Business & Real Estate

Storefront swaps bring more sweets to downtown Mountain View

Photos by Megan Winslow/Town Crier
The Books Inc. location, will be sandwiched between a new Paris Baguette and the new location for an existing Mountain View workout studio.

Walking down Castro Street in Mountain View this fall, it sometimes seemed as though a coming/going/moving sign had popped into a different business’ window each day.

Some longtime tenants have only changed locale – Books Inc. moved a few doors down to 317 Castro St., the space previously occupied by BookBuyers. And Icicles, the not-yet-opened rolled ice cream specialist, changed storefronts before even opening. It now has preparations in progress at 292 Castro St., former (brief) location of Buffalo, the “burgers, bear and bao” specialist and then, also briefly, the projected new home of a rival ice cream enterprise.

The French bakery at 331 Castro St., Le PanotiQ, closed recently after nearly three years in Mountain View, though its Campbell and Livermore locations remain open. It shipped dough for its signature pastries, frozen, from France for a traditional style of sweet.

Three new French-inflected bakeries have announced their intent to open – but only one matches its name with strictly French-derived cuisine. French-born Menlo Park resident Laurent Pellet is opening Maison Alyzee, taking over the Drunken Lobster’s location at 212 Castro St., to run a bakery and cafe offering sweets, coffee and light lunch items.

C’est Si Bon, which has assumed the space at 282 Castro St., represents a second location for the San Jose-based family venture specializing in Persian-influenced pastries and elaborately decorated special-occasion cakes.

Despite its name, the Paris Baguette location slated to open at 317 Castro St. hails originally from Korea. The international pastry franchise – which is, in fact, known for French-inspired baked goods – already has locations in Palo Alto and San Jose.

Fewer savory openings were announced this year, though the QBB – Quality Bourbons and Barbecue restaurant opened at 216 Castro St., former location of Shezan Restaurant. Chop & Pub opened in October at 124 Castro St., former location of, looking back through recent years, Shell Shock, East Street Tacos and Barracuda Japanese.

Indian restaurant Park Balluchi reopened itself as Mantra India at 288 Castro St., and BiryaniZ replaced Shalimar Sizzle at 246 Castro St. Song Pa, the Korean restaurant at 841 Villa St., closed this fall approximately two years after opening at the site, previously occupied by Korean cafe Totoro.

In a nonfood development, a tenant already advertising its approach via window posters adjoins the swapping bookstore storefronts. Transform Fitness, the Lagree-method exercise studio that has had Mountain View locations in recent years, shared plans to move in this winter at 319 Castro St.

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