Waterspout/Tornado Hit Watsonville Just Before Christmas
Dramatic Lighting @ Linda Mar State Beach

Boston Bill's for Lease; Lovey's & AGITF Flourishing

UPDATE: A "for lease" sign has appeared on the front window of Boston Bill's. It is still possible that a well-run operation in this location can succeed, especially with the volume of traffic that passes by every day and the ample, free parking off the highway. Sorry to see you go, Boston Bill, and good luck to the next bold entrepreneur who takes it on. The Devil's Slide Tunnels are supposed to open soon, so expect an increase in traffic on Highway 1.

Peter Loeb reported in October 2012: "I went by Boston Bill's today (Friday) at noon. The sign on the front says CLOSED. That sign and another sign both say business hours are 11:30 to 9:00. I looked inside and it's dark -- chairs are up on the tables and nobody's home. I checked the website and it says, 'The website you are looking for has been deactivated.' I'd say they're closed permanently."

Next door to Boston Bill's, in the old Beach Cafe, Lovey's Tea Shop seems to be doing a brisk business. Peter Loeb says, "I heard positive things about them and I hope they're doing well. It's tough out there." And Jim Alex says the neighboring wine bar, A Grape in the Fog, also is doing a healthy business. Good signs for the local economy.


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As most everyone has probably already heard, the restaurant Barolo at Pedro Point has closed up, with the owner focusing on the Moonraker restaurant at Rockaway.

Round Table Pizza in the Linda Mar Shopping Center has been reopened for about a week. My family and friends ate there tonight to check it out, and I can only describe the experience as "punishing."

There are 12 -- twelve!! -- big-screen TVs in the small space, and their speakers blast directly overhead every -- single -- table, one and all! And blast they do; we had to practically shout to be understood by the cashier. When we requested that the volume be turned down, we were told that they didn't know how to do this!

We should have taken a U-turn right then and there and tried again another day, but we hung in there (we're into self-abuse, I guess -- who knew!) and endured a 60-minute crash course into psychological warfare as the sounds of the TV intruded upon any attempts at conversation. We left in a foul mood with headaches and buzzing ears, and neither we nor our friends will be going back again.

It's too bad because obviously a lot of money has been spent on all those TVs and the fancy sound system to create an "experience," but with nary a quiet corner or any way to avoid the cacophony, I can't imagine we'll be the only ones driven away.

Or perhaps it's just that pizza is a young man's game these days.

In other local business news:

I walked by the closed Round Table Pizza in the Linda Mar Shopping Center today. It is reopening as Round Table again, and it appears they are are almost complete with their renovations. They just concluded two days of walk-in job interviews.

Over at the Pedro Point Shopping Center, The Truth (tattoo studio) is hopping over a few spots to a storefront just on the north side of Fresh & Easy. In its spot will be Studio B2, a new hair salon. A flyer in the window announced a New Year's Eve opening.

The guy tried. He tried to run a business and It didn't work out. Not the first and not the last. He was a pretty good guy to go in and talk baseball with.

No need to pile on.

And if only city government were examined as closely as Boston Bill.

I stopped in at Lovey's today for a pot of tea and sandwiches with my wife. Anyone who has been to Lovejoy's in San Fracisco will know what to expect here as Lovey's has the same owner/operator -- Muna Nash -- who is a resident of our own Rockaway district.

We had a pleasant time in a wonderful atmosphere. Lovey's is a fantastic addition to Pacifica and I highly recommend it.

Dan, I totally agree with your sentiments about Yelp and new business owners. I wouldn't feel right about blasting a place that just opened. We need to give new businesses a chance to flourish.

And since you mentioned this, I must point out that I waited nearly nine months before posting my review. It was based on several experiences with the food and the owner. I also noted in my review that positive Yelp reviews were the reason that I was inspired to come back to this restaurant.

Although I mentioned a couple of fixes that "could push (the) sandwich toward greatness," Boston Bill decided to harp on the negative and conduct a smear campaign against me. Yes, I'll admit he had my blood boiling. And every time he took another cheap shot or made another false accusation toward me, I'd add a follow-up review that included more negative things about the man, things that I decided to leave out of my original review. As everything I said was truthful, I had no problem backing up any of my statements with more details. I didn't have to do any name-calling or overdramatize things, as Boston Bill was quite the Drama King on his own. In fact, as I was careful about my wording so it wouldn't be removed from Yelp, I never addressed him directly in any of my reviews. In fact, I also didn't reply to his hateful personal message to me.

I live in Pacifica, and I love supporting our local businesses. But Boston Bill was beginning to develop a reputation for being a nasty man, and I had witnessed it firsthand on several occasions, as did others. And people who take frozen clam chowder out of the bag and call it "homemade, " and even worse, people who ridicule and embarrass their employees in front of customers, are hard ones to stand behind.

I hate to say it, but Boston Bill was his own worst enemy.

Actually, he had zero restaurant experience. Nine out of 10 restaurants nationwide fail the first year. Not because of bad food, but because of bad management. If you don't believe that, watch Kitchen Nightmare or some of the restaurant turnaround shows on TV.

Actually, he was a decent guy to come in and talk baseball with. But his South Boston ways worked out there, but customers didn't know how to deal with him yelling at the staff all the time.

He didn't have all the money lined up and one of his flake investors pulled his money out right before the place was done. You could tell the work inside would go on in spurts, stop, then start again. Hard to keep your subs lined up when they feel you cannot pay them.

The part that didn't sense to me was that Caltrans is going to take this property and the tea shop and house next to it for the Highway 1 widening project. This will happen sometime in our lifetimes. But unless you want to hire attorneys and fight Caltrans tooth and nail for four years to get your money back out, and blow a couple hundred grand in attorney fees, this move didn't make sense to me.

Lots of empty space around town to move a business into.

"It is a minor misfortune to waste one's lunch money on a less-than-satisfying lunch experience. It is a major misfortune to have a restaurant, into which one has sunk one's life savings, go under before it really even gets started."

Once again, Dan puts things elegantly into perspective. We are fortunate to have his thoughtful posts here on Riptide!

(Hear! Hear! —The Editor)

I didn't have the negative experiences D. relates. Starting a new restaurant in the SF Bay Area at this time is about as stressful an undertaking as I can imagine. I want to encourage everyone to give new restaurants a moment to get on their feet before posting negative experiences on Yelp or the like. New restauranteurs have typically just sunk everything, or at least a large chunk of everything, into their new establishment. Go ahead and publish what you appreciate about a place, but put your criticisms into discreet notes to the management. The Internet is very powerful. If, after a year or so, it becomes clear that the management isn't up to the challenge, THEN say so on Yelp or whatever. In my opinion, Yelp should have a stated policy to hold off on publishing anything negative for 12 months, and pass any such comments discreetly to the business owner. It is a minor misfortune to waste one's lunch money on a less-than-satisfying lunch experience. It is a major misfortune to have a restaurant, into which one has sunk one's life savings, go under before it really even gets started. I'm not casting any aspersions on D. but rather I'm suggesting that we all cut new businesses a little slack whenever we can.

Boston Bill was a ----.

He couldn't open on "Opening Day" because his cooks walked out on him.

After then, I tried to go there a few times, but they weren't keeping to their posted hours of business. They were always closed.

For my first actual dining experience, I brought my family in for lunch, only to find him yelling at employees.

When I wrote about my bad experience on Yelp, Boston Bill challenged me, writing a series of ugly responses in which he denied everything I reported. At one point he even threatened to track me down in person.

He also challenged every other negative Yelp review, badmouthing all who didn't like his restaurant. He must have realized that he was only hurting himself with his big mouth, and one day his replies were suddenly gone.

If Boston Bill's is closed, it surely is a matter of karma catching up with him.

I heard the tea shop was very nice. Hopefully they will sell sandwiches to go --

Sorry I couldn't eat out at Boston Bill's more than I did.They had some fun food there.

I did a little plumbing for Lovey's Tea Shop. The owner, Muna, is a charming gal. Last week I went there specifically to have lunch and found it quite full of customers. I have seen lots of cars in front of it whenever I pass. Obviously Lovey, I mean Muna, is doing something right. I intend to stop in for lunch sometime when it looks as if she has room for me in there.

Damn, they had great onion rings.

Oh no! I really liked their food. I hope the rumors of their closing aren't true :(

His wife had health problems. I know one of his investors put up the money then demanded it back before they opened.

I don't think he had any previous restaurant experience.

The Surf Spot cut out lunch hours during the week also.

I heard the owner's wife is ill and that might be the reason the restaurant is closed. I also thought their food was good.

That's too bad about Boston Bill's.

There was an excitment about the place and it was very busy during the first few weeks when it debuted, but in the months following there were a number of times I wanted to eat there only to find that it was closed (during posted hours). The sporadic and inconsistent closures made me hesistant to ever go back.

Soon after these incidents, their June 20th Ribbon-Cutting was cancelled and they remained closed for a number of weeks. When they reopened, it was again with the inconsistent operating hours.

Probably not the best way to run a business.

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