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by Malea Martin / Mountain View Sound

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 28, 2022, 12:49 PM the line goes out the door at Blue Line Pizza on June 22 as guests at the Taste of Mountain View event wait to try authentic Chicago-style pizza from the Castro Street restaurant. Eyes lit up as Blue Line Manager Eric Chan brought out his freshly made White Pie, one of the restaurant’s signature pizzas filled with gooey mozzarella, feta, grilled zucchini and fresh tomatoes on a base of garlic-infused olive oil. Blue Line Pizza is one of them. The 19 Castro Street businesses that opened their doors to the community on Wednesday night, each offered small samples of their favorite menu items accompanied by local wine and beer vendors. The event, organized by the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce and the Mountain View Downtown Business Association, brought about 600 people downtown to enjoy a second iteration of Taste of Mountain View. The food, wine and beer walks first started last November. “The exposure was incredible,” Chan told Voice during the event. “We talked to all kinds of people from different parts of the Bay Area, some people from out of town.” Restaurant bloggers Lala Mayjer and Michael Leadon came from San Jose to experience Mountain View’s culinary scene, and after trying food from the Asian Box next door, Blue Line was next in line. Leadon said he’d done it before, so he already knew he wanted a delicious pizza. Mayjer said he appreciated the attention to detail that went into the Taste of Mountain View goodie bag. The purple mini tote bag comes with hand sanitizer, a set of utensils, a reusable plastic wine glass, a compostable plate, a map of the participating businesses, and a raffle passport that customers can stamp at each stop and then enter for a chance to win present. “Goodie bag, all passport stamps, it’s like p game. It’s fun,” said Mayjer after finishing his pizza slice. Leadon, a foodie, had tried almost every restaurant on Castro Street, so he was surprised to find a place he had never been before: Rootstock Wine Bar. “It’s funny because I pass this way, and I’ve never seen the place,” added Mayjer. “So now I know there’s a wine stand there.” Chamber CEO and President Peter Katz said the purpose of the event: to help people find restaurants in Mountain View they’ve never heard of or haven’t been to. to try yet. The event doesn’t limit how many ticket holders can taste the food, wine and beer. said Katz. “A lot of businesses say they will do special offers that night, which is great for keeping people coming back. I think the real benefit of this is to showcase Mountain View and showcase small businesses, giving them a chance to shine and be in the spotlight.” Casa Lupe co-owner Kevin Thompson, whose restaurant has been serving Mexican comfort food for the last 24 years, said participating in last November’s event was “very impactful”, so doing it a second time was an easy choice. “The community has been very kind to us. It almost makes me emotional, because during COVID there are a lot of businesses that are closed,” Thompson told Voice as event goers stopped by to pick up fresh chips and salsa, Casa Lupe’s offering for the evening. “But our customers come and support us, doing whatever they can to make sure the door stays open. … you get a lot of people attending this who are really not familiar with all the restaurants, so we got a lot of new (customers) just because they came to Taste of Mountain View.” Retail store owners have the opportunity to open their doors too, offering snacks and drinks to bring people in and promote their small business. This room helps facilitate partnerships with local restaurants, wineries, or breweries so that retail stores can “experience a part of this as much as anyone else,” says Katz. “It’s not their product that people eat or drink, but their product in a store surrounded by people,” he said. “They looked around and said, ‘Geez, I never knew this was here.’ Many of them (business owners) reported increased sales that night and in the following months.” The next Taste of Mountain View is scheduled for November. “The Downtown Business Association, chambers, and cities are all committed to seeking more events and more creative ways to bring vitality and pedestrian and commerce traffic to downtown and other areas of the city,” said Katz. “It is likely that we will do something similar in other parts of the city in the future.”

Lines spilled over at Blue Line Pizza on June 22 as guests at the Taste of Mountain View event waited to try authentic Chicago-style pizza from the Castro Street restaurant. Eyes lit up as Blue Line Manager Eric Chan brought out his freshly made White Pie, one of the restaurant’s signature pizzas filled with gooey mozzarella, feta, grilled zucchini and fresh tomatoes on a garlic-infused olive oil.

Blue Line Pizza is one of 19 Castro Street businesses that open their doors to the community on Wednesday nights, each offering small samples of their favorite menu items accompanied by local wine and beer vendors. The event, organized by the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce and the Mountain View Downtown Business Association, brought about 600 people downtown to enjoy a second iteration of Taste of Mountain View. The food, wine and beer walks first started last November.

“The exposure was incredible,” Chan told Voice during the event. “We talked to all kinds of people from different parts of the Bay Area, some people from out of town.”

Restaurant bloggers Lala Mayjer and Michael Leadon came from San Jose for a taste of Mountain View’s culinary scene, and after trying food from the Asian Box next door, Blue Line was next on the list. Leadon said he’d done it before, so he already knew he wanted a delicious pizza.

Mayjer said he appreciated the attention to detail that went into the Taste of Mountain View goodie bag. The purple mini tote bag comes with hand sanitizer, a set of utensils, a reusable plastic wine glass, a compostable plate, a map of the participating businesses, and a raffle passport that customers can stamp at each stop and then enter for a chance to win present.

“Goodie bag, all the passport stamps, it’s like a game. It’s fun,” Mayjer said after finishing his slice of pizza.

Leadon, a foodie, had tried almost every restaurant on Castro Street, so he was surprised to find a place he had never been to before: Rootstock Wine Bar.

“It’s funny because I’ve been down this street, and I’ve never seen the place,” added Mayer. “So now I know there’s a wine stand there.”

Chamber CEO and President Peter Katz said that the purpose of the event: to help people find restaurants in Mountain View they have never heard of or have never tried. This event has no limit on how many food, wine and beer tasting ticket holders can try.

“The idea is really to get people into the business so they can show what they do, get introduced to what the business is about, and hopefully come back again,” says Katz. “A lot of businesses say they will do special offers that night, which is great for keeping people coming back. I think the real benefit of this is showing Mountain View and showcasing small businesses, giving them a chance to shine and be in the spotlight.”

Casa Lupe co-owner Kevin Thompson, whose restaurant has been serving Mexican comfort food for the past 24 years, said participating in the event last November “really made an impact,” so doing it a second time was the easy choice.

“The community has been very kind to us. It almost makes me emotional, because during COVID there are a lot of businesses that are closed,” Thompson told Voice as event goers stopped by to pick up fresh chips and salsa, Casa Lupe’s offering for the evening. “But our customers come and support us, doing whatever they can to make sure the door stays open. … You get a lot of people attending this who are really not familiar with all the restaurants, so we got a lot of new (customers) just because they came to Taste of Mountain View.”

Retail store owners have the opportunity to open their doors too, offering snacks and drinks to bring people in and promote their small business. This room helps facilitate partnerships with local restaurants, wineries or breweries so retail stores can “experience this part as much as anyone else,” says Katz.

“It’s not their product that people eat or drink, but their product in a store surrounded by people,” he said. “They looked around and said, ‘Geez, I never knew this was here.’ Many of them (business owners) reported increased sales that night and in the following months.”

The next Taste of Mountain View is scheduled for November.

“The Downtown Business Association, Chambers and City are all committed to seeking more events and more creative ways to bring vitality and pedestrian and commerce traffic to downtown and other areas of the city,” said Katz. “It is likely that we will do something similar in other parts of the city in the future.”

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