Business & Real Estate

Honcho shutters after three-year run

Representatives of Honcho, the wine and beer lounge at 235 First St., thanked customers on their website for a “fun three years” as the establishment closed for good on Valentine’s Day.

“Honcho was created with small family businesses & producers in mind,” the page reads. “We hope we brought new & interesting stories to our guests.”

Proprietor Rod Newman opened Honcho in 2015, replacing the previous children’s furniture store Land of Nod. Newman had worked his way through the food industry in San Diego and then San Francisco before settling in Oakland and seeking a new venture. After friends and family recommended the Los Altos area, he soon found himself setting up shop downtown.

Honcho’s staff announced the bar was closing in a Facebook post Feb. 6, with no explanation for the departure.

The lounge’s regulars mourned the end in the comments of the post.

“Sad day for Los Altos,” resident Sarah Cilker said online. “This was the only bar within walking distance from my house that inspired an intergenerational sense of community. What is so wrong with our town that we can’t sustain businesses like this for more than a few years?”

Several more upset residents sought to place responsibility on one another for the lounge’s closing, but Honcho’s Facebook page moderator discouraged them from going down that path.

“No blame game here,” the social media monitor for the business responded. “On the contrary, tons of support. … Thanks so much, but keep thinking about a brighter day. We are all so lucky.”

The future use of the space is still undetermined, according to a message from Honcho’s Facebook account to a Town Crier reporter. Negotiations with Los Altos Community Investments, which owns the building, and potential new tenants are in process.

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