Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taste Of Vacaville Coming To Suisun City

Taste Of Vacaville Coming To Suisun City
By Carol Bogart | Daily Republic | February 27, 2008

SUISUN CITY - If you have been going to Vacaville to dine at the restaurant that Daily Republic readers have voted that city's best the past three years, you might be able to enjoy a similar dining experience in Suisun City by November.

Merchant & Main Grill and Bar owner Bob Tooke has signed a lease to open a 4,000-square-foot restaurant in Harbor Square at Solano and Main streets in Suisun City's Waterfront District.

Tooke said the restaurant's look and menu won't be identical to Merchant & Main's, but he added the as-yet unnamed restaurant will resemble Merchant & Main in that it will be 'casual, comfortable and fun.' The new restaurant will accommodate 130 to 140 diners.

Tooke believes his new restaurant will draw from Suisun City, Fairfield and some of the '30,000 cars that pass by daily on Highway 12,' he said.

Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez said negotiations with Tooke have been going on for about five months, and the city has agreed to erect any sort of sign Tooke desires on Highway 12 'to let people know Suisun City has a new steakhouse.'

In a nod to the Delta, some menu items will have a Cajun flair, Tooke said. Fresh fish, barbecue, steaks and prime rib will be among the 'modern American cooking' he said he will serve. The restaurant will also have a full bar, he said, and 18 beers on tap.

The restaurant will be open for brunch both Saturday and Sunday, lunch five days a week, although Tooke didn't say which days, and dinner Monday through Sunday. He may decide to offer all day dining, he added.

The entry to Tooke's restaurant will face Solano Street and Harbor Plaza to draw business during public events in the plaza, said Frank Marinello, co-managing partner of Main Street West Partners, the developer of Harbor Square.

The restaurant will have a rear dining patio that will overlook Harbor Square's courtyard and that there may be a few cafe-style tables on the front patio, Tooke said.

Harbor Square's shell will be completed by September, Marinello said. Tooke hopes to begin interior work on his new restaurant at that time.

Both said the goal is for the restaurant to open in November, just in time for the holiday season.

'Main Street West is pleased that an operator as successful as Bob shares our vision of the Waterfront District being a premier dining destination in the county,' Marinello said.

Tooke said, in his view, the Suisun City waterfront 'is the coolest thing around.'

Reach Carol Bogart at 427-6955 or at

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