The Matheson, will create a unique synergy between locals and our visitors, and promises to be a family-friendly, affordable restaurant with an al fresco, rooftop-dining experience dubbed Roof 106, located on the second floor overlooking the historic Healdsburg Plaza.
The Matheson is named for Colonel Roderick Matheson, a Healdsburg local who was a Civil War hero, activist for equality, close friend and confidante of President Abraham Lincoln, served as a commissioner to Mexico and was a local Healdsburg schoolteacher. The beautiful Healdsburg Street is named in his honor and the restaurant will pay homage to this founding father.For Healdsburg, by Healdsburg, The Matheson and Roof 106 will be co-owned and operated by fourth generation Healdsburg resident Dustin Valette, his brother and business partner at Valette, Aaron Garzini and 18-year Sonoma County veteran Craig Ramsey. The Valette family has been part of the town’s fiber for over 100 years. Born and raised in Healdsburg, Dustin and Aaron are keenly aware of the town’s special history. This location, 106 Matheson, was Dustin’s great grandfather Honore Valette’s first bakery, so preserving this building is of the utmost importance to him and his family and his main motivation for taking on the project.
The Matheson will support the Healdsburg Community – as Valette and his family have done for over 100 years -- donating a portion of its proceeds to local charities, cooking alongside friends and neighbors, supporting agriculture by purchasing from and showcasing local farms, helping those in need and further developing the community we live and work in.
The building will continue to house two beloved Healdsburg shops, Copperfield’s Books and the Plaza Gourmet, both of which have been given lease extensions and will be paying below market rent. A large restaurant would be the entire ground floor, taking all four storefront bays and would eliminate the stores, which would be detrimental to our community. Instead, The Matheson is utilizing approximately 53% of the buildings frontage for the restaurant while maintaining 47% for diversified community orientated retail.
Owners of this new restaurant have asked for, and received input from the community and Planning Commission, and they have listened. The team has made numerous improvements working with a preservation consultant, which will yield in the restoration and fortification of this historic building for years to come.
There will be no change to the Plaza, other than the restoration and refurbishment of the facade, there will be no change to the Matheson street side of the building, and no change in how a pedestrian would experience walking on this block of Matheson. The new restaurant respects the Plaza and the community by setting the new addition to the building back from the street level. The new addition is designed with a fresh and unifying theme that blends well with the adjacent architecture.
Roof 106 dining cannot be seen from the Plaza and will fall below the City of Healdsburg’s sound level mandates. The rooftop trellis and vines will serve to integrate the park-like landscaping into the architecture. The setback of the upper floor and roof deck trellis from street allows minimal impact on plaza daylight and reduces overall potential mass. The rear of the building is larger than existing, but addresses several issues. These include: removing some unsightly sheds, aging utilities, inconsistencies with existing buildings, and is in scale with existing neighboring buildings and those on Healdsburg Avenue.
The owners will be maintaining the character of the existing structure while maximizing transparency at the ground floor with refreshed window openings, restoring order to existing fenestration, which has seen piecemeal and irregular improvements from a long history of tenants and subtenants. The scale and design is consistent with other Healdsburg Avenue buildings while meeting the award winning Citywide Design Guidelines. The project has been molded in response to the comments from the Planning Commission, Planning Department staff and the public.
THE MATHESON SCALE
The Matheson, which is on the ground floor, is small in that its combined total of 98 seats, of which only 86 are visible from the street, is comparable in scale to other restaurants downtown and around the Plaza. The Matheson respects the Plaza by using only the central two storefronts of four, while reserving nearly half of the frontage for retail (Copperfield’s Books and the Plaza Gourmet). This layout is consistent with other commercial establishments on the Plaza and as quoted is an exemplary mixed use project. The building will be the opposite of a single use, large scale business, instead it will house a diversification of retail, restaurants, housing and additional parking.
The outdoor area of Roof 106, seats 52 which is comparable in size to the outdoor dining at Healdsburg Bar and Grill and the Oakville Grocery which also face the Plaza area, but note that it has no impressionable scale increase to the façade facing the Plaza.
THE MATHESON FITS ON THE PLAZA
Some ask why this isn’t located somewhere else in Healdsburg. It is intended and designed as a casual restaurant that will add to the beauty and charm of our Plaza. People will walk to other establishments, maintaining the European standard of walking and creating a sense of community. The economic model is to be casual and affordable, designed to be a natural extension of the Healdsburg Plaza, creating a net positive for all that live, and visit here. It’s named The Matheson, creating a sense of place. Its location on the Plaza is with purpose, and will have a positive relationship to other surrounding businesses. The Matheson, a win-win for our plaza and community.