First of two parts.
With the new arena and a strong economy, 2016 will be a banner year for restaurants opening in the greater Sacramento area. Here are some of the most anticipated:
1. OBO' Italian
The latest restaurant by family who own Ella, The Kitchen and Selland's Market Cafe, OBO' Italian will be "a casual, food-centric dining experience and feature a full bar and patio dining, as well as take out and catering." The menu was originally created by Chef Kelly McCown, formerly of Ella and St. Helena's Goose & Gander. However, due to delays in the restaurant's opening, Chef McCown has moved on to helm the Kitchen, with family patriarch Randall Selland promising to find another chef to run OBO' Italian. The restaurant is expected to open in May and will be located at 3145 Folsom Blvd. Click here for more information.
2. Kru Sushi
More of a relocation rather than an entirely new restaurant, Billy Ngo's Kru will move from its cramped current location at 2516 J St. to a new, larger space next to OBO' Italian where they'll have a more spacious kitchen serving more diners. Kru is expected to open at its new location at 3145 Folsom Blvd in June. Click here for more information.
3. Saddle Rock
Saddle Rock, which replaces Capital Dime at 18th & L, will feature a collaboration between rising star chef Kevin O'Connor and Working Class Heroes, the team behind Broderick. The restaurant is named after one of Sacramento's first eateries, Saddle Rock Restaurant, and the menu is expected to highlight Sacramento's history and culture. The space has been "coming soon" for the last 6 months or so, but I think it'll be worth the wait. Click here for more information.
Replacing the beloved Doughbot at 2226 10th St., Binchoyaki will feature "fabulous yakitori plus good sake plus awesome company." They'll have The Grid's only robata, where food items are cooked on skewers over sumi charcoal. Their signage just went up in the past week, so they're getting closer to opening. I'm excited. Click here for more information.
5. Old Soul Co. and Pullman Bar
Expanding from their roots as a cafe, Old Soul Co. will add a restaurant to its newest location on R Street, Sacramento's hottest up and coming retail corridor. Located across the street from Bottle & Barlow at the Warehouse Artist Lofts at 12th & R, Old Soul Co. and Pullman bar is expected to be separate cafe and restaurant entrances, with an interior pass through so customers can easily travel between the two establishments. Click here for more information.
6. Save Point Tavern
Sacramento lacks a gaming bar. Save Point aims to fix that by offering hundreds of board games, video games and of course, food and drinks. They successfully raised $27,000 on Kickstarter in 2015 and hope to open in 2016 at 6531 Folsom Blvd. in East Sac. Click here for more information.
7. The Jungle Bird
After Kru departs its current location, The Jungle Bird, owned in part by the owners of Tank House, will fill the space at 2516 J Street. While no details have been announced about the concept, The Jungle Bird is the name of a tropical drink, and Tiki Bars are one of the hottest trends. Click here for more information.
8. Malt & Mash Irish Pub
Opening in mid-March, Malt & Mash at the site of the former Three Monkeys at 7th & K, "will be an intimate Irish pub that pays tribute to the building's historic past," according to a help wanted ad on Facebook. The restaurant is expected to open in mid March. Click here for more information.
9. El Rey
El Rey, opening earlyMarch, will feature a high energy, cocktail driven dining experience with tacos anchoring the menu. It will share a building with El Rey at 7th & K. Click here for more information.
10. Fieldwork Brewing Co.
The Berkeley-based brewery will expand into Sacramento with a tasting room at 1805 between Zocalo and The Press Bistro. They hope to open this summer. Click here for more information.
11. Skool on K
Skool on K, the Sacramento outpost for a San Francisco-based seafood restaurant, is scheduled to open on Friday, Feb. 12, it announced on Facebook. Their cusine is "is fish focused and embodies a variety of unique clean flavored dishes cooked with Japanese ingredients. Skool also offers a variety of meat, gluten free and vegetarian dishes," it says on its Web site. It will be located at 2319 K Street. Click here for more information.
12. Vampire Penguin - Natomas
Vampire Penguin, the fast growing shaved snow and desserts eatery, is scheduled to open its new Natomas location on Feb. 20 at 3620 North Freeway Blvd. The Natomas location will be the seventh outpost, with locations serving South Sacramento, Downtown Sac, Elk Grove, Berkeley, San Mateo and Reno. Click here for more information.
13. Whired Wine
Whired Wine whose name is a combination of both WHIte and RED wines, opened earlier this week at 401 L Street. It's the first in a spate of restaurants expected to open near the new arena, featuring a menu created by Chef Cecil Rhodes of Cecil's Taste Food Truck. Click here for more information.
14. Selland's Market Cafe - Broadway
Once targeted to be the new home of the ultra expensive The Kitchen, Selland Restaurant Group has decided to add a third location of its casual Selland's Market Cafe to 915 Broadway. The new location is expected to open in the fall. Click here for more information.
15. Chando's Tacos - West Sac
The very popular Chando's Tacos is adding a West Sacramento location, near the West Sac Beer District, presumably to capitalize on the craft beer enthusiasts who need sustinance. While the area already features an Oscar's Very Mexican Food, you can never have too many Mexican restaurants. The restaurant is expected to open in March. Click here for more information.
16. The Coconut Midtown - T Street
Midtown's The Coconut Thai Restaurant is adding a second location, replacing Capital Tea Garden at 1110 T Street and around the corner from South. The restaurant is expected to open in February. Click here for more information.
17. La Cosecha
Spanish for the harvest, La Cosecha will be a counter service eatery serving tacos, salads and soups coming to Cesar Chavez Park by the owner of Mayahuel at 12th & K. It may open as early as this spring. Click here for more information.
18. Culinerdy Cruzer Brick & Mortar Location
After raising $20,000 from its fans on Kickstarter, food truck The Culinerdy Cruzer run by Amy and Keith Breedlove will open a brick and mortar location in Elk Grove. Chef Keith is probably Sacramento's chef with the most TV appearances under his belt, appearing regularly on FOX 40 and doing stints on Food Network shows such as Cutthroat Kitchen, Guys Grocery Games and Man vs Child. In addition to the numerous TV appearances, Breedlove served as the State Fair's official chef in 2015. Click here for more information.
19. Takumi Izakaya Bar
Not much is known about this upcoming restaurant at 826 J Street, replacing Sushi Paradiso near the new Golden 1 Center. Based on shared names and addresses in Takumi Izakaya's liquor license application and filings with the Secretary of State, it appears that the new restaurant will share ownership with the popular Bonzai Sushi, located in Sacramento's Pocket neighborhood. Click here for more information.
20. Shoki Ramen House - 21st Street
Shoki Ramen House closed its 24th Street location in January 2015 and hoped to be moved into its new location at 2530 21st St. by Valentine's Day. A year later, it's on the cusp of opening the 21st Street location after construction delays. Click here for more information.
21. Pushkins Bakery - Midtown
The gluten free bakery is moving to 1813 Capitol Ave., the ground floor of a new mixed use development, in April from its current spot on 29th Street, near Zocalo, The Press Bistro and the upcoming Fieldwork Brewing Co. The new location is expected to serve breakfas, lunch as well as their signature gluten free baked goods and coffee. Click here for more information.
22. Firehouse Crawfish
Sapporo Grill at 1118 16th St. was sold and will become a Firehouse Crawfish. The restaurant specializes in a seafood boil where diners select a seafood, a flavor (original, fusion, lemon pepper, garlic roasted, butter, etc.) and level of spiciness from mild like a rookie to call the fire department. Click here for more information.
23. Sauced BBQ & Spirits
Coming to the Downtown Commons district (DoCo) outside the new Golden 1 Center, Sauced BBQ & Spirits will be the first Sacramento location for a restaurant with locations in Livermore and Petaluma. The family-owned restaurant fetures "authentic Southern inspired BBQ" and craft cocktails. Click here for more information.
24. Unnamed Upsacle Taqueria in Oak Park
Tom Schnetz, the owner of five trendy East Bay restaurants, has returned to his hometown to open restaurants with his brother David. First, they opened The Cinders Bar at the site of the former strip club The Embers. Now, they have their eyes set on an upscale taqueria at 3501 3rd. Ave. in Oak Park. A quick search shows that their liquor license is still pending and there's no announced name for the business yet. Click here for more information.
25. Sail Inn - West Sacramento
With the opening of B-Side behind Team Shady Lady, they now turn their attention to The Sail In Grotto & Bar in West Sac. One of the owners Garrett Van Vleck Facebooked an image of the bar area in mid-December showing that it's on its way. It shouldn't be long now. Click here for more information.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.