'They're all scared beyond belief.' Palo Alto's Dan Gordon's closes as local restaurants face uncertain future | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Mountain View Online |

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'They're all scared beyond belief.' Palo Alto's Dan Gordon's closes as local restaurants face uncertain future

Uploaded: Apr 13, 2020
Dan Gordon's -- the reinvented version of the original Gordon Biersch brewery and restaurant, born in the same downtown Palo Alto space in 1988 -- has closed permanently.

Owner Dan Gordon, who opened Gordon Biersch at 640 Emerson St. with Dean Biersch 32 years ago, announced the closure at Monday's remote Palo Alto City Council meeting. He said the coronavirus shutdown exacerbated mounting economic pressures for the restaurant, including "astronomical" labor costs and rent and the city's increasing minimum wage.

"There's no way we can recover. There's no timeline for when it would make sense to reopen," he said. "The oxygen tank is dry."


The reinvented Dan Gordon's opened at the original Gordon Biersch location in downtown Palo Alto in 2016. Photo by Michelle Le.

Gordon returned to Palo Alto to open Dan Gordon's in 2016 with Steve Sincheck, owner of The Old Pro and Local Union 271 in downtown Palo Alto (and Gordon Biersch's first-ever bar manager). They poured $1.5 million into renovating the space and updated the menu to focus on barbecue.

Dan Gordon's "already low" sales started to drop in January, which Gordon attributed to the impact of the coronavirus' early spread in other parts of the world. By February, sales were down by 35%. In March, when the Bay Area's shelter-at-home order took effect, they dropped by 70%, he said.

In an interview on Monday evening, Gordon said the numerous unknowns made it challenging to stay open. When will the shelter-in-place order be lifted? When will people feel comfortable dining out in crowded restaurants again? When will Stanford University, whose students, faculty, visitors and athletic events bring "huge" business into Palo Alto restaurants and bars, reopen? Will restaurants that receive loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program be able to hire back 75% of their staff by June 30, a requirement for the loan to be forgiven?

Dan Gordon's switched to takeout for about a week but sales weren't sufficient to stay afloat. Takeout is "not by any means a long term scenario," Gordon said.


Dan Gordon's menu focused on barbecue made in a 750-pound wood smoker. The restaurant closed permanently in late March. Photo by Michelle Le.

The restaurant closed for good in late March, giving the remainder of its inventory away to employees.

"There are a lot of 'what if's,'" Gordon said. "No prudent, seasoned restaurant operator or owner is going to reopen unless they're really sure that the city is going to pop back.

"They're all scared beyond belief," he said of local restaurant owners.

Gordon pressed the City Council to be proactive in spurring the recovery for local small businesses. He advocated for lowering Palo Alto's minimum wage, now at $15.40 per hour, to align with the state's of $13 per hour. Landlords should also be understanding and work with restaurants on rent payments throughout this time period, he said.

"If you want us to have open storefronts in the next nine months, you’re really going to have to start being proactive and working on brainstorming what you can do for the business community locally to give them an incentive to want to reopen and hire people," Gordon told the councilmembers on Monday. "It's really a tragic scenario."

From his perspective, the coronavirus "accelerated the economic issues of Palo Alto for small businesses.

"But hopefully it will bounce back. It will bounce back, it's just a question of when — and without knowing when, it's going to be very difficult to justify any investment in the city," he said.
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Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Rational, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:52 am

This is just like how some patients succumb to this virus ... underlying condition exacerbated by the Novel Coronavirus. Barbecue doesn't work in the Bay Area for a reason! So few good barbecue places left.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by got all the story?, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 7:46 am

sad but not surprising . We will see more of this given the draconian measures imposed by our government to fight this virus. Pretty soon an evening out will be a trip to McDonalds or Taco Bell.

17,000,000 people (and millions more to come) have filed for unemployment insurance in US, small businesses crushed and many won't come back no matter what government aid is thrown at the problem.

Bad things happen when people lose their jobs, millions will suffer not only financial disaster but depression, suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse. Anyone going to add those up on a chart for us to see if our politicians are making the right tradeoffs??

Time to let people get back to work!!


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Boho, a resident of Green Acres,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 7:57 am

Boho is a registered user.

The folly of government deciding what a private business should pay employees can now be seen in full. But if government wants to have a second crack at it perhaps they should declare what rent to charge, how much to charge for services and how many hours a business can be open. Then we can access whether or elected representatives are better able to run a business than those who have their own money invested in it.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Don, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 9:43 am

Sadly, this will be the story of thousands of restaurants (and other businesses) across the country.


 +   46 people like this
Posted by Gnar, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:07 am

@got all the story

"depression, suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse"... nice far right talking points. Now go look up "exponential functions" and "asymptomatic spread."

Let's keep in mind the reason this doesn't seem so devastating right now is for the exact reason that we in the Bay Area got on top of this early. We're all inconvenienced. All of our plans were put on hold. We're doing this for our healthcare workers, our elderly parents, our immunocompromised siblings, etc. Try to see beyond your little personal bubble of inconvenience, and think in terms beyond soundbites from Fox News.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by member, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:21 am

...And yet the Stock Market continues to post gains.
Why?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by victoria, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:53 am

Elena: The owner of La Strada and Joya said he's shutting those places down too. Maybe you could follow up to confirm.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Investor Person, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:55 am

@member (resident of Adobe-Meadow):

The stock market is not a holistic view of the entire U.S. economy. The main indexes (Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq) measure the biggest publicly held corporations. The S&P 500 represents something like 95% of the investable market capitalization of the entire United States.

Businesses like the corner grocery store, the taqueria and the mom-and-pop coffee shop aren't represented in those indexes.

Furthermore, these indexes are market cap weighted. The top 10 components of the S&P 500 represent about 22% of the index. My guess is that the top 10% (50 companies) represents 85-90% of the index.

Moreover the stock market is considered by many to be a leading indicator of the economy (particularly big business). The S&P 500 peaked on February 19th and then dropped precipitously for four weeks before the SCC Public Health officer's "shelter in place" order on March 17th (which was one of the first in the nation).

The stock market is an emotional place though. It's still human beings buying and selling. Even if it's a computer program, it's still humans who write the algorithms. The market can do screwy things.

Anyhow, I'm sorry about this restaurant's permanent closure. My guess is that there will be many such sad tales in the upcoming weeks and months around here and elsewhere.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Clark Kent, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 12:07 pm

In this economy, reducing the minimum wage is a no-brainer.


 +   49 people like this
Posted by Bill Glazier, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Bill Glazier is a registered user.

Dan Gordon's biggest problem right now is the rent he pays each month to his landlord. It is probably twice what it should be. His second problem is that his food is average yet his prices are very high. Having eaten at this place and its predecessor for almost 30 years, every meal is hit and miss. Great beer, food that is highly variable. It is easy to complain that your employees cost you too much money - but the difference between $13 and $15 an hour is irrelevant.

Dan, go have a heated and lengthy conversation with your landlord. Threaten to shut down unless they reprice the space. If you close, no one will re-lease that space for a very long time. You have leverage. You will join many other restaurants in the same exercise. When we all start to come back, lower your prices and make sure your food is outstanding all the time.

There is a future for you. It just needs to be built on a solid foundation of reasonable prices we can afford, and a fair rent that is charged to you.


 +   25 people like this
Posted by menlo mom, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 1:26 pm

menlo mom is a registered user.

@gnar

I don't see the need to be so flippantly dismissive of “depression, suicide, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse", calling them “far right talking points" and “your little bubble of inconvenience." Apparently you have not recently spent the night awake, checking on a family member who, after having a healthy nine months, fell back into a state of depression, and told you that the only reason they didn't attempt to kill themselves that night was because they couldn't find their bathrobe (and sash).

I don't think it's part of any political ideology to question where the breaking point might lay when using such draconian measures for an unspecified amount of time.

Let's remember that we are all in this together. As gnar states, we are doing this for the immune compromised (I have one of those in my household, too), the elderly, and the healthcare workers. BUT that does not mean that we can't feel for those who are feeling the affects of being home bound, and possibly out of work, or being house with a parent with a drinking problem and a heavy fist, without making it a political issue. It is ok to both agree to the quarantine and to question the end date.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by menlo mom, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 1:42 pm

menlo mom is a registered user.

...any to question the end date...or lack of one.


 +   40 people like this
Posted by Dan Gordon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Dan Gordon is a registered user.

In response to Bill Glaziers comments: The number one reason Palo Alto restaurants cannot survive is in fact the minimum wage increase placed by the city of Palo Alto over the last 3.5 years. A $4.40 per hour increase over the last 3 years which when compounded by payroll taxes and other employee expenses amounted to a 68% increase across the board for personnel related costs for full service restaurants. This is why full service restaurants are doomed in PA. What we need is the city council to climb out of their bubble and realize that Palo Alto isn't isolated from the economic woes of their policies. A classic example was the proposal to place a per head employee tax of $1,600 per employee. Look at the backgrounds of the city council and you will find only 1 person that has had any small-medium size businesss background and that is because no small business owner can afford to live in PA. I was amazed listening to the city council during their meeting completely ignoring avoiding the real problems small businesses are facing not to mention the fact that the lifeblood of sales tax collection shortfalls are going to doom the city's budget over the next 1-2 years. . The city is literally sinking in quicksand while the council members casually discussed whether they are going to change the transit van policies because there are only 2 riders per day or if they were hitting their green initiatives. Palo Alto residents need to scream out to the city council, shake them up and tell them to work on policies that are going to resurrect the small businesses. The landlords I personally have had contact with, Keenan Land, Roxy and Thoits are all fantastic and willing to work on solutions for their tenants. The city council isn't.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Dan Gordon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Dan Gordon is a registered user.

In response to Bill Glaziers comments: The number one reason Palo Alto restaurants cannot survive is in fact the minimum wage increase placed by the city of Palo Alto over the last 3.5 years. A $4.40 per hour increase over the last 3 years which when compounded by payroll taxes and other employee expenses amounted to a 68% increase across the board for personnel related costs for full service restaurants. This is why full service restaurants are doomed in PA. What we need is the city council to climb out of their bubble and realize that Palo Alto isn't isolated from the economic woes of their policies. A classic example was the proposal to place a per head employee tax of $1,600 per employee. Look at the backgrounds of the city council and you will find only 1 person that has had any small-medium size businesss background and that is because no small business owner can afford to live in PA. I was amazed listening to the city council during their meeting completely ignoring avoiding the real problems small businesses are facing not to mention the fact that the lifeblood of sales tax collection shortfalls are going to doom the city's budget over the next 1-2 years. . The city is literally sinking in quicksand while the council members casually discussed whether they are going to change the transit van policies because there are only 2 riders per day or if they were hitting their green initiatives. Palo Alto residents need to scream out to the city council, shake them up and tell them to work on policies that are going to resurrect the small businesses. The landlords I personally have had contact with, Keenan Land, Roxy and Thoits are all fantastic and willing to work on solutions for their tenants. The city council isn't.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Restaurant Rush 2021, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 2:50 pm

Many new places will be flooding the area when these attractive spaces become available and the life-long restaurateurs who took a pause, fire up and open new places.

Those who wanted to retire, or had it in the plan withing the next few years are gone now, albeit a bit early maybe, but many more will come back in once the "Hungry for any place but my house" crowds begin to come back.

There will be tremendous opportunity after the blood-letting.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Jason Andresen, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm

I believe we should lower the minimum wage as well. Although I don't think it helps restaurants stay open at this point; it may be too late.

Web Link


 +   48 people like this
Posted by Bill Glazier, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Bill Glazier is a registered user.

Dan Gordon - If In N Out Burger can make good money paying entry level staff $18.50 an hour, so can you. I am not empathetic to anyone thinking the way to build a small business is by underpaying workers. It is clear that people like food preparers and servers at restaurants and grocery stores are pretty vital to our commuity right now, so I will agree with the City Council that lowering the minimum wage is not among their highest immediate priorities. These workers are literally risking their lives to keep the lights on in many places around town.

I have not heard that Chop or Jim Baer have announced an across the board rent holiday or reduction in rates for prime Palo Alto space. One could easily make the case that the bubble we are in is one of commercial real estate - prices for restaurant and office space that top any other location in the country.

Given you've laid off your staff, your problem is not the Palo Alto minimum wage. It is the monthly drain of your landlord right now, and perhaps the bank loan on your renovations. Fix that, and live to fight another day. Blaming the City Council is unproductive and unhelpful. If you want to help fight the pandemic, fire up your kitchen and cook some food for the health care workers at Stanford and on the Peninsula. The sooner we kill the pandemic, the sooner all of us can go out and eat dinner someplace - perhaps at Dan Gordon's.






 +   10 people like this
Posted by Dick D., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 3:48 pm

Dick D. is a registered user.

Lowering the minimum wage neglects the workers getting small wages to begin with who live in this astronomically expensive area. How about price increases across the board? The notion that it takes $200 000 to live in this area kinda makes it tough to accept the notion of slashing these worker's low pay by a 25% !

There's no question that without customers most restaurants can't survive, but that's the fundamental problem. Yeh, when things are humming again (2021, 2022 . . .) profit margins for restaurants are pretty thin. Are rents too high, other expenses beyond labor costs . . . how does an operation like Chef Chu's go on and on? Why do nine out of ten restaurants fail in their first year " do they have any kind of business plan or are they riding on their enthusiasm and skills in the backroom (kitchen)? With all the self proclaimed business wizards here, can't any of them voluntarily help out these start up restaurants to get a business plan together so these enthusiasts can see what they're up against. Might be a lot more helpful than throwing cash at them.

We have some great, mighty nice restaurants " more take-out by all of us will help them through this tough time, even though that's not enough to meet their expenses.

Just sayin'


 +   5 people like this
Posted by C, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 4:27 pm

> Dan Gordon's "already low" sales started to drop in January, which Gordon attributed to the impact of the coronavirus' early spread in other parts of the world. By February, sales were down by 35%. In March, when the Bay Area's shelter-at-home order took effect, they dropped by 70%, he said.

Okay, so that basically means lifting the lockdown or allowing lower wages is unlikely to have an effect on restaurant traffic. Y'know, because not everyone thinks it's worth the risk of a 20K trip to the ICU for an evening out.

Businesses need to adapt. Customers do not want to risk exposure to the virus. PAO ran an article of a Portola restaurant that switched to curbside groceries. Local restaurants need to do this as well. No, it's not easy, but one Palo Alto restaurant is already doing this. Combine take-out with prepared meals and grocery curbside pickup.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Davis Ricardo, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm

... something about what "collecting rents" means... ancient and modern...


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Ed Smith, a resident of Atherton,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:14 pm

$48/lb for brisket/pulled pork/turkey might be the reason your sales fell off.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by David Ricardo, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:34 pm

@Ed Smith

I have no horse in this game, but isn't that similar to asking why a pint of mediocre beer is $8-10 everywhere? I have seen you comment on the online before, and you seem sincere and intelligent, so please don't interpret this as anything but a request for your sincere and honest opinion!

I run the math on what every shop needs just to meet expenses. It's crazy. Don't you think the question should be why it is that way and what to do about it?

In the meantime, we have entrepreneurs (the small-time, restaurant-owning, capitalists of our day) fighting against paycheck-to-paycheck wage-earners as if there isn't someone else in the equation. There are other folks, too, fighting just for a place on the street.

I wrote some amazing stuff, but apparently that was too long ago. Signing off from 1823.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Farewell, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm

I missed it when it was Gordon Biersch. It was so much fun to go to in 2000. Everyone was optimistic about the internet and the atmosphere was friendly. Thank you for the memories.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Samuel L., a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 5:50 pm

Samuel L. is a registered user.

I don't see how the landlord can want this to happen. Once things open up again, they'll need to find a new tenant. Are they that confident in finding a new tenant that they'll let the current tenant go under? Makes no sense.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Tamarine offered its building-owners $8m at the time of its recent lease renewal (which coincided with the LP's members voting to continue the partnership) and the GP/owner turned it down. The original basis for the building was about $250K, for Theo's then Perry's. Two others purportedly made offers on the site.
Tamarine renewed with a rent bump but also later doubled down with a second PA location.

Whether it's Dan Gordon feeling the wind in his sails once the pandemic crests, or Dan and his landlord finding a new concept, or a current and buzzworthy local or regional business moving in, I don't see the virus killing off all the entrepreneurial foodie spirit.
What about City Winery, or a music concept?
What about mini-bowling?

If City Council does anything, it should try to prevent this from becoming more office space.
Other than that, let the free hand do what it will.



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

No actually strike that or amend: The basis when a limited partnership bought 546 University was closer to $600,000, with $200,000 raised and the rest loaned.
I was an original 2.5% partner but sold my share to invest in my concert company Earthwise Productions, Which was a horrible investment unless you like live music and musicians and people who go to concerts at community centers, over a 26 year period.

My point is these things are cyclical and even lords of the domain like Mr. Gordon have ups and downs but as Faulkner once said man will not only persevere he will prevail.

I'm sure if he knew what was coming he would've fed all comers on the last day.
My last time in there was a going away party for one of the emergency room workers and a good time was had by all.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Apr 14, 2020 at 8:57 pm

Dan Gordon if you are going to claim 'The number one reason Palo Alto restaurants cannot survive...' you should really back it up with some data. It might be the #1 reason your business didn't survive, but yours is just one of many, and many were doing just fine before the shelter in place order shut everything down.


 +   33 people like this
Posted by cheese guy, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

cheese guy is a registered user.

Hey, I used to go to the old Gordon Biersch a couple of times a month. It was quiet enough to hold a conversation and the food and beer prices were reasonable. The remodel they spent a fortune on made it a loud, bright, crowded place with no comfort or ability to talk with anyone. The menu was was narrowed down, prices for everything were significantly raised, and it became no different than a dozen other places in this section of downtown. Unfortunately this is not a business model that's going to work in a pandemic -- highly overpriced beer, a narrow choice of food that has no broad appeal for take out, people sitting closely together at communal tables. Pointing the blame at Palo Alto expecting a living wage for employees is ridiculous -- this place would have gone under at this time if they were paying below minimum wage.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Martin, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 5:22 am

Dan, sorry to see you go (twice). My advice, "return to your roots". Bring back a German/Bavarian style restaurant, with sausages and beer. Also, please make it kid friendly. After loving GB for 30 years, we tried your new opening twice, but never returned. The food was not German, and there was noting for my young son to eat. A real disappointment, after waiting for you to reopen.

Take a long vacation to southern Germany, and come back with a new idea!


 +   9 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:00 am

@Victoria

Regarding LaJoya and La Strada owner possibly closing, these two restaurants are owned by Sal Giavannotto who is the billionaire owning 50% of the apartments in Palo Alto (vrent.com and Vittoria Management). You can read reviews on yelp to see how he treats tenants. He is driven by profit and money more than anyone I know.

That aside, It is sad that the reputable restauranteurs like Dan Gordon and others face such an uphill battle. New guidelines that Gavin Newsom talked about yesterday, such as requirements that tables be removed and 6 feet apart once restaurants open, make sense but will add more burden on restaurants. Prices to guests will have to go up.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Don, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:49 am

Dick D wrote:

“ Are rents too high, other expenses beyond labor costs . . . how does an operation like Chef Chu's go on and on? "

Because they own the building.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Don, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:49 am

Dick D wrote:

“ Are rents too high, other expenses beyond labor costs . . . how does an operation like Chef Chu's go on and on? "

Because they own the building.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Big Mike, a resident of Stanford,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 8:51 am

Mr Gordon, I had a wonderful time at your restaurant over the years, thank you for the memories. I was a stein holder for many years, a fallout basically attributed to the impression your bartender made on my first two visits. The tapping parties and raffles were so fun! Seasonal parties that packed the joint with rollicking fun and fresh beer. Maibock and Winterbock were always my favorites, plus that seemed to be when people needed the party the most.

Hard times are upon us, and we've only seen the beginning when it comes to the economic repercussions. Nevertheless we will get through this. And when we do, we're going to want a lot of beer.

I salute your efforts and will keep an eye out for your next eventual venture.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Meme0085, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:21 am

Why are these stories & headlines misleading? Because let's be honest the restaurants or businesses that may not recover were suffering way before the pandemic. Let's be real. The rent in silicon valley is too high, period. The food and restaurants in downtown Palo Alto are not great at all. I remember asking a manager of The Cheesecake Factory when it was in downtown Palo Alto why they were closing and he said flat out rent is 20k plus and they do not get the foot traffic for that. These restaurants not tecovering are not solely due to Covid-19. This was most likely to happen regardless.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by TimR, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 9:43 am

@got all the story?,

Maybe we'll get a Burger King at Lytton Plaza again, like the good old days!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:08 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Being an English major I think they would've succeeded if they had named it “Ay, there's the rub" which is a line from “Hamlet." On the other hand, Palo Alto had a flagship restaurant named for a line from Bugs Bunny.

Rub also means “seasoning". “Ay, there's the rub means" “that explains it".




 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Or he could have partnered with Kenny Neal and or Frank Klein and called it Briskits and Blues.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Bob, a resident of Barron Park,
on Apr 15, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Wow! Dan blaming his business failings on minimum wage. Sounds like a super cool boss I would love to work for! Mediocre beer and food was your problem. I'll gladly frequent any restaurant I know pays their workers a living wage over anything you own in the future.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 16, 2020 at 2:24 am

>> Jason Andresen, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
>> I believe we should lower the minimum wage as well.

The only reason we don't have slavery anymore is that the liability of actually owning slaves, the costs of feeding and housing slaves would be way more than paying them $15/hr, and yet we expect them to be able to survive here to work for all of us and do a good job?

We need to open our eyes and throw away our illusions and stop listening to the bribed politicians and paid off media that props up this dysfunctional facade that burns everything in its path up, there is not that much left and even more people on the way to eat it up.

We have to get rid of rapacious entrepreneurs and try to develop a new model where the worst, greediest people do not dominate everything. We are in the late stages of a monopoly game and most have been knocked out. Is it really fun to watch the last few whine and complain that things are too hard for them? Just because someone can build a better mousetrap, or in the case of our President - lie about it, does not make them the ones we want designing the order of the world.

The Constitution mentions the "pursuit of happiness" for a reason, and all our government gets paid to do it to is to remove that possibility for more and more people for the profit of the few.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Apr 16, 2020 at 9:29 am

If there were no tradeoffs involved with the minimum wage, we could make it as high as we wanted. But there are tradeoffs in the form of reduced employment and closed businesses.

The horrific depression we are now entering is an especially bad time for the Palo Alto City Council or indeed the State of California to make it more difficult to employ people or keep a business alive.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Apr 16, 2020 at 5:48 pm

The smart ones are closing now and not trying to ride this out. The business isn't coming back. Probably not for another couple of years.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by GrassIsGreener, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Apr 16, 2020 at 7:59 pm

Dear “Got all the story" - Time to get back to work? Start cooking, yourself! And wash the dishes! Broom those floors! Dining out at the expense of min. Wage workers is not going to make America great again..The lack of healthcare and adequate wages, lengthy frustrating commutes for people who cannot afford to live where they serve you at your tables"All of these have contributed to the Decimation of your work force. Anyone who thinks that lowering the minimum wage is the solutions to the appetites of Palo Alto being sated should take a place alongside Marie Antoinette. Wait for crumbs folks, wait for crumbs.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Apr 17, 2020 at 7:28 am

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

You want to see more businesses "get out of Dodge"? Just let that "split-roll" modification to Prop 13 pass in November. That would be a disaster. But, it would make those "defined benefit" public pensioner's happy.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Landlords Want Restaurants to Fail, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Apr 18, 2020 at 9:56 pm

Landlords hate restaurants and other retail because they could earn more if those locations became tech offices. Remember Zibibbo's? The restaurant closed and became an tech incubator office, run by American Express. Tech companies can afford to pay signficantly higher rents.

So don't expect landlords to reduce rents for restaurants. Instead, they'll tell the City Council that restaurants not longer "pencil out," due to changes due to the pandemic, new economic climate, or whatever excuse is handy. The Council majority was elected thanks to major donations from real-estate interests .. and will relax the requirements for ground-floor retail. So we'll have fewer restaurants and other retail establishments, more out-of-work retail workers, and more happy landlords.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Local, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Apr 19, 2020 at 10:54 am

PLEASE STOP ALL THE NEGATIVITY !! If a business survives or fails it should not be because of a pandemic or other government shutdown. Everyone does honestly try to succeed. Whether or not you like a restaurnat or business is your opinion. True all the government funds are not being distributed fairly, but that seems to be out of our control. Try to be more positive & not only will that make everyone feel good, but maybe, maybe you will fine something in your heart.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chris, a resident of University South,
on Apr 20, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Landlords,

Most restaurant spaces are not allowed to be offices.

Please stop spreading misinformation.

Landlords will have to decrease rents if they want tenants.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 20, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Posted by Chris, a resident of University South,

>> Most restaurant spaces are not allowed to be offices.

Most? Source? How many restaurants are there in Palo Alto? How many of those are not allowed to be office space?

I don't recall ever seeing a chart with these numbers.


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