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Cacti to Close in September for Ownership Change

Congrats to the retiring Goetz Boje of Cacti for 20 great years. Also: Tavola's new brunch, Villa Roma owner lands a new gig, Old Town's West End biz picks up.

Goetz Boje has enjoyed a 20-year run at Novato’s American Grill on Grant Avenue, and he has sold the restaurant to a local couple that has been also in the restaurant business.

The couple, who sources aren't ready to reveal, plan on doing some remodeling after the restaurant closes come Sept. 30. The concept and menu is under wraps for now, but a name change is in order.

Nestled in an old converted church, Cacti has been one of the most popular dining places in Novato under the eye of Boje, who enjoyed great success with San Francisco restaurant Harris' Steakhouse. Cacti added a sheltered patio area a few years ago, adding to its reputation as a romantic destination dining spot.

Goetz, who turns 68 in October, said he plans stay involved at Harris' Steakhouse while enjoying his grandkids, playing some tennis and doing some travelling. He has another grandchild on the way and he’s due to be a grandfather again any day now. He also said he's grateful for the support of his wife, Gia, who spent all 20 years by his side at Cacti.

An early “Happy Birthday” to Goetz and congratulations to the Boje family. 

Tavola’s Expanding Menu for Brunch 

Jon Paul Pirraglia is broadening the offerings at Tavola’s to include Sunday brunch starting on Aug. 28. Patch got a peek preview of the menu, which includes a Crespelle with homemade ricotta, peach and basil, a Bloomsdale spinach frittata, and a classy Italian version of eggs benedict but on a creamy polenta with a bechamella sauce rather than hollandaise.

Tavola has got a bit of the "old Italy" with a new California spin on it.  

From Villa to Country Club 

Walt Pekic, at the Square shopping center, is alive and well and back in action at the .

“Right now I’m a jack of all trades and helping them out where ever I can,” he said.

If you’re a member, don’t be surprised to find Walt behind the bar, in the kitchen and even serving a friendly plate right to your table, just like the old days not so long ago when he owned and operated the Villa Roma.

Walt says he is enjoying the transition so far.  “I even have days off now, which is something new,” he said.

Walt has been able to enjoy more time with his daughter and even grab a game of tennis or golf now and then. Good on ya, Walt! 

Grant's West End Faring Well 

restaurant on Seventh Street is seeing business picking up,  according to Manny Guzman of the family ownership group. The restaurant went through a revolving door of themes and owners during its long history, but seems to be settling since the changeover from El Encanto last year.

This is the Guzman family’s seventh La Pinata since their first one opened in Hayward in 1983. Guzman says their third week of doing karaoke on Thursday nights brought in about 90 people last week without any advertisement. La Pinata is also doing a Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $12.65 with unlimited mamosas. La Pinata is open every day until midnight. 

The , around the corner from La Pinata on Grant, has also seen business grow since its opening in January 2009. Kayla Mendez, niece of owner Jesus Mendez, says they’ve seen their catering business expand threefold since they introduced it about two years ago.

“We are also happy to accommodate large parties that may have a budget, and we’re able to that right here on site with a reservation,” she said.

She also credits business growth to their discounted Senior Breakfast Club that Tuscany does every Friday. The restaurant offers daily lunch and dinner specials as well. Kayla says, “We want our customers to come hungry and leave happy.” 

The Tuscany Country Grill is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and stays open until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

srw_nov August 20, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Copyediting note: it's "Faring," not "Fairing."
Tony Elshout August 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM
Goetz and his wife will be missed. Cacti was always a class act. No more Cobb Salad, BUMMER!
Brad Curtis October 11, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Congrats to Henry and Finnegan's. The sensory overloading neon lights from the old "Bit 'o Honey" continue to fade and for this we are grateful! You've created a true, family destination that has forever changed the landscape of Novato for the better.
Peter Daniels October 11, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Goetz is too young to retire! Cacti always has had great food with freindly service. It will be greatly missed. All the best in retirement!
Jeff Arnold November 12, 2011 at 12:38 AM
I would love to see Cacti re-open with as close to the original menu as possible, and hopefully many or all of the same staff! So many great meals had here, and always great service!

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