It's a new era for Woodside's first firehouse. For the past 16 years, the little red building at 2992 Woodside Road has been home to John Bentley's popular restaurant. Wednesday, March 31, will be the restaurant's last day of business.
Taking over April 1 will be new proprietors Zu Tarazi and his wife, Kristy Borrone. The restaurant, to be known as Station One, will be closed for about a month for renovations.
Mr. Tarazi is a former manager of John Bentley's, Redwood City. "They will be a dynamite front of the house," said owner John Bentley of the young couple. Paul Shields, sous chef at John Bentley's, Redwood City, will become the new chef in Woodside.
And in another case of trading places, Santos de la Concha, who has been the chef in Woodside, is coming over to serve as Mr. Bentley's sous chef in Redwood City.
Mr. Bentley said it was never his intention to operate two restaurants within three miles of each other. At the time he opened John Bentley's in Redwood City in 2004, he planned to close the Woodside restaurant.
However, after listening to pleas of longtime Woodside customers to stay open, he decided he could keep both businesses running. Now, six years later, he admitted, "I can't be in two places at once."
In speaking with The Almanac, Mr. Bentley said he wanted to thank all his longtime patrons in Woodside for their loyalty and support in making his first venture as a restaurateur such a success. "I absolutely adore everybody in Woodside," he said.
Of the new owners, he said: "They have great plans. They are very passionate about working with local farmers and providing the best sustainable food."
The Almanac was unable to contact Mr. Tarazi and Ms. Borrone before press time.