What's Michael McCarty up to now? As he awaits hoped-for approval from Santa Monica voters this November to get on with his long-delayed luxury beachfront hotel project, he is simultaneously attempting to buy the entire Tivoli retail complex in Denver--site of his Adirondacks restaurant in that city.
There have long been rumors that his Denver outpost was in financial trouble and was for sale. On the contrary, says McCarty, "The Tivoli is just about to really happen . There's a big college complex there with about 35,000 students within walking distance. The city has just built new freeway on- and off-ramps right there, the 16th Street mall bus is extending its route to come all the way to the Tivoli, and there's going to be free shuttle service from downtown. Besides that, the new Denver convention center just opened about two blocks away--and the city just got a bond issue approved to build a new baseball stadium practically across the street."
If McCarty's buyout attempt is successful--the price tag has been estimated at between $13 and $18 million--he plans to eliminate all retail business in the complex, with the possible exceptions of a music/video store and a bookshop, and turn the Tivoli into a restaurant and entertainment center instead. Besides Adirondacks, Tivoli has a diner, a disco, a hot dog and hamburger place, and a Morton's of Chicago restaurant. "In addition," McCarty says, "we want to put in a 12-plex theater, a country-and-Western bar, a sports bar, a Mexican concept, an Italian concept, a bakery. It'll all be big, fun, easy."
ADIOS: Sabroso in Venice will close Oct. 15th. It's the old story, says proprietor Jeanine Coyle: "Our lease ran out, and the rent increase was more than the restaurant could bear." Although she has tried to find another reasonably priced location in the same area, she adds, her attempts have been unsuccessful thus far and she has no plans to reopen at this time.
THE SALTY COD: I am in receipt of a do-it-yourself press release from an organization calling itself Les Chevaliers de Morue--which translates roughly as The Knights of Salt Cod. It reads in part: "A fistful of soggy fish sticks to I Cugini (in Santa Monica) for having taken its salt cod and goat cheese pizza off the menu! One of the few salt cod dishes appearing on any menu in Los Angeles, this delicious preparation might have earned new fans for this most wonderful of fish. Why was it stricken from the menu? Because not many people ordered it? So what? For heaven's sakes, Cugini people, it's not as if salt cod spoils!"
DINING CALENDAR: Campanile hosts a "Celebration of the Olive" this Wednesday to honor Italy's Countess Romana Bicocchi Pichi, producer of the Tuscan olive oil, Tenuta del Numerouno. The five-course olive-oil-based meal is $48 per person, food only. For reservations call (213) 938-1447. . . . The Electric Palate Food & Wine Society hosts a "gourmet dinner" at Tribeca in Beverly Hills on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. The five-course menu will be accompanied by wines from Sterling, and a guest expert will discuss each wine as it is served. Cost is $65 per person, including tax and tip. For details, contact Dr. Mimi Greenberg, (213) 858-7424. . . . Sarah and Richard LaCasse, new chefs at Opera on Ocean in Santa Monica, offer a special harvest dinner at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, in addition to the regular menu. The four-course meal is $24.95 a head, food only. . . . Also on the night of Oct. 16, George's of the Cove in La Jolla, Scoma's in San Francisco, and Bayside 240 at the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach are among 10 California restaurants preparing their versions of cioppino , at the second annual Cio-Pinot cook-off and tasting at the Olde Port Inn in Avila Beach. The "Pinot" comes from the 14 Central Coast Pinot Noir wines to be served--from A (Au Bon Climat) to Z (Zaca Mesa). Tickets are $75 per person, with proceeds benefiting the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. Call Leonard Cohen at (805) 595-2515 for further information. . . . Jerry Walker and the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce present their eighth annual Fall Festival of Wines next Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Harbor Gateway Holiday Inn in Torrance. Fifteen local restaurants and 30 California wineries will provide samples of their wares. Tickets are $22.50 in advance (or eight for $160), $25 at the door. Proceeds go to the Gardena Senior Citizens Day Care Center. For details, call (213) 532-9905 or 217-9574. . . . Alain Cuny's Wine Bistro in Studio City celebrates its 10th anniversary, Monday through Thursday, by offering lunch and dinner customers a complimentary glass of Champagne.