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By Elena Kadvany

Casual American grill headed to Palo Alto?s California Avenue

Uploaded: Mar 12, 2014

The latest newcomer to California Avenue's growing restaurant scene is Evergreen Park Restaurant, a casual American grill slated to open in the coming months.

Robert Lindstrom, who was previously working with former Facebook executive Owen Van Natta to take over the British Bankers Club in Menlo Park (the deal has since been abandoned), snagged a space at 451 S. California Ave. early this year. It was previously occupied by Uzumaki Sushi.

The shuttered Uzumaki Sushi space.

Lindstrom said Evergreen Park will be a very casual spot serving straightforward, seasonal (of course) American food.

"It will be some place in between Joanie's (Cafe) and the Mayfield (Bakery & Cafe)," he said. "We think there's a lot of space there to fill. Joanie's is underdone and Mayfield is overly expensive. We're trying to fit in that niche."

A neighborhood spot (hence the name), Lindstrom said he'll be targeting Palo Alto families as well as the many people who work in the area and eat lunch on California Avenue. He also lives in the neighborhood.

He mentioned rotisserie chicken and steak; the menu will be small and will draw on the California Avenue farmer's market, conveniently located outside the space's doors.

Lindstrom said he currently has "feelers out" for a chef to hire.

"It's definitely not going to be a celebrity chef," he said. "It's going to be someone who works." Stay tuned for more when that solidifies.

Boozy offerings will include craft beers, wine on tap (instead of by the glass) and "low-alcohol" cocktails made from wine, vermouth and sherry, Lindstrom said.

In terms of the space, Lindstrom said he's not changing too much. He had asked the city if he could build a back patio, but said he was met with a resounding "no."

"They flatly denied it because of all the parking drama," he said. "We would be losing four parking spaces in the back."

He is, however, moving the restaurant's bathroom and hoping to get approval for windows that open out onto California Avenue in the front.

Lindstrom said he's aiming for a Memorial Day opening (May 26), though "it's definitely written in pencil."