Old City Hall Restaurant marks new chapter for downtown landmark

Connie Rogers talks about the history of Old City Hall during a

It’s been a wildly successful first two weeks of operation for Old City Hall Restaurant, the newest dining venue to occupy Gilroy’s grandest and most iconic downtown landmark since the Spanish tapas eatery that previously occupied the space shut down in early January.

Old City Co-owners Fran and Bobby Beaudet – the same couple behind the locally popular Station 55 Bar & Grill on Fifth Street – now offer dining with an “upscale” twist on the corner of Sixth and Monterey streets. The new menu touts a variety of dishes focusing on California coastal cuisine, with lunch and dinner being served seven days a week.

The Beaudets say they’re off to a good start since opening two days after Thanksgiving. They attribute much of their initial success to the immense outpouring of community support and word-of-mouth buzz through social media sites such as Facebook.

“Since we opened on Nov. 24, the support we’ve received from the Gilroy community has been overwhelming,” said Fran. “The number of people who have come out has been far and above what we had expected.”

Fran and Bobby say they are “thrilled” to see their new restaurant doing so well.

“We have quite a few holiday parties booked already for the coming months,” added Fran, mentioning a New Year’s Eve dinner party selling for $35 per person.

Launching a new restaurant is familiar territory for Beaudets. The couple previously operated two local restaurants prior to Station 55, including Dutchman’s Pizza on First Street for 16 years and the former Krazy Koyote Bar & Grill for four years.

Their newest venture extends the ongoing saga of historic City Hall. A landmark symbol of Gilroy since 1905, the elegant building has withstood two major earthquakes, numerous floods and a plethora of tenants.

Most recently, the Flemish-inspired structure was the home to Lizarran Tapas Restaurant.

After closing his Spanish cuisine eatery Jan. 1 following a two-year run, downtown developer Gary Walton is happy to see the elegant, two-story edifice get a fresh start. Walton sold all of Lizarran’s furniture and equipment to Beaudet.

“It’s good news for me; good news for downtown,” he previously told the Dispatch. “It’s good to see somebody else going in that’s gonna operate a restaurant there again – somebody that’s local. I think it’s good news for downtown.”

Walton, who co-owns Lizarran with his brother, Joe Walton, told the Dispatch in January that costly operating expenses and a gloomy economic outlook were major determinants in closing up shop.

The Beaudets hope to add long-term stability to this beloved location, as well as a respite place to meet for the Gilroy community.

“An important goal for the restaurant is to breathe new life into downtown Gilroy, and to bring more of Gilroy back to Downtown,” Fran added.

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