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Shop Talk: Nut House's future; Facebook's mobile market

Original post made on Jul 24, 2017

In this week's retail news, the future of Antonio's Nut House remains uncertain, Facebook will debut its farmers market on wheels and Gymboree is closing at Stanford Shopping Center.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 21, 2017, 8:21 AM

Comments (21)

Posted by Julie armitano
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 24, 2017 at 11:35 am

That's is really sad.
tHat is a great childrens store.
We will miss it.

Posted by R. Luck
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Will the Nut House really be missed other than by the riff-raff who patronize this establishment?

The property would probably be better utilized with a mixed-used retail/restaurant/office suite building.

The Nut House had its run (42 years). Now it's time to move on.

Posted by Riff Raff
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

The Nut House is a fine establishment and is a breath of fresh air in this ultra washed, less bohemian community by the day. I personally hope the Riff Raff never die off!

Posted by Randy/Modesto
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I remember the Nut House. My grandfather used to take me there when I was a youngster. He would buy me a Gorilla Burger and Coke from the lunch counter and then go drink and play dominoes at the bar for a few hours.

When he got too intoxicated, the bar would call my grandma and she would come pick us up. This always led to an argument on the way home to their trailer.

I also recall the lingerie shows. A woman in a negligee would walk around collecting dollar bills for a raffle. If she called your number, you would win a negligee just like the kind she was wearing. My grandfather won them a few times but never gave them to my grandma. He used to say they were for his girlfriends.

Posted by Jim L.
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 24, 2017 at 5:53 pm

The Nut House has evolved with the times. During the 1970s' it was a biker/hoodlum bar until the owner 86'd them. In the 1980's the Nut House firmly established itself as a blue-collar dive bar and throughout the 1990s to around 2010, it was a local hangout for ne'er do well Gen Xers.

Today it is a Millennial dive bar as the older folks have either passed on or moved to other locales. Louboutin stilettos, Hermes handbags and Rolexes have replaced black leather and blue denim jackets. Only the weekend doormen remain somewhat questionable/shady.

Posted by Raine-Colorado
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I used to enjoy going to Antonio's Nut when I was at Stanford during the late 1990s. Shoot some pool on their 50 cent tables, have a few beers and chat with the regulars.

It was never a pick-up bar as most of the women in there weren't that hot to begin with. Just a place to chill and kick-back.

Though I reside out of state now, it would be a shame to see it go.

Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Back before Facebook was kicked out of Palo Alto, a certain local resident) who is polling higher than Donald Trump as candidate for the next Presidential election) was known to hang out at the Nut House. The Nut House certainly has changed from what I remember in the last century. The fact that it is still profitable and the landlord is encouraging them to stay says there is still a good business model for establishments like this in Palo Alto.

Posted by Lt. Col. (ret.) Kent Jackson
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Mark Zuckerberg or Kamala Harris for President?

Highly unlikely.

Posted by Jeanie Smith
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm

I've seen the Nut House evolve over five decades, and those of you who still think it's populated with "riff-raff" should pay a visit and see how it's changed. I was just there last week for a little after-hours confab with colleagues, and it's a pleasant, easy-going bar, full of mostly business locals stopping for a drink or two with friends before heading off for the rest of their evening. No rowdies, no "low-life", no riff-raff, no bruiser bikers-- although all of those would be welcome if they wanted to be there-- it's that kind of place too, where anyone is accepted and there's no judgment. It's a great post-theatre hangout, or pre-dinner cocktail place, or business lunch stop-- for those of us who don't need pricey, chi-chi drinks and grub. I hope it sticks around for a long time to come-- it would be a shame to see it die...
P.S. I know the secret of the Gorilla.

Posted by Jennifer/Grad Student
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Quote: I've seen the Nut House evolve over five decades, and those of you who still think it's populated with "riff-raff" should pay a visit and see how it's changed.
>Jeanie Smith

'Evolve' is too generous a wording.

The bartenders are still somewhat rude to customers and the weekend doormen fulfill the role of contemporary riff-raff as they seem more preoccupied with smoking (cigarettes/weed) near the entrance while hassling younger bar patrons who are actually 21 (or older). So much for creating an inviting atmosphere on a casual Friday or Saturday night.

Perhaps they will be the next dinosaurs to perish as the Nut House continues its painstaking efforts to 'evolve'.

From what I've heard, the restrooms certainly haven't evolved (in terms of cleaniless) in over 5 decades. That says a lot.

Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 25, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Never been to the Nuthouse, that's for the PA crowd, Mountain View has Mervyn's. Every town needs a dive bar, not everyone can afford $15 cocktails.

Posted by Proper Lady
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2017 at 3:29 pm

The Nuthouse is a jewel of this City. Yes, a sawdust covered jewel, but it's held its value better and longer than the many faux precious restaurants here that implode after a few months.
It made the SF Chronicle's Bay Areas Top 10 Best Dives.
Riff Raff? You gotta be kidding? Go in and you will see a lot of people playing board games of all things. Eating and drinking and pool - the usual phat stuff. It is funky and only like itself.
I hope we can keep saying - We will always have the Nuthouse.

Posted by Craig in San Diego
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

I met my second wife at Antonio's while playing pool. After she completed rehab for a serious CM and alcohol addiction, we parted company as we had a difference of opinion over whom we wanted to remain associated with as friends and casual acquaintances.

I went on to complete my MA and have since relocated down south. Last I heard, she still hangs out there from time to time. Hopefully she's doing OK and hasn't relapsed.

Posted by Judy
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Ha, ha to the NutHouse being referred to as a "jewel" or "breath of fresh air" - you've obviously never used the restroom!

Good riddance to the Nut House, may you be replaced with a good bakery or affordable restaurant. An establishment with character is welcome around here, but a filthy bar/restaurant with unpleasant staff can go elsewhere.

Posted by Jake Turner
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:26 pm

"The Nut House is a fine establishment and is a breath of fresh air"
@Riff Raff

Really? This accolade/review is somewhat questionable as you have set the bar [no pun intended] very low.

Posted by Justin Peters
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Having ventured in Antonio's Nut House during my post graduate years at San Jose State, I can draw these conclusions:

20% no class. 45% low class (which is OK in my book). 20% (who knows?) and maybe 15% college educated professionals.

Unlike some other dining/drinking establishments in Palo Alto, the Nut House appeals to a certain demographic.

Posted by A Semi-Nut House Regular
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 26, 2017 at 11:56 am

Antonio's Nut House is an escape from the over-gentrification of Palo Alto.
Yes, the restrooms are filthy. Yes, the bartenders are obnoxious as a whole. And yes, the doormen are seemingly preoccupied with hassling younger patrons.

This can all be improved upon with Mr. Montooth's son now running the bar operations. Just replace 75%-80% of the current employees and hire/consign someone to keep the restrooms cleaner.

With the lease renewal coming up towards the end of the year, Antonio's Nut House could conceivably survive for awhile. All it needs its a slight facelift.

Posted by Old PA Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 26, 2017 at 3:11 pm

For those old enough to remember, The Oasis Beer Garden in Menlo Park was once a pig's sty prior to the 1970s. Ownership cleaned it up, remodeled the interior a bit and created a more 'family-friendly' dining environment. Worked wonders.

While the Nut House would hardly qualify as a place to bring children, the current owner ought to consider spending some money to revamp the bar along with replacing most of the current employees whose rudeness and attitude towards customers is bad for business.

I am also curious why the City of PA has never seemingly inspected or fined the owner for all of the interior code infractions (electrical wiring, plumbing, overall cleaniness and no emergency exit other than the front entrances).

If these flaws cannot be corrected, then the place should be shut down as soon as their lease expires.

Posted by Ken
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2017 at 7:11 pm

When you've got a less than ideal home life and no job (or prospects), Antonio's provides an asylum of sorts.

I've staggered home many a time after spending an evening there. If not for the Nut House, I would probably have nowhere else to go as driving home after drinking all night until 1AM would be out of the question from a common sense standpoint of public and personal safety.

The drinks are reasonably priced and if the bartender knows you, they make them stronger. Despite what some of the naysayers have said, once you reach a certain saturation point all of these criticisms of the bar become somewhat meaningless as you are no longer aware or conscious of them.

Hopefully the Nut House will remain in business as I'd hate to have to travel to Redwood City or Mountain View for an evening heater.

Posted by Andy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

Quote: "When you've got a less than ideal home life and no job (or prospects), Antonio's provides an asylum of sorts."

Which is probably why this establishment maybe needs to continue on. It's Palo Alto's own living version of the movie 'Barfly'.

Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 27, 2017 at 12:18 pm

I've been to the Nut House a couple of times. The drinks are reasonable and the atmosphere very casual.

On the other hand, it wasn't too difficult to notice that there were some customers in there with serious substance abuse issues (either alcohol or drugs).

Perhaps this is why the bartenders get a bad rap. Having to deal with a slew of derelicts can get tiresome after awhile.

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