Red Rabbit

Dining News: 5 Things to Know About RailBridge Cellars & Co., Opening in Elks Tower

Railbridge cellarsEarlier this month, Cowtown Eats reported that the new RailBridge Cellars & Co. would open in the ground floor of the Elks Tower on Feb. 10. Now, Sac Biz Journal's Sonya Sorich has more details on the place.

Here are 5 things you need to know about this upcoming restaurant:

1. The executive chef will be Christian Sieck, who worked in Enotria for 10 years in the same role before leaving to help open Toast in Granite Bay in 2007.

2. One of their featured sandwiches will be a pastrami sandwich called "The Levine," named after Larry Levine who helped source the meat. Levine is the father of former Assemblyman Lloyd Levine and the father in law of KCRA anchor Edie Lambert.

3. The restaurant plans a soft opening on Feb. 1 ahead of its Feb. 10 grand opening.

4. Prior to 2 p.m., the restaurant will offer counter service, with the late afternoon and evening crowd getting table service.

5. The restaurant will "focus on wine and craft beer, with some specialty Manhattans and martinis."

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

When it opens, RailBridge Cellars will be located at 921 11th St., and can be found online at

More News:

First Impressions: New Hawks good but loud - As an offshoot of a fine-dining restaurant that keeps the atmosphere casual but food quality high, the new Hawks immediately evokes OneSpeed, Rick Mahan’s (The Waterboy) pizza-centric place that sits not too far away from Hawks, on Folsom Boulevard. OneSpeed’s high noise levels never have deterred East Sacramentans from patronizing it. Hawks likely will keep packing ’em in as well, especially given its high quality of service. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

The Ramen King: Ryujin and Raijin Ramen House Owner Sai Wong - Lately nothing sounds better to me on a cold winter day than walking over to a local ramen house and refueling by way of slurpable noodles in a piping hot, deeply flavored broth. For a while, Sacramento had very few places to satisfy this craving; now the demand is growing and high-quality ramen is not so hard to find. One man responsible for bringing high-quality ramen to Sacramento is Sai Wong. Mr. Wong is a restaurateur who lives and breathes ramen, so it made sense for him to open not just one, but two ramen houses in the area. What caught my eye, however, was the fact that they are located right across the street from each other. Ronnie Cline in Submerge Mag.

West Sacramento approves grant application for new craft brewery - Revision Brewing Company received a nod of approval from the West Sacramento City Council last week to set up a craft microbrewery and taproom in town. Council members passed a resolution at their Wednesday meeting to submit a $330,000 grant application to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to provide the brewery a loan for its startup costs. Revision Brewing is co-owned and co-operated by Jeremy Warren, founder of popular Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn, and Jeb Taylor. Ellen Garrison in the Sac Bee.

Coffee wars continue as new player enters region - The Human Bean will welcome customers next week. The drive-thru kiosk at 2401 Coppervale Drive in Rocklin will open at 5 a.m. on Jan. 12. It's the second Human Bean location in California. The company offers a variety of espresso beverages, as well as teas and smoothies. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Here's what's happening at Poor Red's - Call it a renovation, upgrade or expansion. Either way, El Dorado County landmark Poor Red's Bar-B-Q is getting closer to reopening. The bar and restaurant is expected to be ready for customers in March, according to the business partners involved in the venture. Jeff Genovese, Mike Genovese and Mike Hountalas are leading the project. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Railbridge Cellars Opening at Elks Tower Thanksgiving-ish

Railbridge cellarsRailbridge Cellars & Co., the latest venture by the family who owns RailBridge Cellars at 400 N. 16th Street, Strings Urban Kitchen at 7th & Q streets and the Railbridge tasting room at the penthouse of the Elks Tower, is scheduled to open in late November or early December, reports the Sac Bee's Bob Shallit.

The goal is to create a 1920s-era vibe, with vintage fixtures, exposed brick and antique marble.

“You’re going to walk in and think you took a step back in time,” said Michael Gelber, president of Alexis Ventures..

Perhaps the most arresting feature will be windows allowing diners to gaze down into what was once the Elks’ basement swimming “tank.” Over the past year, Gelber has converted that area into a lounge where groups gather for meals while seated in the former pool. “VIP” seating is available in two hot tubs that were added to the room in the 1960s...

Initial plans call for Monday-to-Friday hours, with a menu influenced by the Top of the Town restaurant that drew crowds to the Elks’ penthouse in the 1950s and 1960s.

Coffee and baked goods will be available in the morning, salads and sandwiches at lunch and small plates served until about 7 p.m. along with about 50 wines, many of them vintage varieties that harken back to an earlier time.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

According to Sactown Magazine in July, the space was originally scheduled to open in early October.

When it opens Railbridge Cellars & Co. will be located at 11th & J streets, and can be found online at

More News:

Gina’s Filipino Kape - Last week, Gina’s Filipino Kape quietly opened on 12th Street in the space formerly inhabited by 1011 12th Espresso Bar. In Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

Rethinking tipping, wages in Sacramento’s booming restaurant scene - There is plenty at stake as the Sacramento City Council prepares to vote Oct. 27 on a gradual minimum wage increase to $12.50 an hour over the next five years, well above the state-mandated $9 hourly wage. That worries many restaurant owners, and they’re supporting a controversial “carve-out” clause that exempts businesses from the wage hike if they can prove their workers take home at least $15 an hour with tips. The awkward and sometimes confounding issues of tipping, wages and restaurant profit margins have found their way into the spotlight, but depending on which side of the debate is talking, the city’s decision either could lead to minor tweaks for tipping or to a revamping of tipping as we know it. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Not Enough Cooks in the Restaurant Kitchen - In the last year, though, the sound has become deafening. At conferences, over beers and on social media, chefs and restaurateurs are openly worrying (not to say complaining) about a crisis-level shortage of cooks. In scores of interviews via phone and email, chefs and restaurateurs confirmed that the shortage has affected their hiring. Julia Moskin in the New York Times.

Feast Q&A: Blackbird 3.0 throws pre-reopening party - Hammering out details with the insurance company delayed repairs, Lampkin said. But Blackbird will reopen, with a new bar and concrete floor, Dec. 1. But it’s cold in December. So on Friday, Oct. 23, when the weather likely still can accommodate it, Lampkin is throwing a second alley party, to reintroduce the restaurant. The event will carry a theme appropriate to a business that has been down a few rabbit holes. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Basically a milkshake: Harvey Milk Punch, The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar - Popular since the 17th century, they usually comprise a mix of bourbon or brandy, milk and nutmeg. The Red Rabbit has a version called Harvey Milk Punch ($9) that includes Galliano liqueur as a nod to that '70s tipple, the Harvey Wallbanger. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Now Open - Track 7 Natomas


Track 7, the Curtis Park-based brewery, quietly opened its Natomas location on Friday.

The craft brewery had hoped to open their second location by New Year's Eve, but a rain-soaked December delayed construction. Give the team behind Track 7 credit. When they announced the new location in July 2014, they predicted a December 2014 opening. They only missed it by a couple weeks, which is very good.

The location is still a work in progress, but apparently, they've done enough to start allowing the public to come to events.

This weekend, they'll be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with food trucks to feed the masses.

The new facility will open with a capacity of 8,000 barrels of beer, compared to their 2013 production of just 1,200 barrels at the Curtis Park facility. The original location will be used for pilot batching and sour beer production.

Their new Natomas warehouse and tasting room is located at 826 Professor Lane.

More News:

Dine Downtown: 4 recommendations to experience Sacramento restaurants - But for those restaurants that are part of the line-up, Dine Downtown is a great opportunity to win over folks and expand their reach. Here are a few good bets, based on my visits (not for the latest special menus, which I have yet to try). Featuring Hook &  Ladder, Biba, Grange and Ella. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Dine Downtown in Sacramento focuses on Farm-to-Fork movement - Chefs in downtown say Dine Downtown weeks is a win-win for restaurants and customers. Melinda Meza on KCRA.

VIDEO: Dining Downtown at the Delta King - Chef Julian Vasquez previews the Delta King "Dine Downtown" menu. On KCRA. Lisa Gonzales on KCRA.

VIDEO: Dine Downtown Week partners with Food Literacy Center - Amber Scott discusses how this week’s Dine Downtown event benefits the Food Literacy Center. Lisa Gonzales on KCRA.

VIDEO: Dine Downtown at Blue Prynt - Enjoy a 3 course meal at a discounted rate with Dine Downtown, featuring Blue Prynt. Lisa Gonzales on KCRA.

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Dining News: Opening of New Bacon & Butter Delayed Until 'Early August'

Bacon & Butter closed in mid-May in preparation for their move to 51st & Broadway. After several delays, they're not targeting an early August opening, they announced today to their e-mail list.

Although we had hoped our new home in the beautiful Tahoe Park neighborhood of Sacramento would be ready by Father's Day Weekend, the building just wasn't ready yet.

As you may know, when dealing with active construction and city permits, sometimes things don't always go according to schedule :) We want our restaurant to be a positive, long term contribution to our neighborhood, and to get things just right, we're looking at about another month before we're ready to open our doors.

When we have a firm reopening date, we'll be sure to announce it here and on our Facebook page, but we're aiming for early August.

I've followed enough restaurant openings that there always seem to be permit, construction or other issues that seem to take longer than expected. As a fan of Bacon & Butter, though, I'm sure it'll be worth the wait so we'll be able to enjoy them for not just brunch but dinner too.

Bacon & Butter will be located at 5913 Broadway, and can be found online at

More News:

East Sacramento cheese shop opens up new culinary frontiers - The prepared food is morphing as the owners learn what works for their customers, but there’s only so much they can do. “There’s no gas range, no grill, no fryers. We’re limited on what we can serve,” Andrew says. Those limitations don’t seem to be hindering them, however. Next month they’ll likely gain their beer and wine license. Simultaneously, permits may clear allowing their outdoor seating to expand, which is good, since inside there’s only a window counter with two seats inside the shop. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

Wine and beer coming to midtown Starbucks? - Sometime soon, at a Starbucks near the Capitol, you might be able to order an Italian sparkling wine, Sonoma chardonnay or a Napa cabernet. Baristas at the Starbucks near 16th and K streets say their store is going to be one of the select stores to take on the Starbucks Evening program and that location is currently hiring people who are over 21 for that program. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

Hop to The Red Rabbit - Sacramento’s scorching summer days transform beautifully into balmy, comfortable, warm summer evenings—the perfect environment for outdoor dining. This week we dropped in to midtown’s The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar to dine outside at one of the restaurant’s community tables and revel in the temperate weather. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Opening of Federalist Public House Delayed Until End of July


Federalist Public House & Beer Garden has delayed its targeted opening date from late Spring to the end of July, reports Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Architect and future restaurant owner Marvin Maldonado said the city didn’t approve a plan to use a house at 2009 N St. for the restaurant, so now the focus has shifted to a 2,200-square-foot area behind it where shipping containers will be welded together for a dining area...

Maldonado said he’s expecting building permits from the city within the next week, and building the restaurant would take about six to eight weeks.

Read the entire article in Sac Biz Journal.

Separately, Federalist Public House posted an update on their Facebook Page.


Federalist Public House will be located at 2009 N Street, and can be found online at

* Photo from late January.

More News:

Lalo's Restaurant: A Decade Later - But, in the restaurant world, even a sure thing can erode into disappointment, which was recently my experience with Lalo’s Restaurant, a Mexican restaurant tucked in the corner of a mini mall near Sacramento City College...Perhaps they were having an off night. And while I may give them another opportunity to impress my palate as they had done all those years ago, I suppose nothing is a sure thing in this world...Perhaps they were having an off night. And while I may give them another opportunity to impress my palate as they had done all those years ago, I suppose nothing is a sure thing in this world. Lovelle Harris in Submerge Mag.

VIDEO: Save Mart Grape Escape - Paul Robins samples bratwurst with housemade mustard and pickles made by Chef Michael Touhy of Block Butcher Bar, and lets us know about the Save Mart Grape Escape. On FOX 40.

VIDEO: Wineries prepare for Sacramento Grape Escape - Dozens of wineries will be serving up their best wine at the 11th annual Grape Escape on Saturday. On KCRA.

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Dining News: New Burgers & Brew Location Replacing Purgatory


Burgers & Brew will be adding a second location on The Grid, replacing Purgatory at 17th & J in early 2015, reports Sac Biz Journal's Ben van der Meer.

Derar Zawaydeh, who owns with his brother the successful gourmet counter-service burger restaurants as well as Crepeville restaurants, said the project is already in design phase.

“It’s going to be something similar to what’s on R Street,” Zawaydeh said of the 12,800-square-foot building, which he and his brother  bought this week. The principal difference stems from the layout, he said. With a 6,000-square-foot basement, the building at 1616 J St. will have brewing tanks planted there and coming through the floor to the ground level, where the restaurant and bar service will be.

Earlier, van der Meer reported that the owners of Burgers & Brew and Crepeville had purchased the building, they had yet to announce what brand they would be using at the location.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

There are currently four Burgers & Brew locations, including Downtown (14th & R), the Airport, Davis and Chico.

More News:

More details on Icing on the Cupcake's return - After  closing its four stores in January due to "economic hardship," Icing on the Cupcake  reopened its Rocklin location Monday under new ownership...The reopened Rocklin store uses the same recipes from the previous version of the business. In addition to full-size cupcakes, it serves baked goods such as cookies and miniature cupcakes. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Distillery licensed in Sac County; First in 100 years - On Friday night, the CEO of Gold River Distillery, with all state and federal permits finally granted, created his first “legal” batch of craft-made gin...After nine months of work, and building a custom-made still, the first batch of Wheel House American Dry Gin will be bottled. Tom DuHain on KCRA.

OneSpeed uses fresh and local ingredients for it's italian dishes - At the cross section of 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard, stands OneSpeed, a bicycle themed pizza restaurant. Appropriately named OneSpeed, its casual atmosphere is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy a few drinks with freshly prepared Italian dishes. Erika Bradley in the Sac State Hornet.

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Dining News: Now Open - My Sister's Cafe


My Sister's House, whose mission is to help "help for women and children impacted by domestic violence in the Central Valley's Asian and Pacific Islander community," opened a cafe last week called My Sister's Cafe.

The cafe, located at 455 Capitol Mall, will help provide much needed funding for the charity. The Sac Bee's Cathie Anderson has more:

At My Sister’s House, the staff and directors asked young people to come up with revenue-generating ideas and then the leaders selected the most viable one. The idea of a cafe featuring a variety of teas, soups, salads and sandwiches was the winner...

Still, Valmores needed a linchpin player, someone who had restaurant experience and a commitment to the agency. She found what she was seeking in Jenny Vo, a former AmeriCorps volunteer who jumped into the project last September and helped to steer My Sister’s Cafe into its new home in Suite 110, located in the breezeway behind the big 455 building sign. Valmores and Vo saw their business proposals rejected by a few landlords before they got this site...

Former restaurateur Putu Blanco, now a partner in the Paul Blanco Good Car Co., donated equipment and expertise to My Sister’s Cafe, reducing startup costs. Restaurateurs Liz Mishler of Bella Bru Cafe and Chris Nestor of the nearby House Kitchen & Bar also stepped up.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

I know two people where were able to eat there last week, and they both said they enjoyed their lunches and both felt great about supporting such a worthy organization.

Find out more about My Sister's House at

Since we're talking about cafes whose proceeds go to help women and children, don't forget about Plates2Go, the midtown cafe run by the St. John's Shelter for Women and Children, located at 1725 L Street.

More News:

VIDEO: Cafe Helps Empower Women, Victims of Domestic Violence - From coffee and tea, to muffins and salads; Friday morning My Sister’s Cafe opened for business and their goal is to empower victims of domestic violence. “This is an opportunity to raise funds for our program and to have an outlet for our many, many volunteers,” President  Darrel Woo of the cafe’s main organization, My Sister’s House, said. Luana Munoz on FOX 40.

Eat to Feed the Hungry at 17 top local restaurants - The Sacramento Food Bank is teaming up with 17 of the region's best restaurants to raise money for families in need during the third annual Eat to Feed the Hungry. The event takes place from March 24-30 at Broderick Roadhouse, Ella Dining Room & Bar, Hot Italian, Mulvaney’s B&L, Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, Ten22, and other celebrated area eateries. Blake Young, president of the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, says he hopes the event will bring more awareness to the nonprofit organization, which serves thousands of families each year and puts on the popular Run to Feed the Hungry race each Thanksgiving. Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Mag.

VIDEO: Eat to feed the hungry - The 3rd annual "Eat to Feed the Hungry" takes place March 24th-30th at 17 Sacramento area restaurants. On KCRA.

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