By Annaliese Train | REALTOR®, JD, Menlo Park Buyer Specialist
“Lifestyle” is defined as a “particular way of living; the way a person lives or a group of people live.” A lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants, influenced by factors such as culture, family, peer groups, and most importantly – where we live.
When making a homebuying decision, most buyers have a particular list of things they are looking for (e.g., price, location, size, floorplan). Savvy homebuyers also consider the surrounding neighborhoods, schools, commute to work, and access to basics (e.g., groceries, restaurants, entertainment). But one of the key elements to a happy homeowner is when that formal list intersects with a quality lifestyle.
When considering Menlo Park, a buyer may be quick to note that it has 15 distinctive neighborhoods, a population of highly educated and sophisticated citizens, and a charming downtown. Home to Facebook and many capital venture firms, Menlo Park offers homebuyers a place to raise their families and enjoy farmer’s markets, recreational parks, and the Summer Concert Series.
In 2013, Menlo Park was named by CNN as one of the top 15 places to be rich and single. So, if you are in that crowd, chances are you will be looking for information on hip restaurants and local watering holes where you can mix and mingle with your new neighbors! With that in mind, there are a few longstanding local spots that are worth a visit.
A favorite with the locals, Left Bank Brasserie is a Southern French-inspired restaurant with a friendly crew ready to serve signature cocktails and happy hour fare. Regulars lounge in the patio area on warm nights, enjoying fares such as escargot, fondue aux fromages, and tarte flambée au saumon fumée.
Not far from Left Bank is British Bankers Club. Closed a few years ago, its new owner also runs Palo Alto Creamery, Gravity, and Reposado in Palo Alto, plus Scratch in Mountain View. An elevator will whisk you up to The Rooftop for hand-crafted drinks, a raw oyster bar, and other delicious fare. A lively soundtrack, friendly bar staff, and a fresh breeze make this a hotspot.
Another longstanding attraction is Rosewood Sand Hill, which the locals simply refer to as the “The Rosewood”. Extremely popular on Thursday nights, this upscale lounge is a destination for the capital venture crowd and is known for pulling well-clad visitors from sister cities who are looking for a lively nightlife. You’ll find excellent food in the bar, plenty of tables and couches inside the darkened lounge, and an outdoor deck with views of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Dutch Goose, a sports pub and grill, is a tried and true favorite with the locals. Open for over 45 years, it offers an outdoor tree-shaded patio and is well-known for burgers, brews, and deviled eggs. Arcade games and eight TVs round out the scene. Similar in feel and food, Oasis Beer Garden is a favorite for Stanford students and professors to meet up after finals, for a game, or just to hangout.
Another spot that is worth a mention is The Refuge on Crane Street. This cheery gastropub is favored for pastrami sandwiches and Belgian brews, and was listed live on Food Network for “Best Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Ample seating and sizable meals put this place on the map.
Last but not least is Landmark Guild Theatre on El Camino Real. On the first Saturday of each month, the Guild gives homage to the longest-running midnight movie of all time, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), which was the first— and is still the best—interactive movie experience.
All in all, Menlo Park’s social scene caters to a sophisticated lifestyle while also offering more modest settings for relaxing and people-watching. If you are considering Menlo Park, let me, the DeLeon Menlo Park buyer specialist, introduce you to your new neighborhood, and toast your new home purchase at the watering hole of your choice.