Santi Space Rising From Ashes?

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Chef Douglas Richey

You can’t keep a good chef down. At least not for long.

Seems that there may be a new tenant moving into the Fountaingrove restaurant space vacated by Santi. And don’t be surprised to see some familiar faces in the kitchen.

Though the venture is pretty hush hush right now, Chef Douglas Richey spoke to BiteClub from South Carolina and confirmed that he’s working on a new project with several Bay Area restaurant investors. Richey, who had been named executive chef at Santi just months before the sudden closure, wasn’t ready to hang up his toque just yet, and quickly got to work on a new project.

As to the concept, Richey is keeping mum, but it’s no secret that he’s spent the last several weeks eating his way through some of the best — and worst — restaurants from Savannah to Memphis. A possible link? Hmmmm.

“I’m building my secret weapons. This new restaurant is going to have everything to do with real food. It’s all about family and creating community. And far from esoteric food,” he told BiteClub.

There’s no opening date set, but Richey said he and his investors plan to get the concept completely solid before swinging open the doors. “Five seconds after we get it perfect, we’ll open the doors,” he said.


Author: biteclub

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

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  1. Amazing how someone could make a comment about the menu changing 10 times, must have been there ten times to eat at this awesome place, or been a past disgruntled employee.

  2. Douglas, now in Texas. So good to see your smiling face. You were the best room mate. Write if you get a chance. Jim

  3. This is a train wreck with a capital T. The Menu has changed 10 times. The only great thing about Sweet T’s was the chef and his crew. Too bad the owners have NO experience running a restaurant – and it shows….Oh well, the space will be empty again soon. Hopefully, the great chef will come back.


  4. Sweet T has a change of owner permit application posted on the window … any word on what and when?

  5. No good BBQ in town since Emil Villas Hickory Pit! Burn it Good!

  6. I agree with Laura and I am the one to sell the affordable wines by the glass and the bottles to Traversos.

    Family style restaurant needs family style wines.

  7. This sounds like a restaurant concept from San Luis Obispo – Moe’s BBQ North. Bring on the Filthy Phil’s.

  8. Bad investment decision…..there will not be sufficient support, in spite of promises from foodies that want it open to be able to sustain it.

    No, one ever works the numbers backwards to see how many covers they need to do nightly to keep the doors open…

    I wish them luck, boy will they need it, a better location would be even more desirable,

  9. what other real BBQ do we have? Aside from the new place in Windsor I’m pretty sure were short on BBQ. You got something against pork?

  10. Live that idea Laura. In a crap economy we all need to work together! I love traversos and they have a killer wine and spirit Selection.

  11. How about some nice affordable wines by the glass. That then could be purchased at Traverso’s next door. There was no coordination before.
    More neighborhood friendly would be a key tip to the new owners.

  12. I am lso looking forward to the openingI

  13. Whew! This is exactly what I was hoping would happen, even though I will miss Santi, I am glad we are gaining a more approachable menu and pricing and use that beautiful wood-fire oven! Let’s hope they are welcomed with open arms, and not the usual ripem apart attitude I’ve read and seen lately of new places.

  14. So happy you are going family style. That alone will bring in the crowds! We have plenty of “shi-shi” restaurants already! Cajun, Southern… mmm. So excited, can’t wait!

  15. Poorly constructed sentence. It was referring to when Santi closed. I just took that little tidbit off.

  16. Is it really opening two months ago – May 2011 as in the article? Or May 2012?

  17. Doug, what if they can rassle up some real Carolina pulled pork BBQ? With hushpuppies? And slaw? And corn bread? And overcooked veggies (just kidding). And “pah”? (That’s “pie” to us Yanquis.)

    I would be up for that.

  18. Oh god! Please not another BBQ or Porkopolis.

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