Shop Talk: ribs ramp-up; kids' coding school


A WASH, A RIB AND A TRUCK ... For many locals, a car wash and a rack of ribs go together. Blame that combo on Harold Willis. He's the one who carved out a corner at Lozano's Car Wash, 2690 El Camino Real, Mountain View, 14 years ago where he set up his smoker and his barbecue grill. It's a unique location — an area where Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View all come together. Now Willis is taking his operation to the next level. He's getting into the food-truck business and ramping up his catering business. In addition to serving customers at Lozano's, Willis will be dishing out his ribs, sausage, chicken and hot dogs from a 1961 vintage fire truck, originally used by a fire department in Oregon. "I cleaned it up, I got it painted, I redesigned it. It's now got a full-blown kitchen. I'm calling it Harold's Original Doggie Diner, and I'll be traveling up and down the streets of Palo Alto and Mountain View," he said. The food truck is scheduled to take to the roads on Aug. 15.

KIDS' CODING SCHOOL ... Palo Alto resident Hansel Lynn seems to thrive on the cusp of innovation. He is preparing to open theCoderSchool, an after-school program that teaches kids how to code, in late August in Alma Village, 3441 Alma St. "This all started when I was looking for some kind of coding classes for my own kids, and there was nothing out there," he said. So Lynn decided to create his own coder-learning center. "Since Palo Alto is the technology capital of the world, this is the place to do it," he said. This is not Lynn's first kid-oriented venture in Palo Alto. Nearly two years ago, he opened School of Rock, 2645 Middlefield Road. The pricing structure for theCoderSchool is still being worked out, but Lynn estimates a monthly cost of $200 to $400 per student, depending on the program. Age range is 8 to 18 years old, but Lynn expects most students will be 14 years and under. He expects that managing the newly constructed 1,000-square-foot-space, located behind Starbucks and next to Grocery Outlet, will be more of an avocation than a full-blown career for him. "I am primarily a real estate developer, which allows me to do the emotionally rewarding things like School of Rock and theCoderSchool," Lynn said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Marjorie Bettis
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

I've always liked the idea of Mr. Willis' little rib shack right there at the car wash. I've had the ribs from there on several occasions, and I've enjoyed them every time.

I hope his new truck is a success, and that he can keep the rib place open while he makes a go of it in the new truck.

Like this comment
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I'm with Marjorie on Mr. Willis' new venture -- and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Maybe this will get his fine product out to a wider audience, and make people understand what they've been missing.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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