Bottle & Barlow

Dining News: This Local App Helps You Get Discounts or Skip Long Restaurant Lines

IMG_2502Screen shot from Monday night showing restaurants giving discounts.

Requested App, by a team that includes Sonny Mayugba, a partner in midtown's Red Rabbit, recently launched version three of its restaurant app.

I asked him to help Cowtown Eats readers understand what the app does and how it works.

Here's an e-mail Q & A I did with Mayugba over the last week:

1. A third iteration of Requested was just released. How has the concept evolved over time and what does it do now?

Our core concept has not changed at all: we want to help independent merchants keep doing what they love and connect great customers to great places. However, the way we’ve tried to achieve this through the product has evolved like crazy!

First, we gave users the ability to name their own price in a Request and merchants the ability to approve or deny those Requests. People liked the concept, but the app was too complicated. We spoke with hundreds of users and restaurant partners, listened to their feedback, and simplified the experience. It is the best thing we’ve ever done. Now users view a selection of dynamically-priced table options they can book which vary in price depending on time of day.

That’s just the discovery side of the app, however. The real magic of Requested is in the dining experience itself. After your table is booked, you go to the restaurant and the host already knows your name. You get excellent service and when you’re done, you can just leave. The payment for your meal, including tip (a percentage you can adjust in the app during your meal), is calculated and handled through the app. You never have to worry about waiting for the check or calculating the tip, and we email you your receipt when you walk out the door.

The seamless payment system through Requested saves servers and diners an average of 10 minutes per table, and that really adds up. The other side of it is that our default tip percentage in the app is 20%, and while users can lower the tip amount, most do not. So the value of a customer using Requested is generally higher for servers, which makes for a better, happier experience all around.

While 20% may sound steep to some people (and like I said before, they can adjust the percentage), as someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for decades and now co-owns a restaurant, I believe that staff deserves that level of tipping, so I love that the app is inadvertently helping out some of the hardest-working people I know.

2. Why did you move away from some of the previous features?

Data and behavior. When you build a product or create anything - a song, a poem, a restaurant, a new car - you have preconceived notions on how people will react. And as entrepreneurs, we’re always too optimistic. And as founders, we all have two things in common: notions of what will work and things we want to build that will make our time spent meaningful. But those two things can be nebulous and shifting. The one factor we all can agree on is data.

We launched in March of 2015. And between then and now, we shipped a few cool features. But there were three glaring data points that caused us to pivot:

Thousands of people were starting requests, but only hundreds were sending them. Of the hundreds that were sending them, only 50% were getting their request accepted.

Forcing our restaurant partners to say “no”, even to a seemingly obvious ludicrous request, was damaging across the board.

We could dive deep for hours into this question, but those were the primary factors that caused us to look at changing how the app functioned. Everyone - foodies, restaurants, press and investors - really loves our concept. But in order to accomplish our goal of making the restaurants more busy and foodies happy, we had to do the following:

Move from ~15 taps, wait 10 minutes, get a no half the time…

to

Make the app two taps with an instant guaranteed yes every time.

And that’s exactly what we did.

3. What restaurants in Sacramento participate?

Independent, locally owned and operated places that are awesome. We curate our merchants. You can’t just sign up. You will not see a Subway, Panera or Wendy’s on Requested. I’m not against those places, I even love In N’ Out, but our mission is to grow the business of our independent restaurants without incurring any additional fixed costs. And we’re literally doing that and it’s providing true incremental margin to their bottom line.

With the success of our latest version of the app, we’re actually a little backlogged working to get a bunch of new places live! The best way to know which places are on Requested is to take out your phone and launch the app right now. Keep checking, because the list keeps growing.

4. How does the app know how much of a discount a restaurant is offering?

Some things need to remain a secret.

5. You guys are nice guys, but there must be something for you. What's the revenue stream

Awww, thanks! Of course there’s something in it for us, we need to be around forever and you can’t do that on nothing. Our app is 100% free to consumers and there is no upfront cost or fees to our merchant partners. However, when someone places a reservation and enjoys their experience, Requested receives a percentage. We’re like eBay and HotelTonight. We only get paid if both sides of our market are successful and happy.

6. Why should someone use the Requested App instead of some of the other reservation systems out there?

There are two key differentiators:

  1. With Requested, you can get a table as usual, or get a table and score a discount on your entire bill, or score a hard-to-get table by paying a premium. We have dynamic pricing.
  2. With Requested, you pay on your phone. So when you’re done, the total sales, along with your gratuity to the server, is processed through your phone. And that saves you and the restaurant 10 minutes. We're like uber for restaurants!

7. Who is behind this app?

Requested has 8 employees, four of which are founders and we’re all local to Sacramento:

Sonny Mayugba, Nichole Barnum, Jon Shumate, and Carlos Rivera are all founders. Dani Loebs heads up growth, Randy Balzarano heads up sales, Carlos Sola-Llonch is our Senior software developer and Katie Stein is our Merchant Ambassador. We also have a key Angel investor, Dave Pringle, who leads a lot of our structure and financial development and lead our first friends and family round of investment. We have an Advisory Board of amazing and active people. Our seed series round was led by Jason Calacanis, so we work closely with him and his tribe. Plus, we were funded by Social+Capital Partnership, so they weigh in on our development as well. We also have half a dozen part-time employees. We’re a small, scrappy team driven by a love of tech and restaurants and bars.

8. Is there anything else that I haven't asked that people should know about?

That’s a great question. I want our mission to be clear: we help high quality local businesses do what they love. So as we evolve, we are saluting this everyday.

On a fun note, something we’ve started with Requested that has been really fun are our happy hour parties. We partner with our restaurants and users every week or so to talk about the app, stay in the know about innovation and happenings in Sacramento and always keep the feedback and dialogue open with our users base. To find out more about our events, I’m just going to give a quick shout out to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our events, because usually we give away free cash on the app.

One more thing! We have a pretty killer referral program built right in the app itself. Users can send $10 to their friends to try Requested, and if the friends use it, the user who sent the invite gets $10 dropped into their account as a thank you. So if you have a big social network and love Requested, we’ll pay you to spread the word.

Lastly, I encourage anyone and everyone to contact me directly. My cell is 916-320-3560 (text me) or email me at sonny@requestedapp.com or tweet me at @sonnymayugba. Most of all, thank you for all the support. -Sonny Mayugba

For Cowtown Eats readers who are just trying out the app, you can get a $10 credit by entering the by getting the app here. (Disclosure: I get $10 also when you get the free $10 in credit.)

The Requested Team is also holding a Happy Hour at Alley Katz on Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., where they'll give you a code for $5 (which is basically buying your first beer) and 15 percent off the rest of the night. Click here to register.

More News:

Meet the chefs working this year’s Tower Bridge Dinner - The chefs team for the Bridge Dinner: from left, Matt Azevedo (Z. Miller Meats), Vinnie Lazzaretto (Hook & Ladder), Brock MacDonald (Block Butcher Bar), Ravin Patel (Selland Family Restaurants), Oliver Ridgeway (Grange), Patrick Prager (Marriott Rancho Cordova), Bret Bohlmann (Boulevard Bistro) and Jim Mills (Produce Express). Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Bottle & Barlow's Jayson Wilde - Earlier this summer, bartender Jayson Wilde teamed up with barber Anthony Giannotti to open Bottle & Barlow, Sacramento’s first bar and barbershop under one roof. Wilde grew up near Natomas and learned the cocktail business as a bartender’s assistant at Shady Lady Saloon before going to work at San Francisco’s famed Bourbon & Branch. SF Weekly named him one of San Francisco’s new generation of bar stars when he was 28. Now 33, he’s back in his hometown, planting his craft-cocktail flag on the city’s white-hot R Street Corridor. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Pieology has quick, crispy pizza down to a science - The thin crust is perfectly crisp, with char visible on bottom, and tastes just salty enough to be memorable. There’s not enough material here to compare it with local craft pizza houses’ crusts, which tend to be larger. But crust crispiness remained consistent through the 10 Pieology pizzas we tried. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Temple Coffee & Tea - The local third-wave coffee mecca is taking its first step out of Sacramento and opened its doors in a new downtown Davis location on Aug.15. The interior will feature Japanese-inspired design with a 32-foot-long solid oak community table, thoughtful touches like a mid-century modern clock. In Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

Bring the Funk - It looks like 9999 Thai-Laos Boat Noodle could still use more luck. On multiple visits, the spacious restaurant was completely empty, or contained just one other party. That meant more than 120 seats lay vacant, plus a large, desolate bar. A karaoke stage and its accompanying dramatic music videos hint at 9999’s potential as a nighttime destination. But for now, it’s just another undiscovered gem in south Sacramento. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

VIDEO: Lord of Rice - Finalists in Mikuni's Lord of Rice competition will go head-to-head to see who reigns supreme when it comes to rice. On Good Day Sac.

Continue reading "Dining News: This Local App Helps You Get Discounts or Skip Long Restaurant Lines" »


Dining News: Magpie's New Tipping System, Explained

 

Can anyone help me understand this?We had a terrific brunch at the new Magpie Cafe this morning, but when the bill...

Posted by Thomas Dodson on Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's been a big month for Magpie. At the beginning of the month, they moved from their original R Street location to a new building at 16th & P.

Magpie instituted a new tipping system, the first restaurant in Northern California to institute this back of the house reward. I had a conversation with Magpie owner Ed Roehr on Sunday morning at Nido, and he helped provide the information for some of the answers below.

Q: So what Magpie's new tipping system?

A: In addition to the traditional system where a receipt lists the food and drink total and adds a line for a server gratuity, Magpie has added a line for a kitchen tip. The rationale is that while the front of the house staff has much to do with how satisfied with how a diner is, the kitchen staff/back of the house and the food they prepare also plays a role.

Q: Why don't restaurants just collect the tip and split it among the servers and kitchen staff?

A: In California, that's illegal. According to the California Restaurant Association's Web site, tips can only be pooled and distributed to those in the chain of service, not to the kitchen staff in the back of the house. Wait staff may voluntairly share their tips with the back of the house, but servers are still responsible for paying tax on that money before it gets gifted. If you're really interested in the nitty gritty of the topic, read this Nolo.com article on tipping.

Q: Why not just charge more for food and eliminate tipping?

A: One of the biggest problems with this is that the restaurant owner isn't required to pay his or her employees more. Diners may be paying 20% more for your food, you may not be leaving a tip at the end of the meal, but the restaurant staff isn't guaranteed a penny more in base wages than what they would make at a restaurant down the street.

Q: Where did Magpie get this idea from?

A: Alimento, a "creative and soulful Italian restaurant" in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, which implemented the kitchen tip in Dec. 2014. Read more at Eater.com.

Q: Will I see this in other restaurants?

A: Other Sacramento restaurants are watching closely. Magpie says they've been contacted by several Sacramento restaurant owners, but they are taking a wait and see attitude. Should this experiment be successful, expect it to spread.

Q: So how much should I tip on each line?

A: Tipping is always voluntary. However, Magpie suggests that you add a buck or two to your bill to reward the kitchen staff. Here's a note they include with each bill:

Tipping is always...

Q: How is it working out thus far?

A: It's only been in effect for several weeks and the response has been all over the map. Some people aren't taking advantage of the opportunity to leave the kitchen a tip, some are tipping the same amount but redistributing it between the two lines, and there are some very generous people who are leaving the server tip the same and leaving a hefty kitchen tip too. It's too soon to draw conclusions from their data.

Q: How did the servers take it?

A: At first, there was a lot of apprehension, but after Magpie owners fully explained the concept, they say servers have started to come on board.

Q: What is this Nido you refer to in the intro?

A: Nido Cafe replaced Magpie at 14th & R. It's a cafe run by the same owners, serving breakfast and lunch only for now. I had a delicious biscuit, egg and bacon sandwich there on Sunday morning. It was like a delicious and from scratch version of the one you get at McDonald's when you're hung over.

Thanks again to Magpie owner Roehr for taking the time to talk to me and explain.

You can also read a long Facebook post with many comments on the new kitchen tip here.

More News:

First Impressions: Magpie offers more space, same seasonal freshness - The move to a larger space was a smart one, considering the amount of business Magpie draws. The food on our lunch visit was as high quality as ever. The heirloom tomatoes in the BLT were fat and juicy, and the bacon crisp yet malleable. That bacon also contributes to the ingredient- and flavor-stacked goodness of Magpie’s burger, which is anchored by a substantial, perfectly seasoned Niman chuck patty. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Bakery/cafe is ready for its debut on R Street - Well, that was fast. Weeks after opening a new location at 16 Powerhouse, the owners of Magpie Cafe are ready to reopen their R Street site with a new format. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

New brewery prepares to open in East Sacramento - The wait is almost over for fans of Twelve Rounds Brewing Co., a new brewery in East Sacramento. The venue will hold its soft opening Aug. 1, according to a Facebook post from the business. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Transcendent berries: Strawberries and cream, Localis - Strawberries, both raw and roasted, are served with purple shiso, a delicate panna cotta and a delightful little serving of strawberry sorbet. It sounds simple, and it is. It's the eloquent execution that's so transcendent. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Questionable Trivia at Easy on I - Do you know the lyrics to every Beatles song by heart? How about the name of the dog that Russia shot into orbit during the space race? Or what “apiology” is the study of? You’re in luck: Your useless knowledge can be put to work. At the cozy Easy on I bar and grill on Thursday nights, charming quizmaster Matt Russell, owner of Questionable Trivia, rattles off ever more challenging questions relating to the night’s three categories, typically broken up by two rounds of specific topics, which change every week, and one catch-all round of general knowledge. Barbara Harvey in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Magpie's New Tipping System, Explained" »


Dining News: 7x7's 'Modern Guide to Sacramento'

 

7x7

California's Austin, not The New Oakland.

That's how 7x7, a popular San Francisco's Web site that celebrates "trailblazing spirit and to maximize every moment in this magnificent place," describes Sacramento.

(FYI - The site's name is a reference to the roughly 49 square miles within San Francisco's borders.)

7x7 writer Garrick Ramirez is actually pretty spot on with his recommendations for those venturing from 90 miles down I-80.

Among his dining suggestions:

Preservation & Co: "Take home Sacramento-priced bottles of the shop's housemade sriracha, pickled beets, and the killer bloody mary mix that made them famous."

Ruhstaller: "The real joy comes from visiting their hop farm in nearby Dixon. Haybales, wooden spool tables, rustic shelters and sunset campfires lend a magical setting."

Coin-Op Game Room: "Old-school favorites like Roadblasters, Simpsons, and AC/DC pinball sport handy cup holders for the huge selection of craft beers."

Shady Lady Saloon: "Hidden inside a historic masonry building, this unpretentious cocktail bar plays up the city's Gold Rush past with bordello chic interiors."

Federalist Public House: "A lively crowd assembles for pizzas and pints at this modern beer garden comprised of white shipping containers, a bocce court and rooftop garden."

Also featured are Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Devine Gelateria, Bottle & Barlow, Temple Coffee and Hook & Ladder.

This is the second time in recent months that Sacramento has been featured by a SF-focused publication.

Read the entire story on 7x7.

More News:

Alcoholic boba tea now for sale at Lazi Cow in Davis - If you’ve ever wished you could get drunk on tapioca milk tea, get ready to find fulfillment in Davis. Lazi Cow (407 G Street) shut down for a few months this spring for a major remodel. The boba shop held its grand re-opening in June with cow print walls, a large cow sculpture that doubles as a bench, a swing—why not? Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Get ready for more doughnut ice cream sandwiches - The Parlor built a following -- so much, in fact, that this week the owners confirmed a Roseville location is in the works. It will be at 1490 Eureka Road, in the Eureka Ridge shopping center, and is scheduled to open in late July or early August. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Roseville tapioca shop closes - Fans of Tapioca Express in Roseville will have to get their fix elsewhere. A sign outside the store at 1132 Galleria Blvd. says it's "closing indefinitely" Thursday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Dining review: In Roseville, ASR’s food does not match its ambition - Roseville’s ASR Restaurant & Lounge, which measures 11,000 square feet when counting a patio outfitted with cabanas and a VIP section, unfortunately leans more rule than exception. Though admirably thorough – open every day, the restaurant serves lunch, dinner and late-night bites – it falters at the detail level, on such key matters as flavor combinations and consistent service. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Fish Face kicks off Sacramento's poke trend - Fish Face is chiefly a to-go poke stand, inspired by the shops that dish out raw fish salad by weight in Hawaii. There, you’d stare at pre-made combinations—kimchi octopus, sesami tuna, spicy shrimp—before making a decision. At Fish Face, you build your own salad. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: 7x7's 'Modern Guide to Sacramento'" »


Dining News: Cafe Bernardo/KBAR/Assembly at 10th & K Closed Due to 'Insect/Rodent Infestation'

Image1

KBar and Cafe Bernardo at the corner at 10th & K Streets were closed on Tuesday evening, according to a Cowtown Eats tipster.

Per to the sign posted on the door and e-mailed to Cowtown Eats, the restaurant was closed on Tuesday, 7/21 due to a "insect/rodent infestation."

Multiple calls to KBAR on Tuesday evening were not answered, and KBAR made no mention of it on its Facebook or Twitter accounts. Online county records have yet to be updated to include Tuesday's report, though it generally takes a day or two for the report to be put online.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence and good or great Sacramento restaurants sometimes fall victim to closures by the county health department. In recent memory, Sapporo Grill and Daniel Pont's La Bonne Soupe Cafe were both closed by health officials. Mulvaney's B&L was also the nexus of a norovirus outbreak.

I did an interview in July 2012 with a representative of the health department, where I learned the following:

When the county comes out to inspect a restaurant, they can give a green, yellow or red placard. A green card means the level of compliance was "acceptable." A yellow placard means that violations were observed that required immediate correction and a follow-up inspection that will be conducted within 24 to 72 hours. A red placard is given for two reasons. The first is that there is an imminent danger to public health or safety. Examples of this would be cockroaches, rats, a lack of hot water or sewage issues. The second reason a red placard is given is as a punishment for multiple and repeated lessor violations, generally meaning four or more yellow or red placards in the last 24 months.

According to county records, the Cafe Bernardo/KBAR/Assembly complex passed its three most recent inspections in October 2014, December 2014 and March 2015.

Generally, restaurants clean up their act and are reopened within a day or two. I would expect the same from KBAR. I know some people find these temporary closures unsettling, once they're reopened, I don't think there's much to worry about. I ate at KBAR last week and I plan to go again soon.

More News:

Sacramento winery RailBridge planning new eatery in historic Elks Tower - A Sacramento winery is turning its focus to one of downtown’s most iconic buildings for a new restaurant venture planned for this fall. RailBridge Cellars & Company is scheduled to open in the first week of October, occupying 1,800 square feet of space on the ground floor of the Elks Tower at 11th and J streets. Launched by the brain trust behind RailBridge Cellars winery (itself based blocks away on North 16th Street), the restaurant is expected to emphasize both California cuisine and the vintage ambiance of its historic home. S.T. Vanairsdale in Sactown Mag.

Greens, egg and Spam: Loaded musubi, Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito - Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito's “loaded” Spam musubi—a cross between a plain musubi and a sushi burrito—has finally solved that problem. It has seaweed on the outside, with a delicious combo of rice, lettuce, Spam, green onion, an over-easy egg and spicy sauce inside. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

New brewery coming to El Dorado Hills - The hills are alive with visions of English ales. El Dorado Hills is getting a new brewery. EDH Brewing Co. is expected to open at 875 Embarcadero Drive by the end of summer, according to owner Dennis Dovala. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

10 sweet ice cream shops to visit during National Ice Cream Month - July is National Ice Cream month and from downtown to the foothills, we’ve got the scoop on some irresistible, local frozen desserts. Featuring Devine Gelateria, Gunther's Ice Cream, Baker's Donuts, The Parlor, Sweet Dozen, Leatherby's Family Creamery, Snobites and Vic's Ice Cream. In Sactown Mag.

Wienerschnitzel franchisee doesn’t need a college degree to be MVP - A teenage Farouk Diab immigrated to the United States over his parent’s objections in 1975, desperate for a job and deeply desiring a college degree. The Israeli native never got the degree, though he tried. He did land a part-time job cleaning the bathrooms at a Wienerschnitzel restaurant in San Jose. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Cafe Bernardo/KBAR/Assembly at 10th & K Closed Due to 'Insect/Rodent Infestation'" »


Dining News: Bottle & Barlow to Open on Saturday

Bottle and barlow

Bottle & Barlow, the buzzy barbershop/bar combo, will open to the public on Saturday, one of the owners announced on Instagram.

Sonya Sorich in the Sac Biz Journal (where I first saw this reported) has a little more on the place:

For the new venue, Giannotti is partnering with Jayson Wilde, who will be at the forefront of the "bottle" part of the business. Wilde's background includes time at San Francisco's Bourbon & Branch.

Barbershop prices at Bottle & Barlow range from $26 for a haircut to $45 for a top-shelf straight razor shave, according to a menu of services posted on Facebook.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

The Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson elaborated in an afternoon post:

The staff education alone is unusually intense, featuring eight days of training and a rigorous testing program prior to opening. There were also extensive blind tastings of every spirit in the bar to ensure that quality won out over a label’s reputation...

"There has been a lot of effort and a lot of thought put into everything,” Bazett said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just a high-quality neighborhood bar.”

Read the entire story, including tidbits about the design of the venue, in the Sac Bee.

I'm looking forward to trying the place and maybe on a special occasion, getting one of their straight razor shaves. (Hint to those with a male significant other: A straight razor shave and a drink are a great birthday/Christmas gift. They should make it a gift pack you can buy.)

Bottle & Barlow will be the third high profile restaurant to open in as many days, with Fish Face Poke Bar opening on Thursday and Localis debuting on Friday.

Bottle & Barlow is located at 1120 R Street, and can be found online at http://bottleandbarlow.com/.

* Photo via their Facebook page.

More News:

Knee Deep’s founder and brewmaster resigns to start ‘new project’ - Jeremy Warren, the award-winning brewmaster and founder of Knee Deep Brewing, has announced his resignation from the rapidly expanding company effective Aug. 3. Warren, who could not immediately be reached for comment, is expected to start his own brewery. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento’s Magpie flies to larger location - To the excitement of many, Magpie will feature a burger on its regular menu for the first time. On R Street, the kitchen wanted to be a good neighbor and, despite numerous requests, did not serve a burger because Burgers and Brew was just a couple of doors away. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Rustic Riverfront Restaurants - Chevys, Scott’s, Rio City Cafe...you’ve likely enjoyed the meals (and views) there already. Try these more rustic riverfront spots for a taste of something different. Featuring Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill, Gusti's Place, Wimpy's, Al's Place and Swabbies. In Sac Mag.

Wong brothers lay a stake on R Street - At 6,000 square feet, Iron Horse Tavern (the name evokes the trains that once traversed the R Street corridor) is nearly identical in size to Firestone Public House, though it holds far fewer TVs than that sports-centric bar/restaurant...Mason Wong recently spoke to The Bee about the brothers’ latest venture. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Try it: Piatti’s Margherita Pizza - With hand pulled mozzarella, fresh crushed tomatoes and torn basil on a thin crust, Piatti’s take on this traditional pizza is one that Queen Margherita would be proud of. ($13.00). Kristopher Hooks in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Bottle & Barlow to Open on Saturday" »


Dining News: Bottle & Barlow to Open in May

Bottle and barlowIn a larger story about the Warehouse Artists Lofts on R Street, the Sac Bee's Mary Lynne Vellinga gives an update on the new restaurant venture by Golden Bear and Hook and Ladder owner Kimio Bazett:

A public market on the ground floor will have a sushi shop, juice bar, vintage clothing stand, vinyl record store and shoemaker. Bottle & Barlow, a combination bar and barbershop, plans to open in May. The complex is filled with work from local artists.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

While we're on the topic of Bottle & Barlow, Details Magazine named the bar and Paragary's Midtown as two of the most anticipated bar openings of 2015.

When it opens, Bottle & Barlow will be found at 1120 R Street, and can be found online at http://bottleandbarlow.com/.

More News:

GOTG Review: Vampire Penguin, Shaved Snow and Desserts - As first time visitors, we decided to try the most popular selection, according to the Vampire Penguin crew – the Strawberry Cheesecake. They said you really can’t go wrong with this one and they were right! We also tried the Smoreos, Mexican Candy and the waffles! Tip – toss a bit of your shaved snow on top for some added flavor, but beware of major brain freeze! Anyway, everything we tried was amazing! Both of us are hardcore chocolate lovers, so we were surprised that we kept going back to the strawberry cheesecake! It was light, refreshing and really delicious! Keep in mind that one large order was plenty to split between both of us. Kelli Gould and Yessina Anderson on Girls on the Grid.

The Nosh Pit: Musicians, got a gig in Sactown? Here’s where you should eat -  Hello, Sacramento is the farm-to-fork capital of the universe, with its impeccably fresh ingredients and gifted chefs with culinary styles for miles. Brooks likes to strike the everyman pose, but supporting a fast-food chain instead of the mom-and-pop shops was a missed opportunity to mingle with the locals and enjoy some grub. Had Brooks opted to poke around Sacramento’s restaurants, we would’ve recommended starting at South, the Southside Park eatery with tasty fried chicken and homespun foods, and a husband-wife ownership team. Shoot, their saga in dealing with city red tape to get open could’ve inspired a song. Or, Brooks could’ve started his local culinary tour at Chando’s, because, hey, who doesn’t love tacos? Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Six Invites to Pebble Beach Food & Wine show rise in Sacramento’s food scene - The Sacramento chefs invited to Pebble Beach are Oliver Ridgeway, executive chef of Grange; Billy Ngo, owner/chef of Kru; Ramon Perez, owner/chef of Puur Chocolat; Kelly McCown, former executive chef of Ella Dining Room & Bar and soon to be chef of the upcoming OBO Italian; and Michael Thiemann, owner/chef of Mother Restaurant, along with Matt Masera, the executive chef. Among the invited sommeliers is Joseph Vaccaro, formerly the general manager of Ella and now chief operating officer and wine director for Selland Family Restaurants. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Oak Park Brewing Co.: Wanted: A beer education - There are some great dishes already on the menu, most notably the Broadway Beetdown salad. This is no rabbit food. Mounds of baby arugula mingle with roasted golden beets, crumbled goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. A brie vinaigrette is an unexpected but perfect complement to the greens...One of the weak links here seems to be server education. Except for one waitress, who we recognized from lots of Midtown restaurants, the servers seem a little untrained and vague on ingredients. When we ordered the Sausage Board, the waitress couldn’t tell us what the sausages were, and then returned with the news that they were “Italian and brat.” Any details on meat or spices were unavailable. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: Bottle & Barlow to Open in May" »