1968 ad

The Mirabeau Restaurant was a four-star French restaurant overlooking the Kaiser Roof Garden, open from 1967 to 1985.

The restaurant opened in 1967, and was co-owned by Gilbert Barthe, the maître d' of Ondine, a restaurant in Sausalito, and John Hamilton of Marin County. George Gutekunst and Chef Alfred Robin, partners in Ondine, also signed the lease. 1 In 1969, Robert Beaupre, president of the Seattle First National Bank, asked Barthe to open another Mirabeau restaurant in Seattle.

The original decor included a concrete and mosaic piece by artist Emmy Lou Packard. 9

Over the years, the restaurant had some notable visitors:

  • Ronald Reagan - then California governor dined there in 1967 5
  • Neil Armstrong - California College of the Arts and Crafts presented a Jacques Schnier sculpture to Armstrong in 1972 2,3
  • William Knowland - dined there several times in the days before his death in 1973 4

In 1980, the restaurant was run by the Merritt Park Corporation, with Bonnie Guiton as president and general manager. Andre Pierre Mercier was the chef, and Jean-Paul Menet del La Mellene was the maître d'. 6,8

Although it received a fourth star from the Mobil Guide in 1980, 6 the restaurant closed 5 years later in 1985. The primary reason was that Kaiser stopped subsidizing the restaurant, but high costs of running the restaurant were also cited. 7 The space then became the Central Park Restaurant.

Links and References

  1. New French Restaurant To Open at Kaiser Center Oakland Tribune June 2, 1967
  2. The Social Circle by Robin Orr Oakland Tribune November 7, 1972
  3. A sculptor's odyssey : oral history transcript / 1986 with Jaques Schnier
  4. One Step From The White House:: The Rise and Fall of Senator William F. Knowland by Gayle B. Montgomery and James W. Johnson, UC Press, 1988
  5. San Leandro senior played for Reagan Oakland Tribune February 3, 2011
  6. Oakland's Mirabeau gets four starts from Mobil Guide Oakland Tribune May 4, 1980 (p2)
  7. Kaiser Center's Le Mirabeau Closes June 30 Oakland Tribune June 11, 1985 (p2)
  8. Oakland: That Other Great City By The Bay Ebony October 1980
  9. Emmy Lou Packard Graphic Arts Workshop