Fresh Choice is the latest restaurant to bite the dust in Novato. It closed over the weekend after its lease expired, according to an email from leasing manager Kathy DeOchoa of Crosspoint Realty.
Fresh Choice had a different take on the closure. “We lost our lease and we wanted to stay in this location,” said Elena Fortuna, a district manager with the company.
“Sunday was our last day,” Fortuna said. “But we’re not going out of business – we’re just losing this site.
“We are very sad to leave Novato,” she said. “Business was good a this location until the very last day. We’ve been here 17 years.”
“We were that family restaurant that everyone could enjoy,” Fortuna added. She said that she is already seeing Novato customers at their Rohnert Park location.
Inside the building, the company was removing Fresh Choice furnitures and fixtures.
A note on the door informs customers that the company had lost their lease as of Feb.15, while another note added to try its nearest location. On the company’s website, Novato is still listed as a location, and Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa are the only other locations in the North Bay.
Customer Lisa LaScala and her son drove up at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, peered through the windows, turned around and headed back to the car. LaScala said that she hadn’t heard about the closure and that they had just come for a quick bite before a school meeting at San Marin High.
This is the second restaurant at the Vintage Oaks to close in the last two months. In December, it doors abruptly, leaving a note on the door and a message on their Facebook site.
According to DeOchoa, the mall’s leasing company representative, “we are in discussions with numerous local restaurateurs and will hopefully have it re-leased and open again in the near future.”
The mall management held a on the Smokehouse restaurant for back-payments on rent and future loss of rental income, and the nearly-new furniture and fixtures are in tact on the space. DeOchoa confirms that the site is move-in ready.
Ignacio Nursery Closes
After weeks of selling items at its 50% off sale, on Entrada Drive in Ignacio has shut their gates and appears to be completely empty from the street.
has been looking at the nursery and the adjoining lot for a new Novato location. As previously reported on Novato Patch, the company had put the city approval process on hold while they worked on securing the site, according to senior city planner Steve Marshall.
In-N-Out spokespeople previously confirmed that they were completing the due diligence on the properties and considered the project in the early phase of development.