Tue02092016

Business & Real Estate

Businesses on Main Street make moves


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Several stores on Main Street in downtown Los Altos are in the midst of changing hands.

In the coming months, Main Street will welcome several new businesses to fill empty storefronts.

Jennifer Quinn, the city’s economic development manager, said merchants and brokers have voiced concern with recent downtown vacancies and turnovers.

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City's new business liaison looks to boost local economy


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jennifer Quinn, Los Altos’ new economic development manager, has spent the past seven months becoming acquainted with local business owners and developing programs to support their work.

Jennifer Quinn wants to know what drives Los Altos’ economy.

For the past seven months, the city’s new economic development manager has taken steps to learn the landscape.

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Fitness aficionado transforms from inside out


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Transform Fitness Studio owner and instructor Jen Donat, center, brings 15 years of exercise expertise to her new Megaformer and cycling gym on Moffett Boulevard in Mountain View.

Behind an innocuous facade at 257 Moffett Blvd., Transform Fitness Studio pulses – and shakes and sweats – with energy.

“Everybody is looking for something new, and this is one that’s going to stay,” said Jen Donat, proprietor of Yelp’s highest-rated fitness studio in Mountain View.

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Longtime cafe to close at month's end


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Main Street Cafe, known as a community gathering space in downtown Los Altos, is set to close at the end of January with the expiration of the lease agreement.

This month will be the final chapter for Main Street Cafe.

The lease agreement between landlords Paul and Liz Nyberg and tenant Jamie Tomaselli expires Jan. 31 and will not be renewed, according to the Nybergs.

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Ceramicist gives new way to clay


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos potter Hila Itzhak, who recently moved to the area from Israel, brings her passion for ceramics and techniques of the trade.

Los Altos potter Hila Itzhak knows the unpredictable power of the kiln, and she can handle the heat.

“It’s like a beast,” she said of the oven chamber. “You put something in, and you don’t know how it’s going to come out. When you learn to accept that, you love it.”

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Head of Honcho uncorks wine bar


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Honcho proprietor Rod Newman recently opened the First Street wine and beer lounge with the vision of creating a comfortable place for adults to socialize.

At Honcho – a newly opened craft beer and wine lounge in downtown Los Altos – proprietor Rod Newman is all about reds, whites and relationships.

“I really enjoy interacting with people,” the Los Altos resident said. “My mother is a lifetime teacher – maybe I got that from her.”

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New website aims to draw budding artists


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Phil Shemanski recently launched Beginner’s School, an online art program for novices that teaches drawing, painting and sculpting.

Los Altos resident Phil Shemanski has created a website for budding artists and starving ones.

Shemanski last month launched Beginner’s School (beginners- school.com), an online art school for novices that teaches drawing, painting and sculpting. It’s free for individuals and $1 per person for organizations with 50 or more people.

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