PATRICK’S SIDE STREET CAFE CLOSES

I spoke with owner Patrick Rand over the weekend and he tells me that his restaurant Patrick’s Side Street Cafe at 2375 Alamo Pintado in Los Olivos closed last Wednesday. He asked me to pass this message to you: “Thanks to the entire community of Santa Barbara County for your years of support.  I tried really hard and in this economy was not able to pull it all together. I hope to resurface in the future.”

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29 Responses to PATRICK’S SIDE STREET CAFE CLOSES

  1. SL says:

    Karma? Patrick was full of himself and just downright pompous. I have a feeling the economy was not to blame in this situation, more likely his lackluster overpriced food and dismal service. If you look around at the other establishments in Los Olivos it’s pretty clear that people are still spending money.

    • Christine! says:

      I agree- Los Olivos is busy as ever. Patrick is well known for berating his customers- and insulting them to boot. How he survived this long- I don’t know..I am sorry Los Olivos is losing a business, but am POSITIVE that a smart and curtious person can take this business and add a great menu THAT INCLUDES BREAKFAST, and make a go of it. RIP PATRICKS- welcome mat out to the next person who can make it happen!

  2. Bob L says:

    I was only in his restaurant a couple of times, but I always am suspicious of chefs who spend more time trolling the dining room than they do in the kitchen. I noted that he could also get a bit snippy at comments other than praise. BTW I agree with Christine’s agreeing that Los Olivos would benefit from another eatery with both good food and a good attitude.

  3. lemonjelly says:

    I only had a chance to dine there twice but enjoyed both meals as well as Patrick’s engagement in the dining experience. Patrick has a forward and passionate personality that definitely challenged people who were used to all staff at restaurants being treated as servants. I showed respect, and he gave me more back. It’s not to everyone’s tastes. I hope to know what he plans next in the culinary world.

    • John says:

      I think lemonjelly gets it exactly right, remarkably so on the basis of only two visits (I note that the critics had similarly limited experience). I have had lunch at Patrick’s at least once a week for the past year. The critic who commented on Patrick’s absence from the kitchen must not have tasted his soups, among the many things that Patrick did as chef — including training a superb sous chef who made it possible for Patrick to “troll” the dining room. It is true that Patrick was passionate about what he did, and sometimes he could be painfully blunt with his clients — he did not suffer fools gladly. But he nurtured a staff that I found to be unfailingly helpful; like Patrick, characters rather than stereotypes. There were many who returned to Patrick’s again and again, and I am sure that they — like me — will mourn the loss of what had deserverdly become a local institution.

  4. Christine says:

    I only ate there once, 2 years ago. It was with a group of
    10 women for a (extremely low-key) bachelorette party and I was the
    contact with the restaurant. My experience was much like
    lemonjelly’s and I’m sorry I’m not geographically closer to have
    made Patrick’s a regular haunt. We were respectable and we got
    lovely, personable service and enjoyed great food. I’ve heard other
    complaints online and they don’t “jive” with my experience at all.
    I’m truly sorry to hear the news of the closure.

  5. Rick Huff says:

    Enjoyed the food every time we went to Patrick’s Side Street Cafe, it was aways above average. Which is saying something today. No doubt Patrick is his own undoing, and having said that I wish they were still open. We never left hungry or disapointed.

  6. Peter Rojas says:

    About two years ago, my two friends and I entered Patrick’s for dinner. It was at my request because I had just eaten lunch there a week before and was thoroughly impressed with the fresh fare. As we walked in, Patrick and two waitresses, who were casually standing around the back just kept a steady eye on us without giving any kind of a greeting. I had to walk back to where they were and asked to be seated. It was then that I got a weird vibe as if we were imposing. However, after enjoying another delicious meal, one of my friends gave a chef’s compliment to Patrick as he stopped to visit a neighboring table of his friends during dinner. I don’t exactly remember what Patrick’s actual response was, but later my friend turned to me and said, “He’s really full of himself.” There’s no question that Patrick had the culinary skills down, but his establishment lacked in customer service.

  7. Puchetarian says:

    Let me say that I have been confronted by Patrick and his interesting personality. However, let me assure you that I ALWAYS received service based upon courtesy and never once had a meal there that wasn’t class above the rest. I found the people that he had “confrontations” with were snobby ass types at best. Like Grandpa always said, “Takes one to know one.” Now then, as far as the hired help…yes, this is a small community. Folks know each other and business runs accordingly. The way I always looked at it was, I was there for the food, not to get wind blown up my ass. What makes me angry is that if I pay $28.00 for Prime Rib and it is a horrid example served with stomach rotting horseradish then that is when I have a right to bitch. If I walk into a place and they don’t jump up to treat me immediately it is simply that I never darken their doorway again. Why Patrick closed seems to be more locked up in a hidden reason in my mind. The fact that it was due to customer service is just plain old horseshit!

  8. DonZ says:

    My wife and I had dined at Patrick’s Side Street Cafe on several occasions, and while we found Patrick opinionated and full of attitude, we also found his food to be quite good, and the attitude somewhat entertaining. Yes, the food was pricey, but it seems that a majority of the restaurants in the SB Wine Country are pricey. I should also add that each time we dined at his establishment the service was efficient and pleasant.

  9. Lola says:

    We wish Patrick and staff well. Will miss the wonderful Trout, soups, and the smell of his BBQ on festivals and holidays.

  10. Linda DeLaura says:

    BUH-BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!!!

    • roger says:

      Ate there many times- we were always pleased with the meals, and the way he handled dickweed customers- classic! some will miss him, dickweeds won’t!

      • SL says:

        By dickweeds do you mean customers who would rather not suck Patrick off as they try to enjoy a meal?

        • roger says:

          Nah- just the whiny, snivelling ones with noses in the air- Look- I.m just an average yahoo who likes eating out a lot between S.B. and Cambria, and somehow I and my wife managed to eat many enjoyable meals at Patrick’s- Seemed like an okay, if unusual guy- No sucking was necessary!

  11. JBL says:

    Like Roger, I ate at Patrick’s a number of times travelling between points north and south. We do that drive a lot and we are always seeking out nice and unique spots for breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way. We stumbled on Patricks a couple of years ago and were quite pleased with our find, so whenever we found ourselves driving through Los Olivos around dinnertime on a night on which Patrick’s was open, we’d eat there (and there were a number of Monday nights when we passed through when we wished he was open Mondays!). Clearly, Patrick had a “big” personality that put some people off (as evidenced by some of the comments above), but we were always friendly with him and he was always friendly to us. The food there was consistently good (I’ll miss the trout as Lola does), the prices were quite reasonable for the area, the local wine selection was spectacular, the staff was enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and I’ve rarely come across a restaurant of this caliber (especially one in a wine region) that didn’t charge corkage, as Patrick’s didn’t (at least they never charged me, and I often had some Paso Robles wines with me). I remember one time we stopped for dinner and Patrick told us he’d cooked a whole pig that day for a daytime event and he offered to give us a pork “amuse bouche,” and the plate of pork he gave us was almost entree-sized (and was delicious–we wished we had been there for the event that day). Anyway, my family and I are sad to hear that Patrick’s is no more, and we we wish Patrick the best of luck in his next endeavor.

  12. sharon shasha says:

    Los Olivos will not be the same without Patricks Side Stret Cafe…a very talented passionate chef with a personality not for the faint of heart.

  13. kimba says:

    THIEF. visited town dec 2010 and went in to purchase a $100 gift certificate for my parents. Patrick himself sold me the gift and used a red sharpie to autograph the card. Closed a few days later. My dad called him and spoke to him on the phone. He did not refund my $100 even though my parents were unable to redeem. Makes me want to scream. This man is no Dr. Netzer. He does not deserve to do business in a building with such a long standing tradition of community, fellowship and support of the arts. Long live Side Street Cafe. GOOD RIDDENCE to Patrick the poser.

  14. Jane says:

    We loved Patrick’s Side Stree Cafe and enjoyed Patrick. We never went to Los Olivos without going to Patrick’s, his Paella was absolutely the best. We are now at a loss as to where to go when we visit Los Olivos. Any suggestions??? Is there any way of being notified when Patrick opens another restaurant? Our best to Patrick. Jane

  15. Glenn says:

    I enjoy Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, also Vineyard House in Santa Ynez is good. If want to go greek then Petros in Los Olivos is good too. The Ballard Inn is also good but higher end. Just check out John’s “Santa Ynez Valley” food section too.

  16. Alan says:

    What a shame. We try to go to Patrick’s every time we’re in the area and now see it has closed. Major bummer. Patrick is a great chef and he and his crew made delicious food. Patrick was quite a character and we loved chatting with him. We always found the service great and listening to Patrick was part of the experience. As someone else said, he did not suffer fools well, but that’s a hard thing to do sometimes. I remember him biting his tongue when some yahoo complained that his clam chowder was too salty….after they has just added a bunch of salt to it! He mumbled to us that he “was going to open up a can of whoop ass on them,” but he didn’t say anything to them. Imagine trying to deal with people like that on a daily basis. I guess that’s the business. Patrick and crew, if you read this we hope you’re well and look forward to your next place. Debra and Alan from San Diego.

  17. Cathie McGinnis says:

    Wow. I must say I am very disappointed. I have a trip to Paso planned for next month and I always stopped at Patrick’s for lunch on the way. Loved the food, loved that I could have my dog on the patio and I was always treated courteously by Patrick. He would come out to check on us. Honey & I will miss you and Lucille!

  18. Mo says:

    Side Street Cafe was there long before this guy purchased it, and named it “Patrick’s” Side Street Cafe. Hoping it rises again to it’s former glory.

  19. Amanda Frost says:

    No one seems to have mentioned that (as I heard it) Patrick’s closed because the rent was raised. Greedy landlords…

  20. Christine! says:

    Patrick’s closed due to lack of customers/insane owner, end of story.

  21. PB says:

    Patrick’s began as a great restaurant with a great chef producing top notch food with top notch atmosphere, wine list and service to match. In today’s world this is a true accomplishment that anyone should be proud of and satisfied in that achievement. Although I can see some of the things about Patrick’s personality being a problem for some people, as an amatuer cook and wine fan I found it easy to get along with him. During his off hours on the streets of Los Olivos and at the restaurant, we had several lengthy, enjoyable and enlightening conversations. Contrary to reports he could be a very amiable, intelligent, funny and open guy. Early on many of the the meals I ate at Patrick’s were among the best I have ever had. Then Sideways happened. Then Patrick’s ego took over and he forgot he was in the restaurant business and he began to think, perhaps with some justification, that he too was a star. Sadly he began “living the lifestyle” and working in the Stroke Patrick’s Ego Industry. Last time I checked restaurants are part of the “service industry” –the customers not the owner or chef. After being successful for a while I think it is perfectly OK to become the “front of the house” and go for the ego strokes as long as you make sure the “back of the house” stays in order. Not an easy transition–with Patrick in residence, the last couple of meals I ate there were truly awful! It got to the point where the food was so bad I stopped eating there. It does not take an expert to realize this is not good for business. Patrick not only failed to keep the back of the house in order but he also failed as the front of the house. Instead of spending a little time monitoring the food coming out of his kitchen and keeping the quality up, he was spending an exhorbedent amount of time partying and entertaining his celebrety friends. This may sound like sour grapes but I really could care less if the chef/owner stops by my table as long as the food that is delivered by the kitchen is top shelf. Again, easier said than done especially when you are not in the kitchen. Sure the economy took a dive, sure the rent was raised but that is not why Patrick’s failed. I may be wrong but I strongly believe had he kept his focus on the quality of food produced by his restaurant and not on his ego, Patrick’s would still be doing a booming business today. Maybe it was just time for Patrick to do something else and it took him a while to realize it? I am not sure if Patrick is ready or wants to take these comments to heart and get back into the restaurant game. I hope he is. The world was truly a better place when Patrick was in the kitchen and cooking at the top of his game!

  22. Teresa says:

    Wow……..rough crowd! Patrick, I just want you to know while we visited your restaurant ( the 3 hour drive one way was worth it), it was the food and location, the ambiance and the delightful staff you employed, was the reason we returned again and again. All the other editorials we see regarding your closing, doesn’t matter. Everyone has an opinion. Too bad “their” opinions” only come on e mail after the fact.
    Good luck to you buddy! BTW- you were always pleasant, but then, we went for the food, not to judge you, AND we were not full of ourselves and accepted you as you. Your restaurant will be missed.

  23. John Fort Lauderdale says:

    I was there summer of ’10 with another couple. Had a great time with Patrick. Did a wine tasting with him. He’s different but aren’t we all. Shut up & eat.

  24. Jerry Cleveland says:

    Patrick is a tremendous, natural culinary talent. All great artists tend to be mercurial. Goes with the calling, I guess. But he was NEVER less than absolutely gracious, warm, and giving when I knew him. Not once did I doubt that here was a man who truly had a servant’s heart and would do anything he could for you, no matter who you were. As to “not suffering fools gladly”, well, why should we do that? If you attack you tend to get defended against. Life 101; learn the lesson.

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