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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Paris Baguette coming to Mountain View

Uploaded: Dec 7, 2016
International bakery chain Paris Baguette plans to open a new "showstopper" location in downtown Mountain View in 2017, Chief Development Officer Larry Sidoti said in an interview.

Paris Baguette has taken over the space at 317 Castro St., the former longtime home of used bookstore BookBuyers.

The Mountain View bakery will be similar to most others in the area, including downtown Palo Alto and a new location San Jose, though the company plans to incorporate "minor nuances that would tie us a little bit closer to the community," Sidoti said.

"It'll be a showstopper because we want to make a big impression in Mountain View," he said. "It's a very important area."

Paris Baguette serves coffee, tea, pastries, bread, sandwiches and other French-inspired bakery fare. View the menu here.


Paris Baguette opened a bakery, above, in downtown Palo Alto in 2011. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Paris Baguette, which was started in the late 1980s by a Korean pastry chef trained in France, is in the middle of a massive expansion effort. The company is aiming to open 350 stores by the end of 2020, Sidoti said. There are currently 50 locations across the U.S. as well as thousands worldwide, including franchises.

The company hasn't yet set an opening date for Mountain View, but Sidoti said they're aiming for sometime in the spring.

When asked if the chain is planning to open more local outposts, Sidoti wouldn't divulge details, but said they're in the works. "Target expansion markets" identified in a press release from the company in March include Los Altos, Menlo Park and Redwood City, among others.

"We've got some things on the books that we're in negotiations for that I can't disclose until they’re signed but yes, we do have additional plans for the South Bay," Sidoti said. "They've been very good to us. It's a great market."

Read this review of the Palo Alto Paris Baguette, which opened on University Avenue in 2011: Baking buzz

Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Poke Lover, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 11:29 am

This is great. I wonder if this is going to be the beginning of the end for either Alexander's or La PanotiQ. Most likely the latter?


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Connor MacLeod, a resident of another community,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm

In the end, there can be only one.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by David Espinosa, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Real bakeries make their pastries *on premises*, not in a factory located elsewhere.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Downtown PA and downtown MV are very different demographics. What was successful in PA won't necessarily work in MV.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Another Reader, a resident of another community,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 5:57 pm

@Reader:

True. Of course, the downtown MV Paris Baguette store could see even greater success than the downtown PA store. We'll just have to see.

The future cannot be predicted 100% which is why people try these things. There's no crystal ball.

This is a chain, so the operators probably have a fairly developed idea about what to look for (like Peet's, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Noah's Bagels, etc.). Some small chains have had good success in both towns (Oren's Hummus) and others had a terrible time in both places (Workshop Burger).

Anyhow, the wheels are set into motion for a Paris Baguette in downtown MV. I'm personally not terribly keen on chains, but I cannot speak for the entire community nor potential customers (many of whom don't live in MV). It's up to the operator to make this a compelling business to the marketplace as a whole, not to specific, individual people like you or me.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Sweet tooth, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Dec 7, 2016 at 11:53 pm

MV (and its neighborhoods) lacks really good crepes. There is simply no place you can taste them. I would introduce the city to crepes culture. Alas, I do not have any "cook license" to make them for sell.
Paris Baguette is a poor parody on real parisian pastry. Too bad that authentic bakeries are so rare in whole Bay Area.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Poke Lover, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 8, 2016 at 12:18 am

@ Connor MacLeod - love it :)
@ David Espinosa - PB does bake many of its goods on premises. Knock it all you want for being a chain, it's a pretty good one.
@ Reader, Another Reader - I think (and hope) it will succeed. MV has a lot of traffic that should connect with a place like this. if only parking a tad was easier...
@ Sweet tooth - Amen. Crepevine is an abomination, albeit a very popular one :( I'd trade it for a proper Taiwanese breakfast shop in an instant...


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Disappointed, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 8, 2016 at 3:51 pm

That fantastic bookstore, gone, for a pastry chain that will smell like a Safeway bread aisle. I am deeply disappointed in the landlord. That bookstore was part of what made Mountain View unique. Now enter another chain with fingers grasping at their share of the market.
I don't mind change. I visit new restaurants frequently. However, a new baguette store will not compete with 3 other places that sell breads and French pastries. Disappointing. Best thing I can do is keep my crappy attitude away and never enter. My friends and co-workers will know how I feel as well.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Great choice for the location, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 8, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Disappointed-- you should cOntact the landlord and immediately let him know that you are upset with his choice of tenant. Note that this place has been vacant for quite a while, which means no rental income. But that does not matter to you-- putting in a place that you agree with is the major goal.
I plan to contact the management of Paris baguette and let the, know that their customer base will take a hit given you, your friends and coworkers boycotting the location.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Xa, a resident of Cuernavaca,
on Dec 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

How hungry is everyone out there? All these new restaurants and food shops and food trucks, coffee shops, bakeries, poke, ramen, sushi, pizza, etc .all over Mountain View and the surrounding towns. Seems like there is nothing to do but eat around here. Book store, gone. Fish store, gone. Palo Alto Bowl, gone. LaserQuest, gone. At least the casket store is still there. We can all eat our way down Castro St, then contemplate our demise at the end. Nice way to spend a Saturday.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sukwinder Dixit, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Dec 9, 2016 at 6:23 am

I am not liking their foods in Palo Alto only


 +   2 people like this
Posted by kh, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Dec 9, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Personally I would love to see a locally owned business in that space, but let's face it, only a corporation with deep pockets can afford Castro Street rents. The old Mixx location is going the same way with Peet's and Sweetgreens both large chains (despite Sweetgreens 'food ethos and local angle' it is a big business with dozens of locations across the US). It will be interesting to see the saturation point for this type of thing. Good old Boulanger (family owned, only in the south bay) is far enough up the street it may continue to do OK,but not sure about the newer high end cafes. Just be happy it's not a Cheesecake Factory. Until then will continue to patronize the locally owned places as much as possible. Especially Dana Street Roasting, love that place, quirky, fun, great coffee.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by kh, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Dec 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

@Xa You are right, your comment about casket store is hilarious. I have never seen anyone in there but they have been there awhile now. I hope to God Books Inc survives. I buy a book there every month or so, we have to spend money to keep them and not give in to Amazon Prime.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

Nothing is made from scratch, everything comes in boxes. I live down the street, the boxes of mixes and frozen
doughs are always on the sidewalk on Waverley as they are delivered. Things are baked off there, but thats it.

If you like it, that's fine, but its not a bakery.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by JFG, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 7:38 am

The very name of that Korean chain is as close to false advertising as can be without being sued. It says something about their ethics, and I can't see why anybody would patronize them. Unless, of course, you like french croissants stuffed with sweetened red bean paste (a Parisian classic).


 +   19 people like this
Posted by Great choice for the location, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 7:57 am

JFG-- why don't you sue, if you are so concerned about false advertising. The founder trained at a French bakery. Are only French people allowed to bake frenchnstyle pasteries? And what does it say about their ethics? It says plenty about your ethics-- you sound very french( self centered and thinking the world revolves around you).
Obviously they are very successful, so plenty of people patronize them. And you obviously have no clue as t the nature of pasteries they sell there.
Maybe you should stick to eating at the Pepe Le Pew bakery run by Charles de Gaulle.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Paris boulangerie or patisserie?, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

I can remember Parisienne boulangerie lunches. A baguette to share with a choice of wonderful cheeses, meats, pates, mustards and preserves, and a bottle of wine, to take al fresco for a picnic. So romantic. My memories are great, my French not so.

Unfortunately, this sounds nothing like it.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by kh, a resident of Sylvan Park,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

JFG
You think that Paris Baguette should be sued because the owners are Korean and dared open a bakery with a French name? And on top of that dared develop a few menu items with an Asian spin? I believe the founder of the successful German themed Stein's Beer Garden is owned by a Korean, Ted Kim (who worked at Paris Baguette according to linkedin). Maybe you should sue him too because he is not a German guy named Stein wearing lederhosen. And on a side note, Vaso Azzurro featuring Italian Cuisine is owned by Persians and Don Giovanni's has a Turkish owner. Let's sue them all for false advertising!

I Recommend that you hire a personal French chef from Le Cordon Bleu who can cater to your refined palate, isn't that what everyone does in Atheron?


 +   7 people like this
Posted by mmmmMom, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I agree with those that recognize the phoniness of the "bakery." Nothing but a slick, manufactured veneer. It has nothing to do with the nationality of the owners, but with the end result of the product. Frozen, phony food!!

The only good I can see from the Mt. View location is that perhaps the 1 in PA will close down, & a true french bakery can open up there.

In the meantime, for those who would like to enjoy a real croissant, I suggest you try the amazing ones @ Voyageur du Temps (in Los Altos). They are the best in the SF Bay area.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Great choice for the location, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

MmmmmMM--a big LOL to your comment.what is phony about this bakery? The baked products are not frozen. Where do y'all u come up with that claim amazing how some people in this area are so upset because a Korean pastry chef, who trained in France, has successfully opened a French style bakery!!!!!
The PA location s not going anywhere-- they are always crowded.
Of course for the real Paris experience, you could fly to France and enjoy your French pastries with some new visitors to the city
Web Link


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy, a resident of College Terrace,
on Dec 11, 2016 at 12:31 am

Best of luck to the owners.

You are a ok in Palo alto and will do well in mountain view.

Look forward to your opening.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by PeaceLove, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Dec 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Sometimes the most obvious things are invisible to us. Imagine what downtown MV would look like if the residents themselves got to decide what their own town looked like? For instance, I suspect most of us would have opted to make sure Book Buyers stayed put, as a major asset to the social and intellectual life of the neighborhood and the community.

I know, this is just a mental exercise to get us out of our capitalist construct field that says whoever has the most money gets the prime real estate, which is all owned by individuals who get to decide what our town will look like.

Capitalism is not a "natural" system. It was created by humans and it can be changed by us, as well. Imagine that.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by No prices, a resident of Downtown North,
on Dec 13, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Another menu with no prices. Just pretty pictures of food.

Truth in advertising, so old fashioned.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Be Informed, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

To those who spout off about the Landlord and capitalism you should know the true story before you speak. The truth is that Bookbuyers could not afford any rent. They were not paying rent for the 5 months before they left and were paying only a little over $1 per sq ft which barely paid landlord operating expenses and they could not afford that. It is you, the patron, that did not support Bookbuyers. Who can afford to lease their building for nothing? The fact is that the tenants interested in the downtown are those who think they will make money there which is dependent on the patrons. So that is how it is decided.

Times are changing and retailers are not interested in downtown areas but want to be in malls where the shoppers go. Much of retail is done on line now so retail brick and mortar stores are becoming a thing of the past. The primary interest in downtown Mountain View is Food Service/restaurant. However, the City charges $24000 per every every 300 sq.ft to convert from retail to food service. This deters many food service companies. So food service is deterred, retailers don't want to be downtown which leaves the service industry- nail and hair salons etc. However, these stores are normally very small upto 1000 sq.ft. so will not work for The building as the smallest space is 2500 sq.ft. So if you out there have realistic suggestions be my guest. It doesn't mean that the prospective tenant would be interested though.

Paris Baguette is not taking the entire space, only the location known as 315 Castro. They do most all of their baking onsite btw. The spaces at 317 and 319 are still for lease. And the problem is not about the rent, its about retailer interest.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by MV Resident, a resident of another community,
on Dec 14, 2016 at 11:05 am

@No prices (a resident of Downtown North):

The prices are set by store, there is no national pricing. That's pretty typical of a large restaurant chain operation.

For example, here are the prices for the Palo Alto store:

Web Link

There are probably some variations on menu item availability as well, tailored to the local market.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by JJJ, a resident of Monta Loma,
on Dec 14, 2016 at 11:49 am

PB is by far the best bakery in my opinion, I always got a PB cake for the birthday parties of my family or friends - they all loved it. I am glad PB is finally coming to MV - will save me lots of driving.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Jane , a resident of Bailey Park,
on Dec 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Great, their blueberry yogurt cake is so delicious.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Cc, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Looking forward to its opening. It will be very convenient for local residents


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mary Alice, a resident of Mountain View,
on Dec 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Meh... Another food related place in downtown Mountain View? A corporate organization with mediocre pastries as well. We need more places that promote culture!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Samson, a resident of another community,
on Jan 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

That's excellent news. I love Paris Baguette. They are the Korean version of 85C. Can't wait till it opens.



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