On the brink of being razed last year, downtown Mountain View's longstanding brewery Tied House is now rebounding with gusto.
The brewpub is giving itself a makeover with an interior remodel, updated menu and even fresh flowers for the patio. It might come as a surprise that the 31-year-old restaurant is now cleaning house (both figuratively and literally), since not long ago its owners were pushing to tear the place down.
Does this mean the Tied House is here to stay? Well, sort of.
Plans to close down Tied House are being postponed indefinitely, said John Savage, the pub's new general manager. He was hired in March, with a background working at fine-dining establishments in Napa County and Palm Beach, Florida -- he previously managed food and beverages at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. (He has stories, but a nondisclosure agreement keeps his lips sealed.)
Savage came to Mountain View not long after elected officials shot down a bid by Tied House and the next-door Michelin-star restaurant, Chez TJ, to construct a four-story office building with a new restaurant space on their combined parcels. It was a hugely controversial project that sparked a vocal opposition, chiefly among downtown residents who blamed office growth for ruining the area's charm and character.
Savage said he noticed Tied House had fallen into a "culture of complacency" that needed to change. Things had been neglected at the restaurant, and the fact that employees thought a closure was imminent was certainly a factor, he said.
After the City Council rejected the office proposal, Savage said he was given the go-ahead to revitalize Tied House. That rejuvenation is an ongoing process, he explained, saying he is always finding new aspects of the brewpub to spruce up. A full overhaul of Tied House will probably take a year or longer to complete, he said.
"Literally every week, if not every day, there has been some kind of change here," he said. "When it's all said and done, I guarantee this restaurant will be the best it's ever been."
But plans to redevelop the site are still in the works, said Lou Jemison, Tied House's owner. The development firm Minkoff Group is pursuing some kind of revised plans to redevelop the sites, he said. When ready, those updated plans must go through a lengthy public review process that will likely take years, so it made sense to refresh Tied House in the meantime, he said.
Jemison emphasized that Tied House will be staying in Mountain View, regardless. Under the original office redevelopment plans, Tied House would have taken over the ground-floor restaurant space, he said.
"We were always planning on staying, and we're going to be here way past my lifetime," he said.
Chez TJ owner George Aviet said that the redevelopment is still in the works.
"Nothing has changed or is in the process of being changed," he told the Voice.