News

Locals mourn, decry plans to close the Oasis

The Oasis, perhaps the oldest eating establishment in Menlo Park, will close permanently March 7 after 60 years of business, according to a Feb. 21 announcement on Facebook by the business' owners, the Tougas family. They claimed they were "unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building's owner."

The joint is considered an institution by many and beloved for its burgers, pizza, beer and slightly sticky wooden tables engraved with what appear to be generations of initials.

Michele LaBarbera, daughter of the Oasis' longtime former owner Bernie Tougas, who helps manage the family business with her husband, said she did not wish to discuss the terms of the negotiations. She noted that the "terms and conditions that were being asked of us were just not workable."

"We're extremely sad over this," she said.

Diana Beltramo Hewitt, a descendant of the Oasis' original founder and current property owner, also declined to comment further on the conditions of the lease, but noted that the Beltramo family does not have development plans for the site and will be looking for a new tenant.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Almanac Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

In a Feb. 25 memo sent to the Menlo Park city attorney and city manager, Vice Mayor Ray Mueller has offered to mediate negotiations between the Beltramo and Tougas families, or to help the Beltramo family find new operators for the site.

He said he has spoken with property owners Dan and Margaret Beltramo and understands they don't want to develop the site. The restaurant holds emotional significance to them, he said. Mr. Beltramo's father reportedly built the wooden booths there.

The property owners would like to continue to operate the site as a restaurant, confirmed Ms. Beltramo Hewitt.

Mr. Mueller also suggested that the city explore options to address the parking shortage at the restaurant during peak business hours and recommended that city staff prepare a report for the City Council to discuss the matter.

Another property owned by the Beltramos, the former Beltramo's Wine & Spirits site on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, was sold and is planned for redevelopment into a three-story residential building by local developer Derek Hunter. The Menlo Park Planning Commission was scheduled to review the development plan on Feb. 26, after the Almanac went to press.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

'Don't let the O Go!'

A widespread outpouring of public support for the institution ensued shortly after the Tougas family's announcement on Facebook. Hundreds of comments flooded in and a petition was launched to urge the property owner to reconsider.

On Facebook, some people tagged other people or shared the announcement to spread the news; others expressed sadness at the announcement or shared memories.

"NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! The last great hole-in-the-wall in Menlo Park / Palo Alto ... RIP," wrote Todd Curtis Fryburger.

"Spent time there growing up starting back in the 70's and my father even spent time there when he was in College at Stanford. I try to get there every time I'm in town visiting. It feels like home to walk in there. So sad to see it go," wrote Gary Lee Chrisman.

"The Oasis was the extension of the Homebrew Computer Club, where after the meeting adjourned staff of competing companies would drink and exchange tips about how to run their businesses. It deserves historic recognition for that reason alone," wrote Lee Felsenstein.

The online petition, titled "Don't let the O Go!" (a reference to the watering hole's nickname) was written by Alison Perris, who shared her remembrances of the spot: "I was born and raised in Menlo Park, CA and ever since I can remember The Oasis has been our hangout. ... As a kid I can remember going to the O with my Dad for pizza and a (root beer) and feeling so grown up as we sat in the large wooden booths with names of Stanford students past and present carved into the tables and walls. Then when I was older meeting friends over beers after softball games or watching the Giants in the World Series."

As of about 3 p.m. Feb. 26, the petition had gathered 12,571 signatures.

History

According to the Menlo Park Historical Association, the building that houses the Oasis was once the YMCA building at Camp Fremont, when the area was a training camp for World War I. It was originally built in 1917 at Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street, but was moved to its current location at 241 El Camino Real around 1920.

The historical association reports that Alexander Beltramo, son of Beltramo's Wine & Spirits founder John Beltramo, converted the building into a beer garden in 1933. Ms. Beltramo Hewitt told the Almanac he named it that "because he thought that was fitting after Prohibition."

Mr. Beltramo operated the beer garden for about two years, and in 1946 it was leased to a man named Archie Marshall. In 1958, the business changed hands again, and Bernie Tougas took over tenancy at the site, Ms. Beltramo Hewitt said.

"He and his wife Doris really poured their heart and soul into the place and made it what it is today," she said. "They were great tenants for many years."

According to "Menlo Park: Beyond the Gate," a history book about Menlo Park by historians Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett, the building's front office was used as the air raid warden's office during World War II.

Notable incidents referenced in that book include a visit by a young John F. Kennedy, who came by to eat a hamburger. Another time, when flooding from San Francisquito Creek had left the restaurant inundated, customers just took off their shoes and "partied as usual."

The restaurant currently has around 20 to 25 employees, who were alerted about the closure plans on Feb. 20, after the final decision was made the day before, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous.

Saying goodbye

The Tougas family also made a separate farewell statement, expressing gratitude to loyal clients in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford.

"We want to express our warmest appreciation to all of the wonderful customers who passed through our doors. Your love is engraved in our many tables and booths. Thank you for sitting down in our beer garden to have a beer with us, cracking open some peanuts, carving up our tables with your first loves, playing some pinball, and filling our restaurant with your children and children's children. We are so grateful to have shared these past 60 years with you!" the letter says.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated and expanded from a previous version.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Locals mourn, decry plans to close the Oasis

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 8:33 pm

The Oasis, perhaps the oldest eating establishment in Menlo Park, will close permanently March 7 after 60 years of business, according to a Feb. 21 announcement on Facebook by the business' owners, the Tougas family. They claimed they were "unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building's owner."

The joint is considered an institution by many and beloved for its burgers, pizza, beer and slightly sticky wooden tables engraved with what appear to be generations of initials.

Michele LaBarbera, daughter of the Oasis' longtime former owner Bernie Tougas, who helps manage the family business with her husband, said she did not wish to discuss the terms of the negotiations. She noted that the "terms and conditions that were being asked of us were just not workable."

"We're extremely sad over this," she said.

Diana Beltramo Hewitt, a descendant of the Oasis' original founder and current property owner, also declined to comment further on the conditions of the lease, but noted that the Beltramo family does not have development plans for the site and will be looking for a new tenant.

In a Feb. 25 memo sent to the Menlo Park city attorney and city manager, Vice Mayor Ray Mueller has offered to mediate negotiations between the Beltramo and Tougas families, or to help the Beltramo family find new operators for the site.

He said he has spoken with property owners Dan and Margaret Beltramo and understands they don't want to develop the site. The restaurant holds emotional significance to them, he said. Mr. Beltramo's father reportedly built the wooden booths there.

The property owners would like to continue to operate the site as a restaurant, confirmed Ms. Beltramo Hewitt.

Mr. Mueller also suggested that the city explore options to address the parking shortage at the restaurant during peak business hours and recommended that city staff prepare a report for the City Council to discuss the matter.

Another property owned by the Beltramos, the former Beltramo's Wine & Spirits site on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, was sold and is planned for redevelopment into a three-story residential building by local developer Derek Hunter. The Menlo Park Planning Commission was scheduled to review the development plan on Feb. 26, after the Almanac went to press.

'Don't let the O Go!'

A widespread outpouring of public support for the institution ensued shortly after the Tougas family's announcement on Facebook. Hundreds of comments flooded in and a petition was launched to urge the property owner to reconsider.

On Facebook, some people tagged other people or shared the announcement to spread the news; others expressed sadness at the announcement or shared memories.

"NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! The last great hole-in-the-wall in Menlo Park / Palo Alto ... RIP," wrote Todd Curtis Fryburger.

"Spent time there growing up starting back in the 70's and my father even spent time there when he was in College at Stanford. I try to get there every time I'm in town visiting. It feels like home to walk in there. So sad to see it go," wrote Gary Lee Chrisman.

"The Oasis was the extension of the Homebrew Computer Club, where after the meeting adjourned staff of competing companies would drink and exchange tips about how to run their businesses. It deserves historic recognition for that reason alone," wrote Lee Felsenstein.

The online petition, titled "Don't let the O Go!" (a reference to the watering hole's nickname) was written by Alison Perris, who shared her remembrances of the spot: "I was born and raised in Menlo Park, CA and ever since I can remember The Oasis has been our hangout. ... As a kid I can remember going to the O with my Dad for pizza and a (root beer) and feeling so grown up as we sat in the large wooden booths with names of Stanford students past and present carved into the tables and walls. Then when I was older meeting friends over beers after softball games or watching the Giants in the World Series."

As of about 3 p.m. Feb. 26, the petition had gathered 12,571 signatures.

History

According to the Menlo Park Historical Association, the building that houses the Oasis was once the YMCA building at Camp Fremont, when the area was a training camp for World War I. It was originally built in 1917 at Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street, but was moved to its current location at 241 El Camino Real around 1920.

The historical association reports that Alexander Beltramo, son of Beltramo's Wine & Spirits founder John Beltramo, converted the building into a beer garden in 1933. Ms. Beltramo Hewitt told the Almanac he named it that "because he thought that was fitting after Prohibition."

Mr. Beltramo operated the beer garden for about two years, and in 1946 it was leased to a man named Archie Marshall. In 1958, the business changed hands again, and Bernie Tougas took over tenancy at the site, Ms. Beltramo Hewitt said.

"He and his wife Doris really poured their heart and soul into the place and made it what it is today," she said. "They were great tenants for many years."

According to "Menlo Park: Beyond the Gate," a history book about Menlo Park by historians Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett, the building's front office was used as the air raid warden's office during World War II.

Notable incidents referenced in that book include a visit by a young John F. Kennedy, who came by to eat a hamburger. Another time, when flooding from San Francisquito Creek had left the restaurant inundated, customers just took off their shoes and "partied as usual."

The restaurant currently has around 20 to 25 employees, who were alerted about the closure plans on Feb. 20, after the final decision was made the day before, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous.

Saying goodbye

The Tougas family also made a separate farewell statement, expressing gratitude to loyal clients in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford.

"We want to express our warmest appreciation to all of the wonderful customers who passed through our doors. Your love is engraved in our many tables and booths. Thank you for sitting down in our beer garden to have a beer with us, cracking open some peanuts, carving up our tables with your first loves, playing some pinball, and filling our restaurant with your children and children's children. We are so grateful to have shared these past 60 years with you!" the letter says.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated and expanded from a previous version.

Comments

carl martineau
another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:18 pm
carl martineau, another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:18 pm
4 people like this

this is such a bummer ..
i lived in palo alto
in the 1970s
and this was definitely
a great, fun place
to go to ..
well at least
the Dutch Goose


carl martineau
another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:21 pm
carl martineau, another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:21 pm
10 people like this

this is such a bummer ..
i lived in palo alto
in the 1970s
and this was definitely
a great, fun place
to go to ..
well at least
the Dutch Goose
is still alive
according to google ..
menlo park continues
to lose its' middle, middle class roots ..


Save The O!
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 6:57 am
Save The O!, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 6:57 am
47 people like this

How about those folks pouring millions of dollars into the Guild Theater put some of their efforts into saving The Oasis?


Clunge
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:01 am
Clunge, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:01 am
34 people like this

Saddest news ever for Menlo Park native. In a building that is paid for, the rent there must be all profit yet the owners find a need to milk even more money out of a valued tenant. I’ll save the F bombs for whoever owns the building cause there isn’t enough time.


JM
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:46 am
JM, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:46 am
25 people like this

Wish there were an organized way to reverse this or contribute somehow...sort of like Keplers. I'd put in some $ to keep the O open. Is there still a chance?


Larry Rockwell
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:59 am
Larry Rockwell, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:59 am
29 people like this

The O was the first bar/restaurant I went to when I moved here in 1973. Lots of memories...lots of beer! Another MP stalwart goes down under the weight of greed. Roger Reynolds...Beltramos...now the O. Wait, did I say Beltramos? Is there some connection here? They closed the store, which is now a treadmill outlet (!). What "new tenant" will they find that could ever hold a candle to this MP treasure? MP is changing...and not necessarily to the good. RIP Oasis!


Save the O!
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm
Save the O!, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm
19 people like this

For what it's worth, there's a petition to save it. Maybe we can help find funding too. This is one of the last places like this of it's kind around here. It will be an enormous loss for our community. Web Link


Old regular
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Old regular, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:13 pm
18 people like this

Word on the street is that the Tougas family was more committed to their other burger joints in the South Bay and wanted out.


SCMTNResident
Portola Valley: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm
SCMTNResident, Portola Valley: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm
20 people like this

It's really easy to blame the "greedy landlord", but I am betting that old building has a lot of deferred maintenance and I don't blame the landlord for wanting fair market for the building. Rents have skyrocketed on the Peninsula and it's getting harder and harder for an independent business to survive. Don't hate the player, hate the game. And, let's all resolve to support local independent businesses more!


brent britschgi
another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm
brent britschgi, another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm
8 people like this

I am devastated!!!!!!!! This place is famous-------it is the first place I was "served" as a "young" man.........................terrible, I love it....


Stan
Registered user
Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm
Stan, Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
Registered user
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm
7 people like this

DEVASTATING
My father went there after a bit of AXE thievery - really a transfer from Wells Fargo Bizerkly to Wells Fargo Palo Alto.
How about we find what other buildings the current land lord lords over and boycott those. Maybe bring them to their senses about what is a rather historical site.


M. Cook
Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm
M. Cook, Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm
8 people like this

What a shame. My husband says he went there in 1943 when he was sent to Stanford by the Army.


Lover of all that is local
Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm
Lover of all that is local, Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm
16 people like this

We may never know the whole story, but keep in mind: The Tougas family ran it for a long time and may just be downsizing. Perhaps the difficulty with staffing has reached into their available time (they should not be living to work either.) The landlord has the right to increase the rent to market when the lease offers that opportunity, they have probably been well below for quite sometime (commercial rent is very different from housing rent.) We can help local businesses by GOING TO LOCAL BUSINESSES. If the business owner has the support of customers daily, not just when they might be going out of business, they are more likely to adjust their prices for the new rent and keep chugging along. I can proudly say I was just there last week and I am positive they would recognize me and my extended family as "regulars", knowing our order as we approach. Sad, but no ill will for this change. Glad my kids got to experience all that is "The O", great memories will live on.


really?
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm
really?, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm
33 people like this

Can't we just get rid of McDonald's instead?


Former Customer
Atherton: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Former Customer, Atherton: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm
5 people like this

I used to go here to watch football. I made sure to pay for that time in terms of regular drinks & food orders. Two consecutive seasons, they canceled requests to put-on football games and I stopped going. I never understood why a place would institute a blanket policy that kept customers like me away. I simply don't think this place was offering a compelling product


Barbara Wilcox
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm
Barbara Wilcox, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm
3 people like this

Actually one of several YMCAs at Camp Fremont; each unit had its own. More to the point, it's the last existing Camp Fremont building in Menlo Park that is open to the public. To see the O in its Camp Fremont years, go here:

Web Link


Be Bop
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm
Be Bop, Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm
1 person likes this

My family lived in Atherton in the mid-60's and I will treasure the moments when a bunch of my buddies ( and me) would sneak into the "O" until we got caught.

I do come to town a few times a year and ALWAYS find time for something good from the Oasis.

I do hope for success is finding a way to keep it open.


Why
another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm
Why, another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm
3 people like this

Former customer hit it on the head. This is place WAS once great, but has gone downhill recently. 45+ minute wait for a sandwich at lunch and poor service in general. They don't offer a good product in my opinion and the market has answered. Bye-bye and let's bring in something new! Time to breath some life into this sleepy old town and let go of theses former relics.


Judy Adams
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Judy Adams, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm
10 people like this

Crying in my beer and burger. Can Stanford somehow save it so the residents of its new housing development on El Camino in Menlo Park can have this treasure to enjoy?

Mr. Arrillaga? Here's something to preserve, somehow!


Lynn
Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm
Lynn, Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm
12 people like this

More greedy Menlo Park Landlords destroying small businesses. They should be ashamed of themselves. What a loss for our town.


ex-local
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm
ex-local, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm
6 people like this

I used to live in one of the two upstairs apts in the early 70"s. John Beltramo was a wonderful and easy going man, he charged me a whopping $45.oo for a very large 2 story solid redwood apt. The building itself was in very good shape at that time. I do remember a small fire in the little office that Kinkos rented on the el camino side. I think that was the first Kinkos. Any many good memories ,except for the noise. The O will be missed.


Hmmm
another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm
Hmmm, another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm
4 people like this

So the current landlord is Beltramo Hewitt and her family?


Spence
Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:27 pm
Spence, Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:27 pm
14 people like this

What a shame. This one place defines the "Old Menlo Park". I no longer live in Menlo, but grew up there and have been going to the "O" since the 70's and every time I come back this is a must visit place to gather with old friends.
It is an old friend to me as well as many others.
Have had friends stop by over the years to pick up an Oasis t-shirt for me. I can't tell you how many times people have stopped me and comment on the shirt all over the U.S. to say "loved their Double Cheese on French".
DON'T LET THIS PLACE SLIP AWAY!


MIKE G
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm
MIKE G, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm
26 people like this

Total joke, the Beltramo's greed is killing a local institution and a landmark! Menlo Park is turning into a strip mall on steroids, oh wait, I mean an office park with no character or local places for us normal folk to hang out at. Does McDonalds serve beer now? Fun fact for all of you, Beltramo owns the building the Dutch Goose is in... how long before they turn that into an office building like they're doing with their old liquor store.

Time to move, this town has changed so much in just 15 years it's frightening!


JS
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm
JS, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm
25 people like this

Beltramo is a greedy-rat landlord. Surely they had leeway to offer a reasonable rent to the Oasis. No requirement to pay market real estate broker commissions associated with a lease (since they are extending a lease with a long-term existing tenant). No requirement to substantially upgrade the existing facilities (normally associated with attracting a tenant to an existing old building space). Beltramos know what it is like to be a retailer in Menlo Park - not a gold mine. Beltramo knows about long term community history loving long-time businesses. How long was Beltramo's liquor store a beloved fixture in Menlo Park??? How long did the Menlo Park community favor Beltramo's over alternative cheaper liquor sources?? Unless Beltramo's can explain why Oasis was unreasonable, the burden falls on Beltramo's to explain to the community why we are losing a favorite.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:22 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:22 pm
22 people like this

Beltramos wants the O out so they can redevelop/sell the property. The old Beltramos liquors is occupied by a treadmill store. Guaranteed the treadmill store is in there on stupid cheap rent while the Beltramos put through their plans to redevelop the property, a la the adjacent property. They get to collect something while the property is "unused". What do you think they'll do with the Oasis property? By the way, the Beltramos also threw the vet (Animal Doctors) out years ago and built the 2 story office building on Avy at Lucky. Yes, they own the Dutch Goose property. What do you think they will do with that? Can you say bye bye Goose? When's they're lease up? That's when they'll be gone. The Beltramos own most of the commercial property in MP. They will do whatever they want regardless of what is right for Menlo Park. They're only interested in what's "right" for them. And what can we do? ZIP. Beltramos owns the property. They can do whatever they damn well please as long as it complies with current zoning. Unless of course they can get an exception to the zoning. Which they can.


PeninsulaDweller
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm
PeninsulaDweller, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm
28 people like this

This is unfortunate, but each long-term Menlo Park (and environs) homeowner decrying the loss must comprehend how much you're benefiting from this frenzy - this is why you can sell your house for an utterly obscene amount of money, right?


JM
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:33 pm
JM, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:33 pm
6 people like this

@Judy Adams

The mention of Mr. Arrillaga is sort of interesting. He played in the Menlo Rec basketball league for years and years, and surely is familiar with the O. Add in that he has several nearby buildings that would be a great fit with keeping the O open...Burgess Gym, etc.

If he had interest, it would probably be a drop in the bucket for him to help work some kind of deal.


O Burger Lover
Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:34 am
O Burger Lover, Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:34 am
16 people like this

People get over it !! Whether or not building is paid for or not doesn't matter - It is a business decision probably on both parts. Just can't blame Beltramo family - The "O" will be missed not only on Big Game Day but everyday & we will just need to find another hang out


SCMResident
Portola Valley: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:59 am
SCMResident, Portola Valley: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:59 am
21 people like this

There are no villains and victims here. Blaming the Beltramos is childish and inappropriate. That building is old and needs expensive upgrades. The Tougas Family is (understandably) not interested in paying for that through rent increases, and they are tired of the ongoing labor issues on the Peninsula (have any of you tried to staff a small business with hourly labor in Menlo Park recently????). The Beltramos would like to get market standard rent. Nobody can begrudge them that. I realize that part of our culture now requires that there’s always a “victim” and someone to blame, so if that’s “your thing”, blame everyone who patronizes the restaurants owned by the huge corporate groups (PF Chang’s, The Melt, any fast food (including in-n-out), Round Table, Panera, Woodside Bakery, Mayfield Bakery, etc. The “groups” are making it all but impossible for an independent restauranteur to survive. BTW, the landlords that own much of the Woodside buildings have opened “Fire House Bistro” in an attempt to stave off corporate stuff like “Woodside Bakery” (which serves ZERO locally sourced food or beverage). How about Patronizing Firehouse and other local businesses if you’re all serious?


double with cheese
Atherton: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:45 am
double with cheese, Atherton: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:45 am
17 people like this

Looking at Ms Beltramo Hewitt's Linked In page- Menlo School/Georgetown/Stanford GSB in 1996.

Not content to have removed her family's liquor business from the Planet now she needs to flex her muscles to close another tradition down.

Has a long term tenant who wants to stay, a business that is beloved and she couldn't negotiate a successful agreement. That's a FAIL in my book.

Shame her spot at B school couldn't have gone to someone who wanted to *preserve* and build NOT close businesses. And sorry but Menlo is popular for local flavor and character, we have a San Jose if we want endless modern strip development.

The saying "price of everything, value of nothing" comes to mind.

Want to get a local park named after you when you are old Ms Hewitt--- figure out how to preserve the local businesses while creating value. Be creative, anybody can rent a bulldozer.



George Fisher
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:57 am
George Fisher, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:57 am
10 people like this

Friendly community oriented retail loss is collateral damage in Council/Manager driven Menlo Park transformation from residential community to office and industrial transit stop. Additional collateral damage will occur with congested thoroughfares and speeding cut throughs on residential streets.

This damage was identified in every Environmental Impact Report on new office and industrial space as impacts that could not be mitigated. Council/Manage behalf waived those impacts to obtain increase in property values. Hopefully the safe streets, bicycle, and safety for studentsl groups can protect this damage as much as possible. Council/Manager can't be depended upon.


George Fallon
another community
on Feb 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm
George Fallon, another community
on Feb 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm
Like this comment

While at Menlo College, we had our WEC(Wednesday Evening Drinking Club) there. Before that, Parkey Sharkey bought me my first beer there... Long history of nefarious activities.


Follow The Money
Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm
Follow The Money, Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm
32 people like this

"PeninsulaDweller" has it right- all the Ye Olde Timers who bought their homes when supply:demand where better aligned, prevented anything new from being built, and now complain about others's profit seeking motives can STFU. Look at the real estate reports in The Almanac like this one (Web Link) - 1120 Rosefield Way was sold for $3,700,000, just SLIGHTLY beating out its previous sale for $90,000.

Hey, how about all the housing lottery beneficiaries dedicate a percentage of their undeserved windfall for the preservation and operation of businesses they love? Who could argue against that?


Frank B
Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 24, 2018 at 8:25 am
Frank B, Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 24, 2018 at 8:25 am
2 people like this

We use to ping pong from the “O” to the Goose and Yuen Yungs for lunch while working @ Belts. We even might have slammed a beer or 2 at lunch even though we werent close to 21..The “O” is a Menopause Park Institution. Sad to see you go! Double Cheese on French Roll was the call...Hopefully the Goose won’t be the next to go..Don’t be to tough on the Beltramos they are or were good people. Times change, Snowflakes are the flavor dejuor.


gordonharper
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 10:21 am
gordonharper, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 10:21 am
4 people like this

On the closing of the Oasis:

And a tip’o’the hat to Jimmy Perkins. He used to run the Red Rooster Café on Marsh road, and then became a cook at Stanford for several Fraternities and Eating Clubs. In the evening he would go to the Oasis for a beer. In the early days of The Oasis they had on the bar a gallon of pig’s feet (knuckles?) and a gallon of pickled eggs if one wanted a snack.

Jimmy convinced the founder/owners that they should put in a grill and serve hamburgers. It wasn’t easy; the owners were not convinced until Jimmy ended up paying for the gas if they would buy the grill!

Jimmy argued that: “I want my boys to have GOOD FOOD when they come over here!” Years later, when Jimmy Perkins (or, ‘Mr. Barnes’ as he loved to be called*) passed away, Stanford’s Memorial Chapel was more than half-filled with his boys who came remember him and wish him well in the new place where he was going. [Probably to serve GOOD FOOD]

***
*Barnes is the family name of the Slave holder that owned his family in Kentucky where he was borne. He said that when his family was emancipated, they all gathered together and walked as a group to the edge of the Barnes’s property. They then turned around walked back to Mr. Barnes’s home and said: “Mr. Barnes we want to work for you.”

Gordon Harper
Stanford Class of ‘56


A sad patron
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm
A sad patron, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm
6 people like this

Best way to prevent these small establishments from closing their doors is to support them with your business, regularly! Get out there - eat and shop local family owned businesses. You'll be glad you do.


Cmon
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm
Cmon, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm
7 people like this

One suggestion is that the parties find a way to extend the closing to end of June. Close out the last school year and give local families a chance to go back a few times. Maybe even rent it out to large groups who pay in advance. Cost is relatively low. Everyone chips in for the cause.


Ravenswood Alum
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Ravenswood Alum, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Like this comment

They should look into merging with The Old Pro ...change the name to The Oasis Old Pro, maybe expand it.


Ravenswood Alum
Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Ravenswood Alum, Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Like this comment

My Aplogies, I thought the Old Pro was still on the Elcamino, after further review it looks like they screwed that joint up also and moved it to where Ramona’s Pizza use to be...the whole area is tattered.


Restaurant girl
Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 7:26 pm
Restaurant girl, Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 7:26 pm
9 people like this

So sad about the oasis, truly a shame! One note- it is not a labor/hiring issue at the O, even though most other restaurants in the area do have this problem. The Oasis has had most of their employees working there for 20 -30 years. Many employees have whole families who have all also worked at the Oasis thru out the years. If you have worked there 5 years you are still considered a new hire...


Alarmed
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Alarmed, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm
4 people like this

The death knell has begun for ALL community serving businesses on El Camino. The city consultant who wrote to El Camino- Downtown plan fooled the council by saying there was no market for offices. Then they upzoned all the properties with zero protections for local businesses like the O for getting thrown out by greedy landlords. Just wait.. the car repair shops, glass shop, yogurt store, staples, and other El Camink shops are on the chopping block. Demand the council institute protections now before Menlo Park becomes Menlo Office Park where none of of us can get things we need.


Ex Menlo Park dropout
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm
Ex Menlo Park dropout, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm
7 people like this

Eddy’s Ice cream, Roger Reynolds Nursery, Beltramos, Park Theatre,, Gelb Music, Old Kepler's, landreth Bikes,Shreve,s Sporting Goods, BBC, Pink Pastry, ToynParty, Yuen Yung, Menlo Theatre, Black Elephant, Baskin n Robbins, Village Host, ALL Gone and now THE Oasis? I think I might cry..Is there anywhere in Menlo Park to get a Drink?


Sue
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm
Sue, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm
8 people like this

The owners of the building want it to remain a restaurant site, including keeping the interior intact! Web Link


The Patio
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 26, 2018 at 10:15 am
The Patio, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 26, 2018 at 10:15 am
2 people like this

Try The Patio, downtown Palo Alto, next to the Aquarius.
Better food, lots of TV screens.
Waitperson service.


Michael Tutt
another community
on Feb 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm
Michael Tutt, another community
on Feb 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm
Like this comment

The Oasis Tragedy - Looking for friends/comments about Oasis history in the Mid 1950's. I am Michael Tutt- mtuttmail@gmail.com, 805-235-3300. My father was Eugene F. Tutt, Class of 1955 and mom Rita, Class of 1954 graduated from Stanford. I was born at Stanford Hospital in 1954. My father owned/operated the Oasis 1953-1955 (approx). I have photos and bar tab markers of approximately 25 patrons from that time frame. Some still owe some money LOL...The Historical Society has missed an important part of my parents Stanford/Oasis experience. Just trying to set the record straight. On the same subject, I find it incredible that such an integral part of the Stanford folklore and historical bldg would even be under consideration for closing...arent there any benefactors around able to help???SOS SOS SOS SOS


WOW
another community
on Feb 27, 2018 at 10:15 am
WOW, another community
on Feb 27, 2018 at 10:15 am
1 person likes this

Most of these comments are crazy and lots of misinformation. Old Pro on ECR closed over a decade ago, common, seriously. This place has poor service and even worse food and that is why it has suffered. Places with good food and service usually last, but to wait over 40 minutes for burger is crazy. And the people that are asking the city to step in are even more nuts. This is a private issue between to PRIVATE parties. It is too bad that some members of the current council have allowed this sort or public intervention into private business. It is a slippery slope that they are walking.


Update
Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 27, 2018 at 11:46 am
Update, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 27, 2018 at 11:46 am
Like this comment

There are over 12,000 signatures now to Save the Guild.


Menlo Mike
Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Menlo Mike, Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm
6 people like this

Re The Beltramos.
They do not own the property that is now a Treadmill outlet. They sold it over a year ago. The new owner has been renting out the building while waiting for permits (unless you have a development that can contribute, heavily, to downtown traffic, permits take longer). Please do some fact-checking before publishing.
BTW: the Beltramos must have been terrible landlords for the Oasis; the tenants only stayed for 60 years.


MPer
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm
MPer, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm
Like this comment

They are building apartments on the Beltramos site, for shame.


GL
Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:37 am
GL, Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:37 am
4 people like this

Save The O! John Arrillaga's name was previously mentioned and that's whose name first came to my mind as a guy with a "can do it attitude" who could step in and Save the O. He has done so many wonderful things for Stanford, Menlo Park and Palo Alto. To John Arrillaga if you are out there, S.O.S. SAVE OUR SUDS!


Burke
Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm
Burke , Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm
2 people like this

My Dad went to THE O, I went to THE O and my son goes to THE O. 3 generations of Burkes. So sad. I'm craving an 'OD' & an 'LA hot' n beer! Memories!


matt
Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm
matt, Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm
8 people like this

I love how everyone complains about landlords making money... or property owners wanting full value.

Would any of you sell your home for less than market value? Of course not!


TimH
Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm
TimH, Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm
2 people like this

Seems like every Peninsula landmark from (insert community name here) closes before their time due to the same reason, this time stated as "unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building's owner."

Who are these owners that want to rip out community business and replace them with small office complexes for "startup" companies? Don't forget that startup employees want good food, too.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 6, 2018 at 8:25 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 6, 2018 at 8:25 pm
Like this comment

They are property owners wanting to maximize the income from those properties. They are businesses. That's what businesses do. Every existing business in Menlo Park is doing exactly the same thing - maximizing their profits. THAT'S WHAT BUSINESSES DO! Hello! Including all the "old" businesses here or that were here. When they couldn't do so due to market conditions they closed. What a surprise. That's how businesses work! Duh!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.