Alamo's Courtyard Cafe closing Tuesday Restaurants, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Mar 16, 2009 at 7:27 am
The Courtyard Cafe, a popular breakfast and lunch venue in Alamo for almost 25 years, is closing its doors Tuesday, March 17. Since hearing the news, regular customers have been streaming in to enjoy a last meal and chat one more time with the friendly staff. A new restaurant will open in the same spot, probably in late April.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, March 15, 2009, 8:16 PM
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 7:27 am
I am very sad to see my favorite breakfast restaurant forced out of Alamo by a greedy landlord. I will vote with my checkbook and not reward the landlords for their decision. They made a business decision, I'm making a business decision. I hope everyone joins me...
Posted by Dawn, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 8:36 am
As a loyal (20 year) customer of the Courtyard Cafe, I am saddened to see it close
Barbara and her wonderful staff (Colleen, Tila, Jo, and Anna, to name a very few) have indeed - as the story says - become like family. Their warmth and the wonderful food consistently turned out by the hardworking kitchen staff have made the Courtyard a 'destination restaurant' for each and every one of my houseguests over the years. My family and friends from all over the country look forward to visiting; it's a first stop for many!
We hosted all of our family and out of town guests for breakfast there the morning after our wedding, back when Jen was the hostess - do you remember that Oregon fans' wonderful collection of sparkly pins, and her smart sassy attitude?
It's my understanding - though I may be wrong - that the LLC who leases the space wants a restaurant in there that serves dinner, not just breakfast and lunch. I heard that this was because the lease is written in such a way that it gives the LLC a cut of the profits from all restaurant seatings, and 3 is theoretically better than two. I have no idea if this info is correct (sounds goofy to me). It DOES seem to be a boneheaded move to get rid of a highly popular, solid business in favor of one that might do better - or might not - in this economic climate.
I was also told that the Peasant & Pear owners are actively recruiting the C. Cafe staff to work in the new restaurant, even though they know Barbara is seeking a new space. This is distasteful.
Like the first poster above, I will be voting with my checkbook and take my business elsewhere.
Posted by Member of a lunch bunch, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 8:43 am
We always were welcomed like family and it's so sad to see a great owner and wonderful group of employees lose their jobs, only to have to move to another location. We hear the prices aren't that reasonable at Peasant and Pear, so doubt if we frequent that new restaurant very often. We liked the quality food and fair prices at the Courtyard Cafe. You will be missed!
Posted by Jerry Vaughn, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 11:04 am
Alamo Court Yard has been fixing my breakfast for over 14 years.... I will definitley miss them. It was a Sunday meeting place and everyone knew everyone, a family meeting place. Barbara and her crew will be missed. I wish them all well and will look for them around Alamo.
Posted by Kathy, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm
It's always sad to hear of a popular restaurant leaving the neighborhood
but it's also great news to hear The Peasant and the Pear will be joining Alamo. It's also great news to hear that Rodney will help to keep The Courtyard's staff employed. My husband and I always enjoy the food and friendly staff when we dine at The Peasant and The Pear.
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm
More of the greedy "upscaling" of the San Ramon Valley area. Next thing ya know, the goofy LLC that bought the place for more than its worth will be trying to shoehorn a miniature Neiman Marcus in there or something.
While my wife and I like The Peasant and the Pear (had a steak there last night), its a totally different environment than the Courtyard Cafe no matter what the menu has on it. We'll be buying a nice salad or sandwich from Barbara as soon as she reopens.
On the (possibly) brighter side, maybe the new location will actually have adequate parking !
Posted by 28 year Alamo resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm
What a shame to have a landlord that resembles Micheal Douglas's charcter in "Wall Street". Unfortunatley, he has no sense of community. We have eaten at the Courtyard for the past 20+ years and thoroughly enjoy the food and staff. We too will vote with our checkbook and ecourage anyone who will listen to do the same.
Posted by Susan, a resident of another community, on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm
The landlord is not being truthful. As I was told, Barbara did not want to retire...she was forced to by this unprofessional/greedy man. I think he should be ashamed of himself and the new restaraunt boycotted for capitalizing on his greed!
Posted by Alamo resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm
Many ask "why take it out on the new people?" Well, they could have gone to Barbara and bought the business from her instead she gets nothing. We don't want to put any more money in the landlords pocket. Let him eat at this new place with the few friends he may still have.
Posted by Visitors, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:12 pm
Restuarants change menus, owners, staff and customers frequently. Change can be good even though it is always painful for some.
I wish the previous owner the best of luck as she reopens in a new location if that is what she decides to do. Sounds like she'll have a strong following and possibly can repeat her success. Perhaps she should have reconsidered her choice to not accept conditions of a new lease. It was her choice not to renew which left the landlord in a position of looking for a new tenant.
Peasant & The Pear is a great restaurant with a wonderful staff. Hopefully, people will put aside their frustration and give the new restaurant a try.
Posted by KD, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 9:40 pm
Like many others, we too have enjoyed the Courtyard for many years. We used to carry our now teenage daughter in there in her infant carrier and placer her on an upside down kid chair (ah the memories). The staff is fantastic and knows my usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday and weekend order better than I do! A large percentage of our dining out budget went to the Courtyard – we just loved it there. I will have to let my conscience drive my future actions – I cannot support a landlord that treats people this way. I agree with many comments above and will take my business elsewhere.
Posted by Alamo Courtyard, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm
To the special and loyal customers of the Courtyard Café:
For fourteen years the Courtyard Café, has offered its customers great food and great service. With the consistent exercise of this formula, the Courtyard Café became a landmark restaurant, an Alamo institution, and an extremely successful business entity. It is therefore with great regret that we announce the expiration of the Lease with the Courtyard Café Inc., and the closing of the café.
Notwithstanding attempts by the owners of Alamo Courtyard to keep the existing Tenant, the owner of the Courtyard Café, Inc., elected not to renew the lease. And, although we are disappointed, to see the café close, we congratulate the owner for her demonstrated success as a business operator and wish her great health and happiness in her journey.
As for the future of the restaurant location, we are pleased announce that we have entered into a lease with an extraordinary replacement restaurant tenant. The Peasant & The Pear Inc., owned and operated by award winning chef and restaurateur Rodney Worth, brings a history of providing diners with extraordinary food, unparalleled service, and true value. After a brief redecorating and furnishing of the restaurant, plans include providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner service in a friendly, quaint, and comfortable environment.
The Peasant & The Pear, Inc., and the Alamo Courtyard look forward to serving you in the near future.
Posted by Steve an Alamo resident for 25 years, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 8:54 am
We are outraged at what Robert Burgess has done to our family. We have been going almost every weekend to the Courtyard Cafe for 20+ years, Barbara, Colleen, Anna and Tila are all a part of our family and we have been a part of theirs. I know I speak for many of the customers who feel the same way. For Burgess to fabricate a story that Barbara Young wanted to retire is just an out and out lie. We all know why he forced her out--GREED, GREED and more GREED! What Burgess has done and the way he went about it is not only unprofessional, but shows that he doesn't care about the Alamo community. Like many others who have posted here, I will vote with my checkbook and will not patronize the Peasant and Pear when it opens in the Alamo Courtyard. One can only hope that Burgess and Bernie Madoff will enjoy being bunkmates!
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:31 am
To Alamo Courtyard -
Twisting the facts to suit your position reinforces my decision to not patronize your new tenant. Attempting to blackmail the Courtyard Cafe into adding dinner service and extort a percentage of the receipts is NOT negotiating in good faith.
You have under-estimated this community and we will not reward your reprehensible behavior.
Posted by Alamo resident for 32 years, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:33 am
Let's take a minute to reflect on what Barbara has established for the last twenty years at the Courtyard Cafe. The Courtyard family knows your name when you walk in the door and truly cares about the people they serve. In all of this Barbara has truly taken the high road, she is a woman full of integrity and has a heart of gold. She cares about her Courtyard family- the people of the community and her employees. She has spent the last twenty years of her life invested in making this a place where people feel like home. Where people come for a hug or just to talk and share a laugh. Her dedicated staff is an unique group of individuals that have also invested their lives into this restaurant, they are a group that can never be duplicated.
She has made every attempt to keep the Courtyard what it is and unfortunately, the closing of the Courtyard; although, out of her control, has been met by her with dignity, compassion and sense of pride for all the years she has a been a part of of this amazing extended family. The Cafe is not only a loss of a business, but a loss of a family.
Posted by Melissa, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 10:47 am
We are very excited to have thw owners of the Peasant and the Pear take over Alamo Courtyard Cafe!!! Their food is wonderful and I know they have a wonderful and well priced menu planned! I hope everyone who is bitter about the Alamo Courtyard Cafe changing ownership looks at all the facts, realizes this was just as much a decision by the prior owner as it was by the Landlords and give the new Cafe a chance. There is no reason to take out your frustrations on the new owners who are very hardworking small business owners and want to provide us with a wonderful place to eat!
Posted by Fan of the Courtyard, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:21 am
Barbara and the Staff of the Courtyard will be sorely missed. We've seen what has happened to Father Nature's in Danville, when the new owners said, "Change is good." I wouldn't eat there if it were the last place standing in the SR Valley. While The Peasant and the Pear is an excellent restaurant, their menu doesn't compare to The Courtyard's. No crab sandwiches or calamari salads? What a shame!
I will probably support the new restaurant, just because of the convenient location and the quality of the food, but, I hate the fact that the landlord might get a percentage of the coffers!
Perhaps a Cheesecake Factory will open in Yardbird's!
Posted by Maddie, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:45 am
As an Alamo resident who is also in the restaurant business I am confused as to why people seem to think it is a crime for a landlord to share in the sales of a restaurant. It is a very standard practice to structure a restaurant's rent on a percentage of sales. Ask any restauranteur about this. This is fair for both the landlord and the tenant.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Congrats, you are both correct and incorrect at the same time. While sharing a percentage of sales is common, attempting to require Barbara to adding dinner service is not.
If you truly are a restaurateur, you understand that the cost of adding dinner service is exponentially more expensive that breakfast or lunch. For Mr. Burgess to require a change in the way the business is run is NOT within his purview.
This is exactly why I won't reward this behavior with my business. I hope you won't wither...
Posted by R.A., a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm
As a person who grow up going the what they did was ashame, Pheasant and pear owner dosn't know what he is doing, I've been there and all I got to say is I've had far better. Is what they did acutlly legal? I will do as others have said I will vote with my money, and certianly I wont give it to them. To all the owners @#$%^&*&%$$# that is what my final thoughts are!
Posted by Saddened by it all, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm
Coming from a place that knows the facts, it saddens me to see all these very harsh and hurtful words being spewed. No one is happy that the Courtyard Café is closing; personally, it breaks my heart as I see these people everyday and will miss them immensely. It is very comforting being greeted each day with a smile and knowing that it is coming from a warm and caring person.
That being said the facts are being distorted and that does not seem fair to anyone, especially those of you that are basing your remarks on them. The fact is the Alamo Courtyard owners did NOT want to see the Courtyard Café close; they gave Barbara every opportunity, with assorted options, to extend her lease (and serving dinner was NOT a prerequisite). Barbara made the decision not to extend her lease some time ago. She chose not to tell her staff or customers, and asked the owners to abide by her wishes which they did, thus creating an opening for all kinds of rumors and innuendos.
While we adore Barbara and want only the best for her it is disconcerting that she is still not being quite honest with her longtime employees or her loyal customers. It is possible that that she didn’t realize how painfully hard it was going to be to close after so many years, and regrets her decision, but the fact remains it was her decision whether she, or we, like it or not. A decision she should be able to make without shame or misgivings.
Unfortunately, things change in life most of us would prefer they stay the same but that is not reality, things change. As hard as it may be what we have to do is accept change and make the most of it. Everyone will choose what is best for them, try the new restaurant or not but don’t make your decision based on what you think you know. Also, it is the Peasant’s Courtyard not the Peasant and the Pear, so the menu, while still delicious, will be more suited for the Courtyard’s environment.
The closing of the Courtyard Café hurts many of us, and if Barbara decides that the decision she has made was not the right one for her and chooses to reopen in another location we will support her. But for now, it is time to move on. The best of luck to everyone and God bless.
Posted by Susan, a resident of another community, on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm
I think it is despicable and deplorable of you, claiming to be "coming from a place that knows the facts" when we all know darn well who you are. Why don't you tell everyone the REAL FACTS instead of what you are making up in your head to make yourself look better?
How dare you call Barbara a liar when you are the LIAR and ahorrible person and not someone that I would ever trust or listen to....I hope that Karma comes around and serves your what you rightfully deserve. And I hope that on judgement day you are reminded of what acompletely donkey's butt you have been.
A good, kind and wonderful person is having her name drug through the mud for your actions and for defaming her character and her sweet and kind personality I am furious. If I didn't think it would get erased I would tell you EXACTLY what I think of you...but I am sure that everyone will see right through these posts and know that you an $#%.
Posted by PS, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm
Are you the kind of person who kicks the dog when the cat scratches up your favorite chair? Do you believe in robbing Peter to pay Paul? Because is seems people are shooting at the wrong target here.
I love the Peasant & the Pear in Danville, and know the owners who are generous, warm-hearted and community-minded people. Rodney has a real knack for putting together delicious food, and Natalie invests hours and hours of her time every week as a volunteer helping local Moms. I'm excited to try their new, family-friendly bistro and menu.
I don't know ANYTHING about the business deal. I'm saddened by any business closing its doors this year, and there are so many of them, but I'm if someone's OPENING their doors in this economic environment, I plan to get behind them.
Punishing a lease manager by boycotting Rodney and Natalie in their new venture doesn't seem right. Consider the hurt your words may already be causing them. I say give them a break, and give the new bistro a fair chance.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm
Rodney & Nancy aren't exactly the saints you would paint them to be. They have attempted to hire the entire Courtyard Cafe staff, which amounts to trying to buy the business without buying the business. If you don't find that morally objectionable and ethically questionable, you are already lost.
Don't condone this behavior with your hard earned money, vote with your checkbook...
Posted by CY customer, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Absolutely amazing the mud this landlord, Mr Burgess slings. I am a long time customer and knew well over a month ago that Barbara was having a very difficult time with the contract negotiations. Her staff knew at that time as well. So to say "She chose not to tell her staff or customers" is an outright lie. At first I thought the landlord was just greedy, but know I know differently. How sad to have someone like this operating in our community. VOTE with you feet - avoid the Courtyard in the future.
Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on Mar 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm
In today's neighborhoods e-exchanges, the immediate concern was finding the Courtyard Cafe a new location and then participate in the demand negotiations. It seems regional counsel is contacting Colliers International to investigate a courtyard-styled setting for the cafe and will then contact The Courtyard Cafe Inc with a proposal. With Alamo Plaza aggressively negotiating, according to investors, the remedy should be attainable and quite immediate.
The Courtyard is inappropriate for a dinner restaurant due to the parking issues at the site and in the area. It is hard to imagine that the P&P operation can succeed with sufficient volume based on access.
Creating a courtyard setting in the main plaza will increase the success of the Courtyard Cafe. Most importantly, having a true breakfast, well served, in the Alamo Plaza is a positive addition.
In the same manner that neighborhoods are resolving our local hardware store availability, let's assume that a Courtyard Cafe will thrive in a new, easy-access environment.
**commentary by Vince, representing business district investors**
Posted by Lee, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm
I am shocked at the hatred that has been written here today. There are two sides to every story and unless you were actually in on these negotiations you do not know what transpired. I have know Mr. Burgess for a very long time. He has volunteered many,many hours for youth soccer, and other activities in the Alamo area. I know Barbara also and know that this was a hard choice for her to make, but she made the choice. I find it so hard to believe that I live in a town with people that can write such horrible comments. Alamo has lost some of its magic and not because a business decideded not to renew its lease.
Posted by Rodney Worth, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:49 pm
We at The Peasant & The Pear are delighted to be joining the Alamo community, and are looking forward to making many new friends and welcoming old ones at The Peasant’s Courtyard.
We are passionate about many things in our business: providing great food and excellent service, becoming an integral part of the community by sharing generously with local schools and non-profit organizations, and operating with honesty and integrity in everything we do. We also strive to do our best at all times, and to please everyone we have the privilege to serve. We actively request and welcome feedback from those who have dined with us, and respect the opinions of all of our guests. We will continue to honor the same commitments and practices in Alamo.
We were not planning to issue any comments on this article, or on the comments that have been posted above, but feel that there are inaccurate statements about us that that must be corrected. On these issues, our actions have been described in a manner that is false, misleading, and contrary to everything we believe in:
1. We have not been and never will be involved in any way in the relationship between the current tenant and landlord. We have only good wishes for the current tenant in her future endeavors.
2. We never have contacted the current tenant or any of her employees, for any reason.
To our many good friends and neighbors, we thank you for your concern and continued patronage and support. To those who we have not yet had the privilege to meet, we humbly ask that you give us the opportunity to serve you before publicly passing judgment on us.
Posted by CY Fan, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:45 am
It was so sad to see the Courtyard Cafe close its doors. Regulars and residents came and went all morning and early afternoon to bid the staff a warm farewell. Being a very longtime fan, I was sorry to see them leave but gladdened at the support and care shown by the community.
Having spoken to several of the staff over the past week, I have to say I'm surprised at the conflicting reports posted here. I was personally told by two Courtyard Cafe staff that they were offered positions at the new Peasant's Courtyard. I don't understand why those offering the jobs would deny this, or why the staff people would say so if it weren't true.
I'm not taking a position on the situation ('...gosh, how nice that they'll stay employed at the same physical location...,' or '... thinking that the current clientele will follow their 'family' of staff into the new restaurant is tantamount to stealing, not buying, the business...'). I'm just stating what I was told myself.
Again, so sad to see Barbara and her crew depart our lovely Alamo. You will all be missed!!!
Posted by PS, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:10 am
Rodney Worth put his name to his comment, and clearly stated that he did not contact any of the restaurant staff at all, and yet still people are posting heresay negative rumors.
Also the scathing comment above that "Nancy" is no saint. Come on, you don't even know that her name is Natalie, not Nancy. And again, no name on your post, no actual facts, just rumor and inuendo about someone you obviously don't know. Natalie heads up our Alamo MOPS Moms group of 60 ladies, does hours and hours of generous heart-felt work for the group every week, and is, in my humble opinion, pretty saintly!
Lay off this lovely couple, everyone. If you are not personally aware of the real facts, don't post rumors that are damaging to real people here.
Posted by Melissa, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:20 am
To the poster who said "Rod and Nancy aren't exactly the saints you would paint them to be".
How much reliance would I put on your statement when you don't even know the owners names. Her name is Natalie not Nancy. You clearly have NO idea what you are talking about.
They are the most honest, hardworking, kind people I know.
As Rod stated, they have made absolutely no effort to hire away the employees of the Courtyard. Get your facts straight before you publically post comments when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:47 am
First, I apologize for re-naming Mrs. Worth to Nancy.
Unfortunately, someone is "mis-representing" the truth. It's either Mr. Worth or the employees of the Courtyard Cafe. Since I got my information directly from an employee of the Courtyard Cafe, I must believe them over those with whom I have had no direct contact.
I therefore stand-by the statement that Rodney and "Natalie" attempted to hire the entire staff of the Courtyard Cafe, attempting to buy the business without buying the business.
I still believe that is shameful and I will be voting with my checkbook, as will many others...
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:56 am
If you dont want to go to the Peasants Courtyard then dont go. But to rant about this and that and spread rumors is petty. I look foward to the opening and will make the drive to Alamo to suport the Peasants Courtyard. I already like the cafe and seeing the negative comments will make me support them even more.
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:57 am
I am sad to hear the Courtyard Cafe will be closing its doors. I very much like the staff and the food there.
With that said - I was really happy to hear another restaurant will open in its place - one that is in fact serving dinner as well. As a resident of Alamo, I am always looking to support our local existing AND new businesses and don't doubt this new restaurant will be welcome here. I've been to the Peasant and the Pear many times and love the quality food and service. If they can bring a peace of that excellent cuisine and service (either by keeping some of the old Courtyard employees or adding new ones) then fantastic!! Let's encourage those who are willing to invest their time and money bringing something great and new to our Alamo.
We'll be sure to ride our bikes there and save some of the much needed parking for those of you coming from farther away.
Posted by alamo resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 11:38 am
As long time Alamo residents, our family has seen more than one of our favorite restaurants close only to be replaced by something equally wonderful. The new Japanese restaurant and Xzenia come to mind.
However, for breafast nothing was better than the Courtyard Cafe. It was a treat to visit from the moment we arrived and Tilia showed up with our lattes, Colleen buzzing by with her flashing earrings and tales of vacationing on her motorcycle and Anna with her straws, always remembering our favorite items so that we didn't even have to look at the menu. Barbara personified the meaning of what a "lady" truly is. She was always the perfect hostess full of grace and charm.
Therefore, we were deeply saddened to hear about the closing of the Courtyard and we spoke frequently with the staff during the negotiations. I am sure that the P and P may be a wonderful restuarant but our my husband and I and our extended families will be spending our money elsewhere.
Best wishes to the Courtyard Cafe staff, the community of Alamo will deeply miss you all. Please don't lose that list that we all signed because we will be back, promise!
Posted by Dawn, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm
All right -
To "PS -" put your own name on your post if you're going to disparage others for failing to do so.
Just had to say that...
I was also at the Courtyard Cafe yesterday for the 'last day.' So many wonderful memories were revisited, so many remembrances and gifts were brought and left; it was difficult to avoid a few tears. It was VERY obvious that the community was deeply moved and will very much miss Barbara and her outstanding operation.
While I was there, one of the staff people told me that they had been offered - and declined - a server/waiter position at the soon-to-be new Peasant's Courtyard. I have no reason to believe they were lying about it; quite to the contrary, they had been upset by it. This is in addition to the other staff member who told me they had been offered a job by the new owner 3 days previous. So when "CY Fan," above, says that they were told the same thing, it seems that someone else is indeed lying. Plain language is important.
Regardless, of course I would not wish the new operators to fail; I do not know them personally, and have only dined in their Danville restaurant on two occasions. I did not enjoy the food so will not be back - not everything appeals to everyone - but that does not in any way diminish my desire to see ANY Alamo business succeed.
Barbara is, as noted by many posters, a lady in every sense of the word, and I DO know her. Shame on anyone who would attempt to muddy her character and reputation, which are above reproach.
Her business practices and acumen have already been proven to be excellent, as evidenced by her ability to attract, hire, and KEEP such a phenomenal core staff for so VERY MANY YEARS. A staff, including servers, cooks, cleaners, et al, who keep a DEDICATED CLIENT BASE very happy and coming back for more, year after year after year.
Again - I wish the operators of the new restaurant no ill will and every success. Unfortunately, the way in which the change took place - coupled with the fact that I have tried, and personally disliked, the cuisine at their first restaurant - is what will keep me from patronizing the new establishment. (I'm the first to admit I lack a sophisticated palate, but I DO very frequently dine out and have found dozens of excellent restaurants in our area.)
The landlord, NOT the restaurateurs, owns the pocket into which I do not want my hard-earned dollars landing. So I am forced to avoid the (possibly) decent to punish the (reportedly) despicable.
This would be an excellent debate for an ethics class...
Posted by DANVILLE RESIDENT, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm
I'm sure the new owners don't need the old wait staff to succeed, but might have been willing to hire some or all as a nice gesture and to allow them to stay employed.However, because of all the bull#@&* that has been said about stealing employees he probably won't touch them with a ten foot pole so he won't be accused of 'buying a restaurant,without buying a restautant.' Way to shot your self in the foot people. You might have just costs these wonderful employees of the Cafe' a chance for a job.
Posted by Halamo, a resident of another community, on Mar 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm
How does everybody feel about the Elegant Bib closing and the removal of Alamo's only motel? Maybe we need to build a hotel and put the Courtyard Cafe in it?
Seeing humor among the commentary is only to suggest what has left and what will come are realities of business. The Courtyard Cafe Inc has many options for locations that wish to be creative in their attraction of tenants.
Has anyone asked Mike Mundelius, Colliers International, for some creative solutions?
Posted by Katie, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 2:07 pm
The new resturant will be an excellent addition. The owners are incredible people who really care about the community. We should all support them in this new buisness venture and keep an open mind rather that harbor the negative feelings that have nothing to do with the new resturant going in. The community of Alamo should be proud to have the Peasant's Courtyard cuisine and ambiance to enjoy in the upcoming wonderful warm days of spring and summer.
Posted by Mindy, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 3:33 pm
I enjoyed the Courtyard Cafe and am sorry for the sad situation that Barbara is in. None of that was the Worth's doing. Rodney and Natalie are deeply committed to their community, extend generousity and good will in ways that I think Alamo residents would appreciate. Their style will be different, the food different too. But I know they will bring an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I love the P&P and look forward to their cafe. It is grossly unfair that loyal patrons of the Courtyard Cafe's are putting the new venture in the cross-hairs of their anger with the landlords.
Posted by AnnsleyH, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm
It is sad to hear of a restraunt closing but exciting to hear of a new one coming in. It is nice that Rodney is trying to keep the employees of the Courtyard employed. Even though it is sad the Courtyard could not sign a new lease, why are people taking it out on the new restraunt (and its owners) without it even being open yet.
Posted by Dawn, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Mindy, I agree that it's unfair the owners of the Peasant's Courtyard might not have a chance to retain all of the current Courtyard Cafe's loyal clientele. In the normal course of business, one would hope that everyone would 'try out' the new place and decide for themselves whether or not to continue to eat there.
Unfortunately for them, there is no other tangible way for restaurant patrons to force the landlord to feel the effects of what are largely perceived to be underhanded business practices. I can only speak for myself and my family, which I did. While we have every desire to see the new enterprise succeed, we now have two reasons to avoid the new restaurant - we don't like the food at the existing place, AND we don't like what we were told by Courtyard Cafe employees about how the transition came about.
Posted by Melissa, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm
The Peasant and the Pear has the absolute best and freshest food I have had anywhere in the east bay. There is definitely a reason why the Rodney Worth has been voted best chef in the East Bay by Diablo magazine. As Alamo residents we should feel privileged that such a fine and accomplished restauranteur has chosen to open a second location in our small community.
Dawn, as far as your comments about not liking the food at P&P, I simply cannot imagine. I do not think I have a sophisticated pallate either but the food is extremely fresh and very well prepared. Having said that, I understand, although I do not agree with, why you will not support the new restaurant but I hope others will realize that this is not a second Peasant and the Pear opening in Alamo. This is an entirely different restaurant with a bistro feel - specializing in sandwiches and salads. The menu is entirely different. AND the prices will be compatible with the Alamo Courtyard Cafe. I feel privileged to have already previewed the menu and it looks absolutely fabulous!
I for one am very excited to see what Rodney has on the breakfast menu since P&P doesn't serve breakfast! I know whatever it is will be wonderful and I can't wait to try it!
Posted by Alamo CY patron, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm
Interesting reading all the posts. Let me tell you what I personally observed 3 weeks ago at the Courtyard. A customer at the Courtyard sitting in the far back of the restaurant was calling over the waitstaff one at a time to hand them a card from the new owners and telling them that the new owners couldn't call them, but they should call the new owners. To me this behavior is an attempt to circumvent Barbara. Why wouldn't the new owners be totally open and honest and go talk to Barbara about talking to her employees???? Barbara is one the most honest people I have ever met.
Also the article in the paper where Robert is quoted as saying Barbara decide to retire is not true.
I am so incensed by these types of behaviors, that I cannot bring myself to support this current landlord and suggest others that understand the fact do the same and spend your hard earned money elsewhere when you eat out.
Posted by JK, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Although we have dined at the Courtyard Cafe for over 15 years and enjoyed it there, we plan on returning back and patronizing the Peasant's Courtyard when it opens its doors. Having come from a long line of small family business owners I support Natalie and Rodney in their new busines venture. They are wonderful people and deserve every opportunity to succeed! Give them a chance!
Posted by visitor, a resident of another community, on Mar 19, 2009 at 11:57 am
PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE to ALL.YOU were not there during any negotiations.So you do not know first hand what actually happened.And has anybody seen or heard Rodney HIMSELF approach any of the staff? You are being unfair to everybody by promoting hearsay and downright gossip.
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:32 am
We will not go to the new cafe!!! Cry, cry cry all you want. Taking it out on the new owners will do nothing but make you a sour, hateful person. You are lucky to get these people to even be interested in opening in Alamo.
Posted by Alamo John, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 9:18 am
Hi Julia, great day to you also. I was just responding about the comments made in the link I provided about Danville and the other tenants being pushed out because Chow restaurant moving in. Someone against Alamo incorp. said that if we were to incorporate the small business people in our town would eventually be pushed out. Which I thought was a just a scare tactic. As mentioned in my first post, it doesn't matter whether city or county, seems like it going to happen either way unfortunately. Money seems to be the bigger priority. In case you didn’t read the link I provided, here is what I was referring to. My comment is also here for you.
Posted by John, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 16, 2009 at 9:17 am
I have never eaten at Chow-Danville. Chow is not to blame though. The Danville Planning Commission and the owners of the property are. Raising the fee's that much a month are sure signs of more changes to who rents there. People of Danville should contact the commission and let them know how they feel. If and when Alamo incorporates the people of Alamo must let their voices be heard to their own commission. They will be more likely to be heard by their own commission then the County planners.
Posted by Barbara, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm
Alamo residents - Watch out - this will happen when you incorporate. Vote NO on March 3rd.
Although Alamo voted no against incorporation, I still feel that we as Alamo residents would have a better chance of convincing our own commission on what we want for our town then the county commission.
Brain dead, I beg to differ. Good luck to who ever occupies that location.
Posted by Dawn, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 10:32 am
For 'Ron,' who said:
"We will not go to the new cafe!!! Cry, cry cry all you want. Taking it out on the new owners will do nothing but make you a sour, hateful person. You are lucky to get these people to even be interested in opening in Alamo.
Bunch of cry babies!!!!"
Why, no, Ron. We (my family, friends, and I) are actually not sour, hateful people. We just don't like what we've heard with our own ears from Courtyard Cafe employees about the new tenant and landlord of The Alamo Courtyard, and have decided not to spend our money there.
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm
Dawn, I just believe in several things. One is not to believe anything I hear and only half of what I see. Did you sit in on the terms of the lease and why that failed? People turn sour and will start saying what ever they want to make the landlord and new tenant look as bad as possible. To be taking it out on the new tenant is not right. The past owner could not come to terms and thus a new tenant will move in. It stops there. And yes, if you are not going to the new cafe, because of what you "hear", how is that not hateful and sour? Stop fooling yourself!
Posted by NO SHOW, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Here's something that cannot be avoided - People were led to believe that the reason Barbara was closing her restaurant was because she wanted to retire. Was this true? Absolutely not. Sneaky, underhanded, dishonest from the get-go, and our only reason that will not support the landlords or the new establishment.
Posted by Shelby, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 21, 2009 at 8:52 am
At some point you have to choose who you trust and believe. I trust and believe the people I have known for over 10 years. If that makes a person hateful and sour, count me in. Attacking a person for believing and supporting the people with whom they have a long term relationship, THAT is hateful and sour.
BTW, did you vote for Obama because you saw what he'd done, or because you believed what he said?
Posted by Commutes to Alamo, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2009 at 12:57 am
Sounds like there urgently needs to be a follow up article to get the facts straight. Quote from the prior article (linked below) by Dolores Fox Ciardelli: "Young has no plans to open another restaurant, she said, but customers wanted to leave their contact information in case she does. By Saturday afternoon, two legal pads were filled with names and addresses."
I hope that if Ms. Young was misquoted she sets the record straight. Otherwise, even if you don't believe Mr. Worth's statement that he had no contact with her staff, I'm hard pressed to understand why offering a job to someone who is out of work could be construed as a bad thing.
If the Courtyard Cafe is as well run as its supporters claim, I'm sure Ms. Young will have no trouble opening and thriving in a new location. Despite my appreciation of the service of courtyard cafe, I'm not going to boycott the new location of P&P. Either it will be successful, which will prove the landlords made the correct business decision in requiring more from their lease, or it will fail, which will prove the Courtyard Cafe was running as efficient a business as could be run at that location. There's no need for consumer action either way.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2009 at 9:18 am
Anyone with even a simple restaurant background understands that serving dinner is exponential more expensive than breakfast and lunch. You need a completely different kitchen staff and the dinner ingredients are more costly. Why would anyone serve dinner if they had a great breakfast/lunch business? Because your landlord wants it? That's downright idiotic.
When the landlord presumes to tell you how to run your business, the landlord needs to take a fall to be brought back to reality.
Posted by Halamo, a resident of another community, on Mar 26, 2009 at 8:53 am
After careful review by local humorists, we now understand the reality of so much participation in this specific forum. It seems that a factional culture within Alamo opposes President Barack Obama opening a restaurant at the location of the former Courtyard Cafe. As we read between the lines, the concern relates to the proposed restaurant, "The Grits Gourmet" being run by foreign interests outside the factional culture that supported the Courtyard Cafe. Among the remnants of conservative points of view in our region, it seems everything becomes a matter of politics, even Grits.
It is clear that such a factional culture did not provide their permission or blessing to the result and now wishes to influence the broader majority of neighbors in the Alamo region that are amused by such discussions. Such amusement comes from the volume of vacant space in the Alamo business district and the creative efforts of Colliers International and others to fill those spaces with very attractive businesses including the Courtyard Cafe.
Just when the memory of Strawberry Corners is drifting away, we are faced with an Alamo that refused to stay just the way it is! Isn't that the nitty GRITty of the argument?
Posted by Courtyard Fan, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2009 at 9:33 am
Well, we tried the Peasant Courtyard and the food was OK, but very expensive. Service was just OK as well. I found it very hard to eat there after all the great times we had before. Especially, knowing that the Landlord, Burgess, was making money off of us. So, we will not go there again. And to think we used to spend $300 - $400 a month at the old Courtyard.