Refuge coming to Menlo Park
There's a sign on 1143 Crane St (across from Carapaccio) saying "Refuge coming soon". That space was a thai restaurant in about 2007, then a jazz bar for a few years, and has been empty for a while after that.
I consider it a cursed space, but if anyone can turn it around, that would be a solid destination place like The Refuge.
It has a solid belgian-oriented beer list. It has the same great pastrami and burgers. Love those burgers. Price is a bit high for the "pastrami burger" at 17, and the beef is very good but not $17 good, but the whole package is solid with the pastrami and fries and cheese.
It's a little loud, but does have two tables outside, kind of lonely on the curb.
Yelp talks about the noise (my opinion: MP, most places are quiet - let's have some diversity - but they could take it down a few Db), and service - service was fine/great when we were there.
Room is a little too narrow and bright, lacks some of the cozy feel of San Carlos.
But still - with a short & sweet food menu, and a very nice beer menu, they had a fairly constant flow of people on a friday. They weren't lingering, because of the noise, so might be profitable. We walked in at 8:00 and there were some free chairs for the next hour but plenty of turn over. And that's on a friday on a nice summer evening.
Seems kid friendly. There was a toddler at the table we eventually occupied. With all that noise, a screaming child wouldn't be noticed, and wasn't.
I just hope it doesn't catch Menlo Park good food blight in the expansion.
Here's a photo of the work in progress,