VIDEO: Big Crowd For Diamond Dave, Petar's Closing

Update: Petar's Restaurant closes after a 54-year run in Lafayette.

Update, Sunday, added video.

The hot venue in Lafayette Saturday night was with an overflow crowd come to see Diamond Dave Hosley's last gig there.

More than 175 people crowded in to the Lafayette Circle restaurant to see the singer and one-man band, with another two dozen waiting in line on the walk outside as Hosley kicked into Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl" at 9:10 p.m.

Leslie Radcliffe of San Francisco came to say hello to Hosley, who played at her wedding in 2009 in Walnut Creek. The special song he played for her that night was "Can't take my eyes off you," Hosley's version of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons classic.

Saturday ended a 26-year run for Diamond Dave at Petar's. It also ended a 54-year run for Petar's because of a dispute over rent between Petar's management and the property manager, Main Street Property Services, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Hosley said, "I'm not done by any means," telling about one new gig. He said he will play next Thursday at Dan's Irish Sports Bar in Walnut Creek. The day after that, he has eye surgery planned and then a recuperation of several weeks, and more dates at Dan's in February.


Diamond Dave began at Petar's on Nov. 18, 1986. He had just moved to the Bay Area from his native Connecticut.

"I was 30," he said. "I wore a blue blazer and a tie." He had been hired by original owner Petar Jakovina, "a very charismatic guy in a low-key way, which was very powerful," Hosley said. "I walked in there and got this gig out of the blue." It was a smoky piano bar in the back bar section of Petar's (now he plays in the more spacious, front restaurant section).

He took over for pianist JoAnne Riddle, who played for two decades at Petar's, Hosley said. He had to break the regulars from the habit of asking the microphone from being passed around. "They were talking to you like you're a trained dog," he recalled. "I had to develop my own crowd, which I eventually did."


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