Communal Restaurants

CommentNovember 11th, 2007 20:10

As I Recall…
Michael Bobier

Michael Bobier

In 1967 came the beginning of the new commune, Allen Michael having left Southern California for good. He opened a hole in the wall food service, and then later on a barber lent or gave Allen a bunch of money to open the Here and Now. Soon he met Kathy and Steve, then the threesome became a foursome and so the commune began to grow, getting the house on Lyon St.

It lasted about two years before the commune moved to Larkspur and they opened the Mustard Seed restaurant, found by a broker who knew the barbecue there was going out. So as the Here and Now closed in the spring of 69, the Mustard Seed in Mill Valley opened just a bit before summer and enduring the summer of 69. And then I came along in October of 69, in time to run the buying and managing of the two restaurants to come.

After six months of the Mustard Seed, the Berkeley experience began. About Christmas eve of 69 was the first shift of Michael and Del Parry and myself. Then in 1970 Allen went to jail, and the Berkeley restaurant grew and grew and the Mustard Seed was being phased out by June of 70, and the One World Family Restaurant in Berkeley was remodeled and ready to go by June of 70.

Berkeley Center

This was with us having the whole building. We got the serving line going, but not much more at that time. No pizzeria or bakery or nightclub or clothing store, which all came in time.

During the first six months of 70 we ran both restaurants daily and bought and sold out of two places. The zen plate was a dollar. We made nothing on it. But the Mustard Seed brought in a few hundred a day to make up for it.

A small food service was opened in Berkeley, developed for Kathy to try out recipes, and it didn’t last long. Nor the one at the big motel and restaurant in San Rafael. It just was too hard to find and park and so forth for what was offered. The Mustard Seed was easy to park and walk in and out. And so things would just happen as in direct contact running the show for allen and gang.

In 1974 we left for Maui to open a new restaurant to have a rotation experience with the Berkeley crew. Cafe Paradise was opened about June of 74 and we just concentrated on a dinner entre, enchaladas or lasagna for instance. We used my idea of serving what people like to eat out, tasty and filling and not walking out still hungry, and many locals came for a cheap dinner and a pot tip.

Then came the 1975 Sacramento restaurant on K street, serving Jerry Brown and many others. It lasted a couple of years.

Finally, in Stockton the last restaurant, Konrads opened and closed about 78 cause we were losing money on it. That was the end of our restaurant food service. •

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