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S E C T I O N 2 Stories about people and events in the community. AL SO INSIDE C A LE N DA R 23 |R E A L E S TAT E June 27, 2012 24 |C L AS S I F I E D S 29 Now it’s Menlo Hub New name, look for former Oak City Bar & Grill By Jane Knoerle Almanac Lifestyles Editor A hub is defined as a center of activity, and that’s what proprietor Mehmet Erkus intends his newly branded Menlo Hub to be. The name was chosen in a contest that had 200 entries. Even Mr. Erkus was surprised by the enthusiastic response. Formerly known as the Oak City Bar & Grill, the Menlo Hub, located at 1029 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, sports a new look, a lively bar scene, live music three nights a week, and menus in the process of a makeover. The oak tree mural and pastel walls are gone, replaced by vivid blocks of blue and orange — colors Mr. Erkus says remind him of his native Turkey. Walls are hung with large vibrant paintings by a local artist, and there are big screens for watching sports at the long bar. There’s even a small dance floor. A private dining room at the rear of the building has been remodeled. Booths opposite the bar have been replaced with communal tables, ideal for noshing with drinks. The Hub features “California cuisine with a Mediterranean flair,” according to its website. The menu is being updated to include new dining choices, as well as an expanded menu of bar food. The Hub is now serving dinner, and plans to resume serving lunch soon. An “early bird” dinner will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. With its makeover, The Hub hopes to attract a clientele looking for a more informal dining experience, with live music in a town not exactly known for its night life. For information or reservations, call 321-6882. A Almanac photo by Michelle Le Basketball coaches Jenny Circle and her fiance Dermot Cronin catch up with their nieces and nephews at their wedding rehearsal dinner at the Menlo Hub restaurant. Why Portola Valley budget grew 19 percent Su Hong’s owner says it’s By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer S ignificant increases in revenues and spending are everywhere in the Portola Valley town budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, but there are plausible explanations for them all. The budget shows projected revenues to the general fund of $4,588,589 and expenses of $4,584,201. The figures represent 19 percent increases over the previous year and include a surplus of $4,388. The Town Council reviewed the budget on June 20 and will meet again on Wednesday, June 27, to hold a public hearing and vote on the budget. Projected changes for 2012-13 include: ■ An $85,000 line item for the Blues & Barbecue festival: $50,000 in revenues dedicated to the purchase of open space, and $35,000 to put on the festival. ■ A $20,000 contribution by Stanford University to maintain the Dwight Crowder Trail, which the university recently rerouted in connection with the stipulations in its operating permit. This funding passes through for trail maintenance, including a pilot program to study invasive weed removal. ■ Contributions toward the $588,000 renovation of Ford (baseball) Field, including $232,000 in state grants, up to $100,000 from the Little League, a $100,000 matching grant from the Sand Hill Foundation, public generosity, and possibly $80,000 from the sale of 100,000 shares of stock given to the town in 2007. Revenues would pay for expenses, if the project goes ahead. ■ Some $137,000 from the state to repay a loan to the state of property tax revenues from Portola Valley (and all other cities, towns and special districts) to replenish education funding in 2009, provided that the loans be repaid with interest within three years. ■ A $65,000 increase in revenues generated by higher fees for Town Hall services such as building permits. The council expressed general satisfaction to Town Manager Nick Pegueros for the budget, though Councilwoman Ann Wengert asked whether the Finance Committee had commented on a projected 17 percent increase in costs for employee health insurance premiums and a 9 percent increase in state retirement contributions. “These are catastrophically large when you look at them as an annual change,” Ms. Wengert said. The Finance Committee meets in late July and town staff should have recommendations for the council in August, Mr. Pegueros replied, adding: “I think there are some win/wins for the town and the employees.” Other notable expenses projected for the coming fiscal year include: ■ A budget of $4,200 for the new Bicycle, Pedestrian & Traffic Safety Committee. ■ A capital equipment budget of $67,500, which includes $29,000 for a new tractor to replace the current 32-year-old tractor, $30,000 for a portable emergency radio transmitter, and $8,500 for a microphone system for council and commission meetings in the Historic Schoolhouse. A closed for remodeling By Jane Knoerle dining rooms. For years, the Almanac’s readu Hong restaurant, a popu- ers have voted Su Hong their lar Menlo Park institution favorite Chinese restaurant in since 1977, closed sudden- the Readers’ Choice poll. It is ly June 13. The sign on the door known for its Mandarin and at 1039 El Camino Real says it Szechuan cuisine and white is closed for table cloth serremodeling. vice by gracious Owner Bee waiters. For years, the King conA 28-year cusAlmanac’s readers firms plans tomer, who did to remodel have voted Su Hong not wish to be the restauidentified, said rant’s out- their favorite Chinese he had dined dated kitchen. at Su Hong the restaurant in the “We’ve been before it Readers’ Choice poll. night here 35 years, closed, and that so you can there was no imagine,” says Ms. King, who indication the restaurant was has been with the restaurant closing. since its opening. She did not Su Hong To Go, located at 630 give a date for re-opening. “We Menlo Ave. in Menlo Park, is want to take the time to do it still open for business. It, too, is properly,” she says, also noting owned by Ms. King. Neither is business is slower in the sum- associated with Su Hong Eatery mer. and Chinese Restaurant, locatMs. King, who has worked as ed at 4256 El Camino Real in Su Hong’s hostess, bookkeeper, Palo Alto, which is owned by manager, says no major remod- Ms. King’s former husband, el is planned for the restaurant’s David King. Almanac Lifestyles Editor S A June 27, 2012NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21

The Almanac 06.27.2012 - section 2

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