Restaurants booming in the Sierra foothills

WARNINGS OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY isn’t stopping restaurants from expanding. Sixty-four percent of restaurateurs told the National Restaurant Association they recently made a capital expenditure, and 62 percent said they plan to spend more in coming months.

Sales of food services are double the pace of retail sales. And employment at restaurants and watering holes has been growing at twice the rate of all other sectors combined. Here are examples in the foothills:

One of Nevada City’s oldest venues is new again. A San Francisco entrepreneur is reopening the historic building this fall with seating for up to 300 guests, a fully restored restaurant, two glamorous bar areas, a premier stage, charming patios and a wine cavern.

We recently toured the building and were impressed with the renovation. The craft cocktails and food preparations being planned are imaginative.

The building at 107 Sacramento Street—with its hand-cut stone walls and reclaimed timber—is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is open for weddings, conferences and other gatherings.

The popular restaurant at the top of Alta Sierra in Grass Valley on Hwy. 49 is opening a new special events banquet room. Salon de Fiesta, which seats about 40 guests, is ideal for holiday parties, birthday and anniversary gatherings, family reunions and graduation festivities. The restaurant offers plenty of onsite parking.

Casa Las Katarinas moved to Alta Sierra after 10 successful years in Nevada City. Chef-restaurateur Delia Gutierrez, a Mexico City native, serves authentic Mexican fare. The Spanish Colonial-style dining room seats about 70 people and a mezzanine seats another 25 diners in a roomy configuration.


The restaurant is now serving pub-style gourmet cuisine and pouring taps from Loomis Basin Brewing Co., as well as wine, at 3640 Taylor Road in Loomis.

The pub is family friendly (while the brewery remains a 21 and over establishment). The brewery continues to pour beer from its original location at 3277 Swetzer Road, also in Loomis.

We recently visited for lunch and enjoyed our meal. Menu items include a pub house sandwich (smoked tri-tip, pulled pork or chicken breast glazed in Alohawk ale sauce); smoked ribs; smokehouse Caesar (lettuces and smoked bacon); and the “best garlic bread ever” (Dupre’s bakery of Grass Valley half loaf of French bread slathered with gar- lic butter and topped with smoked cheese).

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