Is it just my imagination?

Photo of The Fireside sign

The Sac Rag
never forgets

I don’t take H or J street to or from work as often as I used to, but on occasion I like to mix it up and give it a go. Lately I’ve noticed that there is a lot of remodeling going on near the college and/or East Sacramento. For example, a few days ago I stopped at the light on H & 53rd and glanced over to my left and noticed a Starbucks. Seriously, when did this happen? I swear, these joints pop up like those inflatable rafts you’d always see on old 60’s sitcoms. And for the life of me I can’t remember what was even there before. These places ARE everywhere. Speaking of, check out this dude that has taken it upon himself to visit every Starbucks in the world. And how soon before the Yahoo! lawyers come calling the YaketyYak cell phone store next door? But, I digress.

What’s going on, Sacramento? Are local coffee houses dead? It’s no secret that I’m a coffee chain lover myself, but I’m all for patronizing a local establishment when possible. Speaking of, what happened to Mace’s? Man, this town can get away from you if you’re not paying attention.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

17 thoughts on “Is it just my imagination?”

  1. I was downtown just the other day and I tried to go to America Live, my favorite night spot, and there is a chain restaurant there too. What’s going on in this town!?!?


  2. this is actually a local tragedy and will be the shame of East Sacramento for years to come. there were two decades-old fixtures on that spot: a dry-cleaners and the Fireside bar and grill. it’s like somebody is going through a church bulletin from Sacred Heart circa 1987 and destroying all of its advertisers.

    need getting more parking at your franchise Taco Bell? hell no. bulldoze a great old steaks-and-beers haunt for something that looks like it belongs in Logan’s Run? go right ahead!


  3. The worst part about losing the fireside was that you could smoke there. I don’t know how that worked, but I definitely partook.

    There is a semi-local coffee house right behind that stupid S’bucks though…Tupelo.


  4. I’m ready for the chains to put small businesses out of their misery once and for all, so some chain can come along and replicate the charming ambience of the erstwhile small businesses. Fake authenticity, yum.


  5. Jeff, that reminds me of something I’ve often wondered about Mimi’s… has anybody been to The Kettle in Manhattan Beach, LA? Any clue what’s going on there?


  6. yes, i’ve been to the kettle multiple times. Good french onion soup, good chinese chicken salad, great bread pudding. It’s been there for years and reminds me of an upscale Coco’s.


  7. then you must never have been to Mimi’s Cafe… it must be a franchised spinoff, down to the tinpan alley (is that the right reference?) decor…


  8. see, I don’t quite see the 1:1 comparison. Rather I see Mimi’s as an extension of the Disney imagineering department, right down to the speakers pumping alpine music made to look like paving stones.


  9. Don’t give up on the locally-owned “little guys” coffeehouse just yet, folks. My partner-in-crime and I are are currently in the process of re-opening our True Love Coffeehouse, this time on K Street. We’re shooting for a Spring 2006 opening.

    And I openly and defiantly *DARE* Starbucks to open their generic asses in our ‘hood once we’re open.

    Bring it on, corporate bitches!

    (OK. Just kidding about that last bit.)


  10. good for you, True Love. This time around, though, you may want to let your regulars know not to give the “stink-eye” to anyone that drops by for coffee who they don’t recognize. I don’t think I was being paranoid when I dropped by and was literally stared down by two emo guys who looked like they wanted spike my coffee with something really nasty and herbal. After that, they jumped me in the parking lot and killed me. I’m totally not making this up.

    Maybe some flowers on the tables may give the place a homier air.


  11. kudos to adamant for dropping America Live, and shame on all of us for letting it pass without comment.


  12. I spell checked that America Live comment three times just to make sure that runnergirl wouldn’t get distracted.


  13. I spent too much time waxing nostalgic on America Live that I forgot to post a comment.

    The sports bar inside America Live is where we watched the OJ chase, and my friend Heather and I went to America Live COUNTLESS nights throughout 1993-1996 (often racing to get there before 9pm to avoid paying the $5 cover charge.) We’d head straight upstairs to Jack Ass Flats to get our half-yards of beer, as that’s where we got the most bang for our buck, and then would head straight into Li’l Ditties, the piano bar. There was lots of lap-walking at America Live to find out where the action was.

    Invariably the objects of our desire were to be seen only on the escalators, always going in the opposite direction that we were.

    We didn’t realize that our night of partying down in Gators (the dance club upstairs) on Memorial Day weekend of 1996 that that would be our last America Live experience, as it closed its doors that weekend. Our then-25-year-old hearts were broken. Sigh. After that, we reverted back to the tried and true Bonn Lair/Pine Cove/2Me circuit with some bars du jour thrown in for fun.

    For our younger readers or Sac newbies, America Live was housed where Copeland’s Sports and the Hard Rock Cafe are now, and before then it was I. Magnin.


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