Santa Rosa Restaurant Openings/Closing Spree

New Burmese, Mexican Santa Rosa restaurant openings coming to Brickyard block

Garlic noodles from Best of Burma in San Mateo. Courtesy of Yelp.
Garlic noodles from Best of Burma in San Mateo. Courtesy of Yelp.

Seventh St. Opening and Closing Spree!

An update on the whirlwind of Santa Rosa restaurant openings and closings in the Brickyard block.

Brasa, the Brasilian churrascaria on the corner of Mendocino and Seventh Street in Santa Rosa, abruptly closed a couple weeks ago, leaving folks curious about the yet-again-empty 505 building.

There has been no response from the owners, aside from an email sent to people trying to make a reservation saying, “Sorry to inform you, but Brasa has closed and is currently looking for new location. Our sincere apologies.”

Shuffles Magical Ice Cream has moved from its cavernous Seventh Street location to Railroad Square, at 123 Fourth St. We’ve heard from a friend with a youngster that the kids’ parties and magic shows are all the rage with the toddler set, and the ice cream continues to be solid at the new location.

Moving into the Shuffles location is Best of Burma, a Burmese restaurant that’s well under construction already. The restaurant has another location in San Mateo. (OMG are we really getting Burmese? Agggghhhrrrrrrr, excited!) If you’re not familiar with Burmese food (Burma is actually known as Myanmar), it incorporates the flavors and traditions of many cultures and regions ranging from China and Thailand to India and Pacific Islands. With lots of fresh ingredients, salads and seafood, it’s a welcome addition to our lineup of ethnic cuisines in the North Bay.

La Perla Peruvian restaurant has changed its named to Panka Peru Cocina Peruana, with a simplified menu that’s more in line with weekday lunchers in both price and offerings, keeping their amazing ceviche and lomo saltado and losing some of the more expensive and complex dishes.

Finally, a Mexican restaurant is under construction at the former BBQ Spot. We saw a gentleman with a Mi Burrito shirt heading inside, but so far no exact word on the owners (and no ABC license yet).

We’d be remiss not to mention the other remaining restaurants, Haku Sushi (which seems to be gaining some steam) and the newly reopened Kafal (formerly Ganesh), which has been serving some solid and affordable $8.99 lunch specials. Sprenger’s Tap Room continues to bring massive crowds to the long-suffering block between Mendocino and B streets.


28 thoughts on “Santa Rosa Restaurant Openings/Closing Spree

  1. Brasa closed (and probably many other restaurants at 505) because the landlord gets a tenant in at a reasonable rent for a one year lease. Then when he is nearing the end of the one year lease he will double the rent. With restaurants, one year is barely enough time to get on your feet let alone pay the rent for a business that is just building their clientele. It would be nice to see the landlord be reasonable so that a restaurant can stay.

  2. Heather, any word on what’s going to go in to the old Vineyards Inn on Sonoma Hwy 12 in Kenwood? I hope whoever takes it over maintains the earthy, vineyard/roadhouse vibe and doesn’t go too upscale.

    1. Yeah, the Vineyards Inn is closed. Word is that the space is getting a total remodel and will likely be a restaurant, but no word on who. Probably a year or so out.

  3. Mi Burrito has a great dish, served in a molcajete (molk a hett A) that is absolutely fabulous. I go to their airport location just to get that. Great food; good prices; and caring service may be able to make a good run at that location. Not many others have been able to stick.

  4. I think Brasa’s Facebook may have been taken down, but I recall reading on it a couple of weeks ago that they said the closure was due to the owner raising rent 40%.

    Seems to me the landlord isn’t doing themselves any favors.

  5. No mention of the new 4th street restaurant The Bench opening in the old Portofino’s location? I haven’t checked it out yet but the menu looks delicious!! Going to try it this week.

      1. Heather, do you know who & when the new Mexican restaurant is opening up in place of Sonoma Taco Shop across the street from Memorial Hospital on Montgomery Dr.?

  6. What’s the story with the pending opening of Steel & Hops in the old heritage public house spot?

  7. If someone wants to hit pay dirt, please open a simple lunch-only Bahn Mi spot (or food truck?)!!!!

    1. There are Bahn Mi options out there. Simply Vietnam Express has great Bahn Mi, as does Lee’s Noodle House and Kettles. And recently opened Thuan Phan on SR avenue is a Bahn Mi spot as well.

      1. As does East Wind Bakery on Sebastopol near Wright. (Simply Vietnam’s are hard to beat, though!)

    2. Thuan Phat on south Santa Rosa ave. 3020 Santa rosa avenue. You can find it in Yelp.
      By the way it is spell Banh Mi. In Vietnamese basically means bread. Banh mi thit mean bread with meat.

  8. It seems Haku has heavy employee turnover. Never the same sushi chef or waitress. Internal problems?

  9. I’m SO sorry the BBQ spot closed, their BBQ was AWESOME! I”m WAY more interested in any news of their re-opening in a smaller/less expensive rent/pop-up r take out spot than YET ANOTHER MEXICAN RESTAURANT!!! Can this area seriously not survive on anything but Italisn, Mexican, French or burgers, Jesus!!!

    1. No, por que quien comer por todos los ninos y familias grandes si esta trabajando aqui?
      Unfortunately, what you are seeing is the economics of supply and demand. Most of Sonoma County is struggling to afford to keep a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and gas in the tank to go to work. The restaurant industry that isn’t catering to the 1%, well they’re trying to market to their base. This means less expensive ingredients to make the items on their menu. If you need a BBQ fix, head west a few miles. In the gateway to downtown Sebastopol, to the left, you will find Apple Junction Smokehouse, a WONDERFUL (yes, I’ve eaten there multiple times) menu that’s priced relatively reasonably. To the right, the Barlow has several offerings, but I’d continue to Laguna St. (on the other side of the Barlow) where you’ll find another BBQ Smokehouse. Traditional North Carolina flavor is what you can expect there, as well as the capability to spend $30 on lunch for one. I hope this helps you.

      1. I wasn’t that excited with Apple Junction’s food. Small, cramped place and the service was just ok. 3 out of 5 stars.

      1. Have to agree on that one…not sure was with all the hype at that place. Tried it a few times and thought it was pretty crappy BBQ. But hey, to each their own. But I will agree that Sonoma County only likes opening the same types of places 50 times. Like the never ending spree of stupid brew pubs. I think they are trying to open one per family around here. Ridiculous.

    2. I looooove mexican food but i agree with you! There are as many or more mexican food places than starbucks or subways! It’s sad to see(especially in RP) when another ethnic food place opens up it doesnt stay open for long even if it has great food.

  10. Does the picture of the food with this article apply to any of the restaurants that have opened/closed? Or is that just a generic food pic? Just wondering…cause it looks pretty good.

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