Blue Label Becoming Burger Joint?

Changes to evening menu. Cafe remains open

The Blue Label Crew

The Blue Label Crew
The Blue Label Crew

Just five months after opening, dinner service at Blue Label at the Belvedere is being overhauled. En route to buy a pre-loved corduroy sofa and coffee tables for the eclectic Santa Rosa dining room, owner Bill Cordell said he has temporarily closed the nighttime restaurant (the cafe remains open for breakfast and lunch) with plans to reopen by May 20.

“We’re cutting out the fine dining thing and getting back to the burgers I want to do,” said Cordell, who also owns Superburger on Fourth St. in Santa Rosa.

It’ s not like the homespun meatloaf, pies and rabbit stew on the opening menu were exactly sniffy haute cuisine, but favorable critical reviews and an eager public quickly clouded Cordell’s original vision for the restaurant — a chummy burger and brews kind of joint. “This restaurant needs Zeppelin on the turntable,” he said. “And I don’t want people telling me to turn it down. Or ask to put on jazz,” he added.

So, with opening chef Miriam Donaldson (of Humble Pie) and partner Josh Norwitt shifting gears to the run daily breakfast and lunch operations at Cafe Blue Label, Cordell is synching up the evening bar menu downstairs with the restaurant menu upstairs.

Currently, he’s tossing around ideas like a burger topped with duck & hoisin or a Polynesian-inspired burger; a large appetizer menu (Mediterranean meatballs, sweet potato tots, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink potato skins; and possibly a moussaka); while keeping favorites like mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried chicken and pork chops. “It’s a condiments on the table place,” he said, adding that there will be six specialty beers on tap.

Donaldson, Norwitt and Cordell will continue to day part the space.

Blue Label at the Belvedere and Cafe Blue Label Cafe: 727 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 542-8705.

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