Almanac

News - March 9, 2011

Marche restaurant to close at month's end

Marche restaurant in Menlo Park, which opened its doors at 898 Santa Cruz Ave. in late 2001, is closing after an attempt to negotiate a new lease failed, according to the restaurant's general manager William Redberg.

The last day of service for the restaurant, known for its pricey, high-quality cuisine, will be Saturday, March 26, the restaurant announced on its website on Saturday, March 5.

"After nine years of service, the difficult decision to close was made this past week, as we faced the expiration of our lease," the website announcement said.

Mr. Redberg said the restaurant's owner, Lee Isgur, decided not to renew the lease when he couldn't come to an agreement on terms with the property owner. The restaurant had planned to redesign its space and menu to accommodate a more casual atmosphere and menu, with more "approachable" prices, Mr. Redberg said on March 7.

"That's the direction we were going," Mr. Redberg said, adding that "it's hard to do formal dining" in today's market.

"Who's actually making it?" he said. The Left Bank restaurant in Menlo Park serves about three times the number of diners as Marche, but it's a more casual and affordable restaurant, he said.

Marche employs about 35 people, said Mr. Redberg, who has been with the restaurant for 19 months. The chef, Guillaume Bienaime, has been there for two years, Mr. Redberg said.

To commemorate Marche, the restaurant plans to host "one last Nantucket Dinner event" on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26.

"As always, our friend and fisherman Steve Bender will be joining us to share his stories of times past," the website statement says. "Please note that on these final days, we will only serve this special menu"

Go to restaurantmarche.com for more information.

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