Bill Foley will open Chalk board at the Les Mars Hotel

Bill Foley will open Chalk Board at the Les Mars Hotel. Photo: Kent Porter, PD

Investor Bill Foley plans to open Chalkboard Bistro & Wine Bar this spring in the former Cyrus space at the Les Mars Hotel in Healdsburg.

He’s hired Shane McAnelly, the former executive chef of Va de Vi, a critically-acclaimed tapas-style bistro and wine bar in Walnut Creek. McAnelly left Va de Vi in December, according to Inside Scoop.

The concept will be an “upscale casual” fun atmosphere where visitors can share small plates and wine tasting flights, Foley said.  “It should be a lot of fun,” he said, adding that restaurant will take full advantage of his kitchen gardens at Chalk Hill Winery.

Sources in the restaurant biz close to Foley said he was looking for a more “approachable” restaurant to replace the Michelin-starred Cyrus.

Cyrus closed in Oct. 2012 after years of disputes and lawsuits between Foley and Chef Douglas Keane, who leased the space. Foley is the owner of Chalk Hill Winery, Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery in Sonoma; Merus, Altvus, Kuleto Estate in Napa as well as numerous wineries throughout California and Washington and New Zealand.

– Reporting by Cathy Bussewitz of the Press Democrat. Check out her profile on Foley here.