What Do You Want to Go in the Smokehouse?

Restaurant closes this week. What do you hope goes in there instead?

, the . The restaurant thanked its customers on its facebook page and posted a sign on the door saying it would be closed until further notice.

The 180-seat restaurant offered live music and residents hoped it would be a popular draw to the area. But, after , the smokehouse closed after just nine months.

Now, questions turn toward the renovated building at Vintage Oaks. No plans have been confirmed or reported for the space.

What do you hope goes into the Smokehouse? Share your ideas in the comments.

Connie December 30, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Definitely WING STOP, best wings by far EVER, since Hooters no longer sells their franchise.
Jackie Thoma December 30, 2011 at 06:53 PM
I'm not surprised it went under..It was way over priced and the seperate cover charge for the music..which by the way..you were just supposed to listen to and not talk to the people you were there to visit with..bizzare How about A Novato Joes or a place for our younger residents to hang out with good food and music so they don't have to drive all the way into the city to have fun!!
Christine December 30, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Great comment!
Steve B December 30, 2011 at 07:16 PM
I wish... How about a stadium in general for music and sports, like Shoreline Amphitheater? Well, that can go where the dump is when that's full... It would be nice to raze Vintage Oaks, I'm tired of telling people I live in Novato and all they can think to say is "Oh, yeah, I go to that Costco... It's so convenient." Doesn't the town get screwed on sales taxes over there anyway? Some sort of sweetheart deal made years ago to incentive the development? In the end, Novatoans got a raw deal; traffic, ugly box stores, and too few $$$ to offset the detriment to our lifestyle.
Steve B December 30, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Charles Fager December 30, 2011 at 07:22 PM
... totally agree with Mark Schoenbaum's post... Re-purpose to an affordable roadhouse BBQ with local entertainment.. tons of great music talent here locally... in today's economy, folks are looking for a good value... affordable wine/beer, simple grub, nice atmosphere, and a rockin' band at a venue with good acoustics and no neighbors to complain about noise... it's sort of a perfect venue for music... Smokehouse was great in concept, but way too expensive for our locals... I have a band... we'll play for cheap... check out our band's web site: www.UphillBothWaysBand.com
Jeffrey Vaillant December 30, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Let Olive Garden have another chance!
Born & raised December 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Claim Jumper
Bob Minkin December 31, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Phil Lesh's "Terapin Station"
c.richards December 31, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Maybe Phil Lesh would be interested.
Sylvia Barry December 31, 2011 at 01:19 AM
The Smokehouse FB page says they hope to be back soon. But since the question is asked - How about something like T.G.I Fridays? Some place that stays open late, reasonably priced and have a variety of food for a change. The only place closes by which opens past 10pm seems to be Star Restaurant. http://www.tgifridays.com/home/welcome.aspx
Abe December 31, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Cracker Barrel just isn't right without a smoking section.... But seriously, that would be one of my wildest dreams coming true!
Edwin Drake December 31, 2011 at 09:24 AM
Pick one: An indoor shooting range; indoor laser tag; or indoor paintball.
Shana December 31, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Love it, then we wouldnt have to drive to Rohnert Park, and give them our tax money !
Kris December 31, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Something like Maggiano's, Lonestar, or another upscale family restaurant.
Kris December 31, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Something like Maggiano's, Lonestar, or another upscale family restaurant.
Chris December 31, 2011 at 07:22 PM
I think our local musicians and comedians should take it over. Hagar, Hadfield, Santana, and Lewis should load the place up with their memorabilia and set up all the musical entertainment (like a local Hard Rock) then throw Robin Williams and Dana Carvery into the mix to set up the Comedy angle. Last, Guy Ferretti can deal with all the crazy food. Call the place "The Dive" and we are ready to roll.
Shana December 31, 2011 at 08:21 PM
There you go Chris, you have the answer, and its a great one!!
Steve B December 31, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Talent like that could overcome the bad location. Also, when the Hanna Ranch thing is build and the road is connected to 37, access will be better. It doesn't even have to be open 7 nights, just Wednesday to Saturday... It could be tied to the San Rafael "Marin Rocks" museum which already has ties to some of these successful folks.
Baxter December 31, 2011 at 10:59 PM
I'd like to see the Smokehouse reopen with improvements based on all of your comments the past several days. If not, how about a Cattlemens Steakhouse. Great menu, great steaks, reasonable prices, family atmosphere. The Cattlemens in Petaluma is always packed. They used to have one in Novato 20 years ago, but supposedly closed it due to the belief that Marin County is not "meat and potatoes". I can eat vegetarian all day long, but give me a great steak done to perfection and I will be there with or without the "bean girl".
Ginny January 01, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Love this idea Lynn!
Ginny January 01, 2012 at 03:34 AM
We need a good pizza place! Like a Mountain Mikes or a Zachary's Pizza?
Craig Belfor January 01, 2012 at 11:50 PM
A classified ad in the IJ says that the fixtures will be auctioned off in January. Maybe the new owner will have a smaller nut, as I predicted in my earlier post, and will reopen with no bills to pay off.
Born & raised January 02, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Hey Craig, what does the size of his nut have to do with it?
Craig Belfor January 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The "nut" is the amount of money that the business owner must pay every month to just keep the doors open. Rent is usually the biggest nut, but a million dollar loan could dwarf that, especially if it needs to be paid within the lease period. Anyone buying the assets next week at the auction will get the business without that loan. Thus they will have a smaller "nut", and might be able to make a profit, pay for better food, lower the prices, get better service, music, etc.. Like I said before- The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
B.C. January 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
The Rainforest Cafe or the Cheesecake Factory
B.C. January 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Isn't In and Out looking for a new location?
Craig Belfor January 02, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Wasn't that the name of the old place?
Born & raised January 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
It was a joke Craig.
Nanci Boyd January 05, 2012 at 06:23 PM
How about the Seafood Peddler?


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