John Bentley’s in Redwood City is closing after tonight’s service, as beloved Chef John Bentley is retiring.
We phoned the restaurant this morning and confirmed that tonight is the final service at the fine-dining eatery at 2915 El Camino Real. The restaurant has served seasonal American cuisine from that location since 2004, and previously operated in Woodside. Chef Bentley said he has been humbled by the community’s gratitude for his cooking. Locals were saddened by the news of the restaurant’s impending closure, which was reported in Palo Alto Online in December and the Mercury News this week.
The popular show, Check, Please! Bay Area shared the Mercury News article, prompting responses from diners such as “RIP Garlic’s custard” and “Oh no!”
“Such a loss to the community,” one poster said, while another lamented, “Sad to see it go.”
Bentley, 62, told the Mercury News it’s time to retire after four decades in the business and a 2-year-old grandson.
“I’ve had a very blessed and incredible run,” he told the newspaper.
Chef Bentley’s career traces back to his apprenticeship at San Francisco French-Vietnamese restaurant Lipizzaner while attending the California Culinary Academy. There, he was taught classical French techniques by chef-owner Joseph Roettig, who Bentley called the “best cook I’ll ever know,” according to the biography on the restaurant website.
Chef Bentley later worked at the Clift Four Seasons Hotel, then had first experience as executive chef at Michael’s Restaurant in Sunnyvale, and later his first experience opening a restaurant at Los Altos Bar and Grill.
“Working on another project in 1995, John happened by the small, old firehouse in Woodside,” according to his bio. “Seeing a ‘For Rent’ sign in the window, John realized that it was finally time to realize his dream of opening his own restaurant, where he could fully explore the intimacy between kitchen and customer that animated his cooking from the start of his career at the Lipazzaner.”
The chef built a loyal following and, in 2004, moved his restaurant to the expanded, more comfortable space in Redwood City.