News

Menlo Park: New restaurant on tap at Bradley's Fine Diner site

 

In the wake of the closure of Bradley's Fine Diner, the former CEO of the restaurant's parent company, Christopher Vestal, has confirmed he plans to launch a new restaurant at the same location, 1165 Merrill St.

The parent company, Ogden Hospitality Group, is no more, said Mr. Vestal. He is now CEO of a new restaurant group called Cherry Pie Hospitality.

Bradley's Fine Diner closed Jan. 1 after celebrity Chef Bradley Ogden pulled out, citing "philosophical" and business differences with the parent restaurant group's CEO.

The restaurant group operates several restaurants in Houston, Texas, including Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts, Petite Sweets, Lee's Creamery, Pi Pizza and State Fare Kitchen and Bar. The group is also planning to open a new restaurant in the Sacramento area, Mr. Vestal said.

The new Menlo Park restaurant will serve American-style cuisine with locally sourced ingredients with a seasonal menu, Mr. Vestal said. "Classic California cuisine is important to us."

Mr. Vestal said the new restaurant will not be similar to Bradley's Fine Diner. He expects a larger menu and a more expansive wine and cocktail list. "We want people to come here multiple times in a week and not feel like they're ordering the same thing over and over," he said.

The layout, he said, will be a "brand new concept" that is "light and bright" with flexible space for private events.

Right now, the restaurant is in the planning stage. He said he is working through possible restaurant names and hopes to submit plans to the city of Menlo Park within a month to six weeks.

"We're looking to do this as quickly as possible," he added.

Mr. Vestal said he lived for about five years in Menlo Park, and many of the people on his team are from the Peninsula. They have yet to hire an executive chef, but the company plans to hire locally, he said.

"We're really committed to giving this community an additional restaurant that people can fall in love with," he said.

Mr. Vestal said he is often at the restaurant site and said people can come talk to him about the restaurant in person between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. most weekdays or by emailing him at chrisv@cherrypiehospitality.com.

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Elena Kadvany contributed to this report.

Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Remy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 6, 2017 at 10:27 am

Re fire at Bradley's:

The food and the decor were terrible in this restaurant. They need to hire new chef and new decorator. Very dreary spot in need of brightening up...


6 people like this
Posted by Chuck Bernstein
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm

According to the article: "The new Menlo Park restaurant will serve American-style cuisine with locally sourced ingredients with a seasonal menu, Mr. Vestal said. 'Classic California cuisine is important to us.'

It sounds like Mr. Vestal has excellent credentials for providing locally sourced ingredients and "Classic California cuisine." His firm, Cherry Pie Hospitality, has experience operating "Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts, Petite Sweets, Lee's Creamery, Pi Pizza and State Fare Kitchen and Bar."

Hmm! There is nothing I like better than fresh, seasonal fried chicken, donuts, and pizza.

--Chuck Bernstein


2 people like this
Posted by James Madison
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 6, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Between this replacement for BFD, the new Bankers Club, the new Yum Cha, the about-to-be new replacement for The Hub, and the numerous restaurants already existing on El Camino, Santa Cruz (and side streets), as well as on Willow Road and The Alameda, do we really need to have any tax money paid for someone to lure restaurants to Menlo Park. My guess is that, on a per-capita per resident basis, Menlo Park already has more restaurants than Palo Alto and certainly more than Redwood City.


4 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Yuck. Fried chicken & donuts must be a variation of fried chicken & waffles or donut hamburgers. This doesn't sound very Californian, to me. There hasn't been anything worhtwhile in that location since Gambardellas' closed. BFD also drove out Lisa's Tea & Treasure & the crepe restaurant, right?

Another restaurant there, redesigned, is better than vacant space but I'm not sure Cherry Pie Hospitality is what's needed. Do regular CalTrain commuters think an all-day establishment offering breakfasts as well as lunch/dinner would be useful? I'm thinking of something like Pamplemousse (RC.)


2 people like this
Posted by In walking distance
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm

As we live in close walking distance of this location, I love the idea of a new restaurant here with, fresh, locally sourced California Cuisine and a wide selection of choices. But, I am also skeptical, as some others have mentioned, that a group with experience in Texas Fried Chicken, donuts, pies and pizza,(and apparently hot dogs here in Menlo Park) has the expertise and taste buds to pull this off.

I really hope Mr. Vestal very carefully select a chef who knows how to bring out the flavors in fresh produce and herbs. Perhaps give the chef a taste test and see if he can tell the difference between Michelin Star restaurants and mediocrity. I know I'm sounding (and being) snooty here but it would great to have a healthy, delicious restaurant to patronize here. It doesn't need to be fancy - but high quality, light and, tasteful (the other end of the spectrum from fried chicken and donuts), would be awesome.

Other issues with Bradleys that I hope Mr. Vestal can fix:

- The Ambience was way too noisy (as is unfortunately the new BBC)
- The service was ridiculously slow (at least it was during the 3 times we went during the first year it opened and then we stopped going)
- The quality of the food didn't justify the pricing


3 people like this
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 6, 2017 at 11:16 pm

We have 3 good restaurants that are reasonably priced:
1) Trellis
2) Menlo Grille, and
3) Carpaccio

All do a very good job at a reasonable price. Trellis has the best salads, lamb chops, and vitello parmesano. The Menlo Grille Bistro has the best pork chop. Carpaccio has the best calamari steak. Also Amici's has a great Margherita pizza- just order extra basilico. I loved Gambardellas and used to go there all the time about 15 years ago and was sad to see it close.


2 people like this
Posted by More variances
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Roxy Rapp has a new project application coming in for the Merrill/Santa Cruz corner of the Vet and adjacent office/retain building.

They met with city staff last week.

Woo hoo.


6 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 8, 2017 at 9:05 am

The restaurant was doomed for failure with a name like BFD. How naive or out-of-touch was that branding agency?

I mean WTF? LMAO!


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows

on Feb 8, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows

on Feb 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


2 people like this
Posted by Cmon
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 12, 2017 at 10:59 am

I agree with Walking Distance. Recent entrants to that area have really missed the mark, unfortunately. Mr. Ogden is a quality chef but the concept did not work and prices and service made things bumpy. Too bad. BBC seems to be off to a slightly better start but the "buzz" among those locally who talk about restaurants (think families and parents will to go out and spend!)is that it is too expensive, corporate and kind of cold. We'll see.

As to BFD's space, I agree that a nice family spot with a balanced and generally healthy menu will be the right answer. I spent a lot of time travelling to Texas and Houston and the heavier fare really won't cut it here. It does not need to be Vegan, just provide a reasonable balance, lean to fresh and healthy and make it comfortable for families. You might have a shot!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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