Updated July 12, 8:45 p.m.: The rockstar issued another statement through his publicist, giving hope to the many fans of the business, saying “I definitely do not see the doors closing for good.” He floated the idea of reopening the restaurant, or even using it as a pop-up for “fostering rising talents in food/spirits.” Read it in full below:
“El Paseo has been a personal labor of love for me for almost a decade. I had a passion to bring a historic spot in my community back to life and make it a special place for family and friends to share great food, wine and spirits – and I’m so proud of the legacy we’ve created in doing that. There’s always an ebb and flow in the restaurant business but right now all of my focus is with my main career as a musician, so I’ve decided to give El Paseo a summer hiatus. In the meantime, we’re already fielding considerable interest — so whether it re-opens in full or as a pop-up space fostering rising talents in food/spirits is tbd — but I definitely do not see the doors closing for good.”
After seven years, Sammy Hagar has closed his Mill Valley restaurant El Paseo, citing time constraints and conflicts with his music career as the main reasons for the shutter.
Originally a French restaurant (which opened in 1947), Hagar reopened El Paseo with celebrity chef Tyler Florence in 2011 as a steakhouse; that partnership fizzled out, and Hagar flipped the menu to Spanish cuisine. Most recently, the kitchen run by chef Todd Shoberg (Molina) served a menu of Northern California cuisine earning it just 2.5 stars from the SF Chronicle last year.
The menu included dishes like a buttermilk-fried quail, charred tomato gazpacho, and avocado risotto with Spanish chorizo. It only recently received a liquor license allowing it to serve cocktails; a previous conflict with Hagar’s ownership of a tequila company had limited it to beer and wine for years.
It sounds like the Red Rocker is open to bringing back his unexpectedly elegant dining enclave, but only after he’s finished with this three-day mega birthday party that he throws every year in Cabo San Lucas in October. This year will be a celebration of his 71st birthday.
Read his original message to customers below:
After 7 years, this wonderful, beautiful, passionate labor of love has become far too time consuming for me. I’m in the process of finishing a new album with “The Circle” and need to concentrate on my music, my performances and my TV series. I also want to be able to spend more quality time with my family. The day to day problems of operating a restaurant have prevented me from doing a lot of the things that I need to be doing. You might say that I have been dealing with a lot of headaches and have simply run out of aspirin.
Once I get to the Birthday Bash in October, I will revisit El Paseo, build a team and start over from scratch.
Thanks to everyone for all of your support, and in the meantime, please visit some of the other great restaurants in downtown Mill Valley.