F10 Creative: Delivering stay, play and dine experiences to Palm Springs
Big on culture, people, and community
By Kevin Perry
Great leadership is less about what you say and more about what you hear. Opening your mind, heart, and ears is essential to understanding the needs of the customer and the community at large.
F10 Creative is an ambitious collective founded on the masterful art of listening.
“The market spoke and we adapted.” These words resonate as a mantra for Tara Lazar, the restaurateur/entrepreneur behind the delectable success that is F10. “When we opened Cheeky’s, there was an open lot next to us and we thought it would be great to serve cocktails on the grass. Apparently, that’s not allowed, so we had to construct a building there, and we decided to serve pizza along with the cocktails. As it turned out, people wanted more than just pizza, so we started offering salads, and that’s how Birba was born.”
Lazar continued this macro-conversation with her clientele as her next gastronomic venture began taking shape. “Birba and Cheeky’s are casual, but we figured that people occasionally like to dress up in Palm Springs. That was how we approached Mr. Lyons. Then, we realized that some people really don’t want to dress up, so we created the lounge, which invites a scaled down kinda style.”
The recipe for F10’s success includes variety, variety, and – just to mix things up – even more variety. “It’s important for all of the restaurants to have different vibes. If they were all the same, there would be no point in going to different places.”
Whether she’s devising an upscale steakhouse menu or a downright amazing Sunday brunch extravaganza, Tara brings a singular savvy to all of her establishments. “I’m big into the culture and the people. We have a strong belief in hospitality.”
Taking the idea of hospitality to its logical and luxurious extreme, Lazar opened a hotel on the grounds that Cheeky’s and Birba made fabulous. Alcazar lives up to its locale in the epicenter of the Uptown Design District, treating guests to fine Italian linens, a sprawling yet serene courtyard, and entertainment galore.
“We have live music to bring the community together and we love to support local artists,” beams Tara. “It’s great to showcase what’s special about our community. That’s why we pride ourselves on serving local food, and we also work with local charities. At Birba, we do an event called Piece of the Pie, and all of the proceeds go to a local charity.”
Generosity is always at the top of the menu for Tara Lazar. As a Palm Springs native, she is intent on providing fruitful culinary careers to some of the area’s brightest burgeoning talent. “Loving our staff is a major priority at F10. We have grown dependent on them and we do everything we can to make them part of our family.”
With a reflective note of camaraderie, Lazar adds “Many of them have been with us since we started 11 years ago.”
F10’s flourishing success permeates the Inland Empire, elevating their competition as they ascend to new levels of fulfillment. But unlike many businesspeople, Tara welcomes her rivals unabashedly. “I love Palm Springs and it’s exciting to see such growth happening. It used to be tough to recruit fresh, young talent, but now young people are taking another look. It’s always exciting to see new businesses open up and continue us down the path toward growth.”
Along with her partner in cuisine, husband Marco Rossetti, Ms. Lazar savors the opportunity to provide for her fellow citizens, be it with refined meals or continued charitable efforts. “We are a true Mom & Pop and we love to give back to the community that has given so much to us.”
Her closing sentiment is perfectly earnest and sweet, like a decadent dessert after a gloriously satisfying meal. But F10 still appears to be in its appetizer phase of development; you can expect more philanthropy and fabulousness to unfurl in the years ahead. Bon appétit, supreme!