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Who’s responsible for Allied Arts disaster?

Original post made by Mrs. S., Atherton: West Atherton, on May 29, 2007

My husband and I recently returned from a six-month trip to find that the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary to the Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford had, once again, shot itself in the foot…and this time it may be fatal. Not only have they evicted the only tenant who had ever been a consistent draw to the facility (the Palo Alto Auxiliary that ran the Allied Arts Restaurant), but they planned on replacing them with a version of the JZ Cool restaurant. Now Jesse Cool, a “for profit” restaurant owner, is not opening a restaurant at Allied Arts, claiming a “misunderstanding” about the lease terms. Duhhhh. How many customers did she expect to have with only breakfast and lunch service, no bar, no wine, no beer, severe limitations on operating hours, and no desirable retail neighbors to encourage walk-in business. My friends tell me she probably hoped to transfer a liquor license from another location to the Allied Arts restaurant. Woodside-Atherton’s leadership is naïve enough to believe that they could slip that little deception past the city and the neighbors. I don't think so, and apparently they didn’t.

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Comments (8)

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Posted by Amen!
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 29, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I too was a member of the WAA, and I completely agree with you Mrs. S. How sad to see the hard work of so many, over so many years dashed at every turn. Even sadder that it wasn't just one, but two auxiliaries affected. Shame on those responsible.


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Posted by Celeste Smith
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2007 at 8:01 am

Wake up Woodside Atherton Auxillary!!! You used to be so successful with Allied Arts that no one could even park onsite. It was a place to enjoy great food,stroll through unique shops and ALWAYS be able to find that last minute gift at the Traditional Shop. You also along with ownership and fundraising for the very worthy cause of Children's Hospital have a responsibility to the history of Allied Arts not to ruin this historical property!


Like this comment
Posted by lm
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on May 30, 2007 at 12:33 pm

If the members of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary believe that Jean Coblentz is the main problem, why don't they try to get a new President?


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Posted by SF resident
a resident of another community
on May 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm

It is always easy to sit back and point fingers, and name people. I suggest that Mrs. S re-activate her membership and take up the cause that she holds so dear. Or then again, quite possibly she is too selfish to give up her time since she is glad she went inactive many years ago. It is so much easier for her to blame others than to take responsibility.


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Posted by Jesse Cool fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 1, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I am really disappointed that the auxiliary and Ms Cool weren't able to work out anything. Her food would have been a great draw to the Guild, and social events there could benefit from such high quality catering. I think her downtown site hasn't been serving breakfast or dinner, or alcohol and certainly isn't as attractive a place to eat. Something doesn't make sense in all this.
We were looking forward to the variety and quality of food at longer hours than the auxiliary ever could staff. Here's hoping attention can get forward focused on finding a quality replacement rather than looking backwards.


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Posted by Kathy Nolan
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2007 at 6:50 am

You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to see that WAA's plans for the future of Allied Arts was flawed and doomed from the start. I mean, a facility not wired for technology and you want to draw clients for business conferences . . . duhhh. WAA would have been better served by working more closely with PAA to achieve both goals. Maybe an Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary? The competivness and arrogance of some WAA people was very apparent--I spotted it immediately and I was only a member for a short time before the closing of the PAA restaurant. And who suffers? The children.


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Posted by Mrs. Lovejoy
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 4, 2007 at 10:47 am

Yes, won't someone please think of the children?


Like this comment
Posted by JANELLE A. ARMSTRONG
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 2, 2008 at 9:44 pm



AS A THIRD GENERATION RESIDENT, OF THE ALLIED ARTS NEIGHBORHOOD, AND A CHILD WHO FROLICKED AMIDST THE "ENCHANTED" GARDENS AND FOUNTAINS, PICKED STONES FROM THE PATHWAYS AND HOPPED OVER RAIN PUDDLES IN LITTLE RED RAIN BOOTS, ON RAINY DAYS ON THE GROUNDS THER. I WISH ALWAYS TO HAVE ALLIED ARTS REMAIN THE "CROWN JEWEL" THAT SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN. UNSCATHED, AND SERENE. FOR THAT, WAS THE ORIGINAL INTENTION THAT THE "COLONY OF ARTISTS" WHO FORMED IT, WISHED FOR IT TO BE, IN THE BEGINNING.


I WOULD SAVE MY ALLOWANCE AS A LITTLE GIRL, AND THEN BUY "PRICELESS" TRINKETS SUCH AS DAINTY AND PRECIOUS CANDLES, FROM THE "WICK CANDLE SHOPPE" FOR MY NOW DECEASED MOTHER AT THE ALLIED ARTS. I AM A STAUNCH AND FEROCIOUS ADVOCATE, FOR KEEPING THE ALLIED ARTS IT IN IT'S "AUTHENTIC" STATE AS IN MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. IT IS A "D FLAWLESS DIAMOND" IN THE "HAYSTACK," OF WHAT IS NOW, OUR WORLD. WHEN IT WAS THREATENED WITH CLOSURE FIVE YEARS AGO, I FOUGHT WITH MANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS, TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT ALLIED ARTS WOULD NOT BE CLOSED DOWN AND DESTROYED.

THE "ENCHANTED FAIRYLAND" AS I CALLED IT AS A LITTLE GIRL, IS A FLAWLESS "GEMSTONE" A RESPITE OF BEAUTY AND CALM, AMIDST THE DAILY BUZZ OF THE WORLD. AT LEAST, THAT IS HOW I VIEWED IT AS A SMALL CHILD, A LITTLE GIRL WHO WANDERED WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD, IN THE GARDENS, STARED IN AWE AT THE BEAUTIFUL HANDCRAFTS, AND HAD MUCH OF HER INNER "SELF" SHAPED ON THAT PIECE OF LAND. I HAD THE PRIVELEGE OF WATCHING ONE OF THE GREAT ARTISTS OF CALIFORNIA, DOROTHY ROE BROWN, PAINT IN HER LOFT, AS SHE LET ME LAY NEAR HER ON A SHELF IN A LARGE BOOKCASE, WITH A BLANKET, AS I WATCHED HER CREATE MASTERPIECE, AFTER MASTERPIECE OF A PORTRAIT, OF A LOVED ONE, COME TO "LIFE" FROM A PHOTOGRAPH, SITTING AT ATTENTION ON HER CANVASS. THE CLASSICAL MUSIC DRONING FROM HER SMALL RADIO IN THE BACKGROUND. HOW, CAN THESE MEMORIES BE REPLACED? HOW CAN A PLACE SUCH AS ALLIED ARTS, BE REPLACED AND NOT KEPT IN ITS SACRED ORIGINAL STATE? IT WOULD BE CRIMINAL, AND THE "FAIRYLAND" WOULD CEASE TO EXSIST. NO MORE FAIRIES? MRS. COBLENTZ, KNOWS ABOUT FAIRIES. I FELT IT IN HER. SHE IS A GOOD WOMAN. I KNOW MY "HORSES." I RODE IN THE TALLY HO, I RODE IN MANY HORSE SHOWS AT THE ATHERTON "CIRCUS CLUB." I LEARNED TO RIDE AT THE "CIRCUS CLUB" IN ATHERTON AT THE AGE OF EIGHT. SOME THINGS, CANNOT BE REPLACED. EVER. I AM A MIDDLE AGED WOMAN OF FIFTY-ONE NOW, BUT MY MEMORIES OF THE ALLIED ARTS, ARE STILL IN THEIR "YOUTH." THE ALLIED ARTS, WILL ALWAYS BE THE "FAIRYLAND" IT WAS TO ME AS A CHILD, AND STILL IS TO THIS VERY DAY.

I HAD THE IMMENSE PLEASURE OF MEETING THE MOST CHARMING AND GENTEEL MRS. COBLENTZ, AND I SHARED WITH HER MY MOST PRECIOUS MEMORIES FROM MY CHILDHOOD AS A LITTLE GIRL, WHO HELD "COURT" AS A "PRINCESS," FROM THE BEAUTIFUL AND GRAND, UPSTAIRS POWDER ROOM, THAT OVERLOOKS THE GREAT FOUNTAIN IN THE CENTRAL COURTYARD OF THE ALLIED ARTS. THIS CHARMING AND BEAUTIFUL LADY, LISTENED TO ME, GO ON, AND ON ABOUT THE MEMORIES, THAT SHAPED ME, AND GAVE ME SUCH HAPPINESS TO RECALL. MRS. COBLENTZ I AM SURE, WOULD BE WILLING AND FLEXIBLE IN ASSURING THAT ALLIED ARTS, RETAIN IT'S ORIGINAL "AUTHENTICITY" AS THE "JEWEL" THAT IT IS. THE PALO ALTO AUXILIARY WHO DID INDEED STAFF, AND RUN WITH SUCH EFFICIENCY AND DEDICATION, THE DELIGHTFUL RESTAURANT ON THE GROUNDS, WHERE LIFE COULD BE ENJOYED OVER A MEAL PREPARED WITH LOVE, SIPPED OVER A CUP OF TEA, WHILE GAZING OUT FROM THE HUGE PICTURE WINDOWS AT THE GARDENS. WE WERE PLEASED IN THAT, THE PROCEEDS FROM OUR MEALS WOULD GO TO THE LUCILLE SALTER PACKARD CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. JUST A HOP, SKIP AND A JUMP, OVER THE CREEK FROM THE RESTAURANT. WE ALWAYS LEFT A LARGE GRATUITY, KNOWING THAT THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, WOULD UTILIZE IT FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE. MRS. COBLENTZ IS A GENTLE WOMAN, I MET HER FOR A BRIEF BUT "SIGNIFICANT" MOMENT IN TIME, AND SHE PATIENTLY LISTENED TO ME RECITE FROM MY MIND'S EYE, ALL THE JOY, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES OF A LITTLE GIRL AND HER CHILDHOOD, AND I COULD SEE IN HER EYES, THAT SHE "COULD SEE THROUGH MY EYES." TALK, AND TALK MORE, WORK TOGETHER TO PRESERVE THIS JEWEL. IT IS ONE IN A BILLION. MRS. COBLENTZ APPRECIATES ALL THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, FOR I COULD "FEEL" IT. I KNOW THIS. COMPROMISE, WITH INTEGRITY, FOR ALL THAT THIS PARCEL OF LAND REPRESENTED THEN, AND REPRESENTS NOW. PRESERVE IT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO RELISH AND ENJOY. SO THAT THEIR CHILDREN ON A RAINY DAY, CAN WANDER AND SMELL THE RAIN AND THE FLOWERS, AND FEEL THE WIND IN THE TREES ON THEIR FACES.

I AM SURE, THAT WITH ALL "THINGS CONSIDERED" THE BEAUTY, AUTHENTICITY, AND "SOUL" OF ALLIED ARTS WILL REMAIN INTACT. COMPROMISE, FOR ALLIED ARTS, IS INDEED A "FAIRYLAND" WHICH MUST BE PRESERVED. YES, I MISS IT AS IT WAS. THE "TRADITIONAL" SHOP WAS AN INCREDIBLE CORNUCOPIA OF THE FINEST OF THE FINE. THERE WAS NOT ONE SQUARE INCH, OF ALLIED ARTS, THAT WAS NOT PRECIOUS AND UNIQUE, IN EVERY ASPECT. SOMETHING THAT COULD/CAN NEVER BE REPLICATED. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO ME REMINISCE MRS. COBLENTZ.


MOST SINCERELY,

JANELLE


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