I have no illusions. I realize that this is not the way to start trends. But just in case someone from PRG (Paragary Restaurant Group), HFE (Haines French-fry Empire), or FFF (Fat’s Friendly Foods) happens to stop by and read this here blog, I’d like to outline a few restaurant concepts that this town needs. (OK, maybe Sacramento doesn’t exactly need these restaurants, but they’d certainly broaden the dining landscape a little.)
These are all niche ideas at best, but who would’ve thought that Chuck E Cheese would still be around after all these years. In no particular order, here they are:
1. Japanese greasy spoon– A friend and I were walking through Japantown in LA and came upon this little Japanese diner. The place looked like the joint that all the cabbies hang out at in “Taxi Driver”–ripped vinyl booths, formica, and tired waitresses. They served beer, sake, soup, and lots and lots of fried stuff. They were open until 2am. And the best part, not a piece of sushi in sight. Yes, that’s right, a Japanese restaurant without sushi. It’s unthinkable, but try and tell me it wouldn’t work. Restaurateurs, lend me your ears: scoop up the old sushi joint on Cap Ave and insert this concept. You’ll have an immediate hit.
2. Barbecue with table service– I know, I know. Half the fun of going out for barbecue is the dinginess of it all. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have one option in town at which you could sit down, order a beer or a cocktail, and have a fine Southern dinner, complete with pulled pork, cornbread, and greens. But, and here’s the kicker, the place needs to have a few traditional restaurant trappings like fresh fish, good cocktails, and friendly service. I’m kind of thinking that the eventual concept will work if you don’t try to turn the place into a theme park like Lucille’s. Suggested location: CalPERS building at 5th and Q, or the eventually empty space on Fair Oaks Blvd across from Pavilions.
3. A dessert restaurant– There’s this place in Boston called Finale that serves nothing but dessert. It’s not a cafe though; it’s a good-sized restaurant with servers, kitchen, and a full bar. My friend, The Thighmaster, calls it McFancy, for its overly slick production quality, and I agree. Nevertheless, the concept is sound, and could easily work in the convention center area.
Got any other ideas? Let’s hear ’em.