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Shop Talk: Jeffrey makes debut; Cardenas replaces Mi Pueblo

Shop Talk: Jeffrey makes debut; Cardenas replaces Mi Pueblo

In this week’s Shop Talk column, a design boutique plans to open its first West Coast store at Stanford Shopping Center, East Palo Alto’s Mi Pueblo is now a Cardenas market and Opa closes downtown.

JEFFREY MAKES DEBUT Jeffrey, the pioneering designer boutique that is credited with helping transform Manhattan’s Meatpacking District into a high-end retail destination during the late 1990s, is set to open its first West Coast store at Stanford Shopping Center sometime this year.

A spokeswoman for Simon Properties, which operates the shopping center, could not confirm the boutique‘s pending opening, but design plans for the new storefront that will house Jeffery were filed with the city of Palo Alto in February. According to the permit application, Jeffrey is seeking to move into the vacant Polo Ralph Lauren building that faces El Camino Real and replace the storefront’s white columns, arched windows and wrought-iron ornamentation with a modern, glass facade.

The Stanford store will be the third in the boutique chain. Jeffrey may be new to the West Coast, but the avante-garde boutique established itself as one of the earliest specialty stores to stock men and women’s collections from high-end designers, such as Gucci and Ann Demeulemeester, after founder Jeffrey Kalinsky opened his first store in Atlanta in 1996.

He opened his second store in New York City in 1999 and has since become considered one the most influential people in the fashion industry. Time magazine included him in its “All-Time 100 Fashion Icons” in 2013.

Kalinsky sold Jeffrey to Nordstrom in 2005 but still serves as the boutique‘s president and chief executive, as well as executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom, where he has introduced high-end designer collections to the company’s department stores. — L.


CARDENAS REPLACES MI PUEBLO Mi Pueblo, the Hispanic grocery store at Ravenswood Shopping Center, is now Cardenas Markets.

The East Palo Alto store was the last of the 15 Mi Pueblo markets in the grocery chain to officially change its name on March 15 following a merger with Ontario, California-based Cardenas Markets last year. The market’s new name was emblazoned in red letters across grocery bags and on banners outside the store last Thursday.

An employee said they were expecting to receive new uniforms over the weekend. The market, now part of Cardenas Market LLC, will continue to feature Hispanic foods, as well as grocery specialties, such as bakery items, ready-to-eat kitchen options and made-from-scratch tortillas.

With the merger, Cardenas Markets has become one of the largest Hispanic supermarket chains in the nation, with 54 stores. In a press release, the company said it plans to open additional stores in California this year.

Investment firm KKR and Chicago-based Victory Capital Group bought both Cardenas and Mi Pueblo in late 2016. They merged the two chains in July 2017.

CEO John Gomez — former executive vice president of Trader Joe’s — will lead the company. — L.


PALO ALTO OPA CLOSES Downtown Palo Alto’s Opa Authentic Greek Cuisine has closed after almost three years at 140 University Ave.

The restaurant’s website states that the location is now “available as an exclusive private dining venue and banquet facility.” The outpost of the Bay Area restaurant mini-chain opened in April 2015 after two short-lived restaurants shuttered in the prominent corner location, including Palo Alto Grill and alkymists.

Angelo Heropoulos, who opened the first Opa in Willow Glen in 2008, confirmed the closure but said he sold his in the company last summer. He said his partner, Molly Adams, continues to operate the business.

With multiple restaurants and more on the way, Heropoulos — who has three young children and recently purchased a ranch in Almaden Valley — said he “just wanted to simplify.” Adams did not immediately return a request for comment.

Other Opa locations are in Los Altos, Campbell, Los Gatos, Santa Clara and Walnut Creek. The restaurant company also owns Tac-Oh, a Mexican restaurant in San Jose.

— E.K.

Shop Talk is compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Linda Taaffe and Elena Kadvany. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out.

Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.


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