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April 25, 2014



I really hope that they make it.
I read a book some years ago regarding the Restaurant Business.
History regarding failed restaurants can be measured.
It is an unusual phenomenon. If you look at some of the places in Burlingame it seems to hold true.
The Melt, The Burger Place.
The Train Station on Broadway/California.
The Restaurants that have been across from Sephora.
The Italian Place that was "Awesome" across the street from Copenhagen. I loved that place-1990's?
The new Mexican Place on Burlingame Ave.
I really hope the new place on Rollins works out.
A very big gamble opening a new restaurant in a failed restaurant space.


I went to the Prime Rib Place on Broadway last night.
I think a longtime tenant was there called Taste, they did very well.
The Prime Rib Place was GREAT.
Completely packed by 7:30.
Great service, great food, great price.


Roti just moved to San Mateo into a larger space that they purchased. The Mughal Room is opening in a few weeks.

I wish Fattoria e Mare the best, but it's very loud there from the highway, which really detracts from its appeal.

I was hoping to lease up that space for a preschool tenant, but it switched to the new restaurant very quickly.


I guess I'm an old timer, because the restaurant on Rollins was known as Vannessi's when I moved here and from what I have been told was a long time establishment.

Cathy Baylock

Mr. Cohen, you are not as old a timer as I, however! It was built as a Velvet Turtle to match its sister store in Sharon Heights and was owned by Saga Foods…They used to toss your salad at the table and their specialty was Beef Wellington…and busty waitresses…


I'm sad to learn that I wasn't around for the busty waitresses.


Roti did not buy the new building in SM. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Restaurant Real Estate

The restaurant (and the real estate), 231 Ellsworth (Downtown San Mateo), is for sale at $2.6M.

My business partner and I have done over 800 Restaurant Business purchases / sales and Restaurant Real Estate leases and purchases / sales.

We are available to represent buyers in this opportunity, if you'd like to check out the property and evaluate the space for your restaurant business, please let me know!

Further, I will donate 10% of our net commission to The Burlingame Community Education Foundation (BCE).

How about a Jazz Club / Restaurant Concept?

I loved "Pops for Champagne" in Chicago.

We need more live music venues in our area.


Alex Kent
Symphonic Investments
Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
lic.# 01718732∙ www.symphonic-inv.com
C 650.793.0541 ∙ F 650.393.4198



Sunil, the managing owner of Roti told me that he purchased the real estate in his new location. Perhaps this was his initial hope.

I just confirmed with my business partner that handled the deal that Roti actually just purchased the business and did a lease.



Fed up


Mistake #1: posting inaccurate information about a subject you profess to be an expert on.

Mistake #2: Using this site to promote your business

Mistake #3: Discussing a private conversation you had with the restaurant owner. As a broker, you should protect private information not post it on a public blog.

Once again, you have demonstrated poor judgement.


Fed Up,

It's tough to take you seriously as you're using a fake name.

However, the information was given to me directly from the business owner, and so anyone could presume that it is correct. Deals, especially restaurants are widely published and obvious, and I did not share deal specifics. I corrected it a day later by talking with the broker who did the deal.

What, do you think that this site is only for bullshit, lies, and snide remarks, like yours?

No, it's about sharing real information about our town and its surroundings.

You are further wrong about brokerage, and you are wrong about my judgment.

If you have something to say to me, pick up the phone. 659-793-0541.

Fed Up with Fed Up,


Bruce Dickinson

Listen, fellas, get our of your diapers please put your big boy pants on, give us a break. Fed up, Bruce Dickinson understand your frustration, but trust me Spam-I-Am (who has got what appears to be also using different nom-de-plumes, in a pot calling the kettle black irony, as it were) is not helping his businesses nor human capital case. Let him drivel all he wants, as this is a free-speech site and I have been very impressed with quite a bit of the content, though of course, not all of it.

I am no real estate expert, but believe me, I of all people, know marketing and self branding and what works and doesn't. AK, really, time to re-think the branding, antagonism and defeatist attitude, take it from me, it's not helping your cause. Good advice is good advice, period, no matter who it came from or where you think it comes from...whether it comes from Dr. Seuss or Dr. Dickinson! Focus on the message, fella!


We just ate at Fattoria e Mare for the first time, so I figure a restaurant review is not out of character for the Voice.

It is a mixed story. For starters, you get to park your car yourself now. For Velvet Turtle and Medallion patrons, this is a new thing, but I am fine with it. Valet--no valet. I don't mind either way.

The decor is about the same and that too is fine. The lights need to be turned down about a third. The brightness reminds me of a hotel restaurant. They had a jazz trio tonight which was a very pleasant surprise. I guess the suggestion is it shouldn't be a secret. If you are going to have live music in this music-starved town--advertise it.

I thought the food was slightly above average. My grilled octopus was very, very good and I know grilled octopus. The olives need a major upgrade, but otherwise it was good as was the pasta I chose-- oxtail ragu. I would order it again.

The wine list is more upscale price-wise than the menu or service can support and the selections tend to the unknown. Maybe the visiting hotel crowd will bite, but I went with BYOB and the $25 corkage fee was a little extreme. I could have made a couple of good choices off the list (the Le Volte being the leading candidate), but I went with my byo anyway.

Overall, a decent meal at a decent price. The competition for Italian food in town is pretty tough and they will need to do a bit more outreach and refine things a bit if they expect to draw in the locals. Relying on the hotel crowd can work, but it is far from a sure thing.


I think the reason why the restaurants there come and go is that (unlike the Velvet Turtle times) in the past 10-15 years downtown Burlingame has really notched up the quantity and notably, the quality of their restaurants. Either you are over by the Bay, in the hotel restaurants, or you want to be in one of the downtowns. That is not such an ideal place for an average restaurant. If it were a fabulous restaurant, people might make more of an effort to go there. I have to confess that I have not been to any restaurant in that location, for about 25 years or more. No slight meant at all to any of those efforts-- It just isn't such a pleasant location, and I'd need the car.

On the plus side, in my opinion many Burlingame restaurants are just as good as those in S.F., and that definitely was not the case 10-15 years ago. But the prices are in the same category, too. At least you can save on parking $$$ however.

Joyce Schoate

If you are of age, you can NEVER forget The Velvet Turtle(s)in Burlingame, Sharon Heights, Mary Ave. in Sunnyvale. My most favorite restaurant EVER. Michaels in Sunnyvale next. Miss those 70s.


how about Castaways?


'Agree Holly. 'A big loss, that one. I also miss Nathan's where Straits is (was) now. They had fabulous sourdough with great spreads pretty much right when you sat at the table, just for starters. Then there was a family oriented Italian one (I forgot the name), I think it was in the vicinity of the Cakery and/or Crepe Vine, it all blends together in a fading memory. Anyhow, they were so nice and relaxed with thekids in the days when it was pretty awkward to haul creaming children to eat out. And inexpensive, too.

I think Nathan then gave it a go with another restaurant in the same space as the vacated Italian one, after his iconic place closed on the corner. It was very good, but probably ahead of its time (for Burlingame)-- unusual dishes served in small portions, a la carte.


Cafe'la Scala-Broadway.
Best Olive Oil anywhere.
Great Food.
Somehow the place was sold and purchased by another management. Everything changed.
One evening at Cafe'la Scala (the good old days) a women came out of the restroom with a part of her dress stuck above her waist showing her entire "Rear End."
Many customers saw this and did nothing. I got up and told her. I did not want to. She was grateful.
What would you do Men or Women?


Sorry, I made a mistake.
Café la'Scala was on Burlingame Ave.
Close to/across the street from Copenhagen.


While I work on the technical difficulties in making new posts, I fortunately have many old posts to use as a basis for current comments--like this one:

Burlingame officials held reservations over a proposal to redevelop Fattoria e Mare, the highly-visible Italian restaurant overlooking Highway 101, into a large apartment complex.

The Burlingame Planning Commission seemingly found the larger vision to convert the restaurant at 1095 Rollins Road into housing palatable, but some officials considered the 150-unit development’s design unappetizing.

We just spent serious change to get the Broadway overpass sort-of-functioning. The Anson Apartments are huge. Who on the Planning Commission is remotely qualified to do the traffic analysis that would be needed to approve anything near this large????


P.S. This is one of the few places in B'game that has occasional musical entertainment. We need to nurture these places instead of tearing them down. It's also popular with out of town guests who stay in the Bayfront hotels and want a non-hotel dining experience. As such it generates tax-dollars as opposed to residential which is a tax dollar net consumer.


Looks like an aircraft carrier.

Will the train be stopping at the Broadway station for all these commuters? Will they all walk/bus to their Facebook complex across the highway? Train noise at 3am.


Being on the wrong side of the street is enough to kill a business! Location-Location-Location. If I was the Audi dealer, I would buy that property. If it is for sale.

Do not stop the obnoxious train on Broadway. To say this would be a disaster for Burlingame traffic is an underestimation.

If you stop a train on Broadway it would propose unnecessary delays. There is nothing on Broadway so why these shop owners there keep pushing this stupid idea is beyond me. I can envision people running across the intersection in an attempt to catch this train. What a death trap.

Hey Dickinson: put a sock in it. Preachers we do not need. Isn't time for your medication?

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