|The 75-year-old volunteer-run restaurant and the Traditional Shop at Allied Arts Guild will soon close their doors -- a decision made by the guild's nonprofit owner and operator so that more profitable tenants can be found.
But those are the only two changes in the works for the historic guild, said Jean Coblentz, president of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, which owns Allied Arts in Menlo Park.
"There is no question about closing the complex," Ms. Coblentz said.
The nonprofit Palo Alto Auxiliary, which operates the restaurant, announced early Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 16) that its lease will not be renewed, and that it will close Feb. 28.
Both auxiliaries operate their Allied Arts enterprises to benefit the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
In addition to overseeing and managing the entire Allied Arts complex, the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary also operates the Traditional Shop.
Ms. Coblentz said her organization is seeking more profitable tenants, and noted that the Traditional Shop, which sells such products as pottery, jewelry, picture frames and holiday items, "is not the kind of shop that makes money anymore."
The Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary also operates the newer Artisan Shop, which sells only items that are made by local artists. But that business is profitable, and will remain open, Ms. Coblentz said.
The Allied Arts Guild complex, at 75 Arbor Road, includes gardens and recently renovated historic buildings, and is considered a Menlo Park historic treasure. It houses small shops and artists' studios. The facilities are also rented out for special events.
Ms. Coblentz said other tenants need not worry about retaining their space at Allied Arts. "We have a wonderful mix of tenants right now, and we're really pleased with them."
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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