Business & Real Estate

Comings and Goings: New shops appear, while old favorites breathe new life

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art of capital cities from countries that ring the Mediterranean has been arriving at Yusuf Tosun’s expanded space for Cafe Nur, above, a restaurant on Main Street with Turkish specialties.

A shop exclusively devoted to Taiwanese tea and snacks has secured a spot in downtown Los Altos. T4 Los Altos is scheduled to take over 131 Main St., previously the longtime home of women’s clothing store Shoko Los Altos, this summer.

The boba tea cafe offers chilled black tea with big, chewy tapioca pearls floating in its depths – the signature drink for the style – but also smoothies, snacks and other teas.

“We have the normal tea flavors such as black, jasmine and green bubble tea. But we also have other special flavors like French pudding, matcha and taro. My favorite is the Mango Royal Tea,” said Eric Fung, who is opening the Los Altos cafe with Shana Liu as his partner.

T4, an international chain, has a shop on University Avenue in Palo Alto. Fung and Liu are first-time tea makers. They went into business with T4 because they love boba tea, wanted a change and like meeting new people, Fung said. He has a background in high-tech, Liu in retail. They said they hope to open in August – their petite space is now a blank slate.

“We chose downtown Los Altos because we love the area – great shops, restaurants and super walkable,” Fung said. “We were quite surprised there were no other boba tea places already, given the high school and the college is right nearby.”

T4 was founded in Taiwan in 2004 and touts the fact that it brews orders from tea leaves rather than using powders, a common milk tea practice.

Other comings and goings

• Art is going up on the walls at Cafe Nur’s expanded footprint. Yusuf Tosun renovated the former Fina Lifestyle location to create expanded space for his Mediterranean restaurant at 280 Main St. His signature chandeliers and dark-wood furniture extend to the new space, which can be entirely separated by a heavily curtained doorway for private events.

Tosun said a new weekend breakfast buffet serving Turkish-style dishes and Greek scrambles is also in the works for Cafe Nur.

• Peninsula Beauty at 252 Main St. is slated to close briefly next week for a makeover and a name change, but the staff and spirit of the place may endure. Bluemercury, a nationwide luxury beauty retail and spa chain, purchased many of Peninsula Beauty’s 12 Bay Area locations this spring, including the Los Altos shop.

Store manager Jodi Norton said the entire staff – including the aestheticians who pluck, wax and do nails and hair in the shop’s back rooms – are staying on. The store is set to close Tuesday, undergo four days of revamping and reopen May 26 under its new brand.

“We’re still going to be that neighborhood beauty shop,” Norton said, noting that the largest alteration might be that some of the product lines carried would change. “The Mountain View store (642 San Antonio Road) is still going to be a Peninsula Beauty, so if we don’t carry what they need, it’ll be there.”

Bluemercury, owned by Macy’s but operated by its original founders as a semi-independent enterprise, offers similar services but more upscale brands than Peninsula Beauty. Norton said she anticipates that customers will still be able to find sought-after Caudalie products but will now also find brands such as Oribe, Nars and La Mer.

Bluemercury’s nearest location has been at Stanford Shopping Center until now.

• Farther down Main Street, the former offices of solar company Slingshot Power at 164 Main St. have been filled by Carney Construction Consulting Inc., former longtime tenants at 347 First St. The custom home developers, whose work spans from Atherton to Los Gatos, moved into the Main Street spot earlier this year.

• Around the corner at 170 State St., Kiwi Crate departed recently, returning to its old digs in Mountain View and leaving the extensive building complex once again entirely shuttered to the public.

• Finally, the tiny space at 240 Plaza Central that previously housed Kira Kids has become an extension of Rebarts Interiors, the window-treatments shop that fronts onto 253 State St. and now extends all the way through to the parking plaza behind it.

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