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Marche restaurant in Menlo Park is closing

Original post made on Mar 6, 2011

Marche restaurant in Menlo Park, which had been named one of the top 25 restaurants in the Bay Area by Michelin Guide, will close March 26.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, March 6, 2011, 12:44 PM

Comments (86)

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

This is so sad. Marche has been a very available, high-end, high-quality, nice-atmosphere local restaurant. I got introduced to great local wineries and food suppliers through their special dinners.

Hope there is a chance all parties renegotiate...


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Posted by patrick
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

can't wait for the new furniture store to open... what a bummer.


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Posted by citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm

you would think land lords would extend their lease, instead of having to drive by & see a vacant building and the loss of a great neighborhood buisness. Greed never stops, even in bad times !! There
must be a distinct advantage to having no rent come in, as opposed to
a filled space with a successful business ! Is this what htey are teaching in business schools these days ?


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

"Is this what they are teaching in business schools these days ?"

Not sure. Ask the landlords of all the other vacant space along Santa Cruz Ave.


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Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I have an idea! How about another italian restaurant!

Very sad.


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Posted by Night Train
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

While I think Marche is a little snobhole, I'd rather see it there than drive by an empty building. Downtown is starting look like a shanty town.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

citizen wrote: "You would think land lords would extend their lease, instead of having to drive by & see a vacant building and the loss of a great neighborhood buisness. Greed never stops, even in bad times!!"

Landlords don't live in some gloomy, dark castle at the top of a deserted mountain top surrounded by evil flying monkeys. They are your friends, neighbors and relatives. They just happen to own real estate as their business instead of working at Stanford or selling life insurance.

Like any business, including yours, they will always take steps to maximize their return and profits. If they determine it is better to leave their space empty - as opposed to entering a long term lease at an artificially low rate - and try to lease it a year from now at a higher rate, they will. And like any business, sometimes they win, sometimes they lose.

There's no more greed involved than that shown by the Toyota dealer who sold you the Prius, the Peet's clerk that sold you the latte or the sales rep that sold you those solar panels. It's really that simple.

We should stop "demonizing" certain businesses such as oil companies, landlords and insurance companies. They wouldn't exist if there weren't people willing to buy their products and services.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm

they couldn't compete with madera, which offered better food at the same price


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Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Landlords are my friends and neighbors? Not here, not in this market. The landlords kin Menlo Park don't live in Menlo Park for the most part. They are trust funders or old property legacies who could not care less about Menlo Park, aside from the fact that this is pretty rich town to do business.

Landlords can often sit idle on property for months until someone comes in top pay outrageous prices to open, only to close later because of those prices.

We pay the ultimate price with no local businesses and no long-term stability because property owners in Atherton or Utah have no penalty for killing off local business.

Spare me the free market speech. Free markets are fine but it can also lead to franchises and chain stores only since that is where the real money resides.


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Posted by Sorry Not True
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Sorry but ever since I moved here there has been a constant issue with any development or REdevelopment of any kind that would help our business district. From the BevMo debacle, to the constant 30+ year argument about a small or low rise parking garage, to raising the UTT on businesses, to increasing prices on garbage containers, to lack of effort on the car dealership sites etc. Please spare me with the "it's the landlords fault" garbage. All you have to do is go south about a mile or two and witness a very vibrant downtown area, with little to NO vacant stores, but brand new, nice looking, hidden parking garages, and you have one heck of a downtown, with non-stop tax revenue flow. This town amazes me, so many smart people run by, and influenced by, a few loud mouth few. I'm still shell shocked by the negative comments strewn about regarding FaceBook and whether we should "accept them and allow them" to come to Menlo Park. Amazing, just amazing.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Sorry Not True gets it right. As I've said before, it would be far easier if you'd just tell us what businesses you want. And perhaps you can even put your money where your mouth is and finance that business and see if you can survive. I won't be holding my breath.

To interesting: Profits drive our entire country, pay lots of bills, send our kids to school and buy those fancy homes and cars we seem to love. Why don't you tell us how you make YOUR money so we can demonize your business? I'm sure we can find something.


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Posted by Ding
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

sadfsf, I would strongly disagree: I believe Marche had better and more diverse food and menu that is changing far more freqently then at Madera's.

I further believe, they certainly deserved a Michelin star more then Madera did though I would say that they both do, but it was just so strange that Madera got it so quickly.

I also don't quite like the new direction the Marche owners wanted to take. I agree that it might make them more profitable, but I also think Menlo Park and entire South Bay deserve another restaurant on par with Chez TJ.


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Posted by interesting
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I vote for a Walmart in Woodside. Then a Target. And so on. I want POGO to feel the franchise squeeze...


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Hey POGO,
One of the greediest landlords on Santa Cruz Ave is Menlo Park Presbyterian Church! That's the property owner who drove out the original Menlo Hardware, a very long-time & family run business. The space stayed empty for a long time.

Menlo Pres. is hardly the individual property owner you described.


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Posted by Adjustment Bureau
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2011 at 6:26 am

As "Sorry Not True" indicated, Palo Alto is indeed succeeding:

"Vacancy rates for retail, office space in downtown Palo Alto are improving"
Web Link

By contrast, "Downtowner" has it wrong- Menlo Presbyterian doesn't own 700 Santa Cruz Avenue, where the old hardware store was. They rent that space for their social hall in the back. If anything, MP's in Menlo Presbyterian's debt for subleasing to the new hardware store. Talk about revisionist history!


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Posted by Sorry Not True
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thank you Adjustment Bureau. I get on this blog from time to time and I am saddened by the ridiculous rhetoric from some people, particularly with the wrong information. We can pontificate all we want for another 10+ years, the problems will remain the same, as long as the small LOUD minority continue to distort facts and are so close minded that they cannot even consider small improvements, let alone something that would really be an upgrade for this commercial district. I do all I can to shop in our town, but I find myself going elsewhere now for meals. In fact, the last 3-5 times I have left and gone to PA or RWC. I do not enjoy giving my dollars to a somewhat competing town, but we are quickly debating ourselves into a ghost town. Enough with the lack of improving our downtown area, please planning commission and/or council, make the changes, STOP listening to the loud minority!


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

interesting - Still waiting to see how YOU make your money. Man up.

Downtowner - Menlo Park Presbyterian Church is perfect example of our local landlords. While I don't know them, I have to believe that the church "elders" live in the area, are our neighbors, friends, and relatives. Like all business owners, make decisions based on economics. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. If members of the church (who also live here...) don't like their decisions, they should tell them.


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Posted by Thomas
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

The Menlo Park Presbyterian Church is a perfect example our local landlords? Really? I'm sure other landlords wish they had their tax exempt status. The city would receive no revenue. Talk about free markets.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

I was responding to a post that said MP landlords were not local and even from Utah. They aren't. I didn't say the church is a perfect example of a landlord, I said the church is a perfect example of a LOCAL landlord... and I stand on that statement.

They live here, work here, pray here, eat here. They are our friends, neighbors and relatives... and don't live in Utah.

Of course, if you want to get into a discussion about tax exempt landlords, I suppose you can start another thread.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:11 am

Greed -- in the form of "maximizing their returns and profits" -- is indefensible. Milton Friedman praised it, the right wing wallows in it, and we are all worse off for the loss of civic minded notions of common wealth.

Humans may be animals but with their minds, when they develop them, they can feel compassion, act with moderation, show real concern for the larger society and the planet. People don't have to be small-minded, but in this country, small-mindedness is lauded, encouraged, treasured.


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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

Judging by many of the posts (Pogo's excluded as he is always on point) you would think that they owned the property which Marche is leasing. It never ceases to amaze me how liberals think they have the right to vanquish other people's property rights simply because they don't agree with how it is being used.

Liberals, why don't you band together and form a REIT and make an offer to purchase the property that Marche is leasing. Then after you close the deal (that is if you don't blow it with your far left rants)you can do whatever you want with it. You can even make it the national headquarters for Moveon.org and erect a statue of Jimmy Carter in front of it.


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Posted by tom h
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Maybe Obama and company can bail them out


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Posted by tom h
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm

The downtown is dying and nothing is being done. Just a bunch of talk with no action. Get rid of the entire city consul and get some people in there that know how to get things moving. I mean come on just look at El Camino, its just a mess year after year and now Santa Cruz Ave. No planning no imagination.


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Posted by Anna
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 8, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I will miss Marche a lot!
I agree that they were way more interesting than Madera (in terms of seasonal menus and special events).
Hotel restaurants seem to be at an advantage because they have the lease issue out of the way, and they have hotel guests as guaranteed customers. But are the local economic conditions really so harsh that the single upscale downtown restaurant can't survive? It makes me sad to think that if I want to experience some luxury in my own town, I must actually go to a hotel.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

It does seem a little out of the ordinary for a suburb like Menlo Park to have a great stand-alone upscale restaurant.

Silicon Valley confers wealth and a certain amount of taste upon communities like Menlo Park and Palo Alto, but they are not big cities with a big-city milieu, and the local residents seem adamant about never letting that happen.

There are outliers like the French Laundry in Yountville, for great restaurants in the United States, don't you usually have to go to a big city?


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Posted by Anna
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Joe, I was hoping that Menlo Park could rise a step above the ordinary US suburb, but maybe that's too much to hope for. Or not?

Also, if towns like Mountain View, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos can have great restaurants, why can't Menlo Park?


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm

As someone who can afford to eat out may once or twice a month, and then only to a place like The Fish Market or In and Out burgers, I really should keep my mouth shut about great restaurants.

I have refined my ability to cook for myself. I'm not great, but I do have admirers.


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Posted by marche
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Marche closed?

Let them eat cake.


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Posted by Que Sera
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I'm sure that everyone here who are just bitching at one another must have made it a pleasure to dine while they ate there.

This is a restaurant closing..

1,000 restaurants of all qualities close daily even without a depression in the U.S.


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Posted by Who Cares
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Who Cares? How many residents of Menlo Park at there regularly? They catered more to the Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley crowd. I'm sure those people will live.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Yes, although it's not the point, we will live just fine.

By the way, I'm still waiting for "interesting" to tell me how he makes his money.

This is my third request. Waiting...

Man up.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm

POGO, normally you make lots of super coolio comments, but your one recommending that we stop demonizing is a little silly for several reasons, most notably because landlords & insurance companies are often elitist, snotty, biased thieves. I, who am happy to pay rent, have rarely, rarely dealt with an honest landlord, commercial or residential, who had integrity and kept their word. Menlo is famous for having terrible commercial & residential landlords.

Insurance is a nightmare so I won't even go into that. I understand free market blah blah blah, but your comments don't match up w/the experiences of so many, including me.

Whatever the reasons Marche is going, it's sad.

Try Rumi in San Carlos.


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Posted by Flegelnomics
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

A relevant quote from the downtown old-timers on their "alliance" web site:

"Downtown Menlo Park is thriving even in these difficult times with one of the lowest vacancy rates in the area," said Mark Flegel, co-founder of the Menlo Park Downtown Alliance and long-time downtown business and property owner.

Uhhhhh, really?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I wasn't the one who demonized landlords.

Interesting said (above): "The landlords kin Menlo Park don't live in Menlo Park for the most part. They are trust funders or old property legacies who could not care less about Menlo Park, aside from the fact that this is pretty rich town to do business. Landlords can often sit idle on property for months until someone comes in top pay outrageous prices to open, only to close later because of those prices."

I have leased local commercial space from local landlords several times in my career and I have had excellent relations. Maybe I'm an outlier, but that's MY experience. And, in case you're interested, I'm NOT a landlord.

My point is that we shouldn't demonize legitimate businesses. If you don't like a business, just don't shop there or buy from them (a theme of many of my posts). If enough people feel as you do, they will go out of business soon enough.

Making a profit isn't evil, it's the basis of our economy. And if you don't like it, there's always Venezuela and Cuba.


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Posted by Ding
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm

POGO, I don't have even your (as you say) low experience with local landlords, but I can only agree with others that downtown is getting closer and closer to Detroit's suburbs (seen only on TV!). At such a state, I think property owners should sell before I finish this post or they will loose money... Soon we will need flashlights to go there.

Anyway, realistically, if Menlo Park wants a vibrant downtown, it will not happen at these expensive long-term rental prices; they have to come down, or inflation has to eat them (I know, owners are aware of the risk, but then they can always invest in gold and pray for inflation instead of putting a hold on the community), but perhaps even then the city needs to do something. The prices can come up for the landlords later on, but only once there is a downtown. Palo Alto can command the prices, but it has the downtown, while Menlo Park property in comparison is of much lower value to me.

Yes, Left bank is surviving and it will, but I doubt there is enough money for two left banks with the same number of people visiting downtown. In fact, by closing Marche, or even modifying it to be Left Bank 2, Menlo Park is loosing half of my expenses previously allocated to Menlo Park (half went to more once a week dinner @ Left Bank, and other half to once a month dinner @ Marche).

But that said many great places are loss leaders. El Bulli, the most famous restaurant in the world, closing this year, has run at loss all these years (one can safely assume that the owner/Chef gets the money through books and other deals). Other great restaurants are run in somewhat cheaper suburbs. The closest, Chez TJ, is run in a quite old house and much lower quality interior then Marche, and they don't have those local wine dinner events that Marche regularly has in its backroom (I bet that is the biggest economic problem for Marche since half of the restaurant is effectively not used 6 out of 7 days of the week, and rent is paid for everything at the same rate).

Finally, I want to say that Marche's staff was very present in local community, and we should be thankful to the chef and the management, and hope they find a better place for themselves, and perhaps we will find them there!


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Ding and anna: Lol at Marche being better than madera. Marche food seems like something i could cook myself. Olive oil taste is way too strong in many of the dishes. It is really "homestyle" and not very refined. On the other hand, service was excellent, the food was good, but not excellent. In terms of food, marche is closer to iberia, which is cheaper and imo is one of the best in downtown, and flea st. cafe (although this has gone downhill in the recent years).

And no I don't want a chez tj, it is overpriced and you need 3 hrs to eat there and they consider themselves French food when their food doesn't taste French anyways, or maybe they just use a nouvelle cuisine approach that focuses on presentation rather than taste that has fallen out of favor in France anyways. Their appetizers and desserts were excellent, but main courses were lacking, mostly due to the lack of effort on sauces, which I think severely limits the range of flavors a chef can create with the dish. Not that madera and co are any better at this, but at least they don't present themselves as French cuisine and don't price themselves more than they are worth.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm

oh. granted, i haven't ate at left bank for a long time, but when i went, it was extremely underwhelming, and the bistro vida beside is better and less expensive (although both are way under the quality of iberia and marche)


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Posted by Ding
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 9, 2011 at 12:39 am

sadfsf, LOL. I can cook anything in Madera, but you must be a better chef if you can do Marche ;) I'll still go to Madera since I don't want to cook :)

As for French or whatever, I think you are missing a point that most of the high end world restaurants go by the "French", but good places are twisting it in their own direction. Book a flight to Paris, Tokyo, etc. (Q:Does Tokyo have more French restaurants with Michelin stars then Paris?)

As for comparison with Iberia, however, it is worse then comparison with nearby McDonalds. I love Spanish food (just came back from Spain), but comparing that place with Madera or Marche is insulting, and simply incorrect since they have different models. Reviews even complain about Iberia owners abusing guests there.

As for Left Bank, they have changed quite a bit. I think their food can be very good though they do have misses. I find the good core and reuse it :) The service and the wine list are below average, but it's a very busy place every single night, and they are much cheaper then Marche or Madera. Still, I want both :)

As for 3h spending in a restaurant, I don't mind even 4h with good company and great food and wine. For quick food, there are many choices including Left Bank and Madera, but even the current Marche who had both of the worlds. So many times, I wanted a quick great food nearby, and I could always count on Marche.

Anywway, it's obvious we will disagree, and people have different tastes, but I hope for good local diversity. Customers will satisfy their diverse needs one way or another, but going south or north is a loss for Menlo Park.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 1:18 am

ding: it's clear that you have no taste. going to restaurants like marche and left bank lol. Tokyo has more Michelin stars but most of them are Japanese food, not "French." And michelin starred French restaurants in Tokyo are great, not like the ones here. Chez TJ even serves their bread WARM which is a big no-no in French cuisine. Iberia cannot be compared to Madera, but it is of the same quality as Marche. I make no assertions about service. marche has great service, but I am just talking about the food. Oh, did I mention that the former chef of Marche tried to open a pizza shop and utterly failed with wet, soggy pizzas? the village pub with their new flatbread appetizers show how pizza is done correctly. oh, and they serve their bread cold, which is the correct way too. I frequent fine dining establishments all over the US, in Europe, and in far east asia, and really Marche doesn't live up to the local hype it gets. It's really no big loss and Madera is more than a fine replacement.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 1:55 am

oh and about your comment telling me to buy a plane ticket to paris and tokyo, i have lived in paris, and have family in tokyo. those are the only two countries I've been in with street/fast food (in non-tourist areas) that tastes better than restaurants like Marche. And really another big gripe about Chez TJ and their supposed fine dining experience is their inclusion of crottin made with pasteurized milk in their fromage plate or whatever its called. everyone knows that the flavor profile of crottin depends on it being made from raw milk. if they were a great restaurant they would have known this, or smuggled in some of the good stuff. So they are giving us pseudo-fine pseudo-French food and making us take 3 hrs to eat it? Give me a break.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 9, 2011 at 7:04 am

I think it's funny that this thread seems to be more about individual tastes in food and decor than about the reasons for a business closing. Is the croque monsieur at Left Bank better than the table settings at Madera? One thing I've learned in life, there are people who like French Laundry and people who like McDonalds. That's personal taste and there is no "right" or "wrong."

I honestly don't care if a business sells used bicycles or foie gras en terrin. Rule One of any business: you have to make enough money to stay in business. If you fail Rule One, nothing else matters.

By the way, Rule One applies equally to landlords.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

lol taste is part of what makes restaurants survive or close. Even though I'm not a huge fan of Marche, i would rather have Mataro close, for example. What has capitalism brought menlo park, a bunch of crappy italian restaurants?


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

Yes, of course.

But "taste" is, by definition, subjective... positive cash flow is not subjective. It doesn't matter if you're selling hamburgers and beer (like Dutch Goose) or expensive furniture (like Flegel's).

This thread is near-total proof that some people like Marche, some don't. The point is that if ENOUGH people liked Marche, they'd keep their doors open.


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Posted by Ethan
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Mar 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Remember Jennifer Bestor's Prop 13 research featured in the Almanac last year?

"Looking at Menlo Park's main downtown street, she found that of the 56 commercial parcels on Santa Cruz Avenue, 23 are at the 1978 assessment (plus 2 percent per year) level. Of those 23 parcels, only four are owned by the same people who owned them in 1978. Eleven have passed to a son or daughter, and in a number of cases are held in family trusts."

Apparently quite a few of the landlords can afford to leave their property vacant in part because their property taxes are so low. It would be interesting to find out how many of them are absentee owners who never lay eyes on their cash cows.


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

POGO: sure cash flow is not subjective, but the value of cash flow, compared to the value of the availability of good foods, IS. Even though I don't think much of Marche, I don't like it closing because it IS one of the better restaurants in menlo park, albeit too expensive. I would rather have all the italian restaurants close.. Seriously, what is it with menlo park diners and crappy italian food? anyone have an answer?


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm

You people kill me. You know this is Menlo Park right? This town CANNOT support a Michelin star restaurant; you can barely get fed in this town after 9:00PM (except for Left Bank). There simply aren't enough people willing to spend the time or money to be fed that well.

Guillaume Bienaimé (at Marche) and Peter Rudolph (at Madera) are both excellent chefs, who put out superb food for their clientele. I have never had a bad meal at either restaurant.

And the testosterone contest you are having about 3 star restaurants in Paris vs. Tokyo is irrelevant. The interesting fact is that France can pull off a three star restaurant in Joigny (Cotes St Jacques) a town of less than 11,000 in the middle of nowhere. Think about that, this is a town one third the size of Menlo Park. (Or better yet l'Arnsbourg in Baerenthal France a town with a population of 750)Japan on the other hand has ALL of its 2 and 3 stared restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto (three cities with a combined population of 12.9 Million people). And as it has been pointed out, the majority of them are serving Japanese cuisine.

Back to the issue at hand. We will continue to see businesses close in Menlo Park if we don't support them. Whether you thought the food was good or not, the real issue is they couldn't stay in business with the patronage they had. All of the restaurants in Menlo Park have had a tough time, as have the retail businesses. It has NOTHING to do with the landlords. It has EVERYTHING to do with how seldom each and everyone one of us frequents them. SO get out there and spend locally, if you don't then we'll get another chain sandwich shop like subway or quiznos in Menlo Park.

Let's support our city and make it better!

Roy Thiele-Sardiña

P.S. here is a list of the Michelin 3 stars in the world:
Web Link


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

POGO, sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear. You told us to stop demonizing landlords, insurance, etc & that's what I said was silly. Many of them are thugs in suits, hence their being common targets of "demonization," which is sometimes pretty dead on. As much as possible, my money follows my values in terms of shopping choice, but of course it's not completely determined by me - too bad!

I do know, from business dealings, a good number of commercial MP landlords who aren't local, don't care much for the community & use the city bureaucracy as an excuse - perhaps valid - for not getting certain things done. By the same token, I haven't been impressed by city council members, either.

Making a restaurant run successfully is very difficult, in addition to costs & perhaps difficult landlords.

I have noticed the quality of long time MP restaurants has gone down hill. We are being more careful where we put our disposable income because how many bad Su Hong To Go meals can one really take?


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Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

roy: you have the money to spend it locally. the rest of us don't. If I were rich like you I would definitely be dining at Marche to support downtown menlo park. but i am not, and really with madera and the village pub so close by, it is hard to justify spending my hard earned money on Marche. ok i admit I haven't been there since Guillaume Bienaimé came, but I haven't heard that he was much better than Howard Bulka.


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Posted by Guillaume Bienaime
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Wow. This is some funny stuff. Let me be the mythbuster here.

1. The landlord is irrelevant to this conversation. It was not the rent that was the problem at Marche. There simply were not enough people eating here.

2. Madera is also irrelevant. Marche saw no loss in revenue when Madera opened. Our prices are also significantly lower than theirs.

3. Marche is not a "snobhole". The people that work here are just like you, hard working. Who cares that were closing? The people that work here do. Please be sensitive and not just berating.

4. Marche attempted to cater to Menlo Park and not just to Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley. It just seems like people in Menlo Park were not responsive to what we were trying to do.

Ultimately there is no one thing to blame for the closing of Marche. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. Thank you to all that supported us over the years.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old MP
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Guillaume - thank you for your comments.

Now - for all of you landlord demonizers out there...care to respond?


Crickets....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

ok i respect that you come on here and that you were great for the menlo park community. But I have the following comments
1. come on.. rent is not the problem? If the landlord cut rents in half would you still be in business?
2. prices significantly lower?

Marche: Storm Hill Filet of Beef Green Lentil Ragu & Pearl Onions 39
Madera: Oak Grilled Niman Ranch Ribeye, Duck Fat Fried Smashed Potatoes, Smoked King Trumpet Mushrooms, Braised Winter Greens, Sauce Bordelaise 36

granted, filet is a more expensive cut of beef, but the madera version just sounds tastier (who would trade traditional bordelaise for lentil ragu???)

3. agreed. marche is not a snobhole. the landlords who refuse to admit that their land isn't worth that much are the snobs here.

4. again, it was your landlord's fault. the true value of menlo park property is half what the landlords are asking for. seriously whats up with the snobbery, landlords? YOUR PROPERTY ISNT WORTH THAT MUCH!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Guillaume Bienaime
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Some people just don't get it.

Answers:

1. No
2. Open your eyes. You picked out the one menu item that proves your point, perhaps you should review the scientific method. I like Madera, and am friends with the Peter.

This is not an argument. I was simply attemting to clarify the situation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Guillaume -

No, some people can't accept the truth... even when confronted with the facts from the person who made the decision. I can only surmise that sadfsf knows better than you why Marche is closing and will never admit his error.

We look forward to supporting and enjoying your new venture.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

1. so whats with "General manager William Redberg said the owner, Lee Isgur, decided not to renew Marche's lease when he couldn't come to an agreement on terms with the property owner. "??? is this really Guillaume and not a troll?

2. if you had "significantly lower prices" i wouldn't be able to find such an example.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hey, I will happily continue to demonize the lousy landlords who deserve it. - & plenty of them do.

Being a Menlo native, I do think residents are not very open-minded w/their palates; their preference for a place such as Carpaccio is an example. Heck, downtown MP was more fun when I was a kid & we'd buy Applets & Cottlets at Preuss's - no Sugar Shack back then.

Well, have to find a new place to buy restaurant gift certificates from...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Guillaume,

I will be sad to see Marche closed. I have had so many memorable meals there (my favorite was your Anthony Bourdain fundraiser). your restaurant was a n excellent place for a group dinner (large and small)

We wish you the best of luck at your next restaurant, and we will definitely be eating your great food again somewhere.

A bientôt!
Roy Thiele-Sardiña


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Post removed. Personal attack violates terms of use.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Just Wondering and sadfsf

Name calling, really? As I have said repeatedly "Name calling under an anonymous login is pure cowardice, and shows a lack of civility and proper upbringing"

Your mothers should be ashamed of your behavior, and you both need to grow up.

sadfsf from your earlier post regarding where I chose to eat, you appear to NEVER have had the pleasure of eating at Marche. So any comment you make regarding their menu or it's value, is without merit.

Again, if you are going to hurl insults please put your name on them so we know who you are....

Thanks
Roy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Post removed. Personal attack violates terms of use. If you wish to comment on this thread, stick to the issue and not other posters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walmart in Woodside
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

Walmart in Woodside? I love it.

Of course, you know why there are no WalMarts in Iraq, don't you?

They all became Targets.

(okay, cue the collective groans)

------------

Dang, Pogo, you must have had your wheaties the day you posted that "man up" reply....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm

The problem w/a WalMart in Woodside is that all the cyclists would cut through the parking lot & clog traffic ;-)

I unfortunately experienced a "reverse" carjacking at the MV WalMart once & the lame WalMart security guy thought I was involved in a lover's quarrel.

So back to the subject...how come we're getting mixed stories as to whether or not the landlord was an issue w/Marche deciding to close?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

My best guest re hmmmm's question: The restaurant owner was asking for greater concessions in a new lease than the landlord was willing to agree to. If he wanted to do a major overhaul of the place, maybe he was wanting the landord to either pick up more of the costs or lower the cost of the lease significantly. Whatever the case, they couldn't agree on terms according to the general manager.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm

How have I personally attacked Roy in my post?
moderators: explain


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm

sadfsf, I am not happy about those using their real names criticizing us for using handles, which is our right. Our right to privacy & safety is crucial & their criticism is unwarranted. Many of us have very good reasons for not using our names & the reasons have nothing to do w/cowardice. I believe the editors here need to come down on them for criticizing us for not using our real names.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

If you chose to be anonymous then you cannot claim immunity for being criticized for that choice. It is a strange world where only anonymous persons are allowed to criticize posters who use their real names but posters who use their real names cannot criticize anonymous people.

Here are ome comments from an excellent article on anonymity and it corrosive effect on dialogue:
" Anonymity has long been hailed as one of the founding philosophies of the Internet, a critical bulwark protecting our privacy. But that view no longer holds. In all but the most extreme scenarios�everywhere outside of repressive governments�anonymity damages online communities. Letting people remain anonymous while engaging in fundamentally public behavior encourages them to behave badly. Indeed, we shouldn't stop at comments. Web sites should move toward requiring people to reveal their real names when engaging in all online behavior that's understood to be public�when you're posting a restaurant review or when you're voting up a story on Reddit, say. In almost all cases, the Web would be much better off if everyone told the world who they really are."

"What's my beef with anonymity? For one thing, several social science studies have shown that when people know their identities are secret (whether offline or online), they behave much worse than they otherwise would have. Formally, this has been called the "online disinhibition effect,"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walmart in Woodside
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm

"If you chose to be anonymous then you cannot claim immunity for being criticized for that choice."

And "Peter Carpentet" (see PA Online Web Link) SURELY criticize you for that decision. He lives for it.

Dude, ya lost that battle on those other threads of yours. You posted this quote 4 or 5 times this week here and in different threads, both here and other sites. It was answered well in ANONYMOUS postings in the comments section of the original article in Slate or wherever.

'Tilting at windmills' made for a nice story 400 years ago.

By a pathetic old man in said story, as I recall.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm

The fact is that people who use their real names when posting in various online communities can be easily targeted for harassment & worse by their employers, as well as can be more easily stalked and defrauded by criminals. It has nothing to do w/cowardice to thoughtfully & consistently use a handle; it's prudent. I will continue to do so & so will the majority of others on these forums.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

You can continue to use anonymous names (and others can also use the same name that you have chosen thereby 'contaminating' that name) and your posting will have to be evaluated based solely on what you post without any possibility of readers being able to judge your experience or credibility.

Your choice as well as the choice of how others evaluate your postings.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walmart in Woodside
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

"Your choice"

"By Jove! I think she's (he) got it"

Well done, Peter. It IS our choice, not yours.

We knew you would finally, sooner of or later, understand, without the use of words like "coward" like you've done in the open, free speech threads.

Glad you ceased tilting.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

It IS our choice to be anonymous as well as is the choice of how others evaluate your postings.

Would you chose an anonymous lawyer to represent you in court or an anonymous accountant to do your tax returns or an anonymous person to be your elected representative? I doubt it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hmmm asked, "how come we're getting mixed stories as to whether or not the landlord was an issue."

There is no mixed story. The head chef went on the record and said "It was not the rent that was the problem at Marche. There simply were not enough people eating here."

I'm not sure what is mixed about that?

Regarding a Walmart in Woodside... I suspect the only thing more difficult than convincing Woodsiders would be convincing Walmart.

There are advantages and disadvantages to living off the beaten track.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

[This post and responses to it removed; please stick to the topic: the closure of a restaurant in downtown Menlo Park.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

"You are doing this, over the years, for what reason, exactly? "

Because I would like to improve the level of respectful and thoughtful discourse on this forum - but I fully appreciate that this forum has been effectively taken over by anonymous, unregistered posters and largely abandoned by individuals who use their real identity.

One person's tilting at windmills is another person's attempt to create a better place.

Can we get back on topic???? There is another thread on anonymous posting where the above comments would be better placed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just Wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

'Tis interesting that on this thread - and most of the others - the only people that do positively identify themselves are:
Hank Lawrence
Peter Carpenter
Roy T-S

And, at least in the case of latter two, each complains loudly whenever they are challenged by the rest of us "anonymous posters."

What's that old saying: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

I will give credit to Hank here: He does stand the heat. Not so much the other two.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

POGO, I was referring to what the article actually says, not just what Guillaume wrote here. The article refers to landlord issues.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by peter carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

peter carpenter is a registered user.

" get out of the kitchen."

Finally back on topic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walmart in Woodside
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Peter?

An attempt at wit?

OMG, is that really you, or a hacker on your account?

There may be hope. Keep trying.

I'll be the first member of the "we love the new peter" club!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Culinary establishments are an invaluable asset to our community.
On the other hand, we also tend to take them for granted.
Not that I go to restaurants frequently enough as I am not so well off financially.
Nevertheless, it is great that there are some people who still care and support restuarants.
Although Marche is going away, and that is a sad thing
Rest assured, menlo park still has some great restaurants
Downtown menlo park, unfortunately, is another story however


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm

sad:

I am interested to hear what you consider "good restaurants" in Menlo Park that aren't downtown. Seriously.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 12, 2011 at 12:50 am

madera of course


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

I think that calling them eating establishiments widens what we have that is NOT wihtin the punitive downtown parking district.
- Avanti Pizza
- Mike's Sport Bar
- Koma Sushi
- The Oasis
- Iberia
- Jeffery's Burgers

Come to mind. all of them provide great food for different occasions/budgets without the hassle of Menlo Park parking tickets (our police did after all write over 22,000 last year).

Roy


 +   Like this comment
Posted by parquing
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

How hard is it to avoid a parking ticket, really? Look at the sign before you leave the lot to make sure you know the limit, look at your watch or cell phone to note the time, and then make sure you're back before the time is up. Set a reminder on your phone, even! Seems easy to me, but then I'm someone whose job gives him 1 hour TOTAL for lunch. You guys with leisurely 2 hour mid-day dining breaks don't exactly call out for sympathy. Besides, Marche couldn't have been that negatively impacted by the parking policies, since they only started offering lunch recently, and there's no time limit at dinnertime.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Parking Ticket
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

9 times out of 10 when people complain on this forum about downtown parking, it's just a way to advance a particular political view, usually a clumsy anti-incumbent point.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:57 am

i have never received a parking ticket in menlo park. what is there to do at lunch that would take 2 hrs anyways?

the no on-street parking policy at night is far more draconian. what to do when im sleeping over with a chick who doesn't have a garage?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walmart in Woodside
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

Great eateries not in downtown? C'mon, are ya seriously not aware of...

Flea Street Cafe, for gawds sake!!

Seasonal, sustainable and GREAT food, for thirty years by a remarkable chef with a half dozen books. Organic BEFORE it was cool.

Best kept secret on the Peninsula. Worst publicist in history, sadly.

Every time I go back, I enjoy it, and wonder why I waited so long...

Great martini's.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Mar 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

flea st cafe used to be pretty damn good, but the past few years it has gone downhill imo


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