Danville Express

Newsfront - April 13, 2007

New Vally Medlyn's - a favorite since the '50s - reopens downtown

Restaurant has new owners, new look

by Natalie O'Neill

Danville's beloved Vally Medlyn's on Hartz Avenue has reopened as the New Vally Medlyn's under new ownership, with added menu items and a completely renovated interior. It had a grand opening Easter Sunday.

"Everything is homemade. It's food like your mother used to make you," said owner Hamid Ardebili.

Ardebili owns the restaurant with his wife Lisa Courlandt, and the couple also runs the Copper Skillet in Walnut Creek. They say the major menu changes will be lower prices and more healthy options including no use of trans fat.

The 1950s diner-style atmosphere that used to be Vally Medlyn's signature look has been replaced with tan and maroon-purple walls, new seating arrangements and art.

"We got rid of the bright yellow booths. It's more chic now," said manager Zachary Courlandt, who helps run the family business.

"It's cute and homey," Ardebili said.

Vally Medlyn's was established in Oakland in 1935, and the coffee shop moved to Danville in 1950, according to an article celebrating its anniversary in the Tri-Valley Herald in 1995. It was named for the original owner. Oldtimers who attended San Ramon Valley High School in the 1950s remember it fondly as an after-school hangout.

The New Vally Medlyn's will still specialize in breakfast and lunch with foods like pancakes and eggs as well as hamburgers with fries. The new owners are waiting to get their alcohol license so they can begin serving wine with dinner.

"It's family friendly and we've got a great outside patio. Bring your pets, we don't mind," Lisa Courlandt said.

The New Vally Medlyn's officially opened the weekend before last and was packed for Saturday and Sunday's breakfast and lunch. During the week business was slower, which may have had something to do with families being away on spring break, Zachary Courlandt said.

Ownership of Vally Medlyn's changed last fall, when the previous owner Debra Tamiscea made the decision to sell the restaurant due to her ongoing battle with cancer. The new owners feel they can take over the historical meeting point using both the old draw of diner-style cooking and their own new personal touches.

"We've had a lot of experience cooking in restaurants ... hopefully people will stop by," Ardebili said.

Contact Natalie O'Neill at noneill@DanvilleWeekly.com

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