Did La Paella Close?

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
aaron
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Did La Paella Close?

Postby aaron » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:01 am

Big "For Lease/Sale" sign up outside the building. Did I miss something? I know it changed hands, but don't recall reading anything about its demise.

Thusnelda
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Postby Thusnelda » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:40 am

Mike Ivey in the 9/2/06 Cap Times wrote:Less than three years after it changed owners, the Restaurant La Paella has closed and is up for sale.

Keller Real Estate Group is marketing the property, which lists for $1.35 million. The building at 2784 Fish Hatchery Road is adjacent to the Fitchburg office park.

"It's a great opportunity for someone," said Dave Keller. "That whole area around Lacy Road is just burgeoning."

The restaurant was founded in 1994 by Tomas Ballesta. Before La Paella, Ballesta had operated for 17 years at the same site L'Escargot, one of Madison's first gourmet restaurants.

Ballesta sold La Paella in February 2004 to Randall Grobe and Guy Gorsky. The current owners could not be reached for comment, with a phone message saying the restaurant was closed indefinitely.

Grobe has been Ballesta's accountant for two decades and the two have been involved in real estate deals together.

Grobe has also been involved in several other restaurant ventures including Babe's, Waterfront 131 and the Dry Bean. Gorsky has helped open Eldorado Grill, Hubbard Avenue Diner and Famous Dave's BBQ restaurants locally.

The Spanish-born and French-educated Ballesta now owns the Mexican/Spanish bakery and deli La Concha in Fitchburg.

drinkinblackcoffee
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Postby drinkinblackcoffee » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:04 pm

The paper today said the same family full of retards responsible for the Majestic have bought it and are opening a place called "The Continental." The guy in charge used to run the ESPN restaurant in downtown Chicago, so expect it to suck and be overpriced.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:08 pm

Huh? Don't those people run cafe continental already?

Bellwether
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Postby Bellwether » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:43 pm

I live a couple blocks from there (the closed La Paella), there've been cars and pickup trucks there all weeks, looks like remodeling going on. No signs to indicate what the new place is going to be called, or any other identifying marks. The for sale sign is gone now, though. We can hope it opens soon...

[I'm still sore that La Paella closed. Less than a month before that, I was given a $50 gift certificate, didn't get a chance to use it that quickly, and there's really no way to get any of the value of that back. Darn.]

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Postby anyportinastorm » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:44 pm

You should probably switch to decaf black coffee because you have no idea what you are talking about. The Schiavo's--or the "retard" family, as you so eloquently described them--have been in the restaurant business for four generations now. Tony and Rosemarie, the parents of who was running Club Majestic, previously operated Antonio's which was a long standing Madison favorite and currently own and operate Cafe' Continental on King street which opened in the late 1990's and helped usher in the revitalization of the Capitol Square--long before all the fancy condo's and other restaurants dared venture back down to the Square. The Schiavo's restaurants have always been a class act with excellent food and service--always on the cutting edge. It is a mistake to compare the restaurant's the Schiavo's have cultivated with their foray into the world of nightclubs with the Club Majestic.Which, by the way, when it was first opened was also a top notch place-- although I believe the Schiavo's misjudged Madison's willingness to be a clientele of such a high end night club and ultimately became victim to Madison's cheap, dismal vision of night life.
Nick and Jim, the sons of Rosemarie and Tony Schiavo who ,I believe, will be operating the Fitchburg location, have been practically raised in the food and beverage industry and have a lifetime of experience between them.
Please get your facts straight before you post garbage like that again.
Last edited by anyportinastorm on Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

white_rabbit
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Postby white_rabbit » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:53 pm

I second what anyport said. There is a big difference between running a successful restaurant and a nightclub. Both equally challenging, but with different sets of challenges. And I just love Rosemarie Schiavo. Even though I only get there (Cafe Continental) a few times a year, she always treats me and the people I'm with like we are invited guests at her own dinning room table.

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Postby TAsunder » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:07 pm

I somewhat like the food at cafe continental but I've been the victim of some seriously awful service there twice. Strangely awful, in fact.

Once, me and some friends went and were told the wait might be an hour or more. So while we stood there contemplating our next move, another waitress came by and told us, "they obviously aren't going to seat you!" implying that there was something wrong with us in particular that we shouldn't be seated but other people would be.

There was another lunch incident that is more hazy. I believe it involved refusing to seat us for lunch. Possibly due to some group reserving part of the restaurant. It was equally strange.

The odd thing is, they are usually really nice when we go in there.

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Postby white_rabbit » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:16 pm

Never received bad service at Cafe Continental. In fact, I just remembered one time a couple years back, I was walking home from a brunch shift at the Shamrock. A winter storm was moving in and it was freezing rain out. I stopped at the CC to grab dinner. By time I was done, the sidewalks and roads were iced really bad. The bartender who waited on me told me to wait a few minutes while he went out and salted the side walk so I didn't slide all the way down King Street. He even gave me a little bag of salt to take with me so I can toss on icy sidewalks infront of me so my feet have traction. It was freaking bad icy that day.

anyportinastorm
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Postby anyportinastorm » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:43 pm

I have never had bad service at Cafe Continental and I must have been there at least 50 times in the last five years. In my experience they bend over backward to accomodate you- albeit the narrow space and limited room for large parties. It speaks volumes that people are willing to wait that long for a table. Reservations help...

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Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:11 pm

Same menu as the downtown location. It will be called just The Continental, as it is too big to be called a cafe.

WSJ story here.

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Postby Bellwether » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:40 pm

From the story:

The Continental will not be subject to Madison's smoking ban, which Schiavo said has resulted in about a dozen regular patrons coming in less frequently or dining in Fitchburg instead.

Well, I'm glad to read this -- saves me the trouble of ever having to set foot in their establishment! What a stupid thing to say. I guess Schiavo hasn't been paying attention to Fitchburg politics these last six months.

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Postby white_rabbit » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:50 pm

Bellwether wrote:From the story:

The Continental will not be subject to Madison's smoking ban, which Schiavo said has resulted in about a dozen regular patrons coming in less frequently or dining in Fitchburg instead.

Well, I'm glad to read this -- saves me the trouble of ever having to set foot in their establishment!


Are there any restaurants in Fitchburg that are voluntarily smoke free? If not, do you patronize any of thos non-voluntarily smoke free establishments? If so, what a stupid thing for you to say.

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Postby TAsunder » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:58 pm

I have also had some great service in addition to those 2 examples of strangely awful treatment. If I hadn't, I would probably have banned them in a fashion similar to my lifelong ban on state street's tutto. If the food weren't such oily goodness, I'd also have banned vientianne for the crazily rude lady.

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Postby Bellwether » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:16 pm

white_rabbit wrote:Are there any restaurants in Fitchburg that are voluntarily smoke free?


Yes.

If not, do you patronize any of thos non-voluntarily smoke free establishments?


Not sure I follow what you're asking. Do you mean, "if so" -- if there are voluntarily smoke-free establishments, do I eat and drink there? Yes, I do.

If "non-voluntarily smoke free" means "smoking", the answer is "very rarely", and "never" in the case of restaurants or bars who stand up at our Council meetings and speak against the ban.

If so, what a stupid thing for you to say.


Do you mean "if not" -- If I don't bother with the ones that are already smoke-free, how dare I criticize this one?

Or do you mean, am I a hypocrite and spend money at smoking establishments? I'll go to the Great Dane in Fitchburg, for example, because they didn't lobby against Madison's smoking ban. They aren't lobbying against Fitchburg's various proposals. They allow smoking at the bar because it's okay to do so here -- I get that. There's a huge difference between doing what's allowed, and sniping about the ban.

I go out of my way to avoid spending a dime at establishments that vocally oppose smoking bans. Sure, it's their right to do so. It's also my right to choose to not spend money in those places.

As I said, Schiavo saved me the trouble of trying their place. A pity, as I live right behind Kelley's Grille [sic], and our neighborhood is starved for another nearby place to go!

You'd think restaurant and business owners would be smart enough to keep politics out of their "public face."


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