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Fresh Choice Closes Novato Location

Company says they lost their lease at the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center. Other business news: California Bay Nurseries closed.

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.

jason macdonald August 07, 2012 at 04:20 AM
FOR SURE they added something to the food , local produce,? shiiiiit! everything came out of plastic bags , and 28 bucks for two people to eat a marginal salad w/ bland school cafeteria sides doesn't feel like a deal , call me crazy
SP August 07, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Sheri, I had the same experience and so did some of my friends. I'm not sure what the preservative is but it is brutal.
Anne Lufrano Varner September 29, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I hope it's not going to be another bank! In and out burger would be nice for the kids but could you just see the traffic and durling the Holidays! NO THANKS
sheri September 30, 2012 at 05:50 AM
It's going to be a Verizon Store. I don't know why SO many useless stores come to Vintage when we have so few good retail stores and restaurants in Marin compared to other counties in Nor Cal!!! For goodness sakes, there is already a Verizon store in Hamilton Marketplace. We don't need another one. Why not bring something we don't already have?
David December 03, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Fresh Choice was lovely. For the many years it lasted, it served delicious healthy and affordable food, and was a fun experience for the whole family. It even began featuring local veggies grown without pesticides, and always had interesting salad items - besides the lettuce / carrot / celery type. There was Jicama, kale, parsnips, and more - simply delicious. It kept many people healthy in the community. The other salad bar restaurants (like sweet tomatoes) really dont compare. We need fresh choice back.

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