Draeger’s Prepares For Renovation

Posted on September 8, 2015 by  
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Draegers PlanDraeger’s Market in Los Altos is prepping for a face-lift following the company’s 90th anniversary this year.

The in-process plan for the 342 First St. gourmet grocery store includes an expansion, seismic upgrades, parking improvements, revitalized landscaping and a new onsite loading area.

The Los Altos City Council paved the way for the project this summer after approving an application for renovation and expansion. The project was among the first to put into practice the city’s revised policy for public noticing – posting a larger billboard in front of the store that illustrates impending changes.

“It’s actually been a pretty good thing,” said company owner Richard Draeger of the new policy. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from our customers.”

Draeger said the company and Field Paoli Architects are collaborating on the project’s detailed drawings with the intent to apply for permits next summer.

“If all goes well, we could potentially start (construction) either before or after the holidays next year,” he said. “I think our design is going to reflect the small-town character of Los Altos.”

The company plans to complete the project in a 12-month construction timeline, with the store remaining open throughout the work.

Draeger’s – first founded as a deli and liquor store in San Francisco in 1925 – today operates four Bay Area markets in Los Altos, Menlo Park, San Mateo and Danville.

In September 1986, the company purchased the Whitecliff Market in Los Altos and fully modernized the space before taking over operations. But it hasn’t been refurbished in nearly three decades.

“It’s been quite a few years since we’ve remodeled the store,” Draeger said. “I think what customers are really looking forward to is just a new look.”

The existing site includes a 21,343-square-foot building and a parking lot with 72 spaces. The renovation adds nearly 3,000 square feet to the store by knocking out a vacant adjacent building the family owns. The added space also makes way for a new loading bay in the rear of the building, which Draeger said would improve traffic circulation.

The project features new bicycle racks, 15 more parking spaces and a new sidewalk along its frontage on First Street. To enhance safety, the sidewalk’s curb cut – where motorists enter and exit the parking lot – will be moved toward the center of the lot. Two sidewalk bulb-outs, designed to improve visibility for vehicles, will be added to the sidewalk. With some residents voicing concern over the bulb-outs, city staff will evaluate the need for street lighting and safety features for the bulb-outs.

For more information, visit: draegers.com

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Pendleton Opens On Main Street

Posted on November 13, 2013 by  
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Pendleton - Los AltosDowntown Los Altos is now home to a national clothing manufacturer’s newest retail location.

Pendleton Woolen Mills opened its doors Nov. 5 at 231 Main St., the former home of Lussori, offering residents a colorful array of men’s and women’s wool clothing.

The Portland, Ore.-based company, with roots dating from 1863, arrived in Los Altos after ending a five-year stint as a retailer in Menlo Park, which followed 10 years at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.

“So far, its reception has been warm and fuzzy. It’s been very positive,” said store manager Daniel Guiteras, who noted that the store quietly opened its doors before its official opening celebration Friday. “We’ve received a warm welcome from the many merchants here, as well as our customers living inside and outside of the area.”

Guiteras said that before the store even opened, they had several people walk by, look through the windows and give a thumbs-up.

“We’ve also had a lot of people just come by, curious as to what Pendleton is – so it’s been really good,” he said.

Guiteras described Los Altos as an ideal fit for Pendleton, which created product lines for several department and specialty stores before establishing its own retail division in the 1980s. Specifically, he pointed to the city’s demographics as proof that the company anticipates success for its Main Street location.

“The feel of Main Street is very similar to Pendleton itself. It just feels like Pendleton,” he said, adding that the company’s fabrics are still woven in Washington and Oregon. “This is us – this looks like us.”

Guiteras feels fortunate to open the store alongside 16-year Pendleton employee Fatima Freitas, noting specifically her popularity among longtime customers.

“She has an incredible following,” he said of Freitas. “Some people will only shop with Fatima.”

Guiteras added that he’s wasted no time trying to immerse the store into the local scene. Pendleton Woolen Mills participated in the recent First Friday and Holiday Stroll events and plans to stay open late for the Festival of Lights Parade.

Guiteras is pleased that the local search for a new Pendleton location is finally over.

“We were looking for the right location for some time,” he said, “and I think we’ve found it.”

For more information, visit pendleton-usa.com.

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