Bill Sadler has done it again. Early last month, the restaurant entrepreneur who built the River Cafe into a success, and then sold it, passed ownership of his Cafe Noche into the hands of his longtime chef Alan Mallett. Sadler had made his neo-regional Mexican outpost on Montrose Boulevard into a favorite of the Art-Smart crowd, but apparently he's just one of those folks who gets itchy when things get too settled. And no doubt he has plenty to do presiding over his most recent creation, the Moose Cafe.
The move probably won't do much to disrupt the lives of Cafe Noche fans; after all, Mallett has been part of Sadler's operation for a while, and the chef recently won kudos from Esquire for his contribution to the Moose's menu. And though Mallet plans to update the facilities and add more of his own signature dishes to the menu, it's unlikely he would have bought Cafe Noche if he didn't like what he saw. Still, you never know. It'll be interesting to see how Cafe Noche fares without Sadler at the helm.
Pete Slosberg has one of the best jobs in America, and the best part of that job is that he invented it for himself. The namesake Pete of Pete's Wicked Brews has become something of a beer evangelist, and recently he spent a couple of days in Houston giving seminars for people in the suds business, dispensing odd facts (there are 60 recognized styles of beer in the world, more than there are types of wines) and passing out beer trivia (there was beer found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs; they wanted to have their favorite brews handy in the afterlife).
Of course, he was also pushing his products -- which actually aren't half bad; that's probably why they've popped up in a number of area restaurants in the last year, and why Pete's Brewing is America's fastest growing small brewery -- but what I found most intriguing was his personal tale. Two decades back, Slosberg was a finance and marketing drone in Silicon Valley. Then he decided that circuits weren't enough. Talked into winemaking, he made up a bottle of the red stuff, then balked when he found he'd have to let it sit for years before he could enjoy it. Beer, he found, could be ready in 60 short days, so he gave up grapes for hops, and got happy. Change is possible; sometimes entrepreneurial fairy tales come true.
That's an idea I'd be glad to drink to.
-- Joanne Harrison