XXV takeover, Flipside on Rabbaa’s 2012 horizon

A food empire grows in Santa Rosa

Nino Rabbaa
Rabbaa and his daughter at Rendez Vous

Nino Rabbaa
Rabbaa and his daughter at Rendez Vous

Downtown restaurateur Nino Rabbaa of Rendez Vous Bistro and the forthcoming Flipside Bar & Burgers has recently acquired Space XXV, in Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.

The plan is to turn the hyper-designed studio into a chocolate, cheese and bubbly (as in champagne) tasting bar. And maybe caviar too. Still in the rough conceptual stages, Rabbaa said he’s planning to brighten up what was a short-lived bar and restaurant and make it a place to showcase local cheeses (along with some from his French homeland) along with chocolates and other luxury bites and sips.  No opening date is set, but it will be after the opening of…

Flipside, which is slated for opening in late January or early February after months of construction, permitting and the addition of an outdoor patio space. The haute burgery, which has been highly anticipated for more than a year, has been nearly complete for several months but waiting in part for…

A new executive chef has been hired to oversee the kitchens of Rendez Vous and Rabbaa’s other restaurant properties. The restaurant has lacked a strong culinary identity since the departure of chef de cuisine Matthew Karson in June 2011. A new chef is slated to arrive this month, though the identity of that chef remains under wraps.

But that’s only part of the story. Rabbaa’s also been heavily involved with several community projects he’s taken on throughout the month of December. Each Christmas Eve, Rabbaa closes the restaurant to host a meal for up to 600 homeless and hungry locals. This year, the event will take place from noon to 3pm on December 24 at Rendez Vous.

Stay tuned, because there’s sure to be more to this developing story.


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