Exclusive: Popular Las Katarinas restaurant to reopen in Alta Sierra

Las Katarinas Mexican restaurant, a fixture in Nevada City for the past 10 years, is reopening at the entrance to Alta Sierra in Grass Valley on Hwy. 49, where Schiedel’s Old European restaurant once stood, our magazine has learned.

Owner Dave Francis and his wife, Delia Gutierrez, who live in Grass Valley, expect the restaurant to open no later than August 1 as Casa Las Katarinas (whose name is Spanish for “ladybug”).

The new restaurant will be four times larger than Las Katarinas’ previous location on Broad Street, Francis said. The restaurant will offer dinner seven nights a week, featuring Delia’s homemade Mexican food. It also will offer a Mexican-American brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Some “tenant improvements” to the space will begin immediately, Dave told us. The restaurant previously had been Fia’s Bistro.

Schidel’s had been the most successful restaurant in that space, but we expect Las Katrinas to be highly successful too. Dave and Delia are experienced restaurateurs and chefs, and they have a loyal following, including a frequent dining club.

Las Katirinas closed last September, but Dave and Delia have received regular calls during the past six months from former customers who asked them to reopen.

Dave said he had scouted out other spots in Grass Valley, Auburn, Roseville and Folsom, among other places, but settled on the Alta Sierra space. He noted the dearth of restaurants in South Nevada County.

Las Katarinas’ space on Broad Street was too small with a small kitchen, Dave said. The restaurant had employed nine people, and the new restaurant will create more jobs.

The highly visible 300 block of Broad Street in Nevada City — which once had Cirino’s, Posh Nosh and Citronee Bistro & Wine Bar — is still without a full-service restaurant. Cirino’s building, however, is expected to become an upscale cocktail lounge called “Golden Era.”

Las Katarinas has a built-in following of locals and has been popular with tourists. Cyclists have speed past Las Katarinas at the Amgen Tour of California and Nevada City Bicycle Classic and filled its seats during the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, among other popular events. Dave has been active in the community, including serving a stint on the Nevada City Chamber board.

The menu at Las Katarinas is pure Mexican. Dishes include pork chile verde, carne asada and tinga (shredded beef in a chipolte sauce). The desserts include flan made from a century-old recipe, with homemade caramel. All of Las Katarinas dishes are made from scratch.
 Delia is a Mexico City native.

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