Starks buy Ravenous

Healdburg Cafe will become tapas spot

Ravenous Cafe | Mark Aronoff

Ravenous Cafe | Mark Aronoff
Ravenous Cafe | Mark Aronoff

Chef Mark Stark and his wife, Terri of Stark Reality Restaurants, are in the process of purchasing The Ravenous Cafe in Healdsburg.

“It wasn’t planned,” said restaurateur Mark Stark, who’s company now owns five restaurants in Sonoma County including Stark’s Steakhouse, Monti’s Rotisserie and Willi’s Winebar in Santa Rosa and Willi’s Seafood in Headlsburg. “The owners wanted to go back and do something smaller. It came across our plate and…you just can’t help but walk into that building and say ‘Wow, this is so cool’.”

The restaurant is continuing operations as Ravenous currently, but the Starks plan to rename and revamp the menu as traditional Spanish/Greek tapas by spring. “When Terri and I went to Spain last year, we just fell in love with that way of eating, with everyone sharing and having really cool food. It just creates a kind of party atmosphere.

The signature orange walls and back patio are staying, along with much of the small cafe’s funky personality. “It reminds us a lot of Willi’s,” said Stark.

It’s rumored that the cafe owners plan to put their energy into the tiny Ravenette Cafe on North Street, which shuttered in 2009.