Guarded Optimism…..

We have been waiting for some months now for the Redland Hotel and City Hall Bistro to reopen in Homestead. It is a historic building and repeated attempts at restaurants have failed for a variety of reasons. Because of the different hats I wear, I’ve been talking with the new owner and his son who will be the on-site restaurant oversight. The hotel part – 13 rooms – has a high occupancy because it is the only hotel of its type and that appeals to a certain type of traveler. The refurbished rooms are done well. Although not spacious, they have all the basics and the redecorating is stylish.

The bar and restaurant have finally been done correctly in an appealing, sophisticated way and everyone is impressed. The new owner is getting to know people within the community and at this point, I am guardedly optimistic. The ambience is first rate, the food quite good, the presentation lovely, and so far the service is good. Prices are definitely high end and while people understand the level of renovation comes at a price, there are a few issues that could tilt sustainability. I won’t go into them because a) they may yet be resolved, and b) with the growth in the area, there may be enough new people who don’t view these factors as issues. Going into the historically slow season of summer though generally means the year-round residents will allow a place to sustain. This is true with any seasonal community and while we don’t have quite the swing in population of say places that close down in off-season, there is a definite drop in population.

We have not met the chef who is leasing the bar and restaurant, but I have heard he (might be a she) is highly experienced. The cuisine is a mix of American and Latin with a few other items thrown in. For example, among the appetizers are bang-bang shrimp (spicy or plain), tostones topped with shrimp, loaded nachos, sliders, tuna tartar; smoke fish dip and a few more. There is a similar combination for entrees.

As I say, we shall see.

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