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Boonville Restaurant Changes

It’s been a strange couple of weeks in terms of the recent restaurant developments, with many Valley folks swapping stories and tales on this topic at the various events and social gatherings that I have attended over that time.

Of course this has been accompanied by the inevitable misinformed gossip and plain untruths that tend to surface in these parts. As someone who dines and drinks at many of our local eateries on a regular basis, and who owned and operated a very busy San Francisco pub/restaurant for many years, I have been privy to several conversations with those in the know on this subject: i.e., folks who seem to regard me with some esteem on this topic.

Here, briefly for now, is what is actually happening.

Libby’s Restaurant in Philo will be closing for good in the next couple of months, undoubtedly a big loss to the Valley.

Tom Towey, owner/operator of The Buckhorn, Boonville, has closed the doors on his popular pub/restaurant after five and a half years. He will not be re-opening. He hopes to sell his liquor license (the only one in the Valley) and the high quality equipment, furniture, and fittings, to someone who will negotiate with himself and landlord Gary Island. It is hoped this might take place in the five six weeks or so. Within 24 hours of announcing to a tearful staff that he was leaving, two inquiries had been made by local people/businesses. A third was weighing up the situation also. It should be stressed that Tom is not walking away for financial reasons. It is a personal decision based on many factors.

Meanwhile, Matt Barnes, co-owner of Stone and Embers, has stated that while business has been good, over the past few weeks several staff members have exited the business for one reason or another. Initially he and partner/chef Patrick Meany decided that the best course of action would be to take a break, rehire needed positions around mid-October, and open back up at the end of October. All that changed in one day following the closing of The Buckhorn and the sudden appearance on the labor market of a significant number of potential employees. So Stone and Embers now plans to be back open this coming weekend (for as many shifts as they can), and then running at full capacity the weekend of October 7th. The hours will be the same: Fri-Mon, 11:30am - 8:30pm, and as of now they have no plans to make significant schedule changes for the winter.

And finally at this time, Lauren’s Restaurant, celebrating their 21st year of business in town, will be keeping their successful Thursday through Sunday lunch going throughout the fall and into the winter months, and may be possibly increasing their hours at other times. Keep up the good work, Lauren and Natalie!

Currently, I have no reports of any other significant changes at our Valley nighttime eateries: Aquarelle Wine Bar and Cafe, The Boonville Hotel, or The Bewildered Pig. But it’s early days.

That’s all for now, but I shall no doubt have more to report in the upcoming weeks about any further changes in the up and down, wild and wacky, world that is the AV restaurant business.

One Comment

  1. Matt September 28, 2016

    Accurate assessment of our situation Mr. Sparks.

    I would like to add that Tom has done an outstanding job training his staff. We have all benefited from his investments in people.

    I’d like to thank Tom for providing a valuable community hub with very few interruptions in service and generous business hours. With this Valley’s labor pool or lack thereof, his 5.5 years at the Buckhorn shows impressive business accumen and hard work.

    Good luck to him on his next adventure.

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