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Restaurant & Food News

29 Mar 2016
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New to the CV Supermarket Scene: Gelson’s and ALDI The grocery-store gods giveth; the grocery-store gods taketh away. In recent months, both Haggen and Fresh and Easy have faded to black in the Coachella Valley due to financial stresses. Enter Gelson’s Markets and ALDI to fill the void. Gelson’s—a Southern California fixture since 1951—opened in late January in the former Haggen/Pavilions space at 36101 Bob Hope Drive, in Rancho Mirage. Gelson’s purchased the Rancho Mirage store and seven others from Haggen when the company made a hasty retreat from California last year. “Gelson’s has been looking for a great desert location for nearly 15 years, and we’re excited to come to Rancho Mirage,” said Rob McDougall, Gelson’s president and CEO, in a news release. “Our goal is to serve the local community by providing premium-quality merchandise and exceptional customer service, while also re-employing many of the dedicated employees of the…
20 Feb 2016
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Bernie's Supper Club Gives Up on Palm Springs and Heads for Rancho Mirage When we last checked in with the good folks at Bernie’s Supper Club, back in July of last year, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before reconstruction began at 292 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs—the site where the restaurant more or less burned to the ground on Christmas Day of 2014. The Palm Springs Planning Commission had approved plans, and it seemed like full steam ahead. “The owners hope the brand-new building will be completed by this December,” we wrote. Well, that did not happen—and it turns out that a Palm Springs rebirth of Bernie’s is not happening at all. Co-owners Geoff McIntosh and Rand Howell announced in February via Facebook that they had closed escrow on the building at 69830 Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage, that was once a Marie…
26 Jan 2016
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Dead or Alive Brings Fine Wine, Fine Beer and Fine Design to ‘The Curve’ Area Christine Soto and Anthony Cioffi attended to Palm Springs High School together. After graduation, they went their separate ways, but in 2012, at their 10-year reunion, they reconnected—and started dating. Today, they’re not only life partners; they’re business partners as well. Cioffi works as a designer, and several years ago, he worked with Donovan Funkey to create the look of Bar, in downtown Palm Springs. “That sort of sparked the idea for doing this,” Cioffi said. The “this” of which Cioffi speaks is Dead or Alive, a charming-as-hell craft-beer and specialty-wine bar that opened in December at 150 E. Palm Canyon Drive, right next to El Mirasol in the midst of “the curve”—where South Palm Canyon Drive becomes East Palm Canyon Drive. During a recent media tasting, Cioffi and Soto explained how they took more…
24 Dec 2015
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Looking Back and Looking Ahead at the Local Restaurant Scene As we turn the calendar from 2015 to 2016, it’s worth examining the year gone by in the local food scene—and speculate about what’s coming up. What did we learn about the local restaurant scene in 2015? A few top-of-the-mind thoughts: • Intriguing restaurants can still create a buzz. Think for a moment: What was the last local restaurant that opened and created a buzz like Eight4Nine did? Unless I am forgetting something (which is entirely possible), it’s been years since a new place created such a fervor. In some ways, Eight4Nine represents a perfect restaurant-buzz storm: It has an excellent pedigree, thanks to the team of co-owner Willie Rhine, the longtime general manager at Lulu California Bistro; renowned photographer John Paschal; and veteran executive chef Chuck Courtney. It has an exciting location, in the burgeoning uptown design district of…
23 Nov 2015
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New to El Paseo: WP Kitchen + Bar The Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar in Palm Desert is no more—but that doesn’t mean the celebrity chef is ditching the Coachella Valley. In fact, he’s chosen the Coachella Valley to launch his newest restaurant concept. Puck has opened WP Kitchen + Bar in the space at 73130 El Paseo that previously housed his eponymous pizza bar. The restaurant website describes the place thusly: “Wolfgang Puck’s newest restaurant concept (is) serving globally influenced fare in a family-style format. Inspired by how the acclaimed chef dines and entertains at home, the menu boasts a seasonal offering of small plates, fresh salads, pizzas and handmade pastas, as well as a variety of seafood, steak and other proteins.” The menu—which really does encourage the family-style dining concept—includes pastas, trout, snapper, chicken and a braised beef short rib, as well as steaks and a decent selection of…
26 Oct 2015
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The Falls Steakhouse, R.I.P. The Falls, the steakhouse known for its gorgeous downtown Palm Springs views and bubbling martinis (thanks to the addition of dry ice), has closed for good. “After 15 years, we have closed the doors of The Falls,” reads a message on the restaurant’s website. “Our lease was up, and we decided to pursue other interests. It has been a privilege serving Palm Springs for so long.” The Independent sent a message via The Falls’ Facebook page seeking further comment, but had not yet received a response as of our press deadline. As is the case when any long-tenured restaurant closes its doors, the demise of The Falls saddened many people who spent special times there. I first learned of the closure from a friend on Facebook who was bemoaning the fact that he could not go there to celebrate his anniversary with his husband; I personally…