The taps at First & Main Sports Lounge stopped running last week as the bar and eatery closed for good. The only venue of its kind in Los Altos, First & Main was known for its 18 taps of beer and casual, locals-oriented atmosphere.
Co-owner and general manager Robert Peters couldn’t be reached for comment by the Town Crier’s press deadline, but a glance inside the darkened space showed a semi-dismantled bar, half of which had been under construction in recent months. The location at 397 Main St. formerly housed Minh’s Vietnamese and before that Shanghai Gourmet.
A few doors down the street at 315 Main St., women’s clothing store Apricot Lane also shuttered last week. Opened by Los Altos resident Nikoline Bergstrom in 2012, the shop catered to mother-daughter pairs and other mixed-age clientele.
“Los Altos is going through a ghost-town phase,” a dispirited Bergstrom said on the phone last week. “My landlord was sad, as were all my neighbors.”
She said that after several strong years, the store experienced lean pedestrian traffic the last nine months and she wasn’t doing enough business to augment her faithful customers. Bergstrom cited the recent departures of Therapy, Crimson Mim and Kula Sweet as an unfortunate hollowing out of retail on Main Street.
Seeking to remain present
A few blocks down Main Street, Jim Daley and Jim Reynolds, the gift-basket pros behind Present, are seeking a new retail space. They learned at Christmastime that they could no longer sublease their location at 162 Main St., which until now had been shared with principal leaseholder All Horizons Travel, now relocating to Menlo Park.
“The landlord wants to lease the whole property, which is 3,500 square feet,” Daley said.
That’s too big for their cozy scale, which spreads out to a petite 500 square feet of nibbles, gifts and local items.
“We like having a small storefront,” Daley said, noting that despite their expanding online operation, he and Reynolds prefer to remain rooted in a brick-and-mortar shop.
They are hoping to find another small space downtown – perhaps a retail storefront subleased from an office space tenant. Their current doors are scheduled to close Jan 31.