The town of Portola Valley has been without a grocery store since July 2006, when John's Valley Foods closed after 29 years.
The new Roberts Market is likely to open in the spring to much acclaim in the community, which seems to have welcomed it with open arms.
Will this new market be a place for chance encounters that linger and grow into extended sit-down get-togethers? The Town Center is far away and of a different character, not having a focal point of a grocery store in the immediate vicinity.
Where would you sit if you wanted to spend 30 minutes or so with acquaintances met at Roberts? There is limited seating near the store now. Triangle Park is a few steps away at the corner of Portola and Alpine roads, but it's a little distant for a spontaneous gathering.
On the other hand, too much of a tangible welcome to get-togethers at Roberts could conceivably turn it into be a convenient spot for nighttime rowdiness.
If the community does end up gravitating to this spot, what makes sense to accommodate these get-togethers?