The Snyder family of Pace food + drink is so good at the restaurant game, their eldest son, Ryan, was born on trade. Back when Jeff Snyder owned San Francisco’s RSVP Restaurant, people would exchange services for dinners — even ob-gyns. “Not in our day and age,” recalled his wife, Kim Snyder, “but 29 years ago, it was possible.”
The Snyders’ latest baby has been the 50-seat Pace itself, which they opened at 413 State Street in February 2012 to instant acclaim, including a Foodie Award from this newspaper. Prior to that, Jeff worked at L’Auberge del Mar in San Diego, but the family wanted a spot of their own. After some false starts, this property came on the market and was ideal. “An open kitchen, right on State Street, and who doesn’t want to live in Santa Barbara?” said Jeff. “We were doing it as a family and wanted to set the boys up.” Those boys, Ryan and Cole, “poured their hearts and souls into it for two years,” said Jeff, but it turns out restaurants are not what they want to do.
Instead of just selling the business, though, the Snyders are going to give it away. “We want to find someone passionate about this business and give them an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Jeff. That opportunity includes the restaurant and beer and wine license; the lease paid for a year; insurances paid for a year; $20,000 in working capital to help cover expenses; and mentoring from the Snyders. “After 35 years in this business, this is our opportunity to give back — it’s like Pay It Forward,” insisted Jeff. “If we can come downtown in a year or two and walk into the restaurant we used to own and it’s a success, then we did our job. I can’t even imagine how we’ll feel.”
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