Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Padre Hotel restaurants will open in January and some tips for staying off the roads on New Year's Eve

 * ... MORE ON THE PADRE: I ran into Steve Uricchio this week and got a run-down on the plans to reopen the old Padre Hotel downtown. Construction delays prevented the much anticipated New Year's celebration, but Steve now says there will be a "soft opening" on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Steve is the hotel's food and beverage director and says there will be three restaurants and two bars, including a bar on the second floor which will also house a banquet facility. The ground floor facilities include a casual dining restaurant and a more formal restaurant along with two bars. He promises the hotel will be "stunning" and says the new executive chef, Darrell Jensen, has a proven track record in the Colorado mountain resort communities. There will be ample parking with the Padre striking a deal with the city for using the garage next door, plus there will be valet parking. The hotel rooms, according to Steve, will not open until February, a bit later than the bars and restaurants. Meanwhile the old Padre is getting some new awnings as workers rush to meet the new deadline. Stay tuned.

 * .. HOME DEFAULTS: While we are looking for good news, I heard that the Office of Thrift Supervision reported that second quarter "re-default" rate on modified mortgages - that means at least 60 days delinquent and three months past restructuring - fell from 30 percent to 19 percent. Good news? Let's hope so. The past year has been a nightmare in the local real estate market, with the lion's share of sales (70-plus percent) coming  in properties in some form of foreclosure. Let's all hope for a better 2010.

 * ... BAKO OR BAKERSFIELD? Local reader Stephen Montgomery wrote me about his friend who now lives in Fresno. "He regularly calls Bakersfield 'Backwardsfield,' a term that makes me grit my teeth. While I often call it Bako, as a member of the city's Keep Bakersfield Beautiful and active in pubic issues usually related to urban planning, I'm more interested in making Bakersfield a better place to live rather than dismiss it for its faults. Needless to say I took pleasure in referring to Fresno as 'Frezburg.' John didn't comment but if I think of something better he'll hear it."

 * ... THE BUZZ: With New Year's eve approaching, we all need to be diligent while driving, particularly if we have had anything to drink. If you are out and want to be safe, keep in mind a company called Designated Driver of Bakersfield Inc. that offers a terrific new service locally. Give them a call and they will not only pick you up and take you home, but also have someone drive your car as well. The base costs start at $45 but the company also offers "memberships" in which you get some rides free and others at discounted prices. Check out the company website here. It's worth considering.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you not heard of "FresNOT"?

Caroline O. Reid