Saturday, July 13, 2013

Update: Au Revoir, Avalon

Posted By on Sat, Jul 13, 2013 at 8:21 PM

click to enlarge Tables set for the end of Avalon's run. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • Tables set for the end of Avalon's run.
Avalon Back Open … Sort of.

In a phone conversation earlier today, owner Beverly Wolfe stated that "Avalon is not open, but it's not closed." That is, it's not open with its regular hours, at least for now. Due to issues with the restaurant's liquor license, Wolfe says Avalon cannot be closed to the public and still serve at Main Street Steak in Fortuna during rodeo week. For now, the Eureka restaurant will open for a handful of days over the next two weeks. Wolfe was previously planning to serve food in Fortuna on Wednesday, but now will wait until Thursday or possibly Friday.

Wolfe says she does not want Avalon to be open nightly anymore, but is not sure yet in what capacity it will remain open in the future. She is considering a number of options (from full-time restaurant to bar and hors d'oeuvres) all of which depend on logistics and staffing.


After 14 years as a culinary fixture in Eureka, Avalon is closing. Sunday night, Bastille Day, will be its last night serving dinner to the public in the high-ceilinged dining room. While Avalon and its French-infused menu enjoyed a loyal following, the restaurant has struggled in recent years. A faltering economy and increased competition from a number of new restaurants opening in the area have not helped. "The pie hasn't gotten any bigger," says owner Beverly Wolfe.

Avalon won't disappear, though. Wolfe will still be catering and holding private events in the restaurant space. Bookings are already coming in, and she says she feels fortunate. Wolfe is also on the lookout for someone to manage and market cooking classes at Avalon, similar to those run out of the North Coast Co-op.

As the restaurant prepares to close in Eureka, new waitstaff are being trained to serve at Main Street Steaks, Wolfe's new venture in Fortuna. Most of the Avalon staff are coming along, including chef Nick Kozlowicz and sous-chef Larry Quiroz. New to the crew is Bryan Hopper, who's cooked at area restaurants like The Sea Grill and The Carter House. Main Street Steaks is moving into the former home of iconic Fortuna eatery Parlato's. The renovation is nearly finished … but not quite. Wolfe is not waiting. She and her staff will be catering on site — not cooking there — and serving up steaks on Wednesday during Rodeo Week.

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