Cafe moving out, Bleu Restaurant moving in to Tiger hotel

Saturday, March 1, 2008 | 4:31 p.m. CST; updated 7:28 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — After nearly two years of business, the restaurant Chez Monet in the Tiger hotel is saying goodbye to its Columbia location on Sunday to make room for Bleu Restaurant and Market, part of which will open in March.

But despite its closing, some of Chez Monet’s baked goods will still be for sale at the new business.

Joan Fairfax launched the Columbia location of Chez Monet in May 2006, with help from her sister, Mary Fran Adams. It was the second location for Fairfax, who owns a cafe by the same name in Jefferson City that opened 17 years ago.

“It’s been fun,” said Fairfax, who said she felt like it was the right time to step away from the business. “We’re spread so thin we’re a mustard sandwich. We’re tired.”

Columbia’s Chez Monet offered lunch items such as cold-cut sandwiches and sweets, including homemade truffles and custom wedding cakes.

Co-owners of Bleu, Travis Tucker and Tina Patel, offered to collaborate with Chez Monet on creating deserts for the new restaurant, Tucker said.

After considering the offer, Fairfax and Adams decided to leave Columbia and focus on the Jefferson City store.

Bleu Restaurant and Market will take up both the current Chez Monet space as well as property on the corner of Eighth and Cherry streets next to the hotel, Tucker said.

Bleu Market will be located in the Chez Monet space and will open the second week of March. The market will offer gourmet foods to go, Tucker said. Bleu Restaurant will offer a contemporary American menu. The restaurant side of the business is expected to open in early June.

This is the first restaurant either Tucker or Patel have owned.

“We have worked in the industry for 14 years,” Tucker said. “We are finally at a place where we can do our own thing.”

Tucker, who formerly worked at the upscale University Club at MU, said Chez Monet items will still be offered to customers of both the Bleu Restaurant and Market. Along with advertising Chez Monet’s specialties, Bleu will take orders for the Jefferson City location, he said.

Chez Monet’s last day will be Sunday. It will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

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