Graton Resort and Casino to include restaurants from Martin Yan, Douglas Keane, La Fondita family

  • Greg Sarris, left the Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and Maria Elena Reyes the matriarch of La Fondita Restaurant in Roseland, Friday July 5, 2013. La Fondita who Reyes, started serving out of a taco truck in 1996 and opened the restaurant in 2003 on Sebastopol Road, will be one of the eateries in the new Graton Resort & Casino, in which Sarris pushed for its inclusion. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

The family behind a longtime Roseland restaurant with humble origins and one of Sonoma County's most prominent chefs will be among those running eateries in the Graton Resort & Casino when it opens later this year outside Rohnert Park.

La Fondita, which grew out of a taco truck launched in 1996, and a gourmet fast food chicken stall run by Douglas Keane, who was chef at the county's most decorated restaurant, Cyrus, will occupy two of nine spaces in the casino's food marketplace.

Also among the casino's 13 eating and drinking establishments will be celebrity Chinese chef Martin Yan's M.Y. China, which will be a standalone restaurant, and Boathouse Sushi, which has Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park restaurants now and plans a more pan-Asian menu for the casino marketplace.

"It's a huge opportunity, something I couldn't have hoped for," said Maria Elena Reyes, the matriarch of La Fondita, a bustling Sebastopol Road restaurant, and Delicias Elenita, its taco truck next door.

"We're thinking of doing it 24 hours," said her son Ivan Reyes. "The casino's a nonstop thing."

M.Y. China partner David Dodson said the company — which has one other, slightly smaller restaurant near San Francisco's Union Square — expects to open Nov. 1 in an 8,000-square-foot space with 240 seats, a wok bar and a noodle-pulling bar, and a mezzanine overlooking the dining room.

Station Casinos, which is to manage the casino for seven years, approached Yan's company early, Dodson said.

"What they were looking for was something more elevated than an ethnic Chinese restaurant, something that would appeal to a Caucasian and broader demographic," he said.

M.Y. China's prices should average roughly $20 per diner for lunch and $30 for dinner and it will be open for lunch and dinner, Dodson said.

The other stand-alone restaurants are: Tony's Pizza, created by Tony Gemignani of Tony's Pizza Napoletana of San Francisco; the Daily Grill; and 630 Park Steakhouse, a local version of a high-end Station Casinos' restaurant found in two of its other casinos.

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