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Palo Alto, rejoice. Mike's Cafe is back.

Original post made on Jun 20, 2019

The return of Mike's Cafe, a humble, longtime neighborhood eatery, might be one of Palo Alto's most anticipated restaurant openings of the year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 20, 2019, 4:11 PM

Comments (25)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Loved the art on the walls of the old Mikes.

Only 10 more seats. Wow, I would have expected more.

Still hope it as good as it was and look forward to visiting. Any link to the menu?


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Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Now I know I'm getting old. My wife and I started going there as soon as it opened the first time. His dad, Bill, greeted people at the door. And now there won't be a service station type restroom, a big improvement. That was always a detractor, except you didn't have to ask for the key.


10 people like this
Posted by Judith Wasserman
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 20, 2019 at 5:56 pm

Judith Wasserman is a registered user.

Reread the article - the original 40 seats are still there - he ADDED 50 in the new space.


9 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm

I'll still be looking for lightbulbs and faucet washers.


23 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2019 at 7:07 pm

Mike's closed about Jan. 1, 2018 for renovations. It's now about 18 months later. Why does a reasonably simple renovation project take so long in Palo Alto. This project should have taken only a few months. Far too much red tape in this town.


5 people like this
Posted by elyse
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 20, 2019 at 8:48 pm

so glad Mike's is back in business, can't wait to see the old gang enjoying food and friendship.


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Posted by Keri
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 21, 2019 at 12:18 am

Yay! Can't wait to try the new Mike's!


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Posted by Miriam Palm
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2019 at 7:54 am

Miriam Palm is a registered user.

Great news and happy to hear it!


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Posted by midtowngirl
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2019 at 9:09 am

yay!
see you on sunday :)

and to musical thanks for the laugh :)


3 people like this
Posted by Josie
a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

Looking forward to restrooms you don't have to go outside to use!! :-)


3 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2019 at 11:12 am

What happened to all the people who previously worked there?
How many of the current workers worked there previously?


1 person likes this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 21, 2019 at 12:18 pm

@Joe, let's hear from Mike on all the reasons why it took so long.

@musical, that is funny, but sadly that is all many of us shopped for at Gary's store once Home Depot and Orchard Supply came to town. Human nature and maybe our own individual financial situations drove us to look for the cheapest paint, hardware, tools, etc. That's the sad history of family owned retail stores in PA.

@CrescentParkAnon, that's a good question. I have a hunch they found jobs elsewhere, maybe even out of the area/state, and I would be surprised to see any of them back. There were some good ones and I was generous with my tips for them. He had good cooks also, I could look over my left shoulder and watch them in the kitchen. Occasionally a special would show up on the menu. The one I remember that my wife and I enjoyed the most was the strawberry rhubarb pie. Yummm!


1 person likes this
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 21, 2019 at 11:10 pm

Yes,yes,yes!, back to our LOCAL wonderful restaurant and it’s lovely owners. FNS will be able to have their retired teachers , monthly meetings there again. And my husband and I delicious dinners!,,,so happy!!!!


27 people like this
Posted by In the neighborhood
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2019 at 11:38 pm

Am I the only one who thinks the prices are very high?

I was hoping that this could become our neighborhood restaurant, where our family could enjoy dinner once in a while. But with the steep prices, we’ll sadly have to pass.


8 people like this
Posted by MoneyBurner
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

Rejoice? Did you get a lot of those prices? Check it out - Web Link

Seem like any place with a Palo Alto address assumes it has a few Michelin stars and takes full advantage of the Palo Alto mark-up. There are some good places in Palo Alto that warrant higher prices, let's hope this rises to be one of them. From the way this place used to be run before just call me skeptical. Good luck! Midtown and fine dining just seem to be at odds.

I just remember how fast the Palo Alto Breakfast Kitchen went out of business.


11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2019 at 11:56 am

@MoneyBurner - those prices are very disappointing. Definitely not family friendly, at least for my family.


6 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 25, 2019 at 4:17 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

It seems like the new Mike's is 3 times more expensive than the old Mike's. It should fit perfectly into the new Palo Alto dining scene: The more overpriced the restaurant, the more lousy the food.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2019 at 5:28 pm

"Why does a reasonably simple renovation project take so long in Palo Alto."

Mike's does not sell Mercedeses, so no fast track for them.


4 people like this
Posted by TeaLady
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Oh dear!, we have been waiting with bated breath. This morning we went there.....what a disappointment!. Honestly there was nothing on the menu I wanted to eat, I settled for a beet salad.. and got a pile of arugula, eight 1/2 " pieces of beets, 6 pistachios nuts, and three 1/2 " peices of goat cheese.It was $17.00. The bread was dry and just served as is...no oil no butter . I doapplaud their inclusion of Peroni on tap. They seated us in the old part of the restaurant. It was so loud, my husband took out his hearing aids. The kitchen was clatterering, and occasionally sending off bad smells. there is no baffling so it was loud, I could not hear my husband but could hear every word from the guy on the other side of the room who never learned that not all people are interested in what he wants to share. The decor was uninteresting, and the view out the window was of a gas main, a dirty street, and a parking lot.
Oh please give me my mushroom melt, the scampi with linguini, and those exquisite soups. We can't afford to eat here...and really don't want to.


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Posted by Dante Drummond
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 27, 2019 at 6:27 pm

So happy to see this open! We will be there soon!!


5 people like this
Posted by Just observing
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 27, 2019 at 6:39 pm

" This project should have taken only a few months. Far too much red tape in this town."

Far too many arm-chair designers, contractors, cops, doctors, etc. in this town. Everybody knows exactly how long anything should take.


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Posted by Laurie
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 4, 2019 at 9:58 pm

I am not hearing anything about lunch. Are they open for lunch and have a lunch menu?


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2019 at 11:43 am

The food is good, the service is good, but the noise level is so bad that in the back part it is impossible to have a conversation with the person sitting opposite.

Can Mike do anything about making the noise level better?


3 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 19, 2019 at 5:12 pm

High prices, mediocre food, and way too loud. I will not return.


2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Moneyburner
> I just remember how fast the Palo Alto Breakfast Kitchen went out of business.

Palo Alto Breakfast kitchen was a great success until they lost their best service people and their quality control. We used to eat there almost every week until it just became too irritating. And talk about loud .... they never did anything about the noise. They started out really great, and then downhill.

I used to periodically try Mike's before. I never thought Mike's was all that, but it was OK in a pinch, even if expensive. From what I read here if the prices have gone up and the quality has gone down, I don't think I am going to waste my time.

I tend to blame the landlords who even if they have owned a property for decades and WRONGLY benefit from Prop. 13, they still want to squeeze the life out of everyone else who does the real work in this town. Maybe the city itself needs to leverage some real estate and buy up some land to rent it out to good businesses at a reasonable cost as some competition to these greedy landlords.

Every nice business in town is gone or leaving, replaced with national chains who hire people who cannot possible live on what they make, while they funnel money up to landlords.

To restore Palo Alto to a liveable city we must recognize that residents are stakeholders in the decisions that get made and start to address the loss of the human element, instead of only respecting money, profit and power.


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