Vignette > Downtown Restaurant Failures

La Ginestra dates back to 1964, but several downtown Mill Valley restaurants closed after less than three years in business.

Drake’s Harbor Fish & Chips 1973-1974. Never caught on.

Luisa’s Palate Italian Restaurant 1974-1975. Replaced the successful “The Palate”. Luisa’s replacement, La Veranda Ristorante Italiano, was a success until 1984 when the building was destroyed by fire.

Sonapa Bistro 1994-1995, California-French Bistro Food.  Dinner only. Sonoma Farms served breakfast and lunch for many years.

Three restaurants in the same location 1994-1997: Bistro Bistro (Parisian); Annabelle’s (American); The Frog and the Peach (farm fresh). In 1998, Vasco (Italian) found the key to success.

Former Mudbugs, now Bungalow 44

Mudbugs Café 2003-2004, Cajun. A San Francisco restaurateur’s experiment.  Not enough demand for gumbo.

First Crush 2004-2005, Continental. An offshoot of the First Crush restaurant in San Francisco. Owners recognized their mistakes, revamped the décor and opened Mi Casa with a menu of Oaxacan and Yucatan food. It lasted only one year.

El Paseo, 2006-2009. Expensive French. World-class chef, Keiko Takahashi, and her wine connoisseur husband, Seigo Takei, attained their objective, a Michelin star.  They left and opened a Nob Hill restaurant where they earned a second Michelin star.