Beloved Stanford hangout closing after 60 years in business

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A beloved Stanford hangout is closing after 60 years in business. Customers are now packing the burger joint so much so they ran out of meat. (KGO-TV)

A beloved Stanford hangout is closing after 60 years in business. Customers are packing the burger joint so much on Friday that they ran out of meat.

Sometimes you just crave a good burger, a good beer to wash it down with, and good company. That's why people come to the Oasis, affectionately known as The O. The burger joint has been in a staple in Menlo Park for 60 years.

"It was essentially a college bar for Stanford in the days when there were no bars in Palo Alto," said Peter Steinhart, a customer who's been coming to The O for more than 50 years.

Inside you'll find a mishmash of Stanford graduates, current students, Silicon Valley tech workers, and families. Stanford football memorabilia is displayed on the walls and that's not all. The wood tables and walls have carvings. Many of them declarations of love.

"I dated a guy in graduate school at Stanford and we came here and carved our initials on the booth. It's not the guy I ended up marrying," said Judy Steinhart, Peter's wife. He handed her a knife and told her to go for it now. The Steinhart's brought their adult son and grandchildren. They wanted to come before it closes.

"I got a little verklempt, a little lump in my throat because I have very distinct memories from high school," said Jonah, their son.

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The O's owner, Doris Tougas, said by phone that she knows it's difficult for her customers. She said it was for her too, but she couldn't come to an agreement with the landlord on the lease.

Tougas said the landlord did raise the rent, but that was not the key problem. She wishes to keep the reason private. That hasn't stopped customers from signing an online petition in an effort to try to keep The Oasis from closing.

The Oasis was so popular with people wanting to come one last time during the Friday lunch hour, the kitchen ran out of hamburger meat. People love it so much, they still waited in line.

"We got a delivery coming, so we're counting the minutes so we're just doing the best we can," said Tim Jones, a manager at The O.

Customers ordered pizza and sandwiches instead.

In the beer garden, you could see a reunion of old friends, a bittersweet time for them.

This isn't just a place full of memories. It's an institution that will soon be gone from the landscape on the Peninsula.

The O closes on March 7th.
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foodrestaurantrestaurantsbarbusinesswhere you livecommunityrental propertyrentsbeerburgerspizzaStanford UniversityMenlo Park
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