Eating Out Pays Off for Local Nonprofits

School Fuel benefits from Rickey's Restaurant Community Partner Program; Garden Restaurant remodel nearly complete; no new restaurant for Fresh Choice location; and Pacheco Plaza Kicks Off Music Series with a Jimmy Buffett tribute band.

More than $3,700 has been contributed to School Fuel through and its Community Partner Program, according to School Fuel’s executive director Susan Mathews.

School Fuel is one of five Novato nonprofits that has special dine & donate cards for the restaurant. When diners present the card to their server, 15 percent of the dinner check to gets donated to the nonprofit.

But Mathews says  Rickey's owner and general manager, John Marshall, has gone above and beyond in support of School Fuel and has donated a total of $9,000 since the restaurant opened in 2004.

Other organizations participating in the program include the , Relay for Life-Novato, and Good Shepherd Bridges Foundation.

To support the organizations, ask them for a dining card or you can pick up one at Rickey’s Restaurant.

Garden Restaurant Remodel Nearly Done

Fans of in Ignacio have been patiently waiting for the month-long remodel to be completed.

The restaurant closed at the beginning of May and the initial plan was to give the place a facelift with new flooring, paint, tables and a revised menu. Owner/Chef Hilda Hattar said after 20 years it was time for an update that will attract new diners to the restaurant.

Hattar said the restaurant is close to completion but said she can't say exactly when the restaurant will be ready because, like any remodel, once it started a few more changes got added to the list — plumbing and all new appliances.

Hattar said that she’s also working on the menu and going more toward small-plate items. But the menu will stay true to the Mediterranean cuisine that has created such a loyal following.

As for the name, initially on the restaurant’s Facebook page there was a post suggesting a possible name change. Hattar said that they are rethinking that idea. “We found that we have a great reputation everywhere,” she said. “Everybody knows who we are.”

The latest Facebook post suggests Garden Restaurant might become Garden Bistro.

Verizon Moves into Fresh Choice Spot 

The former at Vintage Oaks won’t be replaced with another restaurant, according the general manager of Crosspoint Realty Services, Kathy DeOchoa.

But you’ll be able to call for takeout when the restaurant is turned into a Verizon Wireless concept store.

The store takes a cue from Apple and will have tables to try out all of the products, on-site tech support and an outdoor wi-fi patio area, DeOchoa wrote in an e-mail. She added that Verizon is working with the city of Novato on review and permitting and are expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Pacheco Plaza Kicks Off Music Series

The 3rd annual Summer Music Series kicks off June 8 at 6 p.m. with Cole Tate and the Uncle Buffett Tribute Band. Wear a Hawaiian shirt, bring your lawn chair and get ready to kick back, nibble on sponge cake and watch the sun bake at this family and dog-friendly event.

Dine al fresco with food from or or grab some picnic fare from or .

The free music event is held on the second Friday of each month through Sept. 21. For the complete summer schedule, click here.

Janna Barkin May 31, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I love The Garden Restaurant, and Hilda is an awesome woman!


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