Delayed Opening for Restaurant in Former Cafe Gratitude Spot, Downtown Gallery Closes

From new restaurant delays to big beauty store build outs, we have the latest scoop on what businesses are opening and closing in San Rafael.


It’s Not a Trend...and It’s Still Not Open

Not a trend or a diet......and it’s been around since 1987. At least, that’s what the sign above the space formerly known at Cafe Gratitude announces to Miracle Mile drivers.  From the folks at Votre Santé, a well known celebrity haunt in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, comes a menu offering Marinites healthy fare like smoked eggplant dip, served with pita bread ($5.95), braised grass fed beef short ribs ($18) and organic garlicky kale ($6.95). Although the nosh spot was supposed to have opened their doors in February, sources say foodies won’t be able check out the new spot quite yet. There is no official explanation to the delay, but a noticeable change is the name, from Sante Marin to Sana Marin.


Pizza Place Hasn’t Landed in Terra Linda

Residents of northern San Rafael might be wondering when the UFO painted on a space in Northgate III might actually land and serve up the pizza claiming to be “Out of this World.” Not anytime soon, according to leasing agent Mark Carrington, with Cornish & Carey Commercial, the property management firm in charge of the Terra Linda strip mall that also houses Michael’s and CVS Pharmacy. According to Carrington, the space has been leased for some time but no build-outs or improvements have been made since the lease was signed over to the new business owner. Residents will have to settle for regular planet earth quality pizza until further notice. 

Terra Firma No More

After almost two years on Fourth Street, Terra Firma Gallery closed their doors for the last time on February 17. In a release, San Rafael location managing directors Lori Austin and Didier Jacquet said, “We will be forever grateful for the support and warm welcome we received from San Rafael's colorful and spirited community. We forged some great relationships here, and give special thanks to The California Film Institute: Smith Rafael Film Center and Artworks Downtown for their partnership over the last few years. Terra Firma will still be accessible to our Marin clientele with locations on the Sonoma Plaza and inside of the Claremont Hotel & Spa in Berkeley."

Danielle Molinski, the gallery director, will now be managing their Berkeley location. "Itʼs been a wonderful and humbling experience getting to know my fellow small business owners in San Rafael," she said. "I gained a better understanding of the cityʼs struggles and challenges and leave downtown inspired by this communityʼs strong spirit and desire to grow and prosper.”

A Metro PCS dealer opened last week in the former gallery's space at 1130 4th Street. The dealer appeared to have moved just down the street from its former location at 1099 Fourth Street, at Fourth and A Street. 

The Ultimate Beauty Spot

Moms can now get diapers as well as bath and body products needed in one run, as national chain Ulta Beauty is coming to San Rafael this summer. The beauty supply store will occupy a 10,000 square foot space, by Toys R Us at 580 West Francisco Boulevard.

In December 2012, San Rafael Design Review Board approved a plan to construct the building for the shop, which will be located in the same shopping center with a TJ Maxx.

With 450 stores worldwide, the closest Ulta Beauty locations have been in Santa Rosa, Napa and Colma. The San Rafael shop will offer over 20,000 items, including makeup, perfume, hair products, skincare and a salon. 


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pelo cycling • fitness March 04, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Pelo Cycling & Fitness opened in April last year and is doing great! People from all over Marin are having a great time burning fat, getting fit and feeling great. Check out www.pelofitness.com for more info.
Leslie Hill Melodia March 04, 2013 at 06:35 PM
There is an ULTA store in Santa Rosa, near Costco.
Jessica Mullins (Editor) March 04, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Thanks, Leslie. Sorry we missed that one. I'll add it to the article now.
Noah Shapero March 04, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I am HUNGRY! I want pizza. And why haven't you posted the alarming news that Scotty's Popcorn machine is out of order? This has created a huge trauma for people who relied on that popcorn to satiate their four o'clock munchies. How I miss watching people pretend to be studying the can of lima beans as the munch down popcorn, pretending that they are actually shopping. How i miss the hordes of freeloaders who stomp into Scotty's exit, going the wrong way, mowing down the elderly in their hysterical endeavors to fill up their brown paper shopping bags full of popcorn. Really, this is a huge event of regional importance--how can you not report it?
Noah Shapero March 04, 2013 at 11:49 PM
I tried spinning but never got anywhere with it.


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