Cyrus closing?!

After several years of disputes and lawsuits between Healdsburg’s Michelin-starred Cyrus Restaurant and their Les Mars Hotel landlords, it was announced today that the restaurant will close October 29, 2012.

Crossroads Winery, LP, owned by investor Bill Foley, will take over ownership of the restaurant space inside the Les Mars. Foley is the owner of Chalk Hill Winery, Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery in Sonoma; Merus, Altvus, Kuleto Estate in Napa as well as numerous wineries throughout California and Washington and New Zealand. He co-owns the Les Mars with David Fink.

Despite a very public airing of their disagreements, Cyrus chef Douglas Keane is positive about the ultimate decision to shutter his restaurant. “It’s a good thing. This makes a lot of sense. Nick (Peyton, his business partner) and I are happy. There were a lot of misunderstood passions.”

The big question, however, is what’s next.

The restaurant will remain open for business, and throughout the fall, Keane will showcase some of the all-time favorite dishes from the seven-year stint of the restaurant. After that, he and Peyton will continue to run Healdsburg Bar and Grill. They have maintained the rights to the Cyrus brand, though aren’t making any immediate plans to relocate or reopen a new restaurant right now.

“I want to have some fun. I have nothing solid planned,” Keane said. He does plan to spend some time working with rescue dogs and spending time with his wife. “Maybe we’ll bring back the two martini lunch,” he laughs.

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Previous Coverage: Cyrus Eviction Notice

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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54 Comments

  1. Nothing has changed, just not announced.

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  2. They are not closing, they are moving to another location (in Healdsburg).

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    • Unless its changed, they aren’t currently planning to move. I think most of us figure they will relocated, but at this point, that hasn’t been announced.

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  3. Hubby and I ate at Cyrus once, years ago when they had the tasting menu. It was over the top, food and service were superb. However, never have I paid so much for so little food. I can sort of see why they quit the tasting menu, too expensive.

    Another “however”, though, at least we got to eat there. I tried to make reservations at French Laundry but haven’t been able to get thru on the phone

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  4. Never made it to Cyrus, but almost did about a month ago for an anniversary dinner. As much as I love trying new food and a meal prepared with some flair, I definitely couldn’t afford to go there very often looking at the prices, just a little too past my budget typically. Though there are other locations in So County that are equally as expensive for a dinner for two. Good luck to them finding a place elsewhere, HBG is a nice place to go, nothing to write home about but in Burg it gets the job done for sure (the outside seating is nice on a good day). On another note I don’t think Michelin stars should mean everything, its a nice rating but its just like any other ratings system, its only worth so much, the proof is in customer and what they think about the food ultimately.

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    • IS this Nick person out of his tree????????????
      Cyrus is the best thing that happened to Healdsburg and it is well deserving if its Michelin Stars. If this clown never made it to Cyrus, how can he ever judge how wonderful it is? And do not ever refer to Healdsburg as a BURG. May be expensive, but you get what you pay for!

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      • No, not out of my tree, but thanks for the lovely light verbal assault for nothing. I just simply stated my opinion very politely but you’ve taken to asking whether I live in a tree and also stating that I’m a clown. But I guess its typical of the internet, insult people who you can’t see. Definitely know if you saw me in the Burg you wouldn’t say that to my face, that I’m sure of. That being said, no I didn’t make it there but if you re-read what I wrote you’ll see that I didn’t judge how wonderful Cyrus was or wasn’t (read closely please). Appreciate you saying Cyrus is the “best” thing to happen to Healdsburg, not sure thats completely logical but OK lets go with it, also I never said they were not deserving of their Michelin stars (again re-read).

        In conclusion a ratings system setup by a company is not something I feel I need to buy completely into in my dining experience, if you feel the need to base everything off a ratings system created by people you don’t know, that’s cool enjoy.

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  5. I cannot believe that with all the supposed $$, status and inovative ideas from these fine establihments, neither one has a drive thru window…I mean WTF?

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  6. Oh My! Where will I be able to get my Tibetan Tea smoked watercress drop infused mountain stream fresh water inseminated land mussels now?

    I just got use to the being comfortable around the caviar and champagne cart and now this will all go away……..

    Let’s see, no one wanted 98 dollar a bite steaks at their now defunct steak house, so perhaps the new place will have decent local food at decent prices and still keep local farmers involved without all the fanfare. There was noting worse then sitting in their dining room in the off season week night having Nick worry about how the week end would fare. I’m sure the HBG will do fine, decent food and besides where else can you get a decent 12 dollar burger in town anyway?

    Some one else will come along and provide a over the top experience which will garner some more stars and more tourist ooh and aah, and life will continue without Cyrus…..

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    • Perhaps a Denny’s?

      I’m not sure what planet people live on, but involving local farmers costs $$. I’m also not sure why people take such glee in knocking down a chef who has spent his life learning a craft and trying to elevate it to an art form for the benefit of people who appreciate it.

      I get that not everyone can afford it. But there are MANY people who choose to save up or spend their limited incomes on a dinner that inspires them. Personally, I can’t imagine spending money on something as stupid as a Harley-Davidson, a boat or a $400 pair of shoes, but if someone else wants to, that’s their right. I would and DO spend whatever money I can scrape together on food experiences. That’s what makes me happy.

      There are people who choose to mark a special occasion by dining at Cyrus. Why begrudge them that? Sorry, I’d rather go hungry than have to spend a birthday at Red Lobster. How sad.

      You might also want to check out the things that Nick and Doug do for the community. They host a huge Thanksgiving spread for homeless shelters, Nick is very involved with raising money for the Summerfield Waldorf school for scholarships, they support many local farms.

      There are plenty of restaurants we can all go to that are simple and economical. I’m not sure why anyone would be glad to see a restaurant that offered aspirational, artfully crafted food go away. The question is, yes, where will you or anyone else get that food you so happily make fun of? Napa? San Francisco?

      I’d rather have it here.

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      • Couldn’t have said it better myself, Ms. Heather.

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      • Because little sweety….the business of food is more than working hard on a menu. It’s about money as well. The owner of the Hotel had to have a reason. Looks like he did and now he has control over his place again. Just remember you’re a food critic in a county that desperately wants to be more sophisticated than it really is. Thats why burger joints, taco trucks and rest are your most written topics. Don’t knock the readers for blantantly pointing out the likely causes of this place closing.

        Now go review another burger joint!

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        • “little sweety”? Give me a break! Go back to 1950 where you belong, would ya? No wonder you prefer burger joints to places like Cyrus.

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      • hear, hear… the point of eating out ISN’T to do so more cheaply or even AS cheaply as one can eat in. Otherwise INDEED why not just eat in or go to taquerias or fast-food places and be happy about your choice without slamming other kinds of places? As I have to live very frugally due to being in an underemployed state, I don’t eat out right now. But I surely don’t feel resentful about the fact there are alot of (fine) places that I can’t patronize at this time. People tend to really be mean and probably more clever than they are in real life on message boards, no? Anyways, bon appetit whatever your choices may be !

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        • Well said Frankie, well said.

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  7. I read in the Chronicle’s blog “Mr. Foley, owner of Chalk Hill Winery, Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery in Sonoma; Merus, Altvus, Kuleto Estate in Napa as well as numerous wineries throughout California and Washington and New Zealand plans to use the yet unnamed upscale restaurant to provide premium dining and to showcase his wine portfolio.” Sounds like a great idea – open a restaurant to showcase a whole portfolio of hack wines. I’m sure the locals will visit in droves. I hope the hotel can boost their occupancy otherwise that’s going to be a lot of empty chairs. But, hooray, they’ll have room service (which I think was the root of the entire issue to begin with).

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    • They would probably have to buy their own wines from a distributor, to avoid violating anti-”tied house” regulations, per the 1971 CA supreme court decision.

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    • I agree 100% with the Joe and Ms Haether. I know many locals (and friends in SF) who will now blackball Mr. Foley and his folie. Greed makes for bad publicity and even worse enimies.

      Crappy wines deserve to stay in crappy places. Stay out of the fine dining business!

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    • Wrong you are sir. Just because it’s sonoma county doesn’t mean that a place can only hightlight local wines. Using your logic…Sonoma County is the only place in the world that has good wine.

      Also…no upscale place in Sonoma County is supported by locals. The tourists keep these places open. Sonoma County residents are in three hour waiting lines at Bj’s for beer and hot wings.

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  8. Cyrus exemplifies what Sonoma County is capable of in terms of fine dining and service. Doug and Nick have elevated Sonoma sourced produce, meats, cheeses and wines on to the world stage

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  9. Fine dining is dying. U think pizza burgers and tacos are going to make the tourists dine here? The tourists are new yorkers, chicagoans and texans. They have that food at home. Come on, more fine dining. There goes Hbergs bragging rights and respect.

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  10. I find it strange to hear anything negative about Cyrus. It was by far the best dining experience I have ever had. Truly sad for Sonoma County. Thank you to Cyrus for wonderful food, service and an incredible dining experience!

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  11. Just another example of some bigshot moneybags running off the smaller guy. Foley and “friends” bought chalk hill winery and it’s never been the same. Boo to the big guy! Hope the Cyrus guys create something even better!

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  12. This is not good news for Healdsburg or the Sonoma County food-wine-travel-life style industries. As a 5th generation SoCo native “aggie,” I welcomed Nick and Doug and their fine food and wine dining experience to celebrate the incredible beauty and bounty of this amazing county. I hope you stay and open another fabulous restaurant. If you do, I will be back!

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  13. Captain, humans are sometimes illogical. I do not fathom why it was so important to Foley & Co. to stomp Mr. Keane. While I’ve never dined at Cyrus, Mr. Keane has won me over as I’ve read of his various adventures. Vulcans do not believe in “luck” but the human half of me wishes copious quantities of such to Mr. Keane.

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  14. First of all congrats to Doug and Nick on what they have achieved at Cyrus. The few times I have had the fortune of dining there I enjoyed the service and food immensly! I also enjoyed the cheese course with Nick dishing it out, fantastic! Hands down the finest restaurant in Sonoma County history, but of course that is just my humble opinion, and that of all of my friends and clients We all look forwad to the next incarnation!

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  15. This is a tragedy. Cyrus is the best restaurant in Sonoma County and one of the best in the US (& the world). The closure will be a big blow to Healdsburg and the area.
    I have had two of the best meals of my life at Cyrus. I’ll try to get back again before it closes. I sincerely hope Chef Doug and Nick open another fine restaurant in Healdsburg.

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  16. Didn’t we just see one of these Chefs on Hells Kitchen? Sad to read this article and hope they stay in Sonoma County.

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  17. Healdsburg will be better with a few less winos and celebrity foodies.

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    • Yeah. Damn them. I hate eating delicious food and drinking wine. Back in the day, all we had were rocks and pond water and we liked it! Mrrwwwaaaaaahhhhh!

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  18. Make my day.

    Much as my wife and I love a good restaurant, I could not stop laughing at the pretentiousness of Cyrus, which oozes through the wallpaper. It began with the bartender telling us that he mixed each small-batch bourbon with spring water from the same source as the whisky was made, continued when the hostess picked up a white French phone and breathlessly communicated to the kitchen, “The Karrakers are here,” and peaked when our caviar was portioned out with a pair of brass scales in a velvet-lined mahogany box, and weighed with a $20 gold coin. The food was fine, but so is the food at Gary Danko. The difference between the two is polar. Cyrus is vulgar and nouveau-riche enough to be a set on The Real Housewives of Dallas. Gary Danko is, quietly and simply, the real thing.

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    • The food at Cyrus is much better than that at Gary Danko. There’s a reason why Cyrus has 2 Michelin stars and Gary Danko only has one.

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      • Uhhh sorry…no it’s not. The food at Cyrus just happens to be much smaller than what you get at Gary Danko’s, which alot of people equate to being better.

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        • Uh no, you’re wrong, Tom. If bigger portions are what you equate with good food, then go to Cattleman’s. I’ve been to both Cyrus and Gary Danko, and Cyrus’ food is much better. This is my opinion, but it just happens to be backed up by the number of Michelin stars the 2 restaurants have – 2 for Cyrus and 1 for Gary Danko.

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          • Don’t care the slightest about stars…just another arbitrary system where I’m supposed to believe that something is good because “these people” said it is. Could care less what Michelin says. The fact that THAT is your proof just goes to show that you are clueless. And my point about portion size was more eluding to the fact that people automatically assume that everything you have at Cyrus would be mind blowing because they serve you something that wouldn’t satisfy an infant. More pretentious BS. At least at Gary Danko they still give you some semblance of a portion and had WAY more memorable tastes and flavors. Cyrus was good, yes…but for all the hype was the most forgettable dining experience I have ever had. And the insult to injury was the price tag and laughable amount of food. But by all means…keep going to places like it if you enjoy paying lots of money for mediocre meals. Keep telling yourself those “Michelin Stars” make it all worth while.

    • Maybe you were on the set of . . . Dallas. We found none of the pretentiousness you (and others) have mentioned. Just an attentive, knowledgeable staff and delicious food. Cyrus’ closing is Healdsburg’s and Sonoma County’s loss.

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    • I see you haven’t eaten there in 5 years. Your opinion is so amazingly valid. Doug and Nick helped put Hburg on the map when it comes to food. Les Mars has always been an empty hotel which has added nothing to my beloved town. It’s a sad day. Very sad. Good luck, guys!

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    • where do you think Cyrus’s roots started from? Gary Danko. And Cyrus is more less pretentious than GD or the French Laundry! Have always felt welcomed there and will go more often now that I know the stupid landlord wants to kick out the best thing that has ever happened to Healsburg.

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  19. Sonoma County needs a 2-Michelin star restaurant, plain and simple. Three would be even better. We all know how good our food is and the aw-shucks attitude of not feeling like we need outside kudos is quaint and homespun. But the reality is that we need those stars for credibility.

    I suspect that if Foley is smart, he’ll bring in a big gun chef and try to get his own stars. He’s got the finances and it would make sense.

    But I weep at losing Cyrus, because Doug and Nick–despite the fanciness of the restaurant–are down to earth Sonoma County guys who believe in Sonoma County. It’s not the same to just plug in someone from NY or SF and expect it to have the same feel.

    I hope that Doug and Nick can find new energy and creativity now that the fighting is done. But reinventing Cyrus somewhere else will be an uphill battle in this economy. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully good things for all.

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    • I’m tired of celebrity chefs and food been presented as a star. I see food truck in their future.

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    • Once the Saggio Hills Four Seasons finally opens, then I’m sure they’ll have a Michelin Star contender.

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    • It seems like Hburg has its own micro-cosm of high end restaraunt customers, that are visiting to tour north county wineries. Sonoma Co. locals seem too frugal to spend so much at dinner. Its a shame because there is obviously a lot of talent and resourses here. Well intended startups fail, because of lack of appropriate clientele. They start out high end and then start to squirm, losing money on high end mis en place, trying to maintain fresh quality standards at the same time. Then comes the death spiral of trying to reinvent themselves for a few months until ultimately they are spent and shut their doors.

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  20. Darn!

    Where am I going to be able to get my Forty-Five Day Aged Beef with Mung Bean Sprouts, Kumquats and Bok Choy … for $27?

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  21. No tears from me. They were poor business people who didn’t know the way to treat good customers.

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  22. I am speechless! This has been our “go to” place once a year for the past 5 years. Thank you, Doug and Nick, for the passion you have for your art and for sharing that with the rest of us. We will watch for your next endeavor and enjoy it as much as we have relished this one

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  23. For a guy — Foley — who made his huge fortune in bundling and re-selling sub-prime mortgages (the very ones that brought the world’s economy to its knees), this scenario makes perfect sense. He simply doesn’t need to take any ‘guff’ from anyone, especially not from a Michelin starred chef and restauranteur.

    I can’t wait to taste the “full portfolio” of Foley wines at the new place.

    I’m sure that they’ll all have those delicious, subtle nuances of foreclosure, Wall Street bailout, and sweet greed.

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    • Foley earned his money in title insurance – there is title insurance on subprime loans but it has nothing to do with the mortgage debacle or bundling.

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  24. The closing of Cyrus is a loss for the town of Healdsburg. It would be great if Keane an Nick opened another restaurant here similar to the quality of Cyrus. Thanks to them both for all that they have provided to the culinary culture of this area.

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  25. That is ROTTEN! I loved Cyrus – what a great restaurant. They made every person who dined there feel like royalty, and the food was superb. Bill Foley can take his strong armed mega-monopoly straight to the dumps. I, for one, will not dine at whatever restaurant opens in Cyrus’ spot, and beginning now, I am also boycotting his wine.

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  26. I wonder if they will bring back the the “No Corkage” Wednesday night? If so, I might give it another try before they close!

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  27. I saw Lyle Lovett this past week, and he sang one of my favorite songs “Home is where my Horse is.”

    Cyrus goes with Chef Keane and Nick, on to better pastures with much less aggravation. This will end up to be a very good thing, particularly if we’re able to keep them in Sonoma County.

    Thanks for something very, very special Cyrus.

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