Sun09212014

Business & Real Estate

New & old businesses bound to LA

As windows covered in paper begin to signal new neighbors setting up shop in Los Altos’ downtown shopping district, it’s nice to know that with the barrage of new businesses, there’s a little something for everyone.

Saws continue to buzz at the former Cottage Green, 145 First St., as Bumble owner Mary Heffernan prepares to open her new “play cafe” for families. Between duties as the mother of three children – her youngest, Janie, is 3 months old – Heffernan is busy testing menu items for the eatery, including a Cobb salad with bacon-wrapped chicken; various salmon dishes; a spinach, tomato and mozzarella frittata; and several different bread recipes.

In other food news, with permits in place and renovations completed at the former Zitune, Opa! at 325 Main St. opened its doors May 20 – other locations include Willow Glen and Los Gatos.

Famous for its authentic Greek cuisine, Los Altos’ newest addition is hopping from lunch to dinner and beyond. Opa! boasts a full bar, TVs sidelining the walls broadcasting sports channels and extended hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Around the corner on State St., the Oregon-based little big burger has leased the space at 363 State St. to serve up sliders – mini hamburgers – purportedly a hit at its two Portland locations. The restaurant features a simple menu that includes a choice of beef, veggie or cheeseburger – cheddar, Swiss, chevre or bleu – truffle fries, a selection of sodas and ice cream floats. Beer, too, if a pending liquor license is approved.

While little big burger is expanding, a growing family is the impetus for Debra’s downsizing – last name withheld – and the reason she is trying to sell Los Altos Card & Party at 253 State. With children ages 3 months and 2 years, overseeing the business and juggling family responsibilities is increasingly difficult, she said.

But that doesn’t mean Debra is interested in selling her 9-year-old business to just anybody off the street.

“It has to sell to the right person – someone local who loves paper,” she said. “We want to keep this part of the community.”

In other news, Chris’s Fish & Chips at 209 First St. closed its doors, as did Five Paw Bakery, formerly around the corner at 315 Main St. Owners Paul and Ruby Callary hoped to find a buyer for the 8-year-old business, but deals kept falling through, Paul said in April.

In the end, the Callarys sold their famous dog-treat recipes to a family based in Colfax, who will continue to cook, fill orders and ship to Five Paw’s website customers. And, Los Altos’ four-pawed canine customers will be happy to know that Pet’s Delight – 390 State St. – has the biscuits available at its store, in their original bins.

“(It was) one of our customers who bought the recipe,” said Shannon Clark, assistant store manager at Pet’s Delight.

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