Ned Kermaninejad was sad Monday about the impending closure of Lafayette institution Petar's but still he was gearing up for a big night for the restaurant and bar.
"We're going to have a party tonight," said Kermaninejad. "There's always a party at Petar's."
Petar's has been open in Lafayette for 54 years — first on Mount Diablo Boulevard and since 1980 at its current location on Lafayette Circle. Kermaninejad bought it 13 years ago from Petar Jakovina, now deceased.
The last night at the tavern is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 5, with the last night of kitchen service scheduled for Friday, Kermaninejad said.
The last two nights will include a performance by a Petar's institution, singer-pianist "Diamond" Dave Hosley, who covers everyone from Sinatra to Lady Gaga in several gigs a week at Petar's.
Hosley, on his website, says, "Then I'll be moving somewhere … not sure where exactly yet but I am not retiring by any means!"
The closing is forced by a big rent increase from the landlord, Main Street Property Services of Lafayette, Kermaninejad said. He has no definite plans to but, he said Monday, "I'm always looking for something. I'll probably reopen it in some form."
Kermaninejad, a Concord resident, started as a bus boy and waiter at Petar's, then moved on to owning restaurants in San Ramon and Blackhawk, before buying Petar's.
The restaurant and bar now employs 18 full- and part-time people, he said.