VC firm will replace the Oasis

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

The building that formerly housed the Oasis beer, burger and pizza joint now has a new tenant — a Palo Alto-based venture capitalist firm, the Post has learned.

Pear VC, currently located at 320 High St. in Palo Alto, will move to the former home of one of Menlo Park’s most loved eateries at 241 El Camino Real.

Steve Atkinson, an attorney for the building owners, HuHan Three LLC, said the owners attempted to rent the space to another restaurant, but none of the restaurant applicants ever panned out.

Pear VC will also be taking over the portion of the building that housed Menlo-Atherton Glass, which has moved. Atkinson said Menlo-Atherton Glass gave the Hu family, which owns the property, notice about six months ago that they would be moving.

Because of the new business moving in, the interior is being redone, said Atkinson.

When the Post stopped by the Oasis earlier this month, the interior was gutted. The wooden booths, memorabilia and counters were gone.

There will be no external changes to the building, Atkinson said.

Are offices allowed?

Former Menlo Park Community Development Director Mark Muenzer told the Post earlier this month that if the Hus want to rent the building out as an office, they would have to apply to the city for a use permit because the property is currently zoned as a restaurant.

But Atkinson said there is no need for his clients to file for a use change permit because the current zoning also allows for restaurant space.

The Post tried to confirm that with interim Community Development Director Deanna Chow yesterday, but she was not able to respond.

Historic status

The new tenant will be limited in how they can change the exterior of the building. Since the building qualifies for the historic register, any additions or changes to the exterior will have to be done in compliance with the California Secretary of the Interior’s standards and be evaluated by an architectural historian, Muenzer said earlier this month.

The property was sold last year by the Beltramo family, who had owned it since 1920. Oasis closed before the sale in a lease dispute with the Beltramos.

The Beltramo family still has a small office space in the Oasis building, Atkinson said. It was a term of sale between the Beltramo’s and the Hus, Atkinson said.

The Hu family bought the property for about $8.5 million. The building is 3,400 square feet, with a 600 square-foot patio.

The building was built by the YMCA as part of Camp Fremont in 1917 to train the National Guard units during World War I. When Camp Fremont was abandoned after the war, it was auctioned off and bought by the Beltramo family. They moved the building from its former home on Santa Cruz Avenue to 241 El Camino Real, where it’s been for the past 97 years.

After Prohibition ended in 1933, the family started the Oasis, and leased the operation of the restaurant in 1939, according to a city report on the historical standing of the building.

Nearby project by same owner

The Hu family also owns 201 El Camino at the corner of Cambridge Avenue and El Camino. At that location, they are proposing to build a three-story building with retail, restaurant and medical offices on the ground floor and 12 apartments above. Behind the project on Cambridge, they are proposing to build two townhouses to act as a buffer between the Allied Arts neighborhood and the El Camino corridor.

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3 Comments

  1. Given the difference between what you can make renting office space compared to a restaurant, do you really think they ever considered any restaurants? Haha!

  2. The owner of this property and neighing property is a LLC owned by Chinese entrepreneurs. They founded successful businesses in Health care and high tech in China, and one of the contact of the LLC is studying medical in Stanford.

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