Mtn. View council blazes forward with cannabis zoning

The Mountain View City Council largely signed off on preliminary plans to license and zone cannabis retail within the city earlier this month, a move that could make it one of the first cities on the Peninsula to join San Jose in permitting recreational marijuana shops later this year.

The city’s staff recommended a lottery-based approval process for selecting shop operators, citing the intensive volume of applications received by some cities, a desire for fairness and the need to not violate land-use requirements that bar favoring any one specific applicant based on his or her perceived characteristics. At their May 8 council meeting, council members questioned how a streamlined permitting process could still privilege applicants that appeared to demonstrate prior experience or other signals of likely future success, but overall supported the staff’s proposed approach.

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.

Former founder launches local effort aimed at teaching 'NIMBLE' mindset

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mariette Wharton moved back to Los Altos ready to share her entrepreneurial mindset with a new audience.

After nearly a decade of nonstop scramble while co-founding and then selling her own startup, Los Altos resident Mariette Wharton liked the idea of gaining more control over the pace of her own work. She also had an interest in mentorship after experiencing meaningful moments of coaching early in her own career.

“There can be these seminal moments, where you can point out to somebody – do a self-assessment. How do your strengths and weaknesses work with your sense of purpose?” she said.

The Vault locks down 2 more years on First St.

Chris Lampe, manager of Los Altos Vault & Safe Deposit Co., said he never really gave up hope when it came to the Vault staying in business. His hope became a reality April 13 when owner Betine Lee signed the deal they had been looking for – a two-year lease extension with property owner Los Altos Community Investments.

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Vault & Safe Deposit Co., above, will remain in business on First Street for at least two more years. Owner Betine Lee inked a lease deal with Los Altos Community Investments April 13.

Earlier this year, Lee announced that the private vault, located at 121 First St., would close its doors June 1 if LACI principal Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe, didn’t offer her more than a six-month lease.

Hong Kong-style desserts reach Mountain View

Durian mochi
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A newcomer to durian can try it wrapped in mochi and rolled in coconut flakes at SweetHoney Dessert in Mountain View.

The voluminous menu at the new SweetHoney Dessert in Mountain View offers starting-off points for diners new to Hong Kong-style sweets, but also a deep back catalog of classics that will taste like home to longtime fans of the genre.

Startup's co-housing concept adds Los Altos Hills luster

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
HubHaus residents Matic Ferk, above, from left, Adam Lugowski and Kerry Jones gather in their Los Altos Hills kitchen at dinnertime. Their home’s communal living room provides a shared space to gather. It gazes out on Silicon Valley,

You’ve got a job – maybe even one you love – and now you need to find housing.

In the Bay Area, great work has become far easier to come by than a reasonable home. Creative workarounds to the housing crunch have become a market opportunity for entrepreneurs like Los Altos resident Shruti Merchant, who co-founded HubHaus to attract some of those unhomed professionals.

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