Hospitality: Restaurateurs get creative in recession

Tourism bureau hosts annual meeting; Michael Chiarello opens eateryNorth Bay restaurateurs confirmed last week the definitive arrival of the recession in hospitality, and though some have joined the ever-lengthening list of eateries looking to sell, others are doing what they can do to embrace the change.

“In the past six months we have definitely really been suffering with the economy. We are down about 50 percent year over year, and we knew we’d have to make a change or sell the restaurant,” said Sara Langley, co-owner of Langley’s on the Green in Windsor with chef and husband Fred Langley.

But instead of closing their doors, the pair decided to shift the focus of the establishment from fine dining to more of a lounge with small plates, a la carte options and entree specials. Mr. Langley, who travels often as a restaurant consultant, also recently transformed another local bistro from an ailing fine dining Italian restaurant to a now-popular family pizza kitchen called Pizzaria DePaoli.

“You just have to learn to adjust when times change,” Ms. Langley said last week at the debut of Langley’s renovated space.

For the same reason, Santa Rosa fine dining Kabob & Curry House owner Anil Bembey said he resolved to shift his business model and will debut the new brand, the Maharaja Lounge, sometime in the next few weeks.

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