Pear Ventures eyes new digs in historic Menlo Park building

Pear Ventures may have a new headquarters when it finishes raising its third seed fund.

The firm, which has been a fixture on High Street in downtown Palo Alto, California, for about six years, is looking to relocate to Menlo Park and take over the former home of Oasis restaurant.

Pear has leased the building at 241 El Camino Real in Menlo Park and an adjacent section formerly occupied by Menlo Atherton Glass. The lease was first reported by the Palo Alto Daily News, which noted that the old restaurant interior was gutted and undergoing renovations.

Pejman Nozad, a founding managing partner of Pear, declined to talk about the move. But a source familiar with the firm says it is in the midst of securing a use permit with the City of Menlo Park to operate an office in the building. The building is currently zoned for a restaurant, not an office building.

Pear is in registration to raise $155 million for its third seed-stage fund, which is more than double the $75 million the firm raised for Fund II in 2016. Fund II LPs include endowments, such as the University of Chicago, as well as funds-of-funds, and private investors.

The firm was an investor in Guardant Health, which went public in 2018. Nozad was also personally an early investor in Dropbox prior to launching the venture firm in 2013 with Mar Hershenson. Pear was formerly known as Pejman Mar Ventures and is now named after the mashup of the first names of the co-founders.

Pear’s other investments include BetterworksBranch Metrics and DoorDash.

Oasis, or “The O,” as it was known, was a popular burger and pizza joint. It closed in March 2018 after 60 years in business because it was unable to secure a lease renewal, according to its Facebook page.

The commercial real estate site LoopNet describes the west Menlo Park property as featuring 3,400 square feet of interior space, plus 600 square feet of patio space. In addition, the site includes plenty of parking, which would suit Pear, since it often hosts a speaker series, hackathons and other startup events.

The building on El Camino Real is also an historic landmark, according to a city document that notes it is eligible for federal and state historic registers. Thus, Pear would be unable to modify the outside of the building.