Burger Bar coming to SR

Rendez Vous owner inspired by haute burger joints plans his own in Santa Rosa

Inspired by the likes of BLT Burger (Chef Laurent Tourondel’s Vegas burgery) and Hubert Keller’s SF Burger Bar, Santa Rosa restaurateur Nino Rabbaa plans to open his own version along Third Street in early 2011.
The Parisian-born owner of Rendez Vous Bistro has tentatively named the planned eatery Downtown Burger Bar, which will feature everything from foie gras and truffle-shaved patties to vegetarian portobella burgers, buffalo burgers and gluten-free burgers for a total of 12 selections.
“We’re only going to have burgers on the menu,” said Rabbaa.
The casual-gourmet burger spot will take over the former Worth Our Weight and GG’s Earth and Surf space on Third Street near D St. An extensive remodel of both interior and exterior is getting underway. Rabbaa plans to have an open floor plan with a special area for children, a patio and fire pit.
The back of the restaurant is being renovated to provide a space for an in-house bakery and catering prep. Currently Rabbaa is working on perfecting the croissant for the restaurant’s breakfast service. Also in the works is a mobile crepe truck.

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24 thoughts on “Burger Bar coming to SR

  1. Can’t wait… It will be a “NEW, BURGER BAR EXPERIENCE” for sure!!! Forget Carmen’s, there’s a NEW and IMPROVED burger-joint in town!! C’Mon “Santa Rosians” broaden your horizens… PUHLEEZE!!! Also, embrace the new business opportunities (jobs, culture, and eclectic differentiability) this place offers!! And, by the way I do not work for any persons involved with this establishment…but might be for hire?!? :o)

  2. The new Carmens on Mark West is a huge hit and going well. I think adding yet another venue downtown is competition no matter what kind of joint it is. Menu is not my taste when I think of a burger bar. And when I go to a bar I want to go and have some drinks and socialize not eat. I go somewhere else to eat.

  3. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers would be more appealing to me. The menu consists of burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and other options. The options here sound too limiting and too expensive. Not really family fare. How many kids will eat a portobello burger, or a foie gras burger? None that I know. Sounds expensive. As much as I love a great burger, I don’t think I’ll eat here.

    1. My kids (14 and 19) will most likely LOVE it… so different than what is offered in this po-dunk town! Don’t stigmatise your kids… let them decide what they like and don’t like!! You’d see and maybe even admire your child’s own creative tastes from YOUR own! Take off the blindfold, and enjoy!

  4. This location has been a loser for the past several restaurant ventures I’ve seen since ’95. I wonder if this person did the research before signing the lease. Even the theatre there is on life support. I just say good luck. I will try a burger tho.

    1. Agreed that it hasn’t done well in the past, but look at the P/30 space. That was a major loser location for YEARS and they’re doing great now. Nonni’s has survived long past where several others have failed at the 420 Mendo location. I just hope they get rid of those creepy 80’s solarium windows. Also, Third St. Aleworks does pretty well next door, so I wouldn’t count out the location.

  5. I will be curious to see how this all pans out and I cannot wait to try the food. Owning Superburger I am familiar with what people want and what they are happy to pay for a good burger, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how this new place will be able to pay $10k a month in rent, keep at least 20 people on shift at a time, remodel the place and make a little money. I know that I am probably missing a ton of info and that it isn’t any of my business anyway, but what is that burger and fries going to cost and how many are they going to need to serve? It will be interesting to see how far they can push to envelope regarding price and quality. I hope I can be there opening night! Bill

    1. BillC: “I know that I am probably missing a ton of info and that it isn’t any of my business anyway…”
      Um, yeah. You’re right.

  6. I thought we already had 2 burger bars. I know Carmen’s doesn’t offer truffles and foie gras but I thought they did a pretty good job. It’s always packed when I go into the Town and Country location. I guess it’s all about free-ish market competition.
    I would probalby think of a different name than Downtown Burger Bar. I think both owners might get tired of answering the questions “So are you connected with … ?” Lord knows, we don’t want to have things start sounding like a chain around here either 😉

    1. Carmen’s has gone downhill the last few times I’ve been there for lunch. Service takes forever and there aren’t many customers. The last time I got a moldy bun. I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever go back.

      1. i agree that carmen’s has gone downhill. i used to love it but the service is awful and even for take out, the burgers are not as good. i don’t know if they use pre made patties ( does anyone know?) but the last burger i had there was so salty and it wasn’t added salt. it was chemical tasting. it gave me a headache. it’s the last time i went to carmens. i hope it resumes it’s former quality. i don’t really care either way about the new place.

  7. As a burger BAR I sure hope they get a full license. We need more good eats with full bars in this town.
    And good luck with the location! Although if they execute half as well as Rendez Vous they wont need luck. And an outdoor fire pit will be great! Cant wait.

  8. All I have to say is good luck with that location, because you are going to need it. I speak from experience.

    1. Anything original in downtown SR will be a much needed blessing. I call various restaurants / pubs on a monthly basis and ask them if they offer a signature dish, or something that sets them apart from the rest. 90% of the answers are no, or “well, we put ham on our burgers.” SR will not be recognized as a foodie destination until we offer a variety of original establishments serving up original dishes only found here. Good luck Rabbaa!!

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