By Robert Haugh
At Tuesday’s joint City Council and Stadium Authority meeting, we learned that the City Council wants to build a new community room at the stadium to replace the so-called community room and dungeon that the 49ers have given Santa Clara. That’s a good thing but it’s a little complicated.
Looks like the best location is an 1,800 square foot room that has a street-level entrance and faces the Youth Soccer Park. But it’s currently being used by the Bourbon Steak & Pub restaurant for storage.
Thanks to a nice tip from a knowledgeable source, we’ve learned that the 49ers may have a financial interest in the restaurant. That would be interesting. In fact, celebrity chef Michael Mina who created the restaurant even suggests it himself.
Here’s the language from a 2013 press release:
Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) December 06, 2013 — Chef Michael Mina, one of the country’s greatest culinary leaders, is pleased to announce a partnership with the new Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.
And here’s what Mina said:
“When I was presented the opportunity to partner with Levi’s® Stadium, I knew I wanted to create a versatile restaurant that catered to the dynamic Silicon Valley community, and one that would allow me to throw the ultimate pregame experience for fellow 49ers Faithful,” explains Chef Michael Mina, a 22-year 49ers season ticket holder.
If the 49ers are partners, does this mean that the restaurant has a special deal for its rent? If so, is this short changing the city to the benefit of the restaurant or the 49ers? And are the 49ers charging the restaurant (and themselves?) rent for the extra storage space they’re using?
The 49ers would not comment by yesterday’s deadline.
Assistant City Manager Ruth Shikada presented the information and options to the city council Tuesday night and has been handling this issue for over a year. She did not comment either.
Let’s hope city staff finds out all the information about the restaurant, storage space and possible restaurant partnerships before the city council has to decide who pays the estimated $400,000 to $800,000 to build the community room that was promised to Santa Clara residents.