New Businesses For Downtown

Posted on December 28, 2016 by  
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242 State St Los AltosDowntown Los Altos is expecting a boost from a host of new businesses in the new year. An investment firm and a new child’s play company opened their doors in the waning weeks of 2016. Several restaurants and a wine-tasting room plan to start serving customers in 2017.

Ignition Partners held its office-warming party in late October and has already made several deals from its new space on First Street. The venture capital firm moved from Palo Alto and recently led a $20 million investment round in Accompany, a virtual personal assistant app. According to Crunchbase, Ignition Partners has raised more than $1 billion since it was founded in 2000.

Kiwi Crate moved back to Los Altos to open a shop in time for holiday gift-giving. Founded out of a Los Altos garage, the company had been renting warehouse space in Mountain View to stock its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-focused children’s toy packages, or crates. Sandra Oh Lin began selling below the rainbow-colored facade on State Street in December.

Los Altos Research Center, a startup that aims to create a new way to securely communicate and shop, has rented a storefront at 359 State St. Company officials said they are not yet ready to open to the public, but they have begun a private beta test three months after a launch event in mid-September.

Several restaurants are planning first-quarter 2017 openings. Morsey’s is a new cafe focused on introducing Californians to buffalo milk. Long cherished in Italy, south Asia and the Mediterranean for its taste and low cholesterol, the buffalo milk will be processed near the Morseys’ own dairy farm in the Davis area before making its way to 134 Main St., the space previously occupied by Main Street Cafe & Books for a decade.

Byington Winery plans to open a tasting room at 366 Main St., the former site of Therapy. Showcasing wines from their vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Byington representatives hope to sell memberships as well as wines up and down the Peninsula.

Andrew Welch plans to open ASA at 242 State St., the modern steel-and-glass space which won an award this year for its Olson Kundig-designed guillotine window.

Welch aims to build off the success of The Basin, his Saratoga restaurant featuring French and Italian dishes, by focusing on sustainability and an “honest” approach.

The scaffolding is finally off Hiroshi, the new Japanese restaurant at 328 Main St., former home to Dean’s Designs. The facade’s rusted-metal sheets stand out in the “village” feel of downtown. The restaurant promises high-end Japanese cuisine.


Los Altos Rhodes Scholar

Posted on December 15, 2016 by  
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alexis-doyleFrom guide dogs to culinary architecture, Los Altos native Alexis Doyle has worked across fields as a young scholar, but she had to learn to knit it all together – not only as a pre-medical student, but as a candidate proving her bona fides for a Rhodes Scholarship. She joined the incoming class of Rhodes Scholars last month, earning one of the nation’s most prestigious scholastic honors.

Doyle frames the notoriously rigorous Rhodes interview as a “fun and challenging experience.” The conversation ranged from the character-building failures of learning to train a guide dog to her research into parasitic infection in Guatemala.

A St. Francis High School graduate and a senior at the University of Notre Dame, Doyle is already slated to attend the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai after she finishes her stint at Oxford University. The medical school has the unusual practice of admitting its future doctors in their sophomore year of undergraduate study, enabling them to focus on disciplines “tangential to medicine” in the last two years of undergrad, Doyle explained.

“There was a project I was working on in Guatemala, and an interest in health policy that I wanted to pursue,” she said. “I didn’t have to take the time to study for the med school admissions test and apply to a bunch of med schools – instead, I could invest that time in service work in the community, and projects and research that don’t fit into the medical school applicant mold.”

That includes work in an architecture lab at Notre Dame focused on building healthy environments. Doyle worked on a school cafeteria project looking at how to design a space to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption, and then a project on urban green spaces that promote physical activity.

In Guatemala, she saw how raging parasitic infections reduced a child’s ability to concentrate in school, a high-stakes debility in a system where students often have only a few years of schooling available to them.

She worked with mothers in the community to start a small business to fund soap for the classrooms – a way to prevent or reduce infection in the first place. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Doyle will have two fully funded years to study health, policy and whatever else she devises before returning to medical school in the U.S.


A Sought After Neighborhood in Milpitas

Posted on December 15, 2016 by  
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1072 Dempsey Road, Milpitas 95035
Listed at $788,888 / Sold at $765,000
2 Beds / 2.5 Baths / Home: 1,507 / Lot: 3,302 sqft +/-
Res. Single Family / Attached
Representing: Buyer


Coming This Spring – New Construction

Posted on December 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged:

Castro Street Shopping District

Property near downtown Mountain View
5 Beds / 4.5 Baths / Lot: ~6,944 sq ft
Single Family Detached
Representing: Seller
Contact us for more info


Ornamental Odyssey: A Local Story

Posted on December 2, 2016 by  
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traveler-linda-clarkIt’s safe to say that Los Altos resident Linda Clark loves holidays. Her attractive mid-century ranch home undergoes several seasonal makeovers each year, with the biggest transformation at Christmas.

A frequent world traveler with her husband, Dean, Clark has visited Africa, Indonesia, the South Pacific, the North Pole, Iceland, Greenland, Antarctica, China, the Baltics, South America and more. The couple’s home is decorated with mementos from many of their trips – including fans and masks from Indonesia and South Pacific islands – and a guest bedroom is known as “The Africa Room.”

Clark’s love of Christmas decorating began as a young girl. Her parents found it too much work, so it became her job. “It really began before my teens, or just about at that time,” she said. “Every time something grabs my fancy, I buy it. Every time we travel, I try to buy something representative of the country.”

She’s found that one of the drawbacks to group travel is the lack of shopping time. “Every Stanford trip we’ve been on, I always write (on the evaluation afterward), How can I help support the country’s economy if you don’t give me time to shop?” Clark said with a laugh.

Clark couldn’t say offhand how many ornaments are now in her collection, but the largest tree, in the living room, has more than 1,000 ornaments on it. And there are 13 other trees. Even her tiny Santa’s workshop tree – a Manzanita tree branch – has more than 200 ornaments on it and is “very painstaking to decorate” because of the diminutive decorations, she said.

Her Santa and Mrs. Claus trees have very few ornaments because of the difficulty in finding pairs of the Christmas couple. She’s always on the lookout for them and was pleased to find a pair at Los Altos’ Cranberry Scoop last year.

Other themed trees include the train tree (for her husband, who loves model trains), the angel tree, the travel tree and three kitchen trees; the latter have more than 600 ornaments on them. When the Christmas season approaches, the Clarks retrieve 35-40 storage bins from their shed and get to work.

In addition to finding treasures while traveling, Clark is always on the lookout at craft fairs, artists’ open houses and favorite stores such as Cover Story and Cranberry Scoop in Los Altos.

Some of her ornaments go way back, such as her Santa and Mrs. Claus applehead dolls, which she estimated that she’s had for 50 years. Friends add to her collection from time to time, and she has also made many of the ornaments herself.

In addition to Christmas, Clark decorates for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Flag Day. She also has ornaments for many other occasions and events, such as baby showers, wedding showers, travel and school.



Downtown Los Altos Art Exhibitions

Posted on December 1, 2016 by  
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autumn-aspen-and-evergreenFollowing is roundup of local arts events and exhibitions.


Karen White is the featured artist for the month of December at Viewpoints Gallery. Her exhibition, which runs through Dec. 31, features oil paintings created over the past year.

A reception for the artist is scheduled 5-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery.

White approaches her subjects – landscapes, cityscapes and still lifes – in a contemporary way, with bold brush strokes and vibrant colors.

“Painting allows me to explore my subjects through a modern lens,” she said. “Whether painting outdoors or in the studio, my focus on design, color and texture continues right through to the finished work.”

Viewpoints Gallery is located at 315 State St., Los Altos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 941-5789 or visit or


“Color of Light,” a group show of Gallery 9 member artists, is scheduled to run through December.

An artists’ reception is slated 5-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery.

The Los Altos gallery, established in 1970 by a cooperative group of nine artists, moved to downtown Los Altos in 1973. Current membership stands at approximately 30 and comprises a diverse group of local artists who work in various media, including painting, printmaking, photography, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture and weaving.

Gallery 9 is located at 143 Main St., Los Altos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 941-7969 or visit


The Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society has scheduled an art show through Feb. 6 at Vino Locale, 431 Kipling St., Palo Alto. The display showcases the work of 26 local artists.

For more information, visit

To submit an item for “Local Arts Roundup,” email Bruce Barton at