WALNUT CREEK Calif. Northern California operator Dudum Sports & Entertainment Corp. is developing a new restaurant concept in partnership with music legend Carlos Santana.
DSE, based here, has purchased three Northern California restaurants, formerly operating under The Cantina brand name, with plans to convert them to the new concept, which will be called Maria Maria, a reference to the band's hit song from 2000.
Designed in collaboration with Santana and his wife Deborah, who live in Marin County, the restaurants will feature regional dishes from across Mexico, as well as beverages and cocktails featuring freshly squeezed juices and exotic nectars. The first unit is scheduled to open in Walnut Creek in April, followed by Mill Valley, Calif., in May and Santa Rosa, Calif., in June.
In addition to Maria Maria, DSE is also working on a higher-profile flagship concept that will be called Santana's, which will likely open in Las Vegas within the next two years.
DSE is known for its sports- and entertainment-themed restaurants, such as McCovey's in Walnut Creek; Bing Crosby's Restaurant in Walnut Creek and Rancho Mirage, Calif.; Joe DiMaggio's Italian Chophouse in San Francisco; and Center Court with C-Webb in Sacramento, Calif.
In addition to the three Maria Maria's, DSE is scheduled to open four other restaurants: a Bing Crosby's in West Palm Beach, Fla., in July; a Joe DiMaggio's in Austin, Texas, in August; a Joe DiMaggio's in Boca Raton, Fla., in October; and a Center Court in Tempe, Ariz., in November.
DSE officials say a boxing-themed concept with Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali's former trainer, is also being developed, probably in Las Vegas.