Residents strolling down Burlingame Avenue may soon see more restaurants, a move that business owners, real estate representatives and City Council members hope will bring a new vitality to the western end of the street.
The request for more restaurants on the 1400 block of Burlingame Avenue came from Greg Terry of , who leases space on that particular block.
Terry is in the process of leasing 1448 Burlingame Ave., the former site of Hola! Mexican Cantina, and 1440 Burlingame Ave., formerly Haven Home.
"I have just unbelievable interest in the Hola space [from] legitimate restaurant entities,” Terry said. “Meanwhile, next door, the former Haven location…I have not had one phone call from a tenant wanting to lease that for retail.”
Terry said more food options on the block will bring more people, likely to walk and shop around before or after a meal, and local business owners agree that more restaurants would help move foot traffic west on Burlingame Avenue.
“Our end of the block has always been kind of the stepchild of Burlingame Avenue,” said owner Francesca Tashjian. “”It’s quiet down there; you look down the street and there’s parking for days.”
She said she is in favor of more restaurants giving people a reason to spend time on the 1400 block. She also said people in Burlingame enjoy good food, resulting in enough business for all of the restaurants.
A few years ago, Terry first asked the council to allow for more restaurants on the block. He said he began his quest for more eateries after unsuccessfully cold calling enough potential retail tenants to fill a two-inch file when the space that is now BevMo went dark. He wanted to bring retail to the Avenue, but found the only interested parties were from the food industry.
While five slots were opened, no restaurants came forward, so the property was given to other businesses. Terry asked that the council again consider allowing more restaurant slots on the 1400 block.
Councilmembers agreed with Terry and Tashjian, suggesting allowing two new restaurants on the 1400 block of Burlingame Avenue and one on Primrose Road, a decision which will go before the Planning Commission.
“I have felt for quite a long time that the 1400 block has been underserved by people in Burlingame,” said Mayor Jerry Deal. “I do believe we need something to spark more interest down there.”