Novato uses recruiter to find new res...

Novato uses recruiter to find new restaurateurs

There are 72 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Jun 14, 2010, titled Novato uses recruiter to find new restaurateurs. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Looking to spark more downtown nightlife and foot traffic, Novato has hired a head hunter for restaurateurs.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

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Novato, CA

#61 Jun 15, 2010
Marinite wrote:
total waste of money. the city gives every business such a hard time when trying to comply. Remembet Golden egg
omelete house. It took over 1 year after their fire to get the city's approval. Nothing less then harrasment.
the city council members are old and crusty. except for Denise Athas...she's a breath of fresh air!!
Excuse me a breath of fresh air. It comes out the other end and i ask you is that something you like ? She will vote to up your taxes in a second stupid. She has made that statement more than once and yes i voted for her.
think again

Novato, CA

#62 Jun 15, 2010
She was the president of the DTBA and what did she do for us ? Nothing just like your mouth.
Quit Complaining

United States

#63 Jun 15, 2010
Here is a clue for the person trying to lure new restaurants into Novato. Don't knock the ones that are already here.
There are many nice restaurants already in Novato. Boca, Wild Fox, Finnegans is a great place, the new Italian restaurant, El Encante on 7th Street is just one of many good Mexican restaurants in town, and there are many many more. Marvins by the way is a great breakfast spot. I'm not leaving other good places off on purpose I just can't list them all.There is an amazing amount of independents in this town.
That said let businesses know that the hardest part about doing business in Novato is the city government.They are virtually impossible to work with and they end up costing operators a lot of money to get their doors open.
Roll out the red carpet for all businesses in Novato. And to that obnoxious lady in charge of recruting that just wants a great place to eat -- get your head out of your palate and enjoy the restaurants Novato already has.

Clearlake, CA

#64 Jun 15, 2010
Whole foods Shopper wrote:
<quoted text>I don't know when you're going to Whole Foods, but every time I've been there - about a dozen times now since the opening - it's had a very healthy crowd. Really when are you going there ? What time of day ? Two of my neighbors work there and they tell a different story along with myself. I personally go there two or three days a week and love it as easy shopping and quick checkout through the one or two checkout stands open. Do i walk grant ave shops ? No Why Parking, I tried that once and went shopping at whole foods and put them in my car. I then walked up and down Grant avenue and when i was walking back on the other side of the street i looked at the meter maid on her scooter stop at my car. End of subject me and grant ave.
There are no meters on Grant Ave.??????
Whitetrash4life9 4947

Novato, CA

#65 Jun 16, 2010
Here is a link to the "new and improved" official* website for the city:
Tim is here

Chicago, IL

#66 Jun 16, 2010
horrible food wrote:
how about that Faux Irish Pub or what they call in Ireland a "Plastic Patty". They call it that because all the decor hanging on the walls is fake. The food there is beyond horrible. You can get better food in Ireland....
This place you reference.. Where is it? What is it?
Margot Channing

Los Gatos, CA

#67 Jun 16, 2010
So was there some kind of competitive bidding for this woman's contract? Were other potential recruiters considered? Or is this one of those "let's take care of one of our friends" kind of thing? Conryism at its best. Laying out $7500 for a restaurant recruiter when the city says they can't pay for essential services is obscene. In any case, this so-called recruiter should only be paid after a lease has been signed.
stupis comments

Novato, CA

#68 Jun 16, 2010
REALLY wrote:
<quoted text>
There are no meters on Grant Ave.??????
Nobody said anything about meters fool. Why don't you read the whole story before you need to open your mouth. If you have ever been there did you read the sings ( guess not )

Novato, CA

#69 Jun 16, 2010
Margot Channing wrote:
So was there some kind of competitive bidding for this woman's contract? Were other potential recruiters considered? Or is this one of those "let's take care of one of our friends" kind of thing? Conryism at its best. Laying out $7500 for a restaurant recruiter when the city says they can't pay for essential services is obscene. In any case, this so-called recruiter should only be paid after a lease has been signed.
More goverment 'consultant-itis'. They are proposing a ballot measure to increase the City's Sales Tax rate which would appear to be counterproductive for attracting new business. In any case, it's hard to give them any encouragement for such a proposal given the numerous ways they have found to squander their limited revenue resources.

Petaluma, CA

#70 Jun 16, 2010
You are so right Grunt,

Times are bad and the government elites have so many close friends and family members who are just scrambling for cash.

So, taxpayer, pony up and shut up.

Chicago, IL

#71 Jun 17, 2010
I'm not even sure where to start here.. The city says we need more restaurants "downtown". The city completed a "study" that "compared" 4th Street, San Rafael's retail/restaurant mix to downtown Novato and concluded that Grant Ave lacked enough restaurants in comparison.

Since when did 4th Street in San Rafael become the benchmark for a succesfull downtown model? 4th Street is rife with homelessness, dirty, and admittedly has a ton of restaurants..but quanity does not equate to quality (especially in most instances on 4th).

Additionally, San Rafael has more "to do" than Novato (a great theatre and two gathering areas), while the city council of Novato consistently glosses over that they own a minimum of 4 buildings in Old Town Novato that are vacant (including the Novato theatre) and have DONE NOTHING to provide any sort of square, plaza, gathering area to welcome people to come downtown.

Instead, the city of Novato bemoans the fact that there are too few restaurants in "Downtown Novato" and hire (pay) a self serving "consultant" to tell them what they want to hear. What the heck do you think Graceanne Walden is going to tell them?!!?! You have to be kidding me.

Lastly, the city continues to treat all of Grant Avenue the exact same way. Grant Avenue is made up of two very distinct and different parts. Old Town Novato, the east side of Grant which is 3 short blocks long has more interesting architecture and 11 restaurants in those 3 blocks. Then there is the west side of Grant Avenue which spans over 7 blocks, is a hodge podge of buildings, and has 5 restaurants over this stretch that is 2x as long as Old Towns quaint section. Grouping these two areas together is plainly silly. Old Town Novato has plenty of restaurants and the city tries to dilute this concentration by including a huge stretch that is incomparable and rarely viewed as a place to dine by anyone who lives in Novato.

The city should be more honest in their assesment of what ills affect downtown Novato. Hands down the main issues in downtown Novato, both Old Town and on the other side of Grant, are problems that the city council/City of Novato created themselves. To put the burden on business owners to come and invest on either side of Grant Avenue is to ignore their own responsibility to clean up their own messes and to create gathering areas and open theatres to maximize the potential downtown.

The city council, the city manager, and even the citizens of Novato are at fault for allowing the potential downtown to go unrealized. Novato will continue to be the butt of many jokes until they all get their act together.

Tucson, AZ

#72 Jun 23, 2010
Excellent post. Smart way to bring in some great places and breathe life into downtown. Moreover, consultants have a valuable outside perspective. Taking a holistic look and examining all areas, even beyond new restaurant acquisition – floor plan, seating, menu, schedules, advertising – can make a big difference. Corporations have been doing this for years and it’s heartening to see restaurants follow suit. Design issues like floor plan and menu are particularly interesting to me. I’ve found that well designed menus are an excellent way to stand out and create a solid first impression. In fact, many diners subconsciously view menus as a proxy for overall restaurant quality. My industry contacts recommend leather menu covers from for eye catching results. Looking forward to visiting new venues!

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