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Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

Date: Dec. 4, 2013
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Downtown Los Gatos Holiday Shopping StrollDowntown Los Gatos has much to offer, particularly during the holidays, but now we can add one more thing for which to be grateful - the holiday shopping stroll.  On the first three Thursdays of December, a large number of merchants (more than 50) will keep their doors open until 9pm to facilitate holiday gift buying. Additionally, there's free valet parking!

 

Please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce's page for a list of participating stores & shops as well as info on the valet parking...and more!

http://losgatoschamber.com/holiday.php

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A new book store for Los Gatos: Village House of Books

Village House of Books coming soonA bookstore, Village House of Books, opens soon at 326 Village Lane, ste A Los Gatos. They'd originally been targeting Sunday July 20th 2013, but it's not quite ready, or wasn't when we popped over to have a look that afternoon.  

After the loss of Borders, and other independent bookstores before that, it is a very welcome change of pace to have a shop with new & used books coming to town.  Nothing but enthusiasm and best wishes for great success.

Village House of Books will be located at 326 Village Lane (behind Pedro's and near Manresa), Los Gatos CA 95030.

Please find more information on the shop's website

:http://www.villagehouseofbooks.net/

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Sakamoto Plants and Landscape Design is now Los Gatos Plants

Los Gatos Plants signA couple of months ago, Sakamoto Plants and Landscape Design became Los Gatos Plants, Last weekend, my family and I stopped by to peruse the new business.  We liked what we saw.

There are loads of citrus trees and many types of Japanese maples (which are represented on the signs). We saw all kinds of plants and bushes, including some bonsai.  

 

Los Gatos Plants on an overcast Sunday in June

The website, LosGatosPlants.com, is not yet active, but the owners do have an active Facebook page:  

https://www.facebook.com/losgatosplants

15567 Camino Del Cerro Los Gatos, California 95032 (408) 827-4115

Patch Los Gatos did a nice piece on Los Gatos Plants (which I didn't see until today), so have a read if you'd like more information:

http://losgatos.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/los-gatos-sakamoto-plants-reopens-after-renovations

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Grand Opening of Wink and Willo Boutique in Downtown Los Gatos

 Press release I received yesterday afternoon:

Wink™- Your Little Secret.

Grand Opening of Wink and Willo “Fresh and Lovely” Fashions

Los Gatos, CA- June 13, 2013. Announcing the Grand Opening of Los Gatos’ newest boutique, “Wink and Willo”.

Saturday June 15, 12-4pm at 11 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Feminine, pretty, and affordable classics for the 20’s to the 50’s.

Wink and Willo prides itself as having the latest fashions, hot off the racks, while being forgiving on all body types. These “fresh and lovely” fashions range in price from $15 to $100.

Wink and Willo is also selling Wink™ Shapewear – the latest medical grade shapewear – favored by women who are serious about their shape.

 

Owner, Mei Lin Ong, is no newcomer to a world where it’s imperative to look your best. As the brains behind the successful shapewear retailer Wink™ Shapewear, Mei Lin has brought the “secret” of Wink™ to the wardrobes of women of all ages, shapes, sizes and stages of life. Her expansion into boutique clothing is fulfilling her dream of enabling every woman to look their best. 

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Romantiques Lingerie in Los Gatos

Date: May. 29, 2013
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Romantiques bag Los GatosRomantiques Lingerie in Los Gatos is a delightful shop in the Old Town area which offers a wide variety of beautiful intimates. Although I'm not much of a shopper (that gene must have passed me by), this is a store I've patronized for years.  Employees are helpful and friendly, and it's easy to find what you want and get out - or linger, as you prefer!

 

The first time I stepped into Romantiques, what swept me away were the elegant silk items intended for new brides.  That wasn't on my shopping list, but it didn't stop me from touching and admiring the lovely offerings. (Who can resist silk?)  After that, I was hooked on the unique and compelling offerings at this darling boutique.

Friendly and helpful sales people at Romantiques

Pricey, custom silk temptations aren't the only items you'll find here; you don't need to be in a romantic state of mind to find something to love.  Visitors will find casual wear, comfy sleep wear, and intimates of all kinds. 

Located across from the Old Town Shopping Center, Romantiques is adjacent to a public parking lot and garage in the heart of the shopping district of town.  This is a great place to park your car, visit a few shops and perhaps also take in lunch or dinner at one of the many excellent dining establishments nearby.

Beautiful selection of lingerie at Romantiques in Los Gatos

Romantiques
51 University Ave.,  Los Gatos, CA 95030
(408) 395-7749
http://www.romantiqueslingerie.com/

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The closing of The Opera House in Los Gatos

Date: Mar. 8, 2013
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The Opera House of Los Gatos, California (Silicon Valley)In mid-February there were rumors that the Opera House in Los Gatos was for sale, then word that it was closed.  Three weeks later, it doesn't appear to be on the market but the business is shuttered, sadly.

The Opera House is an iconic Los Gatos landmark.  It also happens to be one of my favorite haunted spots in town!  You can read about the history of this gracious building here: http://www.operahouseeventsite.com/history.php

Here's to hoping that it reopens soon.  Such a grand old building, it really needs to be in use for the good of the community.

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Designer's Tailoring in Los Gatos

Date: Apr. 29, 2012
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Tho and Thuan Ho Dang, owners of Designer's Tailoring in Los GatosNeed clothing made, altered or hemmed?  Los Gatos has a fabulous, long time resource right here in town. Tucked away in a little building across the street from Safeway sits Designer's Tailoring.  Thuan Ho Dang, the seamstress (or tailor), does superb work.  She and her husband, Tho, have been in business here for 27 years, since 1985.

I was introduced to them by a friend of mine at North American Title (which is the next building over), Carron Findley, in the early 90s and have been a happy, loyal customer ever since.  Last week I was at the shop again with some pants which needed hemming and I spoke with Thuan and Tho about their business and their recent move from one suite to the other in the same building.

"We don't advertise, everything is word of mouth", Thuan explained. Enthusiastic customers refer them consistently, and I believe it, because I've referred people to them too. They are pleasant, do good work and prices are more than fair.

Designer's Tailoring at 469 N. Santa Cruz Avenue in Los GatosFriendly, low key and welcoming, the owners are careful business people who recently moved their shop in from the suite adjacent to North Santa Cruz Avenue to the one next door, more interior and a little less visible, for better pricing in the same building.  Their planning helps to keep prices down, something all customers appreciate.

Designer's Tailoring provides custom made drapes, clothing, alterations and more at very reasonable prices and with friendly, knowledgeable service. On a scale of 1 to 10, it gets a solid "10" in my book.

Open M - F, 9:30am - 5:30pm and Sat, 9:30 - 4:30pm.
469 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos  CA 95030
Tel 408 354-8903

Tell them Mary sent you!

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Argentine Insprired Empanadas Coming to Los Gatos in May with Opening of The Mmoon at 81 West Main Street

Date: Apr. 5, 2012
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In recent months and years, Los Gatos has seen many beloved shops and restraunts close their doors - sometimes due to rents being raised and other times due to business just not being good enough to warrant the continuation of the businesses.  But in May, we will see the expansion of one family owned local eatery business whose first location in downtown San Jose in 2010 was so successful that it can now open in downtown Los Gatos too. That's quick growth!

The Mmoon - Argentine inspired empanadas in Silicon ValleyTasty Argentine inspired empanadas will be served at The Mmoon at 81 West Main Street, adjacent to the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company (a location that has been home to many businesses over the last 10-20 years).  The opening is planned for the week of May 14th.

The press release quotes co-founder Mike Mendez as saying "“We are excited to have the opportunity to open our second store in Los Gatos. We have learned over the past year that empanadas are new to many people and we look forward to bringing a small taste  of Argentina to a wonderful community.”

I asked DeLayne Achee, who told me about the opening of The Mmoon, what they attributed to their success and she replied in her email that "The Mmoon is a new concept that has been well received by the community. We focus on strong values: great food, great service and clean bathrooms, and we have a very strong marketing infrastructure both online and offline. These values are what have helped us succeed and open a second location!"

Although I haven't yet tried their food, I can see that the marketing is good. They're getting the word out via press releases and are backing it up with Twitter and Facebook exposure too.  You can find them online here:

http://www.facebook.com/themmoon
http://twitter.com/themmoon
http://www.themmoon.com

Smart business to promote socially - looking forward to enjoying that delicious food when it's here!

Just can't wait? Swing by their original venue and get a taste:
177 W. Santa Clara Street, San Jose 95113

A warm welcome to Los Gatos to the Mendez family and The Mmoon.  We look forward to getting to know you!

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Holiday Shopping in Los Gatos? Extended time in lots and free valet parking!

Date: Dec. 9, 2011
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Silicon Valley holiday shoppers will be happy to know that the time-limited parking lots in downtown Los Gatos are enjoying extended times (4 hours rather than 3) and valet parking to make the excursion even more fun. The normal schedule returns on January 2, 2012. (The lots without time limits will remain that way too.)

According to the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, to make use of the free valet parking,

Enter the valet lot at Elm Street between N. Santa Cruz Avenue and University Avenue and don't worry about how long you park (as long as you make arrangements for your keys if you plan to stay past 9 PM when the valets go off duty).

These will both make it more enjoyable to shop, browse, and dine in downtown Los Gatos.  Hope to see you there - Happy Holidays!

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Chocolate Dream Box in Los Gatos: Great Gifts!

A birthday cake of dark chocolate, with three truffles inside - Chocolate Dream Box, Los Gatos, CAThe Chocolate Dream Box features European style chocolates made locally by owner Holly Westbrook. Not only are they delicious, but they are beautiful too! They make wonderful, locally made gifts.

This week was my husband's birthday, and I stopped in at the store (located next to Lunardi's in the King's Court Shopping Center, at Blossom Hill Road and Los Gatos Boulevard).  There were lots of possible gift items - chocolate guitars, chocolate computers, the Cats (Leo & Leona) etc. Selections included some sugar free items as well (it should be noted that dark chocolate has less sugar in it than milk and is often considered heart healthy).

Closeup of the "jewels" on the chocolate cake - Chocolate Dream Box, Los Gatos, CAI explained to the gentleman there that I was looking for a birthday item, but not with a number attached to it. He presented me with an amazing looking "chocolate cake" (in milk or dark chocolate). The top edges look like there were jewels adorning it.  Inside sat three truffles, one of which included an absolutely stunning design. (See a closeup image on the store's homepage - scroll down about half way - much better photos there: http://www.chocolatedreambox.com.)

What's not to like?  There's a friendly, knowledgeable staff - you may even get to speak to Holly herself when there. Designs are exquisite, unique and locally created.  Best of all, the taste is an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Your family, friends and guest will be delighted with anything from this Los Gatos shop; I like to give chocolate Cats, the town's mascots, to our houseguests.  But don't wait for a special occassion or an exuse to stop in.  When you're in the neighborhood, drop by and buy a candy or two for yourself. If you do, it won't be the last time you go there, guaranteed!

Chocolate Dream Box

(408) 356-2626
710 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, CA 95032
http://www.ChocolateDreamBox.com
holly (at) chocolatedreambox (dot) com

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A blog about Los Gatos real estate, homes, houses, condos, townhomes, housing market, neightborhoods, history, events, businesses, parks, schools, photos, issues, and lifestyle by Mary Pope-Handy, town resident, enthusiast and Realtor.

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Mary Pope-Handy

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