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From today's restaurant insider column in the San Francisco Chronicle:
It's been whispered about for weeks, but if all goes well, Trader Vic's, which occupied the current Le Colonial space at 20 Cosmo Place for decades before closing in 1994, may be coming to the former Stars location at 555 Golden Gate Ave. Hans Richter, president of Trader Vic's, won't divulge many details but did reveal the company is looking to open again in San Francisco, with a definite interest in the Stars property.
If it was just a matter of securing a lease, it would be a slam-dunk, but Richter says the owner of the Stars building wants to sell the property. And that means that it must be retrofitted for earthquake safety -- and that involves removing the roof and adding steel frames. Doing all that will push any opening beyond Christmas -- a prime time in the restaurant business.
Trader Vic's has three locations in California -- Emeryville, Palo Alto and Beverly Hills -- and 21 locations worldwide.
After Jeremiah Tower left Stars it never regained the excitement and panache that he brought to the party. Scoop can remember dining in Stars more than a decade ago, when the tenor from the then-current opera arrived and everyone in the house gave him a standing ovation. It was electric. A well-run Trader Vic's, which has never been about the food (how can anyone take bongo- bongo soup seriously?), with someone savvy at the front of the house could return those glory days to the Civic Center neighborhood.
Why is it Trader Vic's seems to get panned so often on the food? Is it because the drinks outshine the food... to me, the food has always been exceptional (and exceptionally pricey). Ah well, taste buds are like assholes... I don't want to complete that sentence.
Ah well, taste buds are like assholes...
How true, and coincidentally I lost both in a freak vacuuming accident.
That ER doc got one hell of a cocktail party anecdote from my visit. I am ok now, only hurts when I make a right turn on a red.
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