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Iconic Silicon Valley Cake Shop Will Close After Nearly 40 Years

Plus, the Castro gets a chocolate cafe this year

The Prolific Oven will serve its last slice this month in Silicon Valley.
The Prolific Oven/Facebook

The Prolific Oven blows out its candles

Downtown Palo Alto’s go-to spot for wedding cakes, pastries, and coffee will close at the end of the month after nearly four decades, Prolific Oven announced yesterday on Facebook. The family-run confectionary brand, which first debuted in 1980 at 550 Waverley Street, cited a shortage of skilled employees and rising costs of keeping a small business afloat as cause for its demise. “Our refusal to lower our quality and standards has resulted in an unsustainable business model in Silicon Valley,” the Chan family wrote in a farewell post, sparking a slew of comments from sad and nostalgic customers (one remembers Prolific’s orange almond torte cake for their 1982 wedding as “beyond delicious”). The company’s two other Prolific Oven bakeries in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara will also cease operations by September.

Sweet news for the Castro

Hoodline spotted signage for Kokak Chocolates coming to 3091 18th Street in early 2020. Kokak, founded four years ago by chocolatier and video production guru Carol Gancia, wraps its artsy square bites in gift boxes. Flavors include mango milk chocolate, passion fruit milk chocolate, matcha white chocolate, and caramel butter. The vacant space, formerly occupied by Cafe ÚB, went dark for two years to accommodate its building’s seismic retrofit. Along with sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, the new shop across the street from Le Marais Bakery is expected to serve coffee, tea, espresso, and cold brew. [Hoodline]

The Cliff House is up for rent

Ocean Beach’s legendary overlook is on the prowl for a new dining tenant, the National Park Service [NPS] announced this week. The longtime leaseholders are almost done, so its fed owners are looking for someone else to operate the scenic restaurants perched above the Pacific Ocean. Constructed in 1909, it’s the third Cliff House to rise after the previous two were destroyed by fires. The site was acquired by the NPS in 1977, operating under a concession contract since; a major addition was completed in 2006. A new 21,000-square-foot tenant is expected to be picked next summer. [Curbed SF]

The Mission nets another Nepali spot

The space that housed Schmidt’s German restaurant at 20th and Folsom streets will get a second life this November as a Nepali tapas spot, reports Mission Local. Base Camp comes from the Nepali-born siblings behind Dancing Yak, which debuted a mile north last year. Co-owner Suraksha Basnet envisions Base Camp as an “ode” to those who lost their homes in the destructive earthquake that hit her south Asian country in 2015, she tells the pub. Along with authentic tapas, she says the menu will be big on Tibetan street foods. [Mission Local]

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