Yesterday the Bell Tower Bistro and Patisserie quietly opened in downtown Saratoga, CA. The new business, owned by Saratoga residents Michael Shadman and his wife Manhaz Khazen is open from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM, 7 days a week, serving delicious pastry items, soups, salads, panini, beverages and other light dishes. A wine bar is being completed in the rear of the property.
Michael and Manhaz have owned the property for about 10 years after photographer Arthur Mintz vacated the building. After Kitsch Couture women’s shop and a bridal shop successively moved out as tenants they decided that what Saratoga needed was a high quality, but more casual dining establishment and friendly gathering place. Daughter Melodie wanted a patisserie and daughter Nicole suggested healthy organic salads. Bell Tower now offer both and more in a stylish setting.
Javier Andrade arrives early in the morn to bake scones, muffins, fruit tarts, eclairs and other delicacies. He has 10+ years experience as a pastry chef in Davenport and at the Buttery in Santa Cruz.
Originally built as a Methodist Episcopal Church in 1896, the property has served at various times as a Red Cross facility during World War I; Town Hall; and a school. In 1924 the church was sold to artist Theodore Wores, who used it as an art gallery. Original wall painting decorations can still be seen on the high wood interior above crown molding/shelves. Prints of Wores’ paintings are currently displayed too, but the plan is to eventually feature the work of local artists in rotation.
The historic structure took a year of historic commission/planning/building department approvals and reconstruction. A new foundation was built and a patio added for outdoor dining. New interior perimeter walls were built, preserving the original single wall exterior facade. Beautiful pressed tin designs add interest to the ceiling and Mahnaz even added custom made porcelain embellishments to each interior corbel.
My wife Lynne and I had lunch there today after a trip to Book-Go-Round; we had a wonderful asparagus soup, panini and dessert. I commented that this promises to be one of the best new businesses in Saratoga.
Photo of Michael Shadman by Rick Bonetti
Rick Bonetti | APR Referral Network | 408-857-8800 | DRE#01237009