Dining News: Trail's Restaurant to Close Next Month
August 27, 2014
Trails, the 73 year old restaurant at Broadway and 21st, will close in Sept., the son of the owner announced on Reddit.
My dad, Gin, has been the sole proprietor of this restaurant since 1978 since our family moved all the way from wintery Canada. Combining unique and savory flavors from both east and west traditions, he transformed BBQ food in Sacramento and was voted in the Top 10 best BBQ food in town. Over the past 36 years, he's served the state's finest politicians, athletes, TV personalities, and locals with the finest pork ribs, NY steaks, and Shish-k-bobs anywhere. In an industry where survival in the restaurant business is less than 5%, Trail's has been able to succeed and manage to live on for decades; a true testament to its loyal customers, good food, and unique atmosphere. It will be a truly sad moment when the neon light of the signage turns off for the very last time, and the doors locked forever.
So the fact that Trail's is closing its door, after so many decades, is sad on many levels is because:
One, it has such a rich history and legacy. The last artifact from the Golden Age of Cinema may be lost forever. The wagonwheel lights, cowboy wallpaper, charbroiler grill, neon lights, all signal the old style motifs that were great in the 50's, but lost in a new century of soft lighting and burgundy wine bars. It is just a sad reminder that time catches up with everything, even if it's been a hidden gem for so many recent years.
Two, Trail's is my dad's legacy. For my dad, who found his life and passion in his food and restaurant, it will be probably the hardest point in his life to say goodbye. It is his place of solace and comfort, and it is probably closer to him than anyone would ever understand. He built friendships with his many customers; it was his home and whoever walked through those doors knew they were going to be treated like old friends. For him, Trail's is his other home and a big part of his legacy.
Three, Trail's is a part of our family and life. We all worked there during our teenage years, busing tables, filling up waters, washing dishes, working the cash register; always wondering why we had to work when all of our friends got to play. Only after we've all grown up, that we finally understand why he did what he did, and why it was so important for ourselves. It was for the family. He sacrificed his time, his opportunity to grow with his family, to give us the chance to succeed in our own lives and learn what hard work meant. He worked so hard, so we didn't have to take on the restaurant life when we were older. He gave us the chance to get an education, work hard, and take advantage of the opportunities as much as possible. Trail's, itself, is such a strong part of our family history that we wouldn't where we are today without it. Our family may be located all across the country now, but Trail's is always the home we come back to.
As you can see, the realization that our beloved Trail's will be shutting its doors for the last time in the coming weeks, is very bittersweet. My dad is not exactly a young spring chicken anymore, and we decided as a family a few months ago that, like Hollywood, it is best to leave the game at your peak. My dad is healthy still, the family has grown up and is growing, so it's time for my dad to refocus his time, spend it with his family finally, and let Trail's, or it's next incarnation, to continue to provide good food and service to the Sacramento community.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be letting our customers know about the forthcoming closure, so they can order their ribs and steaks for the last time at Trail's. We'll be posting on our Facebook page (see below) on the final close date and other details.
As our loyal Sacramento customers, we only ask of 2 things: - If you are interested in coming by, please do, and take some time to sign our guestbook on the counter before you go. Leave a nice message to our dad, if you'd like. (It'll be setup this weekend.)
- Tell your friends on social media, tweet our mayor Kevin Johnson @KJ_MayorJohnson to stop on by, take pictures and post them up. It'd be great to get the message out for a nice farewell.
Stay tuned, also, as we're working to get Trail's famous BBQ sauce bottled!=D
Join our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trails-Restaurant/334279843376
Thank you so much, Sacramento, for a fantastic 36 years!
EDIT: The outpouring of love from the community is amazing, and we sincerely thank each and every one of you from the deepest of our hearts. Our customers are family to us, giving us warmth and joy every time you've stepped in our door. As you might imagine, the reality has still yet to set with dad, so we may need to slowly ease him in a bit to the inevitable. We appreciate your support, and please be cognizant of his current mindset. Thank you so much!
See the post, with dozens of comments, on Reddit.
In Nov. 2013, Trail's received a pretty harsh review in the Sac Bee.
Trails is not a good restaurant, but neither is it a terrible one. It’s a place stuck in purgatory, anchored unceremoniously in a Sacramento food scene that no longer really exists...
Charming as it may be, Trails lost its way by refusing to set foot in the new and much more dynamic Sacramento, where we expect better food and know where to find it. There once was a time, many years ago, where Western-themed restaurants were all the rage in Sacramento, probably because Westerns were all the rage in movies and on TV. Folks even got dressed up in Western garb when they went out to eat here.
That Sacramento, cute as a button, no longer exists.
In May 2014, the Sac Bee's Chris Macias reported that the restaurant was for sale for $500,000.
While I'm sad that this family is losing a source of income, time waits for no one and this restaurant's time probably had come. I can't wait to see what that spot becomes. Maybe the new home of another local brewery? A higher end wine bar to cater to the Land Park crowd? I look forward to finding out soon.
Farm-to-Fork celebrations to feature tractor parade - Celebrations of Sacramento as America’s “Farm-to-Fork Capital” will run from Sept. 13 to Sept. 28, and a preview event will feature a parade of tractors. This procession of tractors showcasing farm machinery from the past and present will take place along the Capitol Mall at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 12. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.
Farm-to-Fork Week planning a kick-off event for the masses, featuring whole roast pigs - Scheduled for Raley Field on Sept. 14, FoodStock 2014 will be a celebration of farm-to-fork, music -- and whole roast pigs. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.
More than just fresh food: Focusing on missions of farm-to-fork - Nicole Rogers began her job as the farm-to-fork program manager in Sacramento in March and hit the ground, as she put it, “running on fire!” With the farm-to-fork celebration fast approaching in September, I caught up with her to find out what she’s been up to the first few months on the job. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.
Local company bringing eco-friendly beer growlers to craft-crazed Sacramento - Sacramento now has another pioneering product in its craft beer movement, but this time it’s not a new brew. EcoGrowler is a lightweight, eco-friendly beer growler launched in March by Rancho Murieta resident Nathan Andreatta and his business partner Leah Stoker. Flexible, portable, made out of 100 percent recyclable materials (including foil inner layer and vinyl outer layer), and sporting an airtight cap, the EcoGrowler is the only patented collapsible, carbonation-retaining beverage product currently on the market. Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Magazine.
TBD Fest brings leading chefs to square off in The Pit - TBD Fest, the three-day music and culture festival set for West Sacramento this October, is serving up news on the local food front as well. Organizers today revealed plans for The Pit, a wood-fired cooking demonstration zone featuring 14 chefs from acclaimed regional eateries including Grange, Hawks, Hook & Ladder, Lucca, Mother and Paragary’s. The chefs from each restaurant will face off for what TBD Fest is calling “Friendly Fire,” in which their teams will have roughly three hours to prepare a dish for festival attendees, who will then vote for a winner. S.T. Vanairsdale in Sactown Mag.
Eat, drink and bike as a group with new Pedal to Plate tours - For a wheel good way to spend an evening, hop aboard a 15-seater bicycle for one of Sacramento’s new Pedal to Plate expeditions, which debut Aug. 28 and will take passengers on three-hour-long bike-powered cruises to midtown food and drink establishments. Stephanie Towne in Sactown Mag.
Ice cream-filled doughnuts sweeten summer in Sacramento - Move aside, cronut. There’s a new kid on the block this summer: the ice cream doughnut sandwich—or “ice glazers,” as the proprietors of Baker’s Donuts in South Sacramento call them. Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Mag.
Local breweries spill the secrets behind their logo designs - A bear on a bike. A dog that is a bike. A landmark bridge. A smiling sun. An old-timey boxer. A kid-looking character chomping a cigar. Have you ever been sitting at a Sacramento-area brewery, enjoying a pint, and suddenly found yourself wondering: “What’s the story behind that logo?” Will Wright in the Sac Bee.
VIDEO: Dishin' With Tina: La Huaca - Tina is visiting a spot in Roseville that serves traditions Peruvian food and most people feel like home. She is at La Huaca at 9213 Sierra College Blvd. #140 Roseville. On Good Day Sac.
VIDEO: Boneshaker Community Brewery - Cambi Brown is in Rocklin checking out this awesome brewery in Rocklin with delicious eats and a nice selection of craft beers. On Good Day Sac.