of local government on the peninsula is basically to increase real estate values. That elects and un-elects office holders. If Palo Alto and Mountain View go up-market there is no downside for the cities at all. If it turns over a third or more of the residents, again there is no downside for the cities. Zip. You would think that at some point they would do away with the goose that laid the golden egg in Silicon Valley, but it hasn't happened to PA yet so that threshold must be pretty high and many workers can commute from the East Bay given parking.

Residential rents are now increasing here at a 10%/6mo clip, compounded of course. House prices must be similar. That is rapidly turning over the apartment areas in Mountain View and I assume Palo Alto as well. People to cut the grass and wait on tables as well as code can drive over Dumbarton Bridge or take buses. Businesses can get together and run free vans or buses at some point like Marguerite (sp?).

So there is really no complaining when the only possible reaction is to use the displacement of a place like Hobee's as a sort of canary in the coal mine. If you miss it, maybe it's time to start planning or at least keeping track of neighborhoods in the East Bay or out of state. Sorry, I've lived here since '82 and get along for the time being, but that's the reality.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2012 at 6:28 am

I understand that change happens which to some is good and others will fight. I miss going for breakfast at Stickney's. Sad to say Palo Alto, MV, Los Altos and other surrounding places have lost places dear to the heart, the stomach and the thirst.

Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I’ve already added my opinion of the Ellis group but want to comment regarding the variety of posts for this story. It seems that surface comments regarding food, décor, etc. are typical 80/20 for a landmark establishment, with warm memories elevating food that perhaps slipped a bit over recent years. Those who don’t understand the “outpouring” are missing the real point. Cities are unique combinations of the human experience. They are not companies, nor are they theatrical productions who must cyclically reinvent themselves for the entertainment and interest of passing clientele. Just as government cannot be managed like a “business”, a city of purpose must be “in it for the long game”. For those who have questioned “why?” or commented to bring on the new and more exciting fare, I must ask “why are you here?”

Palo Alto is a city with a long local history. It was once a unique small city whose government and residents gracefully balanced money with manners with self-awareness. It no longer exudes these as primary characteristics, and is unlikely to regain it against the current of ostentatious wealth and calculated greed. If you wonder why people have written about their memories and sense of loss for Hobee’s, it is more than just one restaurant, it is for a string of pearls that have fallen from the strand that will never return. Even though the city seems to pursue change at any cost, there are still thousands of real Palo Altans watching with no visible power to stop, or even slow down change. Town & Country was more than a fancy little shopping area or BMW parking lot – it was once a beloved casual destination that didn’t need to be polished and perfect.

Of course, nobody can stop change – I refuse to call it “progress”, but recognize it nonetheless. I personally do not favor the loss of traditional eateries, problems and all, for an influx of this month’s fusion choice or designer burgers at 7 or 17 dollars. I’ve tried many of our new places that tend to themselves as being far less than the sum of their parts, or at least the sum on the tab.

If you still wonder why this bothers us, you are just not paying enough attention.

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2012 at 11:07 pm


"It was once a unique small city whose government and residents gracefully balanced money with manners with self-awareness. It no longer exudes these as primary characteristics, and is unlikely to regain it against the current of ostentatious wealth and calculated greed."

Thank you so much. I've never heard someone put it so eloquently. Hope you don't mind if I quote it in the future.

Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

@Outside Observer,

Thank you for your comments. You are welcomed to use any and all. :)

Posted by Wow
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm

@TimH - your comment captures an irritating arrogance of some Palo Altans. "For those who have questioned “why?” or commented to bring on the new and more exciting fare, I must ask “why are you here?"

The answer is that every city is a mix of new and old, good and bad. We don't have to love the old/bad in order to want to live here. I'm here for the schools, the weather, the people, and Stanford. Not the old restaurants/theaters/stores/hotels; not the dilapidated libraries and schools; not the broken down infrastructure that some generation forgot to maintain. I'm happy to do my share to help fix up the public resources and hope that the owners of the private resources do the same.

You think you and your tastes embody what's special about Palo Alto? So much that you wonder, if we don't share them, why are we here? Wow, have ego much?

Posted by P.A. Native
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

@ Wow,

When did you move here, and from where?

Posted by Vinita
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm



A special eating place with special people who make you feel like people.
I actually almost cried reading the news. How can ELLIS Business be so cruel.

A BIG NO NO TO SEE HOBEE GO. Can we all do something about it?

Posted by Savannah Feriante
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm

NOT KIRKS! I LOVE KIRKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by TimH
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

@Wow - Fair enough, but forgive me for thinking that "schools, weather, people, Stanford" and casting off the rest of Palo Alto sounds more like using the city as a resource and not as a personal life investment. It seems that the ego you've mentioned is not in our city, but with your own stated motives. Give the "the old restaurants/theaters/stores/hotels; not the dilapidated libraries and schools; not the broken down infrastructure" another chance, and perhaps help out. You may understand the meaning in the vast majority of the remarks posted here. Thanks.

Posted by Cassandra
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

There's a thread somewhere on this board where people share their memories of growing up in Palo Alto. Those kinds of shared memories help create a cohesive and caring community from a city comprising residents of disparate backgrounds and interests.

A lot of the places that hold special memories for me have already vanished from the landscape. Favorite restaurants, theaters, bookstores, shops. I think we are seeing particular outrage here because Hobees has been a special place for so many of us. But I also realize that Hobees embodies the "old" Palo Alto, and that people who moved here because they're upwardly mobile or lured by high test scores may not appreciate the values that longtimers hold dear.

I can visit Paris, and take my family to places I loved in 1990. They're still there, and their charm endures. But in this new and constantly improving Palo Alto, it's all about change, because new and better is more profitable, and if you don't like it, then you're guilty of old think, and the newcomers would be just as happy if you left town.

Posted by Zunaira
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm

My husband and I are huge fans of the PA Hobee's and are heart broken it has to go. No other Hobee's can compare, and I've tried several of them now. I am going to miss my South of the Border Ommie fix every Saturday/Sunday! And a glance at Marc Andreessen once in a while.

Good bye, good luck and thank you Hobee's staff for the wonderful food and care you gave us.

Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Mayfield Bakery is no better than Hobee's, just pricier and snarkier. Their service is the pits. But some people actually like snarky, snooty ser ice, it makes them feel they are getting something elite. It's like the old Groucho Marx comment, "I wouldn't want to join a country club that would have me as a member."

Considering that most of us moved here to get our children into really good schools, another family friendly restaurant where you can take your kids is lost to us. So many of the new restaurants frown upon children in their establishments. A resident really shouldn't have to leave town to take the kids out to dinner, but that is what is happening in Palo Alto. It is becoming much less kid-friendly.

So how can PA be touted as a great place to raise a family? Education is not all there is to raising a family.

Posted by j. Rowley
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 22, 2012 at 9:12 am

Sounds like Jim Ellis's greed has caused him to make a bad decision for the community. And to put a gourmet burger place right by Kirk's?? That's just cruel. I suppose they're next to be forced out.

Hobee's anchored that mall when it was a ghost town, and made it POSSIBLE for it to eventually be a destination mall. But I guess that means squat when there's money on the table.

Books Inc. was forced out of Stanford Shopping Center by greedy developers, which is why they moved into T&C. Ellis better not do the same thing to them here. Tell Ellis you want to keep Books Inc, where it is, and the size it is, and that he'd better not hike their rent.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards

on Sep 26, 2017 at 6:04 am

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