After multiple promises to reopen and some false starts, chef Douglas Keane has just inked a deal to reopen his acclaimed Cyrus restaurant in new digs near its original Healdsburg location.
We last heard from Keane in late 2017, when he was pledging to have Cyrus reopened sometime in 2019 — though he told Eater just last summer that he'd given up hope of finding a suitable property. Now, though, following an offer of a modern glass and concrete building on Oliver Ranch — the property of contractor and former SFMOMA board president Steve Oliver — Keane says he's ready to bring back the fine dining destination where he made his name, and earned two Michelin stars.
As the Chronicle reports, Keane has signed a 30-year lease with Oliver, and he tells the paper, "if there was a building that would get me back into doing it, this is it."
The property is a former prune packing plant that Oliver converted into a modern live-work structure in 2008, with the help of San Francisco’s Jensen Architects — who also designed the award-winning SHED in downtown Healdsburg.
It's now going to be at least 18 months for the structure to be converted into a restaurant space with a modern kitchen — a project that's expected to cost $5 million, half of which Keane says he's raised from investors including his original investor, Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame.
Cyrus was well known not just for high-end service led by partner-manager Nick Peyton, but also for Keane's often whimsical takes on French and Japanese dishes. Having previously worked at Gary Danko, Keane also brought with him some old-world theatrical flair like a cheese cart, a caviar cart, and a dessert cart that roamed the dining room. (And, as Eater made note, there was also a fun "Birthday Bong" dessert that involved a balloon, cake under glass, and a snowglobe-style flurry of chocolate confetti.)
The restaurant closed in 2012 after a new owner took over its home at the Hotel Les Mars in Healdsburg and the two parties failed to reach an agreement about the restaurant's future — Cyrus was reportedly being asked to offer room service all day, for one. And after lying low for a bit, Keane popped up on Top Chef Masters in 2013, and won the thing. Keane went on to briefly launch a chicken wing concept at the Graton Resort casino, which quickly closed. And in 2016 he partnered with Sang Yoon to open Two Birds, One Stone in St. Helena, which Keane pivoted into the more casual Roadhouse 29 early last year.
Look for the new Cyrus to possibly make it open by late 2021.