Call it the Buck’s Silicon Valley Barometer: The economy may be wobbly and the mood of the country anxious, but the Woodside cafe is humming again with deal-making breakfasts.
“There is more activity on the venture capital front. There is renewed enthusiasm,” said Jamis MacNiven, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Margaret. “A year ago, it was about as bleak as it has ever been. People were talking about the drop in home values and joblessness as opposed to deal flows. Now the topic is back on business.”
On a recent morning, just about every one of the cafe’s 110 seats were occupied – even at 10 a.m. Entrepreneurs shared laptop presentations with potential funders, investors worked smartphones between bites and table-to-table networking was in full swing as servers swerved around handshakes and card exchanges to deliver bowls of granola and yogurt, the meal of choice for high-powered eaters.
“Just look around at these people,” said veteran venture capitalist Bill Draper after sliding into a booth and ordering his regular breakfast – granola and fruit with coffee and orange juice. “Ninety percent of them are doing business.”
Thousands of companies, from Hotmail to Tesla Motors, were launched around tables at Buck’s. Deals are done in traditional valley style by smart people in jeans and open collars in a restaurant whose silly interior reflects the offbeat humor of its owner.
Screenshot from Buck’s of Woodside