Home World Willow Glen’s only French restaurant is changing hands

Willow Glen’s only French restaurant is changing hands


After serving duck, escargot, steak tartare and other French classics to great acclaim for nearly a decade, San Jose’s Black Sheep Brasserie will close this Saturday night, June 15, and reopen Tuesday, June 18, with new ownership and a new kitchen team.

But Francophiles can rejoice: The Black Sheep Brasserie name and recipes are staying right there on Lincoln Avenue.

New owner Nate Habash said he and his Stacks Restaurant Group intend to keep the French focus at this, the only French restaurant in the city’s Willow Glen neighborhood. They plan to capitalize on the successful bistro concept by expanding the menu and soon, adding more hours.

The restaurant was founded in 2015 by noted South Bay restaurateur Don Durante and business partners as a contemporary version of Durante’s Le Mouton Noir (in English, black sheep), which had a 20-year run in Saratoga.

“My managing partner wants to move on and we all felt it was in our best interest to sell,” Durante said this week. “It’s been a difficult business to run since Covid. We share that experience with other Bay Area restaurants in similar situations.”

Habash, an industry veteran, said he and his new team are up to the challenge. The transition has been under way for a couple of weeks, with his new kitchen staff learning to cook the BSB dishes alongside the current employees.

“We’ve built a very good team,” Habash said, adding that the new executive chef, sous chef and bar manager he’s hired will be announced next week. “We’re going to expand the current concept, complement with seasonal dishes. We’ll add more seafood, steaks, vegetarian.”

He reassured longtime Black Sheep Brasserie customers: “We’ll still have duck, we’ll still have escargot, the pate,” and other favorites. In fact, he’s been meeting with some of the BSB regulars at tasting sessions and talking to them about the menu additions he envisions. “They all seem to be excited,” he said.

A few of the chef’s new dishes will make their debut on Tuesday. Going forward, Habash hopes to add longer hours to accommodate brunch and lunch service — meals he knows well from his decade operating the Stacks restaurants in Campbell, Menlo Park and Redwood City. (The original Stacks, in Burlingame, is still owned by a co-founder.)

“We’ll have to build the clientele to expand to seven days a week,” he said.

So for now, it’s dinner service only, starting at 5 p.m. five nights a week, Tuesday through Saturday.

Details: 1202 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; https://bsbwillowglen.com

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