How I Met Your Reservoir

Joe Sacramento (didn’t you move? :)) has a great roundup of the Docks project on the riverfront near Miller Park and the I-80 bridge, including his discussion of what would happen to the Pioneer Reservoir, which I’m not sure I was entirely aware existed–it is apparently a massive sewage treatment plant across the street from the city animal shelter. Anyway it reminded me of when Marshall and Lily buy a house in the chic up-and-coming NY neighborhood of DoWiSiTrePla, only to find out it is a realtor nickname for “Downwind of the Sewage Treatment Plant” on How I Met Your Mother.

Joe claims Heather Fargo has advocated placing a Ferris wheel atop the plant, but I can’t tell if that’s a joke on his part. And that’s more a sad comment on Fargo and this city than it is a dig at Joe’s wry humor…

Reminder – Save…err Celebrate Corti’s rally today

corti'sAs reported in Mike Dunne’s column a while back and on various ad hoc blogs, today at 3:00 PM a gaggle of local restaurant celebrities including Biba Caggiano, Randall Selland, Wendi Mentink, Rick Mahan and Kurt Spataro, will gather in support of a petition to celebrate Good Eats backing off the Corti Bros site.
According to Dunne, the effort to save Corti Brothers is/was being led by California Strategies LLC, a massive public relations firm with interests all across California.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next; Corti still has to negotiate a new lease. Here is Darrel Corti in Mike Dunne’s column today:

“If they are backing away, I guess we have to meet with the landlord, but I’ve heard nothing from the landlord. All I’m hearing is what you are telling me, and I don’t know how to respond to what you are telling me,” Corti said.

The one thing that comes to mind is “sweet, I can keep my business open.” But that’s just off the top of my head.

Update on Corti’s, David Berkley’s, and 16th Street

-According to reliable sources, Corti’s is looking to relocate to Elvas Ave after their lease is up.  Apparently there is a warehouse space on Elvas that has piqued Corti’s interest.  However,Corti’s is also looking to see if they can extend their current lease through Christmas.

-Did you know that venerable specialty grocer David Berkley has changed hands?  I didn’t, and I’m a little obsessive about this stuff.  How could I have missed it?  Anyway, a few of the senior staff are slowly being given their walking papers as the new owner trims expenses.   It remains to be seen whether or not the new incarnation of the ‘Berk maintains its place in the marketplace, namely being a wine seller and grocer that customers frequent when price isn’t an issue but unrivaled quality is.

-16th Street continues its slow trek into respectability.  Besides the standouts like Sampino’s Towne Foods, Rail Bridge Cellars, and the Blue Diamond Gift Shop, small businesses like fish and chip shop H. Salt Esq. are back up and running after an ugly fire last year.  Several renovations on existing properties and a few proposed developments might very well turn the unhip northern portion of 16th Street into a fine urban neighborhood.

Corti Brothers to seek new location

The Bee reports today that the property that has housed Corti Brothers since 1970 will be leased to another tenant. CB has occupied the location since 1988 without a lease, so I suppose it is no surprise that the landlords opted to strike a deal that more than doubles the rent on the 20,000 square foot location from $12,000 to $24,000 a month. The new business will be Good Eats, a gourmet market and bistro. According to Mike Dunn at the Bee, CB will close the current location by October 15.

With their top quality selection of…. jeeze, just about anything you could want to eat or drink, I am a huge fan of CB. Since 1947, they have been on the short list of Sacramento’s best, and I hope that this continues long into the 21st Century. Let’s support Corti Brothers for as long as we can to help make that transition to a new store as quick as possible.

Restaurant Revival Opportunity

There once was restaurant, mythical in its place on the Sacramento foodscape. It was a place where a man, woman, and child could go on a Friday night, eat prime rib, clam chowder, and drink cocktails by the bucket load. It was a place that shaped my childhood, my life, the lives of all Sacramentans, hell, the lives of all Americans. That place was the Palomino Room.

Located just off Watt Avenue on El Camino Boulevard, the Palomino Room was a treasure, a throwback, a repository of food, ambiance, and camaraderie from a different age. And now, it can live again.

The restaurant space that once was the PR, is now available for lease. For the last several years, it has been a horrid example of what happens when fusion cuisine goes wrong. That’s right, the “steak and sushi buffet.” But now, those days are past, and the space is once again available to be put right by some enterprising restaurateur. That’s right, you Paul Flemming, you Randy Selland, you Randy Paragary, you Virgas. It’s time to do your civic duty and restore the Palomino to all its vinyl boothed glory. The Paly’ needs to live again. You can make it so.

Things Afoot at Loehmann’s Plaza

A couple quick notes, one about a perennial “dead zone” and another about a case of storefront switcheroo.

The Loehmann’s shopping plaza storefront that has played home to a variety of dining establishments, most recently Giovanni’s pizza, will now be a casual sushi and Japanese eatery called Bento Box. I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that they’re going to serve California rolls, tempura, teriyaki chicken, and a noodle bowls. Oh wait, gyozas, I’m sure they’ll also serve gyozas. This is not exactly the Japanese-greasy-spoon idea I had last week; nevertheless, I wish them good luck.

The former home of Beyond Napa wine market in the Lyon’s Village across from Loehmann’s, will now be home to a fro-yo establishment adorably called Yo-Yo Yogurt. It will be a self-serve enterprise ala Big Spoon. Don’t fret about your friendly neighborhood wine seller though. Beyond Napa has moved one door down to take over the former digs of the Francisco Franco woman’s boutique (which, as far as I can tell, is still closed).

Eminent Domain, We Need You!

No, this isn’t about the prolonged pissing match between stubborn Moe Mohanna and stubborn city officials and stubborn homeless people along K Street.  This is about my hood, the ‘Cade, Arden/Arcade that is.

The former home of Tower Records and Tower Books on Watt Avenue at El Camino is slowly turning into a commercial property nightmare, replete with graffiti, homeless folks, and that harbinger of property worthlessness, the Spirit Halloween Store.

It’s true, the site of former greatness, where I bought my first J.J. Johnson album is now just a dirty shell, attracting crime and dragging down the neighborhood.  I, as a citizen, want to do something about it.  Here’s the problem though, I have no idea what to do.  Do I start showing up at those worthless Arcade cityhood meetings?  Do I start an “action group”?  Do I call Marcos Breton? Or even better, Carlos Alcala?  Tell me, readers, for I am lost in a sea of citizen action.

To Your Local Developer Write

It has come to my attention that the Red Lion Hotel (nee Sacramento Inn) is to be redeveloped by Capital Management Group. You can read about the proposed changes here, but there is one specific change that I would like to see. I took the time to email Jeffrey Berger, president of Capital Management, the following message, hoping that others would do the same. Continue reading “To Your Local Developer Write”

Restaurant Openings in the ‘Cade

Two openings to report in the Arden/Arcade area;

1) At the corner of Arden & Eastern, a storefront previously inhabited by a tax preparer, an electronics repair shop, and an online gaming center will soon be the home of “Cheffrey’s An American Bistro.”  This restaurant, opened by the founders of the “Refer-a-Chef” catering company will be the first new restaurant in the area for quite some time.  Drop on by for the grand opening, August 9. 

2)  Boudin Bakery, long-awaited and much anticipated, shows signs of an imminent opening.  Work seems to have reached a peak at the Fair Oaks and Munroe location formerly a Java City.  Signage is up and the contractors’ dumpsters are full, so don’t be surprised to start chowing down on chowder in a bread bowl within the next 45 days–just in time for fall.

Now if only the Food Circus would reopen in the Watt Avenue Tower Records & Books location, all would be right in the world.