Restaurants are a tough business in which to survive and thrive. Margins are razor thin, and even in an improving economy, many restaurants close due to monetary, management or other unrelated reasons.
Here are 30 restaurants that closed in 2014.
1. Restaurant Thir13en
The fine dining restaurant opened by Adam Pechal closed at the end of January. In an interview with the Sac Bee, Chef Pechal said that the restaurant never turned a profit and that the location wasn't ideal. Chef Pechal has since moved on to other projects at Pour House and Crawdads.
2. Tuli Bistro
In a surprise to the Sacramento restaurant community, Chef Pechal's much loved neighborhood bistro, closed weeks after the failure of Restaurant Thir13en. A source told me at the time that it was possible that Chef Pechal might reopen the restaurant at the same location with new investors, signaling that it was a rift between the investors and the chef, but that's just me reading between the lines. Nevertheless, that never happened and that location is now Trick Pony.
3. La Bombe Ice Cream
This East Sac establishment closed on Jan. 1, 2014, after being open for about 18 months. The restaurant had been on sale for $50,000, and was run by the ex wife of the owner of midtown's Aioli Bodega Espanola. The location is now home to Tiefert Coffee.
4. Squeeze Inn West Sac
The West Sac outpost for Squeeze Inn, located next to Oscar's Very Mexican Food, closed in April, after being in business for nearly 3 years. The restaurant, known for its cheese skirt made famous by the Food Network, still has a midtown location on K street.
The Paesanos-owned sandwich shop closed in mid-March after 18 months in business. The owners decided to turn it into an event space for the much more successful Paesanos restaurant next door. Prior to Mangia, Java City had occupied the space.
6. Gatsby's Diner
Gatsby's Diner, which had been prominently featured on Food Network's Diners, Dives and Drive Ins, closed in mid-March. "We're looking to make a change," said owner David Perez in March, explaining that he and his business partner are architect and engineers. "We're taking a breath." The space is now occupied by Cheesy Charlie's Bake Sale Cafe.
7. Doughbot Donuts
Doughbot, Sacramento's favorite artisan donut shop, closed in August because the couple who owned the beloved eatery was "burned out" after 3 years of working in the pre-dawn hours to manufacture their delicious creations. Doughbot reportedly made a reappearance at TBD Fest, but it does not appear that there is a permanent return in the works.
8. The Cultured & The Cured
In a surprise, East Sac cheese & charcuterie shop The Culture & The Cured closed in mid-December after being open for just over a year. In interviews, the owners said that revenues exceeded projections, but that costs were more than expected.
9. Marylin's on K
The live music venue/bar closed in November after it has been sold to a new ownership group. The new owners say it will be similar to their San Diego bar Coin Op, a Republic/Dave and Buster's-style adult arcade.
10. Trails Restaurant
Subsequent to a harsh review in the Sacramento Bee in Nov. 2013, the family that owned Trails announced in August that it would be selling the restaurant. The owners of Shoki Ramen House have purchased the property and intend to move from their 24th St. location in the new year.
Indian restaurant Monsoon closed its midtown location and moved to Roseville in July. While it opened to great fanfare, apparently, the buzz wasn't sustained. The spot is now occupied by Pieology.
The version of Enotria led by chef Pajo Bruich and which sought a Michelin star closed in January. It has since reopend as a weekend wine bar led by chef Gabriel Glasier and pastry chef Kristel Flores. Chef Bruich has moved on to become executive chef at Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak in San Francisco.
13. Trey B Cakes
Trey B Cakes, owned by a former co-worker, closed in late January. The owner cited is "strong desire to return to government service" as the reason he sold the business. Wrap N Roll sushi burrito eventually replaced the bakery.
The coffee house, one of the third wave cafes sweeping Sacramento, closed in February. It eventually reopened with most of the same staff as Insight Coffee's Capitol Cafe.
15. The Eatery
The West Sac restaurant run by Jess Milbourn closed in April due to "battles with the Board of Equalization" meaning they had tax issues. The restaurant was beloved for their Disco Fries and willingness to be part of the growing West Sac community. After the restaurant closed, Jess Milbourn had planned to open The Farmhouse at Vierra Farms, but eventually decided to become executive chef at Broderick, which allowed the owners to eventually take over Capitol Dime and Trick Pony.
Also closing this year:
16. Gelato and lunch spot Cafe Roma in June. The space across the street from the State Capitol has yet to be filled.
17. Tantric Urban Bistro, formerly located in the Esquire building, in October. It has now been replaced by Grace Coffee Roasters, owned by the mayor of Elk Grove.
18. Sam's Kosher Style Deli closed on St. Patrick's Day, after 50 years in business. The 70 year old owner cited "personal and health reasons" when asked why he was closing.
19. Cafe Soleil, located at Cesar Chavez Park, closed in mid-December after construction in the park drove hurt business. The family that owned the cafe had also faced health problems in recent years.
20. Tidbit, possibly the second best gelato spot in Midtown, wrote on a sign posted in the windown that it "will be away for a short period following Labor Day." They have yet to reopen, so I'll say this is place is closed.
21. Johnny Garlic's on Arden owned by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, closed in November. The spot was formerly Tex Wasabi, with the same ownership group.
22. Vanilla Bean Bistro, near Safeway at 19th & S, closed in September. Should we be shocked that a business that sold both cupcakes and frozen yogurt - two fads whose time had passed - closed?
23 & 24. Crush 29 & Suede Blue closed over the summer after being evicted by their landlords. In recent years, per the Sac Biz Journal, "Suede Blue had been reported several times for being delinquent in making state and federal tax payments."
25. Johnny Carino's Italian Restaurant in Natomas closed in August. While it's a chain restaurant, it was notable to me because it used to be my go-to spot to have a drink before a Kings Game. Now, I'll have to make do with Texas Roadhouse.
26. Bulls, a bar that featured a mechanical bull at 13th & H, closed in July. The spot is now filled by the promising Chaise Lounge.
27. Maybe location matters? Skybox Bar & Grill, the last in a series of sports bars located at 21st & L, closed in late February. When it opened, it said it would become a farm to fork sports bar, but on my several visits there, I couldn't find evidence that was the case.
28. Wolfgang Puck Express at the Sacramento Convention Center closed in June, depriving me of one of my go to lunch salads. It has since reopened as apizza.
29. Clark's Corner made it under the wire and closed on New Year's Eve.
30. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Folsom also closed in late December, after this post was originally published. Apparently, it was packed on nights with music and empty when it had to survive as a restaurant.
* Updated to add The Eatery in West Sac. Thanks to Twitter follower Brian Black for pointing out my oversight.
** Updated on 1/4/2015 to add Clark's Corner & Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.