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Rich City Biz Blog – April 3, 2017

Featured Member - La Strada Restaurant

 Tuscan Style Dining in San Pablo

With over twenty years of restaurant experience, Chef Martin of La Strada knows a thing or two about delivering an elegant yet comforting dining experience. Guests are warmly ushered in by friendly staff who do not hesitate to recommend their favorite dishes and drinks. In between bites of carpaccio and North Coast syrah, I learned some not-so-secret secrets of Martin’s success.

“It’s all about having great food and great service. It’s not a job for everyone - you have to be willing to clean the bathrooms, wash the floors, and fill in when staffing is low. There are times when you have to be working for eighteen hours straight, with a smile on your face the entire time. There’s not really a secret to it - just great customer service.”

Peter, restaurant and events manager, reinforced Martin’s statements about the culture of hard work and accountability that ensures La Strada’s success in the highly competitive restaurant industry. “Our competitors are the nearby fast casual chains. We’re trying to expand by improving marketing efforts to younger customers - making more exciting cocktails, working on happy hour specials, and keeping track of new food trends like organic menu items.”

In regard to plans for sustaining success, Martin is a believer in investing in the success of his employees. “I haven’t thought of a legacy plan, but if someone comes along - one of my employees for example, I would have no problem in handing them the reins. However, I plan on being in this community, contributing to it, for at least the next twenty years.”

Visit La Strada

La Strada has the capacity to host wedding banquets, networking events, and their famous mimosa brunch. Most customers are locals from the San Pablo, Pinole, El Sobrante, and Richmond areas. La Strada is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 20th (Wine tasting with appetizers and live music) 6:00- 8:30pm

Upcoming Sunday's Buffet Champagne Brunch (9:30am - 2:00pm): Mother's Day, May 14th and Father's Day, June 18th

Brunch includes bottomless Mimosas, omelet station, carving table, waffles, egg benedict, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, risotto, chicken, veal, baby back ribs, fish, pasta, salad bar, crab, shrimp, desserts and more

Price: $35 per person


Guest Blog - Parking improvement ideas outlined for Pt. Richmond Business District

By Michael J. Fitzgerald

The City of Richmond is looking at ways to improve parking and traffic flow in the Point Richmond business district.

Last Wednesday representatives of the city gave a presentation to the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council about alternatives for parking – including the possibility of doing a paid parking trial.

Public parking the the Point Richmond business district is now free. The options presented all assumed that Park Place, now a two-way thoroughfare, would become one-way, from West Richmond running towards Washington Avenue.

And parking along one side of the street would be angled, instead of parallel parking.

Part of the impetus for improving parking is the expected inflow of a large volume traffic from two approved housing developments (yet to be constructed) and a third development just proposed by a Las Vegas development firm.

For a full report about the proposals and the presentation, read the story in The Point:

About the Author

Michael J. Fitzgerald is editor and publisher of The Point, a website devoted to local news and commentary about Point Richmond, Richmond and West Contra Costa County.

Highlights from the Richmond City Council Meeting - March 28, 2017


E-2. PROCLAMATION recognizing Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa County and proclaiming March as March for Meals Month - Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin (620-5431) and Mayor Tom Butt (620-6503).

Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa was honored for its dedication to serving the needs of Richmond’s seniors - delivering critical services and raising awareness about senior hunger and isolation. Last year, volunteers served 2,000 Contra Costa residents, 100 of whom were Richmond residents. Council unanimously declared solidarity with the program, which is at risk of being defunded by proposed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services and the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program.

Paul  Kraintz, co-founder of Meals on Wheels Contra Costa and Marti Carlson stated that forty-two percent of funding for the county’s program is from public donations. Mayor Butt declared that the city is committed to making sure the program is preserved. To support Meals on Wheels Contra Costa, please visit:

I-1. RECEIVE an annual presentation from the Richmond Convention Visitor's Bureau - City Manager's Office (Bill Lindsay 620-6512).

Matt Lewis, Executive Director of Richmond’s visitors bureau, presented a new name and fresh branding and marketing strategy. “Visit Richmond CA” looks forward to leveraging its current partnerships to promote tourism in Richmond, increasing activity and investment in the city’s commercial district. Lewis highlighted event venues such as the Craneway Pavilion, the Richmond shoreline, local parks, and historic attractions, and the ferry as catalysts for economic growth.

Visit Richmond California’s priorities for growth and development include participating in the Mayor’s rebranding initiative, redesigning its website, employing a robust social media strategy, and leveraging its regional partnerships to create trade shows, conferences, and other community events to attract visitors to the city.

Visit Richmond CA is funded by a $2-2.50 dollar occupancy fee for 12 hotels in Richmond.

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