Grazie Café Italiano owner Renee Norman can’t understand why the rumors persist that the restaurant is closing when she says business is great. She said in a well-connected town such as Novato, misinformation spreads just as fast as good news.
But lately a clue has surfaced on why the rumor continues, and it has to do with the 10-agent Century 21 real estate office located above the restaurant at Grant and Sherman avenues. At first glance, the signage on the second floor balcony could be mistaken as a "For Sale" sign instead of merely company signage. Norman said she confirmed with her landlord that the building is not for sale.
“You know, my husband and I have talked about it,” Norman said. “People are always asking if the building is for sale.”
Century 21 representatives said they've had a great relationship with the Grazie's staff and have patronized the restaurant often, even holding meetings with clients there. Jeff Collaso, one of four owners of the Century 21 franchise, said this story was the first he heard that there was any confusion that might have been tied to the sign hanging outside the building.
Norman didn't express a problem with Century 21 but just wanted to clarify for readers and Grazie's patrons that there's a real estate office above the restaurant … not a "For Sale" sign.
Norman said she’s in year two of her five-year lease and continues to invest in the restaurant with new flooring and upgraded bathrooms.
“We’re doing really great, and I’m having fun right now,” she said.
With two children ages 2 and 5, Renee said operating the restaurant is a juggle, but she’s loving it. Considering that her youngest was a newborn when she re-opened Grazie, she said that it’s actually gotten a little easier.