Dining News: RIP Triple Double


Well, that was fast.

Triple Double, a sports bar which opened in early October with hopes to benefit from its location near the new Golden 1 Center, has closed, Cowtown Eats has confirmed.

The restaurant had just opened earlier this month.

On Wednesday morning, Cowtown Eats spoke to Joseph Waltz, one of Triple Double's owners whom I interviewed in April, who confirmed that the restaurant had closed. He declined to elaborate further, citing a need to talk to his lawyer.

This is the latest odd occurrence with the restaurant. Just before it opened, the Sac Biz Journal's Sonya Sorich reported that two out of the four known partners had left the venture.

As of earlier this week, Triple Double's Web Site had been taken down. By Oct. 16, posts on Yelp started reporting the restaurant had closed.

The Sac Biz Journal's Sonya Sorich was the first person I saw reporting that the restaurant may be closed.

This story continues to develop, and I'm working to confirm a couple more items. I'll write more if I hear more. If you worked at the restaurant or had any knowledge how/why the closing happened, please email me at

Triple Double was located at 419 J Street.

More News:

Go inside the minds of three Sacramento chefs - Find out during a special evening with three Sacramento chefs as they share their personal journeys and insights into their culinary creativity. “Inside the Creative Mind – Culinary Forum” is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Folsom Community Center, 52 Natoma St., Folsom...Sacramento Bee restaurant critic Carla Meyer will moderate a panel discussion featuring Kurt Spataro, executive chef and co-owner of the Paragary Restaurant Group, along with longtime professional chefs Randy Aprill and John Hall. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Opening date set for new sushi-burrito restaurant concept - The local sushi-burrito empire is expanding for real. Wrap 'N Roll Sushi Burrito opened its new restaurant concept on Friday, according to a Facebook message from the business. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Cider & Slider Party at Revolution Wines on Oct. 24 - Aside from the many special nights on Revolution’s calendar, one particular event stands out above the rest: the Cider & Slider Party. Come taste their new hard cider offering and pair it up with some tantalizing pulled pork sliders delivered on house-made Hawaiian rolls courtesy of Chef Teddy. Eddie Jorgensen in Submerge Mag.

Sacramento chef Carina Lampkin to compete on Food Network's 'Cutthroat Kitchen' - Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery executive chef Carina Lampkin will be featured on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen on Sunday, October 25 at 10 p.m. The episode is titled “Actions Speak Chowder Than Words,” which might mean that Lampkin got the chance to prepare her stellar seafood chowder on the show. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

First Impressions: Mexican fare meets Angus chuck at Rancho Cordova spot South Beach Grill - South Beach Grill opened in April, largely because “Carlos worked in (the Rancho Cordova) area for years and he thought there was the need for good-quality food,” Carolina Ocampo said. “You become part of a community after you spend so much time in it.” The restaurant is in the space formerly occupied by the well-known Ike’s Deli, which moved to a nearby location, got a new owner and was renamed Pocket Deli. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Triple Double" »

Dining News: Blackbird to Reopen by Oct. 23


Blackbird Kitchen & Bar, which closed in late May, plans to reopen by Oct. 23, it said on social media this week.

Blackbird officially says it will reopen in the month of October, but has been inviting followers to a West End party on 10/23, which means they plan to open before then.

Blackbird closed in May due to water damage from a broken pipe. Wrangling with their insurance company and additional renovations have delayed its targeted July 17 reopening.

** Update 9/29/2015 - Carina contacted me over the weekend to say that the West End Wonderland party will serve as its grand re-opening and does not expect to be open prior to that date.

In essence, this will be the third iteration of Blackbird. After the first iteration closed in Oct. 2013, it reopened with a slightly different ownership group surrounding founder and chef Carina Lampkin in Feb. 2014.

That iteration ended with the Flood of May 2015, and Blackbird 3.0 will reopen next month.

I stopped by Blackbird a week ago, and it looked like extensive work still needed to be done before reopening. Let's hope their reopening date doesn't slip again.


Blackbird Kitchen & Bar is located at 1015 9th St., and can be found online at

More News:

A new restaurant to serve up classic American fare with a heaping dose of nostalgia - Milestone Restaurant, the second endeavor from the owners of Aji Japanese Bistro, is expected to open this fall in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. Nick Dedier (whose “hard-core fine dining” background includes stints as GM of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville and manager of San Francisco’s Gary Danko) and chef Russell Okubo (whose own impressive résumé includes serving as executive chef for Fat’s Family of Restaurants) opened Aji together in December 2013, and are teaming up again—this time, with another industry veteran Alexa Hazelton, with whom Dedier worked at Auberge Resorts—for Milestone, which plans a late October opening. Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures announce 3 new restaurants for Downtown Commons - Today, the Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures announced three new restaurants that will open in the newly named Downtown Commons -- formerly known as Downtown Plaza -- adjacent to the new Golden 1 Center arena. The three restaurants are Pour SocietySauced BBQ and Spirits and Punch Bowl Social. In Sactown Mag.

Fruity, hazy ‘Harvest wine’ arrives in Sacramento - A European tradition whereby the grape harvest is celebrated with a glass of partially fermented juice is coming to Sacramento. Starting on or about Sept. 21, the restaurant Seasons 52 at Arden Fair will offer by glass and carafe its version of “Harvest wine,” a richly aromatic, fruity, sweet and spritzy sauvignon blanc by Mauritson Wines of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Mike Dunne in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Ginger Elizabeth’s Chocolates - Cody and Melissa scarf on some delicious chocolates provided my Ginger Elizabeth’s in honor of national chocolate day! On Good Day Sac.

Continue reading "Dining News: Blackbird to Reopen by Oct. 23" »

Dining News: Carpaccio at Localis 'Flirted With Best-Thing-I-Ever-Tasted Status'


 Localis, the latest in a string of restaurants at 21st & S, has been open almost two months, and its getting rave reviews.

The latest is from the Sac Bee's Carla Meyer:

That carpaccio dish also held cherry tomatoes, dressed in a foie gras vinaigrette, that flirted with best-thing-I-ever-tasted status. More seafood and/or vegetables, and less game, would have been welcome in the tasting menu. But the meal tasted special and thought-out, and Barnum makes a good host/chef. Friendly but low-key, he mostly lets his food speak for him.

Read the entire First Impressions column in the Sac Bee.

I've only had dessert there, and I found their strawberry dessert to be unique and impressive. I have it on the list of restaurants I want to head back to soon.


Strawberries and Cream for dessert at @eatatlocalis. ($9) Delicious. Bound for greatness.

A photo posted by Cowtown Eats (@cowtowneats) on Jul 10, 2015 at 9:05pm PDT

On a side note, I think Meyer is really hitting her stride as the Bee's restaurant reviewer. Her writing is more confident and I've noticted that her more recent reviews have been more assertive. (Please don't intrepret that as a backhanded compliment. It's not intended to be.) I look forward to reading as her restaurant critic voice gets even stronger.

Localis is located at 2031 S Street, and can be found online at

More News:

Downtown eatery resurfacing - Sacramento’s popular Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery is set to reopen in late September – about four months after closing because of water damage linked to a broken pipe. Owners initially expected to have the repairs done in four to six weeks, but it took much longer to reach an agreement with insurers over how much of the damage was due to the broken pipe and how much was pre-existing in the century-old building at 1015 Ninth St., said Anthony Priley, a partner in the venture. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

East Sacramento butcher at forefront of latest trend: Meat from the entire animal - The owners of a new butcher shop in East Sacramento want you to think beyond the ribeye. V. Miller Meats is expected to open within the next eight weeks at 4801 Folsom Blvd. As a whole-animal butcher shop, it will offer meat from the "entire animal, from nose to tail," according to Eric Veldman Miller. He owns the approximately 1,465-square-foot store with fellow chef Matt Azevedo. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Bigger, brighter, cooler - Broderick Midtown officially opened last week and the menu is identical to the West Sacramento post. But the interior is an entirely different story. It’s Broderick the way Broderick is supposed to be—open and bright; rustic and casual; with a huge bar and, more importantly, a much bigger kitchen. The place just feels cool, in large part due to the striking number of vintage Edison-style lightbulbs strewn around. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Food trucks, craft beer and live music at Harvest for Hunger event - Nab a scoop of gelato or a glass of Track 7 IPA for a good cause at the 7th annual Harvest for Hunger event. Thurs., Sept. 10. The lively street festival benefits the River City Food Bank, Sacramento’s oldest continuously serving food bank, whose volunteers have provided assistance to children, seniors, the homeless and the working poor for nearly five decades. Gregory Allen in Sactown Mag.

Hot Italian preparing to heat up Davis pizza wars - Plans are coming together for Hot Italian in Davis Commons. I met with founder Andrea Lepore, who is “super-excited to be here.” Lepore hopes to have the pizza restaurant open by late fall. It takes over the space last occupied by The Melt, and will expand into the spot behind it, where Verizon Wireless is, and add more patio seating. Verizon will move to Pinkberry’s former space. The Davis Commons center is at 500 First St. Wendy Weitzel in the Davis Enterprise.

Continue reading "Dining News: Carpaccio at Localis 'Flirted With Best-Thing-I-Ever-Tasted Status'" »

Dining News: Noodles to Thai For to Replace Shoki on 24th


Shoki Ramen House, which is in the process of moving from its original location on 24th St. in Curtis Park to the old Trails Restaurant on 21st St., will be replaced by Noodles to Thai For.

I reached out to the restaurant owners on Thursday afternoon for more details, but did not hear back as of the time of publication.

On Twitter, this is how they tease their restaurant:

Do you like Thai food? Do you like noodles? Do you like Thai noodles? Well, Noodles to Thai for is coming to Sac ...See you soon!!

The restaurant, which had targeted an August opening, now expects to open in September.

As for Shoki, I drive by their new location once a week, but it still looks like construction is going on inside the building. I'll let you know when it opens. Of course, those seeking their Shoki fix can still head to their R street location.

* Photo via their Twitter account.

More News:

Hot-pot restaurant Boiling Avenue joins local dining mix - While hot pots are often a group endeavor, Boiling Avenue will specialize in "mini personal hot pots," according to Tran. Each guest will prepare his or her own meal in a personal-size pot over heat. Individual meals usually take between five and eight minutes to cook. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Downtown Sacramento sports-bar owner to revive Beermann's in Lincoln - The developer of a high-profile new sports bar near Golden 1 Center has another project in the works — reviving Beermann’s in downtown Lincoln. Curtis Smith owns the building that formerly housed the Zokku nightclub at 419 J St. in downtown Sacramento. Another group will open and operate sports bar Triple Double in that building within the next month. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery - Major changes include what co-owner and executive chef Carina Lampkin calls a “bigger, badder" 30-foot-long redwood bar that will run the length of the downstairs tavern (as opposed to two smaller bars in the space)...She expects renovations to be complete by mid-September. In Sactown Mag.

Sacramento Ranks Among Craft Beer-Loving Cities - It’s no secret that the River City loves its craft beer. According to Market Watch, craft brew accounts for a third of all the beer sold in Sacramento. Ian McDonald on FOX 40.

Rita’s of Folsom a family destination - After making Rita’s Italian Ice a family destination for their household, Holly and Michael Kane decided to open a Rita’s in Folsom to share their family favorite with the Folsom community. Rita’s of Folsom opened Monday in the Folsom Central Shopping Plaza at 1177 Riley St. in Folsom, across from the Folsom Aquatic Center. Laura Newell in the El Dorado Hills Telegraph.

Continue reading "Dining News: Noodles to Thai For to Replace Shoki on 24th" »

Dining News: Pizzeria Urbano Reopens, Blackbird Temporarily Closed

Two months after a fire at Pizzeria Urbano forced its closure, the restaurant at the MARRS building reopened today, it announced on Twitter.

According to a mid-April article by Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review:

Apparently, one of Urbano’s ovens was too close to a wall. Gradually over time, the wall overheated and flamed up. It was quickly contained, but Ulloa needed to build a new wall. That process took serious time: “find a contractor, plans, bids, insurance,” Ulloa said, but most consuming is getting new permits from the city and the health department. Last week, Ulloa hoped his new wall would do the trick, but inspectors told him to rebuild on Friday.

At that time, they expected to reopen in early May. Like most restaurant construction projects, it took longer than expected.

Pizzeria Urbano is located at 1050 20th St., and can be found online at

More News:

Water damage temporarily closes downtown’s Blackbird Kitchen - Popular downtown Sacramento restaurant Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery will be closed for four to six weeks just as the season for the nearby “Concerts in the Park” is heating up. Water damage from a broken pipe is to blame, said Carina Lampkin, Blackbird’s executive chef and partner...“We’re hoping to use the down time to get everything done and reopen as Blackbird 3.0,” Lampkin said, calling it an “unexpected but welcome” renovation. Ed Fletcher in the Sac Bee.

Gastronomicon: Most American Thickburger brings out the worst in our country - There is nothing fun or cute about the Most American Thickburger, the newest monstrosity from Carl’s Jr. Much like the American Dream, it is the sale of an empty promise that leaves you both malnourished and obese. Carl’s Jr. hates America. There’s no other way to describe the utter contempt they display for our nation when they announced its name. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Startup of the Month: Requested - If you want to eat out but can’t decide which restaurant to go to, try asking yourself a different question: How much do I want to pay? That’s the idea behind Requested, a name-your-price app that’s been turning Sacramento’s dining arena into a digital bidding zone. Similar to Priceline, users choose how much they want to pay for a predetermined value (i.e. $40 for what would be a $50 tab), then choose and submit to select restaurants to see who bites. Whoever responds first wins. After the payment goes through, the customer receives a mobile voucher to be redeemed at the time reserved or within 15 minutes. Russell Nichols in Comstocks Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Pizzeria Urbano Reopens, Blackbird Temporarily Closed" »

Dining News: Now Open - Pre-Flite Lounge


Welcome back. Welcome home! @888shots @jfavour @artbyraphael @smurphylee26 @chan_tz @lauraebraden

A photo posted by maya wallace (@sactomaya) on Feb 18, 2015 at 9:11pm PST

Pre-Flite Lounge, forced to move to make way for the new Kings arena, has opened at its new location on 10th St., across from Grange.

A call Wednesday evening was unanswered, but on it appears the dive bar has been open for at least a couple days.

The first Yelp review for the new location was posted yesterday. Owner Jason Yee also posted a picture on Yelp yesterday of a fully-stocked bar, and restaurant Mother posted a picture on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon showing a full bar.

Given its much better & convenient location, I can see the new spot becoming very successful.

Yee originally hoped to have the restaurant by December.

Previously: CBS 13 gets a tour of the space before it was built out.

Pre Flite Lounge will be located at 1011 10th St., and can be found online at

More News:

Hawks Restaurant getting closer to opening in long-vacant Alhambra Boulevard location - Interior construction should take about three months, Hawks said, putting the restaurant's likely opening date in early May. The existing site on the northeast corner of Stockton and Alhambra has two shell buildings separated by a small courtyard, so lots of interior work is still to come, she said. The buildings have been vacant since they were built in 2010. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Skill, passion and polish found at The Press - These days, I cannot think of another restaurant in this category and price point that’s doing it any better. From the sourcing of ingredients to the exquisite, always-dialed-in seasoning of the food, The Press has the quality-to-value ratio worked out just right. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

More beer businesses planned in midtown - If you're thirsty for more beer in midtown Sacramento, you're in luck. The owners of Sac Brew Bike are adding a taproom to their business, and other entrepreneurs plan to open a taproom and beer store in the area. Sac Brew Bike, which entered the area last year, conducts local craft beer tours with two 15-passenger bikes. Currently, people show up for the tours on the street. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

French restaurant gets new space in El Dorado Hills - An upscale eatery in El Dorado Hills is downsizing, but the restaurant's manager says the smaller space is a step in the right direction. Cafe C opened in a space below Chili's near the movie theater in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. It's a new incarnation of Cafe Campanile, which was located across from Bistro 33 in the town center since 2004. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Blackbird expects its popularity to rise when arena is built - He envisions transforming the roof of Blackbird's building into a beer garden and imagines that Kings fans — even those who don't flock to the new arena — will arrive at the restaurant in droves "just to watch the game and be here if the players or owners drop in after the game." Neither Gregorakis nor Carina Lampkin, who each own 30 percent of the business, owns the building itself, which also houses the basement studio of Matt Brown, Blackbird's director (and selector) of art. Ed Goldman in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open - Pre-Flite Lounge" »

15 Most Popular Sacramento Happy Hours of 2014


Thank you for visiting Cowtown Eats and for making 2014 the biggest year yet! Cowtown Eats had more than 828,000 page views and 244,850 unique users. Also, thanks to valued sponsors like Strings Urban Kitchen who make Cowtown Eats possible. Please continue to tell your friends about the site.

These rankings are based on which happy hours Cowtown Eats readers are clicking on.

15. The Cheesecake Factory


Sure it's a chain restaurant, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a following and a good happy hour. The Cheesecake Factory is a new addition to the top 15 list in 2014. 1771 Arden Way, Sacramento.

Click here for The Cheesecake Factory's happy hour info.


14. Fat's Asia Bistro (Roseville & Folsom)


Last year, the Fat Family's Frank Fats restaurant was named an America's Classic by the James Beard Foundation for its timeless appeal. Now, the family's Fat's Asia Bistr has won an award that's likely a close second to winning a James Beard Award - 14th most popular happy hour on Cowtown Eats in 2014. 2585 Iron Point Rd in Folsom and 1500 Eureka Road in Roseville.

Click here for Fat's Asia Bistro happy hour info.


13. Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery


Like a phoenix, Blackbird rose from its ashes and reopened with a tweaked concept in February 2014. While it got off to a rocky start, the reviews have generally gotten better over the months.  If you haven't checked them out recently, at least give their happy hour a try. 1009 9th St., Sacramento.

Click here for Blackbird's happy hour info.

Continue reading "15 Most Popular Sacramento Happy Hours of 2014" »