Palace Art & Office Supply exterior.
The downtown Santa Cruz Palace Arts was shuttered in January.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Local Business

An unexpected holiday gift: Palace Arts will now remain open in Capitola under new local ownership

The family that took over local restaurants the Crow’s Nest, Gilda’s on the Wharf and Santa Cruz Diner are the new owners of the 41st Avenue Palace store. Longtime owners the Trowbridge family were planning to shutter their final brick-and-mortar business after the holidays.

Palace Art & Office Supply owners reversed course on a plan to close their 41st Avenue location, instead selling that portion of their business to another area family that also owns longtime local restaurants the Crow’s Nest, Gilda’s on the Wharf and Santa Cruz Diner.

In January, the downtown Santa Cruz location closed its doors, adding to the pandemic business woes for many longtime brick-and-mortar institutions.

A statement by owner Roy Trowbridge announced that Charles Maier, his wife, Al-lee Gottlieb, and their four children “will carry on the Trowbridge family legacy as the new owners of the beloved retail store.”

In the statement, Maier said: “We’re excited to carry on this legacy and help preserve what the community has always loved about Palace. Everyone can expect to be able to get the same great products and the same service from the same friendly staff.”

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Maier bought Santa Cruz Diner in 2018. After the Stagnaro family closed Gilda’s in the early months of the pandemic, Maier took it over earlier this year.

Trowbridge said in his statement that Maier has proved to be a good caretaker of businesses started by others: He is “also the owner of other longtime Santa Cruz institutions, all of which have remained successful by sticking close to the original vision for each business.”

Palace Business Solutions, the Trowbridge family’s commercial division, remains under original ownership.

“When we made the decision earlier this year to end our retail journey, we didn’t imagine this turn of events,” said Trowbridge, whose father originally purchased Palace in 1949. “We are honored that the Palace retail store will live on with another local family.”