There has been a lot of talk regarding the for coming of potential chain restaurants into our downtown and midtown. When it comes to chains, I for one, personal prefer to eat at local independent restaurants. Shopping though, give me the big national chains. Send the Saks, BR and Macy's my way. Boutiques are just too $$$ for the same thing. I'm weird that way, but I think a lot of people are the same.
Sacramento in general has ever chain imaginable. Downtown has yet to be really penetrated by it, but that will soon change with eminent opening of some.
In one sense, the fact that these corporations want to open downtown is a sign that the general downtown economy is getting better, but I still do not want to see them on every corner.
So what I decide to do is get a rundown of everything (at least that I can think of) that has opened over the last few years in downtown and midtown to really see if we are being invaded by the chains as a lot of people are suggesting.
The fist thing to do is define a chain. Different people view a chain differently. I think we can all agree that places like PF Changs, Morton's, and Starbucks are chains. Where you run into a difference of opinion is the small local chains that are non "corporate" with 100 places across the US, like a Mikuni's, that have 3 or 4 locations. I don't lump Mikuni's in the chain bucket since it is something unique to Sacramento.
Pyramid Brewery has 5 locations, Sacramento, Seattle, Berkeley. Portland and Walnut Creek, the same as Mikuni's, but they are def a chain.
One Saturday morning when Cafe Flood was shocking closed at 8:30, I really didn't want to go to Starbucks, so I decided to go to Naked Lounge. There was another person there as well and he commented how he didn't want to go to Naked since it was a chain! It took me a second to realize he meant that they have one in Chico as well, but come on now! I'm sorry, Naked is not a chain.
What about 58 Degrees opening where Slater and Marinof used to be at 18th and Cap? One other location in AZ? Chain or Non-Chain?
What about Crepeville? Has a small independent feel, but there are 4 or 5 other locations.
What about the Paragary Group?
So as you can see, there is room for disagreement here.
I hope we never see it happen, and it's never too early to make sure it doesn't happen. I know there will be people that will shit a brick at the sight of even one chain restaurant, but I think for right now I don't think it's quite as bad as it may appear.
I do think we are seeing an awful lot of upscale places open and I would like to see a few more casual and "hole in the wall" type places.
Outside of downtown and midtown, yes, Chains-R-Us, but in DT and MT, while there does seem to be some chains that will pop up in the future, the non-chains seem to be outpacing them by quite a margin.
I tend to eat primarily at non-chains, so if I missed one, point it out
Mason's, Ma Jongs, Lucca, 55 Degrees, Chops, Mulvaney’s Building and Loan, Il Posto, Icon, Kru, Tamaya, Hangar 17, Kasbah, Osteria, Joey B's, Plum Blossom, Zukko, Brew It Up, Sofia, Spataro, Zocolo, Dragonfly, Tortugas, Bistro 33, Mikuni's, Capitol Garage, Harry's Cafe, Sandra Dee's, Butch and Nellies, Black Pearl, Sky Bar, Zen Toro
EDIT: Espresso Bar: 12th and K
My friends who owns the Espresso Bar nearly killed me for leaving them off this list!!!
Crepeville, Gaylords, Pyramid Brewery, Wolfgang Puck Express, Melting Pot, 58 Degrees, PF Changs , Chipotle, Beach Hut Deli, Starbucks (I don't know exactly where, but I'm sure one has)
From what we can see, the non-chains clearly have it in this part. Plus, there are only a couple of the true 100 restuarants corporate on the list
-Ella's: 12th and K
-Pronto: 16th and O
-Stone Grille: 21st and L
-Cafe by owners of Cornerstone: 21st and L
-Captiol Grille: 15th and L
-Independant Wine Bar: 18th and L
-Grand Wines: 16th and L
-Independant Convenience Store : 18th and L
-Rick's Dessert: 9th and J, 800 J Lofts (Rumor)
-Independant Mexican Restuarant: 9th and J, 800 J Lofts (Rumor)
-Sukra Sushi and Teppanyaki:9th and J, US Bank Building (not sure about this one though)
- Buckhorn's: 18th and L (done deal)
- Roy's: 16th and L (rumor)
- CPK: 16th and L (rumor)
- Samurai Sam's: 14th and O (done deal)
- McCormick & Schmick: 11th and J (done deal)
- Firewood Cafe: 700 Block K Street (rumor)
We def see a higher concentration on this list, but with so many projects out there that have not signed retail yet, the list could tilt toward the non-chains, or further toward the chains. Time will tell.