Train Depot to sell wine, beer and delicacies | June 27, 2008 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - June 27, 2008

Train Depot to sell wine, beer and delicacies

by Daniel DeBolt

The six-year search for a business to take over the long-vacant Train Depot ended without a word Tuesday night, as an application for a "wine and beer bar" went unchallenged on the City Council's consent calendar.

"We want to basically bring the wine country experience directly to Mountain View," Castro Point co-owner Christine Tran said Wednesday.

The 1,100-square-foot structure in Centennial Plaza — located near the corner of Castro Street and the railroad tracks — was designed as a replica 1888 train depot. The building has been vacant since it was dedicated during the city's centennial celebration in 2002.

Tran wants to transform the space into an "Artisan Depot," a gathering place where people come daily to relax, taste Belgian beers, good wine and sake, and enjoy happy hour every day with oysters from 4 to 7 p.m. The focus will be on small, local and farmer's market-type producers, she said.

"Commuters can pick up Acme bread, artisan cheese and a bottle of wine" she said.

Beverages will be available at retail prices with a service charge for glasses.

Centennial Plaza will have patio seating and even include a designated children's area with books and toys. Bathrooms in the building will be open to the public.

Tran said the depot will open early to serve breakfast and locally made coffee to commuters. Sandwiches, egg rolls and salads will be available for lunch. The dinner menu will change regularly, but will include things like shrimp scampi and oysters exclusively from Hog Island.

Tran is also aiming to be eco-friendly with "tables made out of wine barrels and wall panels made out of wine crates."

"There will be a very Old World rustic feel," she said, adding that, "Everything will be very reasonably priced. We want it to be an everyday experience and everyday hangout."

A grand opening is set for mid-September. To receive an invitation, e-mail

Tran's idea was chosen over those of nine other applicants the City Council met with. She will receive up to $200,000 to make tenant improvements to the building. Rent is set at $2,200 a month on a five-year lease, along with a one-time parking in-lieu fee of $54,000.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at


Like this comment
Posted by Charles S
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 26, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Does that mean we can drink or eat on the trains?
A 6 year wait for a saloon.

Like this comment
Posted by Commuter
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Charles S, where have you been? Caltrain has always allowed food & drink -- even alcohol. The only recent exception has been on evening trains leaving SF after baseball games. The train-riding baseball fans were too out-of-control as compared to all the regular and largely very responsible riders.