Town Square

Menlo Park: The Oasis to shutter March 7

Original post made on Feb 21, 2018

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.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 8:33 PM


Posted by carl martineau
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:18 pm

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

Posted by carl martineau
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2018 at 10:21 pm

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 ..

Posted by Save The O!
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 6:57 am

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

Posted by Clunge
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

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.

Posted by JM
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:46 am

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?

Posted by Larry Rockwell
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 10:59 am

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 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!

Posted by Save the O!
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm

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

Posted by Old regular
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:13 pm

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

Posted by SCMTNResident
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:28 pm

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!

Posted by brent britschgi
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

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

Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Feb 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Stan is a registered user.

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.

Posted by M. Cook
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:40 pm

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

Posted by Lover of all that is local
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm

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.

Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 1:57 pm

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

Posted by Former Customer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm

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

Posted by Barbara Wilcox
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm

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

Posted by Be Bop
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm

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.

Posted by Why
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:34 pm

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.

Posted by Judy Adams
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm

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!

Posted by Lynn
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm

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

Posted by ex-local
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:46 pm

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.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm

So the current landlord is Beltramo Hewitt and her family?

Posted by Spence
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:27 pm

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".

Posted by MIKE G
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm

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!

Posted by JS
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 7:41 pm

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.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:22 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

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.

Posted by PeninsulaDweller
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm

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?

Posted by JM
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2018 at 9:33 pm

@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.

Posted by O Burger Lover
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:34 am

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

Posted by SCMResident
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 7:59 am

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?

Posted by double with cheese
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 23, 2018 at 9:45 am

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.

Posted by George Fisher
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

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.

Posted by George Fallon
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm

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.

Posted by Follow The Money
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 23, 2018 at 6:58 pm

"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?

Posted by Frank B
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on Feb 24, 2018 at 8:25 am

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.

Posted by gordonharper
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

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

Posted by A sad patron
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

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.

Posted by Cmon
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 24, 2018 at 4:53 pm

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.

Posted by Ravenswood Alum
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm

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

Posted by Ravenswood Alum
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm

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.

Posted by Restaurant girl
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Feb 24, 2018 at 7:26 pm

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...

Posted by Alarmed
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm

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.

Posted by Ex Menlo Park dropout
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm

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?

Posted by Sue
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 25, 2018 at 5:09 pm

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

Posted by The Patio
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 26, 2018 at 10:15 am

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

Posted by Michael Tutt
a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm

The Oasis Tragedy - Looking for friends/comments about Oasis history in the Mid 1950's. I am Michael Tutt- [email protected], 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

Posted by WOW
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

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.

Posted by Update
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 27, 2018 at 11:46 am

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

Posted by Menlo Mike
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm

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.

Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm

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

Posted by GL
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 28, 2018 at 2:37 am

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!

Posted by Burke
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 28, 2018 at 3:27 pm

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!

Posted by matt
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm

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!

Posted by TimH
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm

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.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 6, 2018 at 8:25 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

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!