UPDATE: I just heard from Lisbeth Holmefjord, the co-restaurateur of the newly-opened Baci in Healdsburg. The rumor mill has run amok that it was Baci that blew the whistle on Mateo’s Eastside Road spot. Not true, she says. Her contention: She’s one of Mateo’s biggest fans and his move from Eastside Road was more about liability than anyone complaining.
“I was shocked when I read this on the Internet. Mateo and I have been very good friends for twelve years. I’ve helped him with his business plan. Would I be so stupid to accuse him?” says Lisbeth. According to her, she was actually at one of Mateo’s recent dinners on Eastside Road and was surprised to learn of the move. “Mateo’s not competition to me, we’re not even open on Wednesdays. We love to go out on Wednesdays,” she said.
Meanwhile, the dinners continue to sell out. You can’t buy this kind of press.
Karmic Justice? News from the Mateo’s Pop-Up dinner front….
After a Healdsburg restaurateur complained about Mateo Granados’ pop-up dinners in a barn on Eastside Road several weeks ago, the site was closed down. Among some restaurateurs, there’s a growing resentment about temporary dining set-ups or food trucks that bypass the high overhead of a brick and mortar restaurant.
Understandable if they’re next door, sucking away clients. A little harder to fathom when the site is miles out in the country (and frankly a whole lot closer to Windsor than Healdsburg).
But here’s where the whole thing backfired…the generous folks at Costeaux French Bakery Cafe hearing of the Tendejon de la Calle’s plight have offered a temporary home for Mateo’s dinners to continue on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. In downtown Healdsburg.
But that’s not all…This Friday (6/4/10), funky Roadhouse Winery (107B N. Street, Healdsburg), will host the movable feast at their tasting room (for the second time), sweetening the deal with a la carte pours of their silky pinot noirs, pool and video games after diner. Hello, yes please. Plans are in the works to keep ’em going through the summer. (Wanna go? Contact Eric Hall for details: Info@Roadhousewinery.com, or call 922.6362).
So what’s it all the fuss? Several longtime Hburg chefs BiteClub spoke to say they’re far from concerned about unfair competition from Mateo, a former Dry Creek Kitchen chef and longtime local who’s got a penchant for transient eats. The sentiment from most was simply live and let live, because the press is good for everyone.
Seems you can’t keep a good pop-up dinner down. So really, why try?
Tendejon de la Calle, weekly on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5pm until dusk. Invites available only by email list or by calling 623.5474. Entrees $16-$19 each, appetizers $8-$12. Cash and local checks only. BYOB and glasses.
Weigh in…What’s your take on this whole situation? Should restaurateurs be worried or supportive?