June 12, 2008
Yellow Rose restaurant in Downtown Racine closing June 28
The Yellow Rose restaurant in Downtown Racine is closing on June 28. The owners decided not to renew their contract with the building at Fourth and Main streets.
Scott and Patrice Sebastian, owner of Sebastian's in Caledonia, opened The Yellow Rose in 2004. The restaurant received great reviews from former Journal-Sentinel critic Dennis Ghetto and a review for Milwaukee Magazine.
After closing Yellow Rose, the Sebastians plan to focus their efforts on Sebastian's, their Caledonia restaurant.
"Being able to focus on just one restaurant will allow us to further our goal to make Sebastian's one of the best restaurants in the state," said Scott Sebastian.
Those of us with longer memories remember the restaurant as Criag and Helen's Bistro. Actually, those with really long memories remember it as the Bistro, then the Pasta Grille, and then Craig and Helen's Bistro again -- all under the same ownership. Far as we know, the building is still owned by Helen Johnson-Leipold and her hockey-team-owning husband Craig. The adjoining building, which has housed the Grotto since October 2007 and shares the Yellow Rose/Bistro kitchen is owned by the Johnson family (yes, that Johnson family) as well. The Grotto is a banquet/conference room space best known to those who haven't been inside for its fiberglass cow on the sidewalk from Chicago's "Cows on Parade" street art display.
Although the menu changed when the Sebastians leased the Bistro's space, the decor did not.
It's a beautiful location for a restaurant, but I suspect parking is an issue. Salute does well, though, so hopefully somebody gives it a shot.
In a few weeks, another restaurant will open on the same corner, directly across the street. Sticky Rice, formerly located on the second floor balcony of the Historic Century Market on Sixth Street, will open on the northeast corner of Fourth and Main in the building most recently occupied by Braun's Wines (and before that by the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau). And, of course, Whey Chai still resides on the southwest corner of the same intersection, so we're unlikely to starve regardless what happens.
CORREX: The Journal Times reported Friday that the Yellow Rose's building is owned by "Design Partners, a commercial graphics company based above the restaurant. Design Partners needs the additional space for its own growth."