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Blue Label Becoming Burger Joint?

Changes to evening menu. Cafe remains open

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.

Blue Label at the Belvedere on Urbanspoon

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Comments

23 thoughts on “Blue Label Becoming Burger Joint?

  1. I will go for Josh and Miriam experience only. Anything associated with Belvedere does not suite me. My everlasting opinion will be of the bar is “jerk bartender” .

  2. I will go for Josh and Miriam experience only. Anything associated with Belvedere does not suite me. My everlasting opinion will be of the bar is “jerk bartender” .

  3. I work at blue label and want to clarify as to what is happening with dinner service. The same kind of quirky, whiskey inspired dishes will still be offered – soda pop lamb, fried chicken, meatloaf, veggie pie, etc. We just extended our menu and added quite a few more awesome little bites (still whiskey inspired) and a bigger selection of unique burgers. As for the vibe: a couple more posters have been thrown up, a couch fit for Fela Kuti has been added along with some old school cocktail tables , and we’ve just installed a couple of taps of Lagunitas’ finest! Essentially we just wanted to rework the vibe where we can hang with out “Bitches Brew,” then kick on some traditional Greek music, and finish it all off with Fugazi. I hope this helps clear up any mystery as to what were changing. So I hope y’all will come down, have a little, or a lot to drink, enjoy some honest grub, and hang out for a while.

    Cheers everyone,

    Dufus

    1. Thanks for clearing it up. I was nervous I would never get to eat the fried chicken or meatloaf again. See you this weekend!

  4. I work at blue label and want to clarify as to what is happening with dinner service. The same kind of quirky, whiskey inspired dishes will still be offered – soda pop lamb, fried chicken, meatloaf, veggie pie, etc. We just extended our menu and added quite a few more awesome little bites (still whiskey inspired) and a bigger selection of unique burgers. As for the vibe: a couple more posters have been thrown up, a couch fit for Fela Kuti has been added along with some old school cocktail tables , and we’ve just installed a couple of taps of Lagunitas’ finest! Essentially we just wanted to rework the vibe where we can hang with out “Bitches Brew,” then kick on some traditional Greek music, and finish it all off with Fugazi. I hope this helps clear up any mystery as to what were changing. So I hope y’all will come down, have a little, or a lot to drink, enjoy some honest grub, and hang out for a while.

    Cheers everyone,

    Dufus

  5. I work at blue label and want to clarify as to what is happening with dinner service. The same kind of quirky, whiskey inspired dishes will still be offered – soda pop lamb, fried chicken, meatloaf, veggie pie, etc. We just extended our menu and added quite a few more awesome little bites (still whiskey inspired) and a bigger selection of unique burgers. As for the vibe: a couple more posters have been thrown up, a couch fit for Fela Kuti has been added along with some old school cocktail tables , and we’ve just installed a couple of taps of Lagunitas’ finest! Essentially we just wanted to rework the vibe where we can hang with out “Bitches Brew,” then kick on some traditional Greek music, and finish it all off with Fugazi. I hope this helps clear up any mystery as to what were changing. So I hope y’all will come down, have a little, or a lot to drink, enjoy some honest grub, and hang out for a while.

    Cheers everyone,

    Dufus

    1. Thanks for clearing it up. I was nervous I would never get to eat the fried chicken or meatloaf again. See you this weekend!

  6. I work at blue label and want to clarify as to what is happening with dinner service. The same kind of quirky, whiskey inspired dishes will still be offered – soda pop lamb, fried chicken, meatloaf, veggie pie, etc. We just extended our menu and added quite a few more awesome little bites (still whiskey inspired) and a bigger selection of unique burgers. As for the vibe: a couple more posters have been thrown up, a couch fit for Fela Kuti has been added along with some old school cocktail tables , and we’ve just installed a couple of taps of Lagunitas’ finest! Essentially we just wanted to rework the vibe where we can hang with out “Bitches Brew,” then kick on some traditional Greek music, and finish it all off with Fugazi. I hope this helps clear up any mystery as to what were changing. So I hope y’all will come down, have a little, or a lot to drink, enjoy some honest grub, and hang out for a while.

    Cheers everyone,

    Dufus

  7. Noooo! Blue Label was delicious and unique and perfectly fit the location. There are a dozen places to get great burgers downtown – the last thing Santa Rosa needs is yet another burger place. But locally sourced fresh takes on classics will always be needed. We are distraught. – Blue Label was quickly becoming a our favorite!!

  8. Noooo! Blue Label was delicious and unique and perfectly fit the location. There are a dozen places to get great burgers downtown – the last thing Santa Rosa needs is yet another burger place. But locally sourced fresh takes on classics will always be needed. We are distraught. – Blue Label was quickly becoming a our favorite!!

  9. Noooo! Blue Label was delicious and unique and perfectly fit the location. There are a dozen places to get great burgers downtown – the last thing Santa Rosa needs is yet another burger place. But locally sourced fresh takes on classics will always be needed. We are distraught. – Blue Label was quickly becoming a our favorite!!

  10. This is the saddest thing. I’m sure the burgers will be fabulous, but there are fabulous burgers all over. Rabbit Stew and the unique setting was what made Blue Label special. The food was spectacular and the feeling of stepping back in time was great.

    1. The subtext here is that i think Cordell wants the PBR crowd back. If you remember Humble Pie, it was a lot of the Etsy/PBR scene. I went a to Blue Label for dinner last month and…how shall I say this…I don’t think anyone in the dining room had ever dug through the bulk bins at the Salvation Army.

      Don’t fret my pal, Little Green. I get the impression former Humble Pie-ers will still dig it. I mean Superburger is pretty sweet, right? And don’t forget, the cafe is still Miriam and Josh all the way for breakfast and lunch.

      Speaking of which, I’m getting hungry.

      1. oh odd, every time I was in there for dinner it was the mustache hipster set, exactly the kind you’d expect to be drinking a pbr. I loved it. And the sound track was always excellent. The idea of a bunch of nascar burger lovin’ Zeppelin listeners doesn’t exactly excite me. I don’t mind em’ but it doesn’t excite me.
        I do however absolutely loooove the cafe and Miriam and Josh’s food.
        Either way, I’m sure it will be fabulous.

  11. This is the saddest thing. I’m sure the burgers will be fabulous, but there are fabulous burgers all over. Rabbit Stew and the unique setting was what made Blue Label special. The food was spectacular and the feeling of stepping back in time was great.

    1. The subtext here is that i think Cordell wants the PBR crowd back. If you remember Humble Pie, it was a lot of the Etsy/PBR scene. I went a to Blue Label for dinner last month and…how shall I say this…I don’t think anyone in the dining room had ever dug through the bulk bins at the Salvation Army.

      Don’t fret my pal, Little Green. I get the impression former Humble Pie-ers will still dig it. I mean Superburger is pretty sweet, right? And don’t forget, the cafe is still Miriam and Josh all the way for breakfast and lunch.

      Speaking of which, I’m getting hungry.

      1. oh odd, every time I was in there for dinner it was the mustache hipster set, exactly the kind you’d expect to be drinking a pbr. I loved it. And the sound track was always excellent. The idea of a bunch of nascar burger lovin’ Zeppelin listeners doesn’t exactly excite me. I don’t mind em’ but it doesn’t excite me.
        I do however absolutely loooove the cafe and Miriam and Josh’s food.
        Either way, I’m sure it will be fabulous.

  12. I was going to say “They’re going to have some stiff competition from Superburger”..but, they own both. So…er…nevermind. Carry on, then!

  13. I was going to say “They’re going to have some stiff competition from Superburger”..but, they own both. So…er…nevermind. Carry on, then!

  14. I was going to say “They’re going to have some stiff competition from Superburger”..but, they own both. So…er…nevermind. Carry on, then!

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