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Openings: Real and Virtual Worlds Merge

by Anh-Minh Le

Meta Store

322 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame | meta.com

Consider this a glimpse of the future. Tech giant Meta’s first-ever physical retail space bowed last month, allowing for hands-on interaction with all of its hardware products, such as Meta Portal (video calls), Ray-Ban Stories (smart glasses) and Meta Quest 2 (VR). In the 1,550-square-foot venue’s immersive demo area, engage in boxing, fishing, golfing and more — not only is what you see displayed on the massive, wall-to-wall curved LED screen, but also you can get a 30-second mixed-reality clip of your experience to share with others. In a statement, Martin Gilliard, head of Meta Store, notes, “We’re not selling the metaverse in our store, but hopefully people will come in and walk out knowing a little bit more about how our products will help connect them to it.”

 

Naschmarkt

2323 Birch Street, Palo Alto | naschmarktrestaurants.com

On their first visit to the just-opened Naschmarkt, diners might do a double take. After all, although the interior has been completely transformed from its previous life as Anatolian Kitchen, the staff includes many familiar faces. That’s because when Anatolian Kitchen and Naschmarkt proprietor Dino Tekdemir closed the Turkish eatery last summer to make way for a sequel to his popular Austrian restaurant, he retained the kitchen crew as well as some servers. “They’re part of my family,” he explains. Tekdemir’s new Palo Alto outpost, which can accommodate 100 guests between the indoor and outdoor spaces, was originally slated to debut in January but was pushed back to May, mostly because of equipment delivery delays. Now, with the menu at his two locations largely the same — chef Carlos Morales oversees both — Naschmarkt devotees on the Peninsula no longer have to drive to the South Bay for their fix of Austrian cold cuts, spätzle with smoked chicken, Hungarian beef goulash and Wiener schnitzel with lingonberry sauce. “A lot of my customers were traveling to Campbell, so they’re excited about it,” says Tekdemir. “They love the food; the menu is simple and unique.”

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Mccoy.

Souvla

2505 Third Street, San Francisco | souvla.com

Fast–fine food favorite Souvla is expanding and debuts in Dogpatch this month. “The goal here is to promote Greek wines and cuisine,” says Souvla founder Charles Bililies, “but also have a part of the restaurant better suited for more social engagement and casual dining.” The 3,000-square-foot space, which Bililies describes as “Greece meets retro-industrial,” takes advantage of the marble bar that is a holdover from the previous tenant, Magnolia Brewing Co. Souvla’s fifth and largest location in the City will offer an expanded list of Greek wines by the glass, including a private label created in partnership with award-winning producers Domaine Skouras, Kir-Yianni and Alexakis. In fact, every Greek wine on the menu will be available by the glass, from mineral-driven whites from Santorini to rich, full-bodied reds from the Nemea region. The Dogpatch outpost will also be the first Souvla to offer a “wine bar–style menu” — think: hand pies, dips and mezes — along with its beloved classics. (The North Bay crowd will be pleased to know that Souvla is opening at Larkspur’s Marin Country Mart this summer.)

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