by Will Beckett, BPA President
Zoning & Land Use (ZALU)
by Maryanne Welton, ZALU Chair
Former Board Member, Jack Miller Passes Away
Beautification Committee House & Garden Tour
by Sue Luttner
Juana Briones Elementary School -
A Carnival Show With Lady Snakes
by Sue Luttner
by Mary Jane Leon - Committee Chair
Emergency Preparedness and Neighborhood Safety
by Gwen Luce, Member, N.S.C., and Art Bayce - Former Chair
Barron Park History
by Douglas Graham - Barron Park Historian
Willow Street Cafe
by Mardell Ward
BPA Mailing Lists
by Doug Moran (list maintainer)
Spring is in the air and as I write this there are record temperatures reminding me that the May Fete (on a Saturday this year), and summer will be here soon. There is still a lot going on around El Camino Real. We should expect this to continue as long as the economy stays strong. The project north of the Island on El Camino Way and the Goodwill Trailer property project are still being hammered out. The Creekside project is on hold because the company that owns them has other, higher priority, projects they are trying to complete.
Police and Fire Departments have been working to train our neighbors to help keep the neighborhood safe. Police are moving from neighborhood watch to a system which will work more closely with neighborhood associations. It is a model that the police have been using with the Barron Park Association for the last six years. There has not been as much data distribution as in the past because there is a new computer system that the police don't really understand yet and the one person in the department that does understand it has been out on medical leave. It is hoped that this data will soon be available on the web directly from the police department. Fire has been training residents in a program called PANDA (Palo Alto Neighborhood Disaster Activities) so we can help ourselves in the next disaster. Many in the neighborhood have already gone through the 7 weeks of training and we hope that many more will join us. The more trained people we have the better.
The middle school is the current hot topic and I would encourage everyone to get involved. This will have many long term effects on the neighborhood that include much more than just a middle school. This is a great opportunity to encourage the city to add more community services in the southwest. If all the problems are worked out and Terman becomes the middle school site we will need to identify a space (or spaces) for all the full time community activities which many have enjoyed at the JCC for years.
Finally, since this newsletter is going to everyone in the neighborhood I would like to remind you that without your involvement in the community it isn't a community. Our success depends on your help. Some of you are only able to help with one small activity and others will commit to be on our board and work on one of our committees for many years. But get involved. Become a member of the BPA and participate. If you want to learn more about us, please visit our web site at
The biggest story is the possibility of Terman being acquired by the school district and turned into a new middle school. As many of you may know, the City, Palo Alto Unified School District, Jewish Community Center and Stanford have been negotiating for a plan that would relocate the JCC and place the middle school there. During the last few weeks, the mayor has met informally several times with Barron Park residents to discuss the impacts of such a move and hear their concerns and perspective on the proposal. While neighbors have told me they support the plan and look forward to a safer route to middle school for their children, others fear an increase in traffic and are reluctant to lose the community services and JCC. It is encouraging that all four groups have been collaborating and considering various alternatives to solving community problems.
Willow Street Cafe Awnings:
The bright yellow awnings on the Willow Street Cafe were installed without the approval of the City's Architectural Review Board (ARB). The owners submitted the required drawings and their request to retain the awnings as installed was rejected by the ARB. The owners then filed an appeal to the City Council, which directed the owners and Planning Department to reach an acceptable alternative. By then the awnings will probably have faded to a paler shade and be less objectionable to some people!
The 16-acre Watkins Johnson property on Hillview (which abuts the back of residences at the top of Matadero and Roble Ridge) is being redeveloped by Stanford Management Company for Tibco, a software company. The existing buildings would be demolished and four new two-story buildings constructed, for a total of 284,000 s.f.
Stanford staff and designers met several times with the neighbors and ZALU committee to discuss the project. After the neighbors voiced concerns about privacy, views, noise and lights, Stanford came back with plans to help mitigate the new buildings' impact. They also constructed "story poles" that showed the approximate location of building corners and heights. The two-story portion of the building closest to the residences blocked some neighbors' views of the foothills. Stanford then revised the plans so that only a one-story portion of the building is adjacent to neighbors. New story poles were put in place and the neighbors were generally pleased with Stanford's responsiveness to their concerns. The plans were reviewed at a preliminary hearing of the Architectural Review Board, will go back for formal approval, and construction is scheduled to begin next year.
4131 El Camino:
New plans for a mixed-use, three-story building containing ground floor retail, offices and 8 rental apartments have been submitted to the City and construction should begin within a year.
near Barron Avenue:
A vacant lot suddenly turned into a pottery business. Unfortunately, the required permits and approvals were not obtained. The City's Code Compliance officer was dispatched to inform the owners about the proper City procedures, and approval (or denial) is currently underway.
Creekside Inn Expansion:
The proposed expansion of the Creekside Inn is being reconsidered by the owners and the project is currently on hold.
El Camino Corridor Study:
The City is in the process of defining the scope of work for a planning study for south El Camino. We hope to have a BPA board member involved during the planning process and that a new set of design guidelines will be created to help guide new development along El Camino. I was encouraged to read in the City's Comprehensive Plan that the City will "study ways to make South El Camino more pedestrian-friendly, including redesigning the street to provide wider sidewalks, safe pedestrian crossings and key intersections, street trees and streetscape improvements." Hopefully, this study will help further those goals of transforming El Camino into a neighborhood-serving mixed-use area that provides the retail uses we need, such as a bakery, market, or cafe.
Future of Single Family Neighborhoods:
They City has convened a committee and sponsored a series of public meetings to discuss "The Future of Single Family Neighborhoods." Mark Kriss, one of our board members and an active ZALU committee member, has been representing the BPA at these meetings and providing input on possible City action to encourage design of new houses that are appropriate for our neighborhoods.
Building for Excellence:
Construction of four new classrooms and a library is underway at Barron Park School and scheduled for completion this summer. Renovation of the existing school buildings will occur during the rest of the year. Over at Briones, plans are currently being developed for their new classrooms and library. These two projects are part of the Palo Alto Unified School District's Building for Excellence program. The students and staff from both schools will work with artists to create site specific art installations to integrate art and architecture. At Barron Park School, the students have painted ceramic tiles for the restrooms and created life-size cutouts to embellish the fence enclosing the kindergarten play yard.
If you are interested in being involved with the Zoning and Land Use committee, please contact me or by phone 493-3035.
John (Jack) William Miller, 71 a resident of Palo Alto, died on March 17th of a heart attack.
He had resided in the Santa Clara Valley for 38 years. Jack grew up in mining towns in the Southwest and in Mexico. His early schooling was in Mexican schools. Jack graduated from New Mexico State University in 1952. He later studied geology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Jack was employed by the United States Geological Survey for 32 years. He made significant contributions to the biostratigraphic dating and geological framework studies in the western United States. He also made important contributions to the geologic mapping and correlation of Mesozoic rocks in southern Alaska.
Jack was active in the Barron Park Association for a number of years. He had a passion for trout fishing and enjoyed hiking and backpacking.
He is survived by Dorris Miller, his wife of 46 years. No memorial service was held. Dorris would appreciate it if friends would purchase and use the bright red commemorative postage stamps for prostate cancer awareness. The stamps advise annual checkups and tests for prostate cancer. If the local post office does not have them, they can be requested.
New Literature: Three new publications are available from Avenidas (the Palo Alto senior center - 326-2569) to help seniors find just what they need in the confusing variety of services and facilities that are available, but not always easy to track down.
"Housing Guide," published by Avenidas, costs a small amount ($5.00) because it contains no advertising. This is a comprehensive guide to all kinds of senior housing on the midpeninsula, covering all relevant topics from Alternatives to Moving through Shared Housing to living quarters with all levels of assistance. If you are considering moving from your home in Barron Park, be sure to get this booklet before you make any decisions.
"Living Well" is a directory of local resources, listing everything from Crisis Assistance through Meal Programs to Transportation and Volunteer Opportunities. This comprehensive directory gives a one or two sentence description of each resource, along with hours available, address, and phone number. The Palo Alto Weekly and Avenidas cooperated in publishing the premiere issue. It is supported by advertising, so is free to seniors. The advertising is kept clearly separate from the informational content, so it is very clear which is which.
"Senior Handbook 2000" is published by Information and Referral Services, Inc., which is the information and assistance provider for Santa Clara County. This handbook covers a much wider geographic area, all of Santa Clara County, and includes a broader range of topics, including headings like Death Related, Ethnic and Cultural Issues, Veterans Benefits, and many others. However, discussion of certain topics may not be all inclusive, since some of the tables are labeled "Paid Advertisement": for example, tables of Home and Health Care Agencies and Retirement Residences include entries only for facilities that have paid to be listed.
A Pleasant Day at Cubberly
My neighbor Julie and I went to Cubberly on a recent Wednesday to check out the Senior Day activities. What a treat! There must have been 60 or more seniors enjoying themselves doing crafts, having lunch, and participating in other activities. Many people stay the whole day, but you can also go in for whatever part of the day's activities interests you. A lot of people come in after lunch for the singing and dancing, and others come in the morning just for the crafts.
When we arrived, there were several tables set up, each for a different craft. A leader at each table brings all the necessary materials (free of charge to the participants) and teaches the craft. We drifted from table to table, talking with the people as they worked on their projects. They all invited us to sit down and join them. Here is a partial list of the projects that were going on:
All participants are encouraged to make items for themselves, then make the same items for the annual winter bazaar. Table leaders and other "workers" are volunteers. If you have a craft that you would like to share with others, they would probably be happy to set up a table for you.
A table is reserved for people who want to bring their own needlework projects from home and enjoy company while working. One person at that table was doing a lovely elaborate piece of embroidery, and another was knitting an afghan.
A little before 11 o'clock, the exercise music started. Many of the people joined the exercise leader in one corner of the room, while others continued with their craft projects. Exercise starts with gentle stretches, includes some aerobics, and ends with activities to promote good balance.
Before lunch there was a half-hour presentation on Australia by travel agent Maureen Jones. The beautiful slides really whet one's appetite for travel. Maureen also covered a table with stacks of literature about tours and cruises. The presentations are different every week. Some are pure entertainment, and some are talks on topics of particular interest to seniors. For example, recent topics have included senior housing, flower arranging, estate planning, and stress reduction.
Then came lunch: barbecue chicken, creamed peas and carrots, buttery potato chunks, pasta salad, pineapple chunks, and angelfood cake. All this for only $1.75. You have to sign up for lunch before 10:30, as the food is catered by the Avenidas kitchen, which sends over the exact number of meals needed.
After lunch, the sing-along and line dancing finished off the day. We had an enjoyable day, and plan to go back soon. Those lovely gift bags made from calendars intrigued us. Or maybe we will take our needlepoint over one day soon and join the needlework table.
Phone Betsy Dickie, 650 856-7750, if you want more information. Or just go over and look around. You might get hooked.
Well, yes, sooner or later each of us must be the star attraction in one of these. It helps those left behind if we, the stars, have made some plans. I recently had the sad experience of going back to the mid west for one of these events, and I can't tell you what a relief it was that the main actor had done a lot of planning. We knew which funeral home was his choice, even which casket and vault. He had written down his favorite hymns, who should sing and play the organ, even the exact degree to which he wanted to acknowledge his status as a military veteran. No haggling, no arguing among family members. It was not what one of us might think he wanted, but what we knew he wanted.
In Palo Alto, there is an organization that will help us plan ahead. It is the non-profit Funeral and Memorial Planning Society, phone (888) 775-5553. If cost is important, they can help you keep the cost down. If an extravagant exit is your preference, they will help there to.
Did anyone go to the Senior Summer Fitness Camp last August? We would love to hear from you if you did. It would be fun to have a first-person story about the camp for a future issue of the newsletter.
Another topic that would interest us is first-hand experience with a reverse mortgage. Any Barron Park neighbors who have had either good or bad experiences with them?
Mary Jane Leon can be reached at (650) 493-5248.
by Sue Luttner
Come tour the open gardens and interiors, not only Eichlers but also other house styles, on Chimalus and nearby steets. In many cases, contractors will be on hand to answer questions.
You can pick up maps on the day of the tour at the plant sale, 739 and 731 JosinaÑthe only property in the street still occupied by the original owners, who moved in in 1950. Maps are free, but please check out the plant sale and prize drawing, proceeds to cover the Beautification Committee's modest annual expenses. The plants are all species that do well locallyÑmost come from our own gardens Ñ and they're reasonably priced.
The drawing prizes include gift certificates to the Willow Street Cafe (redeemable whether or not you like their yellow awnings), growing herb baskets prepared by some of the greenest thumbs on the Beautification Committee, and a number of plants and other gardening items. Drawing tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5.
Thanks to the residents who have agreed to open their homes and gardens to the community for this event.
Everyone is invited to come see a live display from the Bay Area Reptile and Amphibian Society at the Juana Briones Spring Carnival, Saturday, April 29, noon to 4 pm at the school, 4100 Orme Street.
The carnival also features game and food boothsÑincluding the Seor Taco mobile unit - and a drawing for dozens of prizes.
The Spring Carnival is an annual fund-raiser for one of Barron Park's two elementary schools, which have maintained close ties since the neighborhood was split into two attendance areas two years ago with the opening of Barron Park School. Children from both schools will get together for a joint frolick on Wednesday, May 10, 2Ð4 pm at Bol Park.
"After having been on the Board of the Barron Park Association for over 35 years, I am leaving to pursue new areas which involve teaching, writing and some other endeavors. As I still live in Barron Park, I will continue to participate in our events whenever possible. And I will continue to speak up for our neighborhood."
You Can Help Our Neighborhood
Barron Park needs new members willing to join either or both the BPA Emergency Preparedness Committee and the BPA Neighborhood Safety Committee. Besides doing your neighborhood a real service, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped your friends, neighbors and yourself. Further, you will make new friends from your shared experience. Contact either Gwen (424-1960) or Art (493-7058). A brief summary of the work of the E. P. C. and N. S. C. committees follows.
Emergency Preparedness Committee
The Emergency Preparedness Committee works within Barron Park and with the City to benefit Barron Park residents in providing information on how to be better prepared for any major emergency. Emergency Preparedness Committee representatives and Neighborhood Safety Committee representatives meet jointly with the Palo Alto Fire Department Office of Emergency Services and the Palo Alto Police Department on a regular basis. The EPC's main objective is to keep informed about what the City of Palo Alto is doing in preparing for emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, toxic spills and major fires. In return, we inform the City about our ideas and the problems unique to our area. Jointly with the City of Palo Alto, we have planned and performed emergency evacuation drills in parts of Barron Park. We have worked with the City in preparing the emergency booklet, "Living With Our Faults," which has been distributed to every residence in Palo Alto.
Neighborhood Safety Committee
Representatives of the Neighborhood Safety Committee and the EPC meet regularly as indicated above with City representatives. The NSC's main objective is to be informed by the City about police responses to neighborhood problems including any crimes, vandalism, graffiti and traffic violations. In return, we bring up citizen complaints upon which we encourage action. This committee also coordinates Neighborhood Watch activities. In addition to communicating with and recruiting Block Captains, we also welcome new Barron Park residents and give them a welcome packet containing information on safety and about our Barron Park community.
The more members we have on these Committees, the easier it will be to make this a better and safer neighborhood for ourselves and our families. Please consider joining one of these Committees!
Barron Park History
by Douglas Graham - Barron Park Historian
Our Silver Anniversary
This "Millennium" year will bring two important anniversaries for Barron Park, our Diamond Anniversary as a neighborhood and our Silver Anniversary as part of the City of Palo Alto. Newcomers to Barron Park are sometimes surprised to learn that the neighborhood was not annexed to Palo Alto until just 25 years ago -- December 8, 1975. This action followed a vote of the residents with a 2-1 majority in favor of joining the city.
An Island of Opposition Those of us who were living here in 1975 remember well the heated neighborhood discussions that preceded that vote. For 16 years prior to the vote our neighborhood was surrounded by lands that had been previously annexed, including nearly half of historic Barron Park. Movements of residents in favor of annexation had periodically arisen, beginning in 1947, but had always run into strong opposition from long-term residents. There was a neighborhood tradition of hostility towards Pal Alto which went back nearly 40 years to 1936 when the city fire department refused to help fight the fire that destroyed the Barron Mansion. From that time until the early 1970s, Barron Park presented itself as an independent, prickly obstacle in the path of the expanded city.
The Fire Protection
Dilemma in 1946
The first annexation attempt was initiated by Barron Park residents in response to a crisis in fire protection immediately following World War II Insurance rates were very high because of poor service provided by the State Forestry Division from its fire stations in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Forestry division announced they would no longer provide service. The county suggested forming a fire protection district but insurance industry fire underwriters advised that it would be uneconomical. The city refused to consider contracting with Barron Park to provide fire service. Faced with this dilemma, one group of residents organized by Cornelis Bol pushed a proposal for a separate fire district through to a vote. In an election held January 21, 1947 with balloting at Slinger's Boat Works on El Camino Real at Barron Avenue, the proposal was turned down by a vote of 148 to 145.
The WCTU Axes Annexation
A second group of residents, the Annexation Committee headed by Kendall Bowers immediately moved to obtain Palo Alto's permission to circulate an annexation petition. Two hundred signatures were obtained by February 1. However, anti-Barron Park elements in Palo Alto then swung into action, spearheaded by the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The WCTU was still a political power in Palo Alto in 1948, and was determined to maintain the Stanford-instigated prohibition against the sale of alcoholic beverages in the city. Barron Park had several liquor stores and numerous restaurants serving drinks, mostly to thirsty Palo Altans. When the issue came to a vote on April 15, 1947, the WCTU prevailed and the council denied the request to circulate a petition.
A Second Attempt in 1947-48
However, Barron Parkers don't give up easily. In spite of the council's slap in the face and the smug superiority of the WCTU, a group of 52 residents met November 20, 1947 and decided to submit another request. David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard then a member of the Palo Alto Board of Education and a former Barron Park resident, supported annexation. When the request was made to the council on December 8, it included the entire area generally accepted in 1947 as being part of Barron Park -- everything between El Camino, the Stanford Lands, and Arastradero Road The WCTU got out its axe again December 10 with a letter to Mayor Blois. However, both the city staff and the school board pushed for annexation and the movement stumbled along. The annexation drive finally culminated in a Barron Park election November 17, 1948 when it went down to defeat, 338 votes to 261.
We Establish Our Own Fire Department in 1949
After the annexation ballot defeat, Barron Park residents, again under the leadership of Kendall Bowers, concentrated on establishing a fire department. On January 11, 1949, the voters went back to the polls and approved the formation of a Barron Park Fire District by a four-to-one majority; 225 ayes, 60 nays. The new district inquired about contract protection from Palo Alto, but the city council, following recommendations of the public safety committee and the Board of Safety, turned them down. Costs and legal issues were cited. The message had been consistent since the time of the Barron Mansion fire. The district went ahead and formed a volunteer fire department in 1949, effectively removing the issue from future annexation controversies until a change in resident opinion in the early 1970s.
The Chamber of Commerce
Tries Its Hand in 1951
The 1951 "movement" really wasn't one. It all started when the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce distributed 500 copies of a brochure showing the benefits of annexation. Anti-annexation residents of Barron Park rebutted the brochure with a letter entitled "Vote Down Big Land Grants." After a while, the controversy set off by this abortive effort of the Chamber died down.
Voters for Annexation in 1954
In 1954 another movement got under way. Much was written about the costs of annexation by both proponents and opponents in 1954-55, and many of the "facts offered by each side were attacked by the other as inaccurate or even deliberately deceiving. Apparently the annexation movement really got under way at the instigation, again, of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber worked with a group of Barron Park residents, led by Joseph Mixer and known as "Voters for Annexation." They circulated a brochure that the Chamber apparently paid for and probably wrote. (I know of this brochure only by references to it made by the opponents. Does any reader have a copy) Opponents referred to the literature as a "fear campaign in order to divert...attention from the basic issues." The City also circulated literature, presumably not the same brochure.
The Fire Commissioners
Join the Fray
The Barron Park Fire Protection District got into the fight when Commissioners Hughes Brewster, Duane Lyle and Raymond Schumann (a majority of the Commission) announced support for annexation on November 17. This created a rift in the commission, with Commissioner Dan Baker joining the opponents. Barron Park civic leaders Jack Silvey and William Faukerson called for the pro-annexation commissioners to resign, Faulkerson saying that "it seemed paradoxical to him that some commissioners are trying to put the district out of business." Commissioner Lyle helped organize a sort of blue-ribbon panel of about 15 Barron Park civic leaders to promote annexation, including two men associated with the Las Encinas Sanitary District that provided sewerage services to Barron Park, Colonel Norman Nelson and Kenneth Jones It also included future annexation drive leaders Joseph Mixer (1959) and Mike Golick (1965)
The Barron Park Citizen's Group
However, in immediate reaction to this move, other leaders formed the Barron Park Citizens' Group on November 24 to oppose annexation. William Faulkerson was chair, and the group included Dan Baker, Jack Silvey and Agnes Weddes as well as seven others. The group published an attractive, ten-page printed pamphlet entitled "PA Extends the hand of welcome to B.P." The cover was a drawing of an extended hand, palm up, through which coins are falling into a bowl below marked "Profits." One of the arguments in the pamphlet stated that the city would not have made "repeated attempts to annex Barron Park unless it was clearly demonstrated that they could make money on the proposition" It asserted in a heading that "Palo Alto needs Barron Park! Barron Park does not need Palo Alto!"
The Barron Park - Maybelle
The battle in Barron Park became even more complicated on December 11, 1954 when the Barron Park-Maybelle Taxpayers improvement Association, under the leadership of John L. (Jack) Silvey voted 35-3 against annexation and 28-8 to take an official position against annexation. This organization had been founded in 1950 or 1951 to fight annexation and was the organization that eventually evolved into today's Barron Park Association. In the Winter, 1999 issue of this newsletter, I wrote about Silvey and his paternalistic approach to community leadership in the Maybell Tract area of Barron Park.
Meanwhile, on March 28, 1954, the Chamber of Commerce had launched another annexation proposal, this one a two-mile-long area bounded by El Camino, San Antonio Road, Alma and the city limits at Wilton. The area included the Ventura neighborhood and an El Camino strip that included "many off-sale liquor stores...(that) serve Palo Alto's parched residents, plus such famed night spots as Rickey's, Dinah's Shack and Hal's." While Barron Park civic leaders dithered and bickered, this annexation went through on December 29, 1954. The Curtner-Ventura area had sometimes been considered a part of Barron Park. It even included the commercial strip from 3779 to 3783 El Camino that was known as the "Barron Park Shopping Plaza." So, in a sense, this was the beginning of the annexation of Barron Park, the first of the piecemeal nibbling away of our neighborhood.
Back to the Main Issue
Both the city and county planning staffs served notice to all parties in December that they recommended annexation, the county's senior planner inferring that he would prefer seeing Barron Park go into the city as a whole, not little by little.
On March 1, 1955, the matter was brought to a head when the pro-annexationists led by Joseph Mixer, President of the Voters for Annexation, filed petitions with 800 names (590 were required) in the first step toward annexation. The Palo Alto Times carried an editorial in favor on March 25, saying that "..Barron Park relies on Palo Alto can and has made decisions that affect Barron Park, decisions about which Barron Park residents have little to say because they cannot vote in Palo Alto elections."
Majorities on Both Sides
In riposte, the anti-annexationists led by Faulkerson and Silvey filed 848 written protests against annexation n April 11, 1955. This represented the majority of the 1450 parcel owners and more than 51% of the assessed valuation, and automatically ended this annexation drive. There the matter rested until 1958. It is interesting that the numbers suggest that many Barron Park owners may have "voted" on both sides of the issue.
To be Continued...
This concludes part one of this three-part article. Part two will appear in the Summer issue of this newsletter, so if you have found this interesting, don't fail to send in your dues! If you have personal knowledge of or documents relating to any of the annexation movements, please contact me at my temporary Eastern residence, P.O . Box 98, Pennsylvania 18372.
In the meantime, we had been greeted by the disconsolate moans of a left-behind 165-lb. St. Bernard, who was lying in the living room, legs waving in the air in anguish. She turned out to be a love who entertained son Douglas while his mother undertook scrubbing and lining cupboards and closets, discovering which was the disposal button and the whereabouts of an illusive thermostat control.
We both felt we deserved a treat after sleeping bags in front of the fire and washing out our few clothes every day.
Dressed in yet again washed and ironed informality, we went out to dinner. The staff at then Stickney's welcomed we two bedraggled creatures with open arms. (The dog's owners had retrieved her to Doug's sorrow and my relief). I must have explained the situation as our server could not have been nicer or more cordial. Doug was her "favorite customer." I still remember the evening with pleasure and gratitude.
And now we have Willow Street Cafe with its new and expanded dining room windows, overlooking Matadero Creek and its engaging classic movies posters carefully preserved from back in the days of talkies.
The menu includes a scrumptious garlic chicken pizza, and many other variations on that theme. A very good children's menu is offered. The breakfast pizzas are a great innovation and delicious.
Owners Ed Rathmann, Glen Thompson and Michael Jacobi are the first to admit that service at the Cafe was initially a bit rough. They have made Herculean efforts in redoing the kitchen, painting and refurbishing. Now they are concentrating on staff, presentation, and honing the menu to suit its clientele in quality and price. They are particularly anxious to be neighborhood friendly and ask that Barron Park-ites give them a second or third chance if they were disappointed on earlier visits.
Their restaurant experience goes deep as they operate cafes in Willow Glen, San Jose, Los Gatos, Westgate and San Rafael. They also operate a brewery in San Rafael which supplies the restaurant's beer.
Doug and I have a soft spot for this place, which has welcomed diners for more than 50 years. We want everyone to know it has improved a great deal, since instigating its cheerful Willow Street Cafe welcome for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Willow Street Cafe has donated a very generous amount of gift certificates to the Barron Park Home & Garden Tour, to be held May 7th. Enjoy them both.
Please see updated mailing list information at: www2.bpaonline.org/mailing-lists.html
3450 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306 (near Creekside Inn)
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