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Looks Like Little Moraga Is Getting Its White Tablecloth Restaurant – La Finestra Preps Terzetto’s Space

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It appears a lingering question in the game of musical chairs that is Moraga’s restaurant scene may finally be answered as Jeff Assadi prepares the space formerly occupied by Terzetto’s to serve as the new home of La Finestra.

Some here may remember that Assadi was rather cruelly burned out of his old Lafayette location by a devastating fire last year, and that there have been local rumblings he’s been looking for a suitable location to call home ever since. The town, for its part, has made no secret of its hope that an upscale dinner house would make its home here.

For a time the buzz was La Finestra was moving into the Hacienda de las Flores but a deal arranged by the town to draw Assadi into town and into the local landmark fell through. He has been involved in the town’s permit process for the old Terzetto’s location for about two weeks now and sidewalk kibbitzers have noted some preparatory work going on there.

How’s everyone feel about that, eh? Terzettos was a mainstay of the local lunch crowd and has been vacant for some time. Preliminary feedback on Assadi’s interest in the location has been positive thus far.

As for when the old Jack In The Box reopens and in what incarnation, fans of that local and still vacant eatery will have to wait a while longer to find out, it seems.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I wish them well, we desperately need better restaurant options. I have lived in Moraga 17 years and have seen the arc of your typical restaurant here. Moraga is a small town that is a thoroughfare to nothing other than our front doors. So to be sustainable you have to appeal to a broad audience(young families to Seniors) and keep the menu simple and the food predictably good. I went to La Finestra once and to be candid it was a great place to take my 81 year old mother but not my first choice for my teenage kids or to hang with my friends for a night out. Will people make this a destination trip from Lafayette, Orinda or Walnut Creek given other choices closer to their homes? Amaroma(which I enjoy) has just been squeaking by for 15 years, will La Finestra somehow have a different outcome? Our local demographics are a reality that has chewed up more than a few well intentioned restaraunt operators, I am hopeful for them but skeptical.

    • Well said, and good explaination!
      I could never understand why Moraga, a supposedly upscale & prosperous community, could not seem to support restaurants. Not even a Taco Bell or Jack in the Box , let alone nice dining.

      • Interesting discussion. From the perspective of a relatively recent arrival I can say that while we were surprised by the lack of diversity and choice of restaurants upon our arrival to the area (pizza and chinese food is great but…..) we were also surprised by what for us was the high cost of eating out both in terms of our bill and the quality of food itself. I’m not a great cook but my family appreciates me and we do enjoy eating together so most of our nights are spent together over a meal I’ve made or if I’m stressed – ordered from a restaurant outside the immediate area via grubhub or doordash. I know that may not be what people want to hear but that’s our reality. I hope this new business makes it and we will definitely come by to check them out.

  2. I had been seriously considering the space for a venture for quite some time, but was sufficiently spooked by how quickly people turn their backs / bear their teeth if one person reports a perceived service hiccup on social media. I wish them luck, but it seems like a risky proposition in Moraga, particularly. On Nextdoor, it’s amazing how irate folks get if a mistake is made. The calls to boycott. The criticism of proprietors before any attempts have been made to solve the issue directly with them.. Recently, there was even a call to get business owners to stop hiring high schoolers! I may still pursue my idea, but will eagerly await how Canyon Club and La Finestra is received by the community-at-large.

    • O – that’s too bad. What were you planning?? And this was for the Terzetos building??

      • Yes, the same space. Had gotten as far as drafting plans for the build-out and lining up financing, and then got cold feet in large part because of how people behave if something… anything… goes wrong. I’m still keeping the concept close to the belt, though, because I feel it’s a good one, just maybe elsewhere.

        • I for one would have liked to have heard what you had in mind. Maybe a prospective new business would be allowed to announce its intentions for a space on a web page or something with potential customers either pledging their support or reason why they would not support such a business. It might save a lot of money and time for people like gf and prevent more of the closures were seeing. From what I have heard much of the problem is with rent charged but I have no personal experience inthat direction so I don’t know firsthand.

    • What do people have against hiring local kids? I thought the idea was to attract successful businesses for more jobs and more local dining options.

  3. Best of luck and success to La Finestra! The restaurant business can be tough, and I have no idea what it takes to run a successful restaurant. I would think location, location, location. Treat your staff and customers well. Get to know your customers, and treat your regulars like gold. Dining out is a lot more than an eating experience. Give your employees a reason to stay and your customers a reason to return. Keep your menu simple and prices reasonable – even in an area that’s doing okay financially. Word of mouth is the best source of advertising and reputation is everything!

  4. La Finestra’s biggest obstacle is its location in Moraga. Moraga is a nice little town but there are not enough people willing to eat out on a more or less consistent basis to support a white table cloth restaurant. Orinda has the same problem. Lafayette by virtue of its proximity to parts of WC, Rossmoor, PH, Orinda, and Moraga has a much larger potential pool of diners. Hope they make it. I liked the older one.

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