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What's Happening with Montero's?

Patch is trying to find out if Montero's restaurant and nightclub, which has been shuttered for many weeks, will reopen. The owner is reported to be planning to resume operations, but so far we haven't been able to confirm any plans.

The windows at closed Montero's in Albany have been papered over for weeks. There's a "help wanted" sign in one window but no indication of when it might reopen. Photo credit: Charles Burress, Jan. 8, 2014
The windows at closed Montero's in Albany have been papered over for weeks. There's a "help wanted" sign in one window but no indication of when it might reopen. Photo credit: Charles Burress, Jan. 8, 2014
A reader asks about the status of Montero's in Albany, which has been closed for many weeks with paper covering the windows.

The combination nightclub and restaurant occupies a prime location on the corner of Solano and San Pablo avenues.

The reader forwarded an Oct. 10 post on Chowhound citing a message purportedly posted on Yelp by Montero's owner, Juan Romo, offering "sincere apologies for the inconvenience."

The message cited on Chowhound chided another restaurant business, called "Bakon Bierre" in the message, that had operated briefly in the Montero's space and then closed.

Posts on Yelp indicate that the business called Cafe Biere, which specialized in artisan beers and was formerly located in Emeryville, moved to the Montero's space under the name "Bacon and Biere" during the summer and changed the menu. A currently inactive "Bacon N Biere" Facebook page with a "Bacon & Beer" logo was established in September and lists Albany as its location.

The Chowhound post quotes Romo as saying "Bakon Beire" was "allowed to start doing business here with out first changing there name from MONTEROS to BAKON BIERRE giving MONTEROS a bad name along the way, sad to inform that BAKON BIERRE is closed for business after only 3 months," the message said.

"MONTEROS will re introduce a new restaurant with good food, good drinks and a wonderful and friendly service," according to the message posted by Chowhound.

Patch has left messages for Romo asking what's happening with the business. Attempts to contact the former operators of Cafe Biere and Bacon and Biere were unsuccessful.

A sign in the window of the restaurant portion of Montero's was still there today, Sunday, saying, "We are looking for: Kitchen Help," and seeking "Line cooks with experience." It includes a phone number for "Juan."

The owner of the building, Esther Nagao, told Patch that she leases the business to Romo and that he informed her he plans to reopen. She said she doesn't know when.

"They're not going to remain closed," she said.

Albany City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said no other business applied for a business license at the Montero's address this past year. She said the most recent license is for Montero's and has been held by Romo since the beginning of 1997. It expired on Dec. 31, but that it is still valid since businesses have until Jan. 31 to submit payments for renewals without penalties or interest, she said.

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