By the Daily Post staff
After decades in business, the Oasis Beer Garden at 241 El Camino Real in Menlo Park is closing, according to an announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The Tougas Family, which owns a number of similar restaurants in the South Bay, said that after several months of efforts, they were unable to negotiate a “reasonable lease for our business nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner.”
The building is owned by the Beltramo family. The Post is attempting to contact the Beltramos for comment.
“Therefore, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors and bid farewell to the endearing community of Menlo Park and Stanford University,” the statement from the Oasis said.
They said their last day of business will be March 7.
Reaction on Facebook was quick and intense.
“Such a shame,” wrote David Vinokur. “The O was the after-party place for the Stanford/Menlo Park/Palo Alto folk dance scene for many decades. Took my folks there in their fainal years, and more lately with my family. Frustrating that Menlo Park property owners don’t place more of a premium on the ‘local landmark
‘ status. Maybe there’s more to the story, but it’s a crying shame. Simple as that.”
“I am shocked, actually,” said Susy Varian Hammond. “The Oasis was such a landmark for Stanford students and young people all over the Peninsula. I wish the owners well and send curses to the landlords who wouldn’t grant a new reasonable lease.”
“Nooooooo! I’ve been coming here since I was 2. So sad,” wrote Jack Herrell.
“This is so terrible,” wrote Bess Kennedy. “My dad worked as a dishwasher at the Oasis in the ‘60s, and we grew up going there for ‘the best burgers in town.’ Now with kids of my own, it’s our go-to spot for burgers (and beers for the parents). So sad.”
Mary Schley wrote, “I can’t even imagine a world without the Oasis!” She said her parents met at Stanford in the 1960s and often went to the O when they were dating.
The Tougas family also owns The Garrett in Campbell, The Garrett Station in Los Gatos and the Jake’s Restaurants in Saratoga and Sunnyvale. The late Bernie Tougas and his wife Doris started the chain of homey pizza, burger and beer joints.
Alex Beltramo opened the Oasis in 1933. The Beltramos leased the space to the Tougas family starting in 1958.
The Tougas family also owned the Boardwalk on El Camino in Los Altos. It closed on June 4, 2014, after they were unable to negotiate a new lease with their landlord, RKT Group LLC, which said at that time it wanted to redevelop the space.
UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: Marianne Vernacchia of the Tougas family emailed the following letter to the Post tonight:
To all of our loyal customers and to the greater Menlo Park and Palo Alto community,
It is with heavy heart that we announce the closing of our beloved bar and restaurant, The Oasis at 271 El Camino Real. After several months of effort, we were unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner. Therefore, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors, and bid farewell to the endearing community of Menlo Park and Stanford University. Our last day of business will be March 7.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of The Oasis, and it has been an honor to have been here as a member of your community since 1958. The “O” is our first establishment and is near and dear to our hearts. We have many wonderful memories to cherish of those who made our restaurant special, including our extremely loyal “regulars,” Stanford University faculty and guests, the wonderful neighborhood families, and even those who traveled to visit us for a burger. We want to express our warmest appreciation to all of the wonderful customers who passed through our doors. Your love is engraved in our many tables and booths. Thank you for sitting down in our beer garden to have a beer with us, cracking open some peanuts, carving up our tables with your first loves, playing some pinball, and filling our restaurant with your children and children’s children. We are so grateful to have shared these past 60 years with you!
We wish the entire Menlo Park and Stanford community continued success, and look forward to building more memories with you at one of our other locations: The Garret in Campbell, The Garret Station in Los Gatos, or Jake’s of Saratoga, Sunnyvale or Willow Glen.
The Tougas Family
Tougas Enterprises Inc.
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