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Dining News: JR's Texas BBQ Thrown a Lifeline

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of JR's Texas BBQ were greatly exaggerated, reports Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Rothenberger got a reprieve in the form of a $20,000 personal loan "from a friend" and will continue to deliver hard-to-find smoked brisket, deeply flavored pork and beef ribs, pork shoulder, chicken, turkey and hot links. "The Lord has worked this out," he said. "I'm cool..."

That combination - plus Rothenberger's stack of previously unpaid bills and an approved $156,000 loan that was canceled - brought him to the verge of his own fiscal cliff.

"A lot of businesses have the same problem I do, but don't say anything," he said. "(The big customer turnout) happened when I told my daughter, 'Honey, I may have to close in five days because I don't have enough money.' So she called (the media) and every TV station came out.

"(Consequently) I had a line (of customers) out the door (at the main store) for four hours on Friday," he said. "It was the biggest day we've ever had. I almost ran out of brisket. Saturday was nearly the same. All day long I had hugs and kisses and people saying, 'J.R., we are not going to let this put you out of business, you've got the best thing on the planet. We're going to be here as much as we can.' I'm packed right now, and this is a Monday. My other two places did well (over the weekend), too, but everybody wants to come here and see me."

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

While I'm sure the owner of JR's Texas BBQ is glad to have people coming in the door, it looks like the real reason his business survives is the $175,000 in loans and loan forgiveness that he's received in the last week. Based on the numbers he's provided the media, that's about equal to about 3.5 months of revenue. Let's hope business turns around for him before time runs out again.

More News:

Try It: Lucky Cafe's Omlets - It’s hard to steer myself away from ordering the corned beef hash at Lucky Café, whose hearty version is, I believe, the best in town. But several times I have visited this no-frills midtown diner only to discover that hungry diners before me have gobbled up all the corned beef hash, forcing me to try something different on the menu. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Bacon Fest is Coming to Sacramento Jan. 20 – 27 - There are few culinary phenomenons quite like bacon. It has long surpassed being the sidekick to eggs and now has become a (much-deserved) star on its own, which is why we’re so excited about Bacon Fest coming to Sacramento January 20 -27.  Sponsored by the California Pork Producers Association, the eight-day Baconpalooza brings together some of the best, most creative chefs in the region with competitions and special bacon-themed menus at many of our favorite Sacramento restaurants. Below is a list of planned events including the Second Annual Bacon Fest Sacramento Chef’s Competition that’s sure to sell out. Kim Bedwell in Sac Foodies. 

The Press: A Great Midtown Spot for Nibblers - Sometimes I’m hit with the desire to glam up and meet some friends out at the comfortable bar of a good restaurant for a night of cocktailing and an array of tasty nibbles. One of my favorite spots to do this is at The Press in midtown, a restaurant I’ve come to respect and admire over the past few years because of its consistent, reliable quality, exuberantly fresh menu items and lickety-split service. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Update: County Jail will emphasize customer service after all - Things are looking up for those who have visited the Sacramento County Jail, as I did recently, only to encounter uniformed deputies who weren't exactly embracing the idea of good manners and cordial service to the public. When I wrote about that bewildering experience last week - and sought to compare and contrast it with the kind of service we see at restaurants - it didn't sit well with a certain captain of the Sacramento Sheriff's Department. Rick Pattison is the commander of the jail, meaning he's in charge. As luck would have it, Pattison is also a well-traveled and discerning dining enthusiast. Pattison got word of the blog post while traveling and took time to read it while waiting for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Hook & Ladder Restaurant - Cody was joined live in studio by the people from Hook & Ladder Restaurant, who showed off their amazing menu. On Good Day Sac.


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