The Bacchus Management Group is something of a hitmaker, with Michelin-starred Spruce and The Village Pub, as well as the Pizza Antica mini-chain, under their belts. But the magic never quite came together for Cafe des Amis, their four-and-a-half-year-old French bistro in Cow Hollow, which has announced it'll be shutting down this weekend.
President and CEO Tim Stannard blames landlord woes for the closure, saying in a statement that the restaurant group was "unable to reach a lease agreement with the building's landlord that could support a sustainable business in the neighborhood." But high rents weren't CDA's only woe: the restaurant shuffled through quite a few chefs, and a pretty sick initial Bauer burn (1.5 stars) wasn't aided much by the intervention of Spruce's chef, Mark Sullivan, only bringing the restaurant to two-star status. Nonetheless, Stannard says he's interested in reviving the concept elsewhere, if the opportunity arises. (It's certainly one that was ahead of its time, judging by this year's major French bistro revival at Monsieur Benjamin, Urchin, Gaspar, and other new spots.) In the meantime, employees are being transitioned into the group's other restaurants as much as possible.
Cafe des Amis will be open through the weekend, with its last service during brunch on Sunday, January 4. The attractive Cow Hollow space, with a prime perch on Union, 140 seats, and full liquor, will definitely be a hotly contested one once it hits the market, though no new tenant has been announced as of yet.