|Big changes appear to be in the works at the Allied Arts Guild, where the restaurant that has operated for 75 years is closing its doors after losing its lease.
The nonprofit Palo Alto Auxiliary, which operates the restaurant, announced the closure early Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 16). The group leases its space from the nonprofit Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, which owns Allied Arts Guild -- considered one of Menlo Park's historic treasures.
The restaurant will continue serving lunch until Feb. 28, when it will close its doors permanently, the auxiliary said.
Both auxiliaries operate their Allied Arts enterprises to benefit the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
One Palo Alto Auxiliary member said that her organization was told that the Traditional Shop, run by the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, is closing its doors as well.
It is unknown what the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary plans to do with the space now occupied by the restaurant, or if it intends to continue its operation of Allied Arts Guild. Representatives of that group have not yet been reached for comment.
The Allied Arts Guild complex, at 75 Arbor Road, includes gardens and recently renovated historic buildings. It houses small shops and artists' studios. The facilities are also rented out for special events.
In a prepared statement, members of the Palo Alto Auxiliary said the group had been "prepared to continue providing the lunch and special events service it has offered for 75 years, in spite of reduced restaurant walk-in traffic resulting from a variety of factors affecting the site.
"The group will now consider other hospital support options, including marketing their popular cookbook, food product sales, and hosting special events, such as the American Girl Fashion Show and Tea, at various local venues."
Over the 75 years the auxiliary has operated its restaurant, it has donated more than $4 million to the children's hospital, "and in excess of 10,000 women have volunteered their time to cook and serve hundreds of thousands of meals," according to the statement.
"PAA's proud legacy is (its) many contributions which have funded benefits for children at the hospital since 1932," the auxiliary said.
Pam Page of the Palo Alto Auxiliary told the Almanac that her mother had worked countless hours as a restaurant volunteer many years ago. After Ms. Page moved back to the area from Chicago several years ago, she followed in her mother's footsteps as a restaurant volunteer. That tradition will end soon, she noted sadly.
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