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May Table of Contents / Staff Box / Editor’s Note / Contributors


12 GREAT HIKES We hit the trails for great views, water features, wildlife and more. By Tony Bizjak


B STREET REFLECTIONS Buck Busfield retires as producing artistic director next month. By Marcus Crowder


WEDDING INTERRUPTUS Postponements were all the rage for the past two years. By Mari Tzikas Suarez


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SAC DESIGN We share some gorgeous home interiors.

Breathe some fresh air at Briones Regional Park


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Check out these ) inspiring homes!

The 916 20 LET’S TALK New book: Bridge the Gap

STYLE SOS Jennifer Sattler

22 STAYING LUCID R Street wine tasting




Buck Busfield retires



23 SUSTAINABLE SAC Paper towel problems

61 THE REAL DEAL Tower of Power’s Roger Smith



25 STRETCH YOUR LIMITS For more range of motion

90 À LA FRANÇAISE Franquette in West Sac

92 FIRST FLIGHT Folsom’s Flock pizzeria

92 I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW Artisan ice

94 DINE Restaurant guide

90 French-style fare ) in West Sac


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Editor’s Note



hese days, my favorite hike is a half mile from my house. I head down my street, around a couple of corners, across one busy intersection, past a church, then up a steep hill toward the Folsom Point entrance to Folsom Lake. Off to my left, the grasses still wave green under the springtime sun, and lupine blooms in purple tangles on the hillsides, and some lakeside trails have been cut by wanderers. Depending on the water level, the paths skirt the shore or disappear into it. As more hot weather comes and the greens turn to yellow and then brown, many of these trails won’t last. They’ll meld into a moondusty hellscape, appealing to no one but rattlesnakes and some die-hard dog walkers. But for another month or so, they will call to me and my foxtail-studded shoes. I watch for snakes—I’ve not seen one yet, but I’ve spotted deer (including a buck with a many-point rack), fish that jump in the shallows, soaring birds, and jackrabbits that cross my path in great bounds. I hope never to see any large cats or tarantulas. I understand both are out there. Writer Tony Bizjak, whose name you’ll recognize from The Sacramento Bee, got me thinking about tarantulas. Since he retired from The Bee last summer, he’s been exploring hiking trails all around Sacramento and beyond. He wrote about 12 of them for this issue, including an East Bay one famous for its eight-legged hairy residents. “I really want to see lots of tarantulas crawling around Mount Diablo during the next mating season,” says Tony. (Take note: That happens in autumn.) Tony and art director Gabriel Teague, who has been hiking and photographing nature pretty much his entire life, chose trails in a variety of spots within a couple hours’ drive, ranging from easy to difficult. (You may wonder why no Tahoe trails made the list. It’s because we plan to cover some in an upcoming issue.) Also this month, writer Marcus Crowder checks in with Buck Busfield as he retires from the B Street Theatre. I remember when the theater opened in 1991, when Buck and brother Tim—then a star in the popular television series “thirtysomething”—brought the B Street to town as an extension of their touring children’s theater company. Mari Tzikas Suarez catches up with some couples who endured pandemic delays in their weddings, and Marybeth Bizjak and Catherine Warmerdam worked with several local interior designers and photographers to create 16 pages of Sac Design, a section full of ideas for updating and elevating your home décor. Enjoy the rest of spring, and thank you for reading.

AND THERE’S MORE . . . Thinking Positive—Writer Mari Tzikas Suarez talked to a number of local couples about having to alter their wedding plans because of COVID. “The positivity exuding from them is a wonderful reminder of the power of a strong partnership and proof that a celebration of love does not have to be conventional to be memorable,” she says.

The Daily Brief—Sacramento Magazine’s free newsletter goes to email subscribers every weekday. Catch the latest updates in dining, arts and entertainment, wine, recreation, health (including COVID case counts) and more. You’ll also find links to other community news and resources and social media posts that have caught our eye. Subscribe at



Tony Bizjak

Writer Tony Bizjak worked for 32 years for The Sacramento Bee, and before that for the San Francisco Chronicle. “When I retired,” he says, “I found one of my favorite things to do was get away each week for a long hike. When I hike alone, I love the quiet and the feeling of being immersed in nature. When I hike with friends, the trail seems to draw out the best conversations.” His favorite local spot is the ridgeline on Blue Ridge Trail in the Vaca Mountains west of Winters.


Mari Tzikas Suarez

Writer Mari Tzikas Suarez knows a thing or two about COVID-wedding whiplash. Her sister’s nuptials went from a Big Fat Greek Wedding to a 20-person backyard reception in November 2020. Also, after two postponements, Mari and her husband were able to celebrate his best friend’s wedding (originally slated for May 2020) in August 2021. “As the owner of The Nailtel nail salon, I’ve also met many brides who were finally coming in for their bridal nails after having to postpone multiple times,” she says.

Marcus Crowder

Marcus Crowder is a Sacramento-based writer, specializing in the arts, theater and jazz. He was the theater critic at The Sacramento Bee for 17 years. His work appears in San Francisco Chronicle and Diablo Magazine among several other publications. “I’ve covered Buck Busfield since I started at The Bee in 2000,” he says. “The first review I was ever going to write was a B Street production, but I misread the press release and arrived an hour late. Buck very generously acted as if it were his fault.”


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The 916 0 5



i n s i d e: Bridge the Gap / Fashion Forward / R Street Winery / Bike Museum

Flip of the Tail Later this month, mermaids take over Cordova Community Pool at Hagan Community Park in Rancho Cordova as the CALIFORNIA MERMAID CONVENTION gets underway May 20–22. Festivities include swimming with the mermaids, panels and lectures that will enhance eventgoers’ understanding of mermaids and a Saturday-evening Bubble Ball that invites attendees to dress up in ocean-themed attire. On Sunday, the Promenade of Mermaids takes place at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. For tickets and information: california SACMAG.COM May 2022

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The 916 YOUR BOOK TALKS ABOUT HOW MANY OF US ARE UNAWARE OF “HOW WE SHOW UP AND THE ENERGY WE RADIATE TO OTHERS.” WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF WAYS IN WHICH PEOPLE CAN GROW THEIR SELF-AWARENESS WHEN IT COMES TO COMMUNICATING? EDWARDS: There are two ways. First, in this busy, noisy, distracted world we’re in, take a deep breath and slow down. Ask yourself: How do I want to be experienced? Because how we show up matters. We all come in hot, bringing in all the residual [feelings] that you’re conscious or unconscious of. The second thing is this: Skill up. We weren’t all taught about how be curious, how to ask questions, how to keep your mouth closed and wonder about the other instead of constantly talking about yourself. Learn how to ask a question that opens up the other person as opposed to shoving information at them. YOU WRITE ABOUT HOW WE TEND TO PULL AWAY FROM THOSE WHO DON’T SHARE OUR WORLDVIEW OR WAY OF DOING THINGS, WHEN IN FACT WE OUGHT TO BE MOVING CLOSER TO THEM. WHY IS THAT KEY, AND HOW IS IT DONE? MCCLEARY: We live in such a fast-paced time and culture

Katie McCleary and Jennifer Edwards

Let’s Talk

A new book by two different-from-each-other local authors speaks to the need for curiosity and suspending judgment. BY CATHERINE WARMERDAM


he pandemic reshaped a lot about how we work, but one thing hasn’t changed: our need to communicate effectively in the workplace. In “Bridge the Gap: Breakthrough Communication Tools to Transform Work Relationships From Challenging to Collaborative,” a new book from Jennifer Edwards, a business and leadership adviser, and Katie McCleary, an entrepreneur and storyteller, the authors offer concrete methods for overcoming communication divides and making true and lasting connections.

that we cannot do everything alone. We need to connect with people who are really different than us in order to accomplish our work. We would have a more prosperous world if we could all do that. If everybody could actually belong and be understood for who they are, we would be able to accomplish so much more than with blame and shame and division. EDWARDS: How to move closer starts with showing up with an energy to want to know what you don’t know. I can show up in a way that says I have it all figured out, or I’m already judging and biased, but that ruins connection to someone who is different than you. YOU BRING VERY DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND BACKGROUNDS TO THIS PROJECT. DO YOU THINK THOSE DIFFERENCES ARE IN FACT WHAT MADE THE BOOK POSSIBLE, BECAUSE YOU’VE LIVED THE DIVIDE? EDWARDS: We’re a perfect example of what lives in the

world: a conservative, a liberal. Christian, Buddhist. No tattoos, tattoos everywhere. How we grew up was different. But what we know is that if I show up truly curious about her lived experience and what’s true for her, there’s so much more that unites us than divides us. But we have to be willing to lean toward each other, not push away from each other. Our book is actually a practical guide to that exact conversation.


an explorer. When I’m with someone, I’m going to suspend my judgment, my ideas, my knowledge, and I’m going to enter an interaction where I’m going to be curious about what I don’t know that I don’t know. That takes a particular fortitude, but it is the antidote to disconnection. When we listen to understand, we’re able to bridge gaps pretty easily.

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Style SOS Time after time, Sacramento stylist Jennifer Sattler (pictured) hears women say the same thing: “I have a closet full of nothing-to-wear.” So she made it her mission to help women of all ages, sizes and budgets assemble a wardrobe that makes them look and feel great. Her blog, Closet Choreography, is a cheat sheet filled with fashion pointers and wallet-friendly finds, like how to assemble a capsule wardrobe for under $500; tip-offs to hot sale items like a Halogen side-slit sequin skirt for $47 or a pair of Joe’s dark-denim crop-leg jeans for $67; and high-low swap-outs, like a $910 Burberry belt bag and a dress-for-less version from Target for $25. Here is a sampling of her fashion wisdom. —MARYBETH BIZJAK

SHOP AT TAR-ZHAY, DAHLING Sattler loves Target for certain pieces, especially white Ts and tank tops. “Target has a great white T. They also do a really good job on graphic T-shirts, like the classic Rolling Stones band T that’s been around forever and ever. I see them in LA boutiques for $200. Target’s version is $12.99. They also have a Nirvana one and Def Leppard, too. You can throw it underneath your $700 blazer.”

NINE EASY PIECES On the blog, Sattler shows off a ninepiece capsule wardrobe that allows you to create 24 separate outfits. It includes wide-leg jeans, a metallic skirt, a white tank and a graphic T. “Having the right pieces makes getting dressed easy,” she says. “It’ll give you a little more pep in your step.”

t yler a nd christina

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FAST FASHION FROM AMAZON “It’s fun to go to Amazon and buy a cute blouse or dress. Do not use the picture they show you. You have to look at the fabrication, the seam construction and the details, like the buttons.” She recently shopped Amazon for a budget version of her favorite wardrobe staple, a $700 double-breasted Veronica Beard blazer, and found one for $50 that ticked all the boxes.

DESIGNER THRIFT Instead of traveling to San Francisco for high-end designer wear, Sattler heads to East Sac vintage shop #Panache. “When you shop there, you’re getting something really special and one of a kind,” says Sattler. That’s where she purchased an Hermès cuff that she mixes with her Amazon finds. “It gives me a wardrobe I’m jazzed about.”

BUYING JEANS? DON’T LEAVE HOME “I think you can have better luck buying jeans online than in a store,” says Sattler, who worked as a stylist for Nordstrom for more than 20 years. If you know your rise and inseam measurements, you can find the perfect-fitting jeans online in less time than it takes to drive to the mall. And because brick-and-mortar stores are so understocked these days due to supply-chain woes, online shopping gives you way more choice in terms of size and style.

THE SUMMER’S IT SHOE “High-top Converse sneakers. We’re wearing them with skirts, with wide-leg jeans or a pull-on pant.”


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The 916

Staying Lucid Kevin Luther, owner/winemaker for Lucid Winery, started making wine under the Lucid label in 2017 and planned to open a tasting room in March 2020. However, the pandemic back-burnered that plan. In the past two years, Lucid morphed from a traditional winery to a virtual one, shipping sampler sets throughout the country for corporate and private customers. While the winery will continue offering this virtual model, it has now added a venue for in-person wine tasting and gatherings. In February, Luther and his team opened the doors, welcoming visitors to a 5,000-square-foot brick warehouse located next to Fox & Goose Public House. On display: a wide variety of plants, a selection of bookshelves and books from the library Luther inherited “LET’S JUST MAKE FUN, from his father, and wood DELICIOUS WINE WITH furniture crafted by Luther NO ALLEGIANCE TO and members of his family. EXPECTATIONS.” Visitors will also find plenty of room to wander and smaller areas sectioned off for more intimate gatherings and special events. Lucid’s core offerings are organic, vegan and naturally made wines using fruit sourced from vineyards in Amador County, El Dorado County and Lodi. However, the menu includes more than just traditional wine. Luther’s approach is unconventional. As a self-proclaimed mad scientist, he says there are no rules. “Let’s just make fun, delicious wine with no allegiance to expectations.” Enter Luther’s laboratory to taste some of his latest experiments while relaxing to an eclectic mix of music. The beverage menu includes tasting flights, wines by the glass or bottle, sparkling wines and sparkling mead (honey wine), sangria and port-style wines, ciders, “brewvins” (wine/beer hybrids) and piquettes. (These are low-alcohol sparkling wines that are traditional in some southern European countries. Lucid’s piquettes have been enhanced with spices, herbs, flowers and fruit to boost flavor and aroma.) Visitors can order food from Fox & Goose or bring in takeout from other local eateries. Lucid Winery is open Wednesday–Friday 2–10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information and updates, visit Kevin Luther

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—CARRIE BOYLE ga br iel te agu e

4/13/22 12:01 PM

History on Two Wheels A half-century ago, the bustling college town of Davis made cycling history when it carved out street space for the country’s first formal bike lane. Since then, cycling culture has taken root here—on downtown streets, along suburban greenways and even on the city logo, which features a penny-farthing high-wheeler. But the best view of bike history in Davis can be found at a small downtown museum called the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame. Hall president Bob Bowen describes the gallery as “an overlooked gem.” It displays more than 70 bikes representing two centuries of ingenuity and artistry, starting with an 1823-vintage Draisine “swift walker,” a wood-spoked bike with no seat, no pedals and no brakes. How did people ride a bike with no seat or pedals? You can get the answer to that question and others at a special museum event, Saturday, May 28, celebrating National Bike Month, when bike historians will be on hand to serve as docents. David Takemoto-Weerts, the collection curator, will explain why bikes were once called ordinaries, as in, “I’m taking the ordinary into town.” And he says he’s ready to deal with what has become the most common visitor question: How come Lance Armstrong isn’t a hall of famer? Bowen will show you how to climb onto the big penny-farthing in the lobby, and he’ll tell you how that bike contributed to the coining of the term “taking a header.” The hall also offers glimpses of the intersection of cycling and societal change. There is a section on the early women’s movement, when it was considered scandalous for a woman to ride solo on a bike. Perhaps the most meaningful display involves a unique cyclist in history, Marshall “Major” Taylor, a Black American who overcame institutional racism to become world cycling champion in 1899. At the peak of his career, he may have been the highest-paid athlete in the world. Taylor’s Peugeot bike is currently on loan, though, to Taylor’s home state of Indiana. The museum, which is operated by a national nonprofit (, is located in Central Park at 303 Third St., adjacent to the Davis Farmers Market. It’s open regularly two days a week, timed with market hours: Wednesdays 4–6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Cost is $5 for general public, $3 for seniors and students. —TONY BIZJAK


Paper Towel Problems BY REED PARSELL


his month, we spill the beans about paper towels and their destructive roll . . . er, role . . . regarding the greater environment. By the end of this story, you might feel pretty wiped, but we shall endeavor to include a few upbeat tips for you to soak up. OK, no more paper towel puns. Let’s pivot to the grim facts. In 2020, Americans used more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels, according to Dennis Kamprad of the sustainability-focused website Impactful Ninja (“Are Paper Towels Sustainable? Here Are the Facts”). Presumably, that weight is pre-use. In any case, it is pre-posterously heavy. That 13 billion pounds of paper towels, Terrapass blogged recently, is equivalent to “throwing out 270 million trees.” Americans, the blog states, are responsible for almost one-half of paper towel use on the planet.

Gabriel Teague

continued on next page


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The 916 Kamprad writes that paper towels’ environmental shortcomings extend through all four stages of what he describes as their life cycle: sourcing the materials, manufacturing, usage and disposal. He summarizes the first two stages this way: “Like paper, most paper towels are made from ‘virgin’ wood pulps, recycled materials, or a combination of both. Virgin pulps are made from softwood trees as they contain longer fibers which make the paper stronger. The bark from these trees is chemically or mechanically broken down into smaller pieces to form a pulp. The pulp is cleaned with chlorine bleach and is ready to be rolled into white paper towels.” Kamprad adds that “in the past 20 years, Canada lost 28 million acres of forests to the wood pulp industry.” That wood pulp was used for all types of paper products, not just paper towels. But still. Plus: “The paper and pulp industry are the fourth largest contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases. In fact, the industry consumes a whopping 4 percent of the world’s energy.” So clearly, paper towels are not good for the environment. But how else can we take care of spills, splotches and the like? Terrapass offers these eight alternatives to paper towels: bees-

wax food wraps, chambray napkins, cotton kitchen cloths, huck towels, linen or cotton bowl covers, linen bread bags, linen cocktail napkins and sponges. You also can employ rags, which can be old or somehow compromised towels or even clothes (T-shirts and socks, for example). Kamprad endorses biodegradable cloth towels, usually made from bamboo. “If possible, choose a cloth that does not contain added pigments or dyes—they too contribute to pollution.” He further suggests that any towel or fabric used for cleaning purposes should be washed in cold water and air-dried to lighten its carbon footprint. Where can one buy bamboo-based paper towels in the Sacramento region? Natural foods stores (the co-ops in Midtown and Davis) and “greener” grocers such as Whole Foods and Sprouts are options. Your closets, drawers or dusty boxes, bins and bags in the attic or cellar might prove to contain a gold mine in terms of paper towel alternatives. Once you have reduced or replaced paper towel use in your household, what say you move on to the logical next step toward paper-product-avoiding virtuosity: handkerchiefs! Eh? What’s that you are saying in such a dismissive tone? We hear you, but perhaps you could give it at least a little thought.

In 2020, Americans used more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels. That 13 billion pounds of paper towels is equivalent to throwing out 270 million trees.

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Stretch Your Limits

Wellness i n s i d e: Increase your range of motion

Jet Cara, studio manager of StretchLab Pavilions

Let’s stretch our minds about the importance of stretching our bodies. Two local experts give us their recommendations. susa n y ee SACMAG.COM May 2022

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“The most important thing that stretchbending down to reach the floor. Spend a control that?” he says by way of example. little extra time in something you are aling helps with is range of motion,” says “Using PNF, clients are not only holding Cara, who holds a degree in kinesiology ready doing and give yourself a little stretches but they are contracting the and has been in the health and fitness stretch,” says Just, who is also a fan muscles and that helps control stabilindustry for 10 years. “From an athletic of yoga—in a studio or following ity and that gives a mind-muscle standpoint, if you are in a compromised a video; it doesn’t matter—for connection, ‘Oh yeah, I feel position (i.e., you lose balance), your body building strength and flexibilthat,’” he explains. “They go is able to go into those ranges of position,” ity, and tai chi because it inthrough a process of conhe explains. Just concurs. “Balance is corporates balance utilizing tracting for 10 seconds and something that tends to deteriorate with slow, controlled movements. then exhaling or relaxing the age if people don’t stay physically active,” “Strength in the lower body muscle for five seconds, and Donna Just that helps lengthen the muscle she says. “The No. 1 rule with seniors is contributes to better balance ‘don’t fall down.’ When you are younger, because you have a better foundaand then they hold statically for you can stretch out quickly or catch yourtion,” she says. She recommends this about 20 seconds.” The benefit, he says, self, and older folks tend to have a slowlitmus test: “If you are going to get someis twofold. “It helps lengthen the muscles er reaction time, which can contribute thing low, squat instead of bend,” says of people who are too tight and tense, to a fall,” says Just. Just. “If you can maintain enough strength and it helps people who are too flexible have that mind-muscle connection: feel So does this mean that if you are, say, in your legs that you can squat and get the muscle, feel the stretch.” 30 or younger, you can get away with not back up, you will be doing really good with stretching? Yes and no, say the experts. strength and flexibility.” Stretching isn’t just important to live “Once you hit 35, you hit that regret Need some help with that? Consider life fully when we are older or for the ultrafactor with younger folks. You a session—or several—at sometense or uber-limber individual. Anyone are able to get away with not place like StretchLab Pavilcan benefit. Feeling some pain? You might stretching, but then you wake ions, where highly trained find stretching provides welcome relief. up and your knees buckle “flexologists” use a technique “Your skin is supposed to be moving over and your back hurts,” says called proprioceptive neuroyour muscle and not be adherent to it,” Cara, noting that the youngmuscular facilitation, or says Just. “If you are having pain, you er folks who really understand PNF, which helps “contract might need to do some stretching to loosJet Cara the importance of stretching are the muscle so we are creating the ones who have undergone intension and then relaxing our musSTATIC VS. DYNAMIC STRETCHING jury or trauma. However, Just points out cles to create length,” explains Cara. Stretching is important for injury prevention, The PNF technique can also help clithat if you have a fairly active lifestyle that says Jet Cara, studio manager of StretchLab ents who might fall on the other end of incorporates stretching (for example, Pavilions. However, the type of stretching you the spectrum—they are too flexible. Yes, you’re the parent of a floor-crawling young should do before a workout differs from the there is a risk of being too flexible. “Your child), you might be OK not getting into kind you will do after. Prior to working out, risk for injury when you are too flexible a formal routine. “Daily life puts them in experts such as Cara suggest dynamic or is higher than when you are too tense,” situations where they are doing things to active stretching “to open the area out and flex and stretch,” she says. says Cara. “It’s easier for you to sprain an not be so tense during the workout,” he says. But you don’t have to be the parent of ankle, slip, fall, dislocate something.” Post workout and on your days off, experts an active toddler to incorporate stretching PNF, he says, can help you with hyperrecommend static stretching, where you hold into your daily routine. “Stretch when you mobility. “It is one thing to be able to open the poses longer. “That will allow for recovery and blood flow,” says Cara. are putting on your shoes and socks or and close the door, but are you able to


Jet Cara: Susan Yee

e don’t know if the late, great Betty White incorporated stretching into her daily routine, but I think we can all agree that White, who died this past New Year’s Eve just a few weeks shy of her centennial birthday, aged in a way that many aspire to. Want to live independently when you are 99 à la Ms. White? Stretching might be part of that fountain-of-youth cocktail, at least according to local experts. Jet Cara, studio manager of StretchLab Pavilions, and Donna Just, a physical therapist with Sutter Care at Home in Roseville, agree: If you want to lead an independent life, stretching is an important part of your regimen.


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en some things up to allow the soft tissue more. “The best thing to do is identify the to elongate and move freely and even purpose of it. Why do you feel like stretchallow your skin to move.” Muscle soreness ing is going to benefit you?” he says. Then, usually comes the day after a workout, start slowly. “Start with two to five minsays Cara, so to help to ease the soreness, utes a day. Are you able to commit to that? stretching should definitely be a part of If you are doing that pretty consistently, your rest-day routine. “You don’t have to that is when you can add more time to do a lot of stretches but you do your stretch routine,” he says. IT’S NEVER TOO need to stretch,” he says. It helps to keep in mind that LATE TO START Whether it’s attending a yoga the benefits, according to Just and A STRETCHING class or working with a trainer or Cara, go beyond the physical. ROUTINE. a StretchLab flexologist, women We’re talking less stress and betmight be slightly better at taking the time ter sleep. “In our studio, you are with a to stretch than men. “We actually get a professional with a focus and emphasis lot of wives who send their husbands,” on you and what your body is doing,” says says Cara of some of the men he sees at Cara. “You will get more flexible and StretchLab Pavilions, though that is looser, and for those minutes you are at the mercy of us, in a good way. It’s a good changing. “When they see a LeBron James release. Says Just, “Five to 10 minutes in getting stretched on a basketball court, the morning and before bedtime can help they realize they should stretch.” relieve daytime stiffness and pain as well OK, the burning question: How long as allow for better comfort and sleep.” is this going to take? That, say the experts, The really good news: It’s never too late depends on your lifestyle. Constantly to start a stretching routine. moving or on your feet all day? Think “It’s just being able to live life that is parent of a young child, nurse, mail carunassisted and creates longevity so that rier, etc. You might not need that much. you are able to tie your shoes when you At your desk 40 hours a week—a “desk are 90,” says Cara. Just believes maintainjockey,” as Cara puts it? You might need

ing movement is the key to an independent lifestyle. “I try to promote being physically active as long as you’re on this earth,” she says. “You have to keep moving. Then you won’t be dependent on others, and you can live in your own home.” Just like Betty White.

WHERE TO STRETCH OUT LOCALLY Looking to get limber? Find some assistance at one of these joints (pun intended). ● Active Bodywork, 2131 Capitol Ave., Suite 204, Sacramento; (916) 706-2566; and 2041 Hallmark Drive, Suite 2, Sacramento; (916) 999-0964; ●

Massage Envy, various locations; massage ● Sacramento Stretch Therapy, 2703 Fifth St., Suite 6; Sacramento; (916) 690-7270;

StretchLab Folsom, 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1223, Folsom; (916) 461-2880; stretch ●

StretchLab Pavilions, 566 Pavilions Lane, Suite B-566, Sacramento; (916) 413-7300;

Vivian Daley I have been in real estate in the Sacramento area for more than 48 years and with Lyon RE over 38 years, moving here from Georgia in 1970. I have worked in New Home sales for Robert Powell in Campus Commons, East Ranch, Wyndgate and Maddox Ranch. Prior to real estate I was in banking and in the 60’s a Flight Attendant for Eastern Airlines, which nurtured my love for people and eagerness to assist them. I’m lucky to be doing what I love and strive to be the BEST for my clients. Let us all keep an attitude of gratitude.

Lyon Real Estate, Vice President DRE# 00475888 | SAR (916) 849-7314 |

Fair Oaks Area Specialist

Toddy Schultz DRE# 01483530 | SAR Lyon Real Estate (916) 342-3573


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IME TO LACE UP YOUR WALKING SHOES. The outdoor season is afoot, and the greater Sacramento region is rich with hiking opportunities. To help you get going, here is a sampler of 12 hikes we enjoy. They include a family-friendly stroll along quiet Putah Creek, several treks to waterfalls, and a canyon descent to a place called Satan’s Cesspool. Whether long, short, flat or hilly, all the hikes on our list have something in common (well, OK, besides poison oak). Each offers us a chance to slow life down for a few hours and tap into that restorative energy nature is always ready to provide.


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Solano County Homestead Trail & Blue Ridge Loop Blue Ridge, high in the Vaca Mountains, is just . . . wow. You’ll walk a narrow spine that drapes from peak to peak, offering 360-degree views of the Vaca range and Lake Berryessa below. It’s an exhilarating top-of-the-world feel.

START: Park in one of several dirt lots off Highway 128, 9 miles west of Winters, just beyond the bridge over Putah Creek. (Some hikers walk to the trailhead via the culvert under the road.)

DIFFICULTY: The 5-mile loop is strenuous. Head out on Homestead Trail, then climb to Blue Ridge. You’ll ascend 1,500 feet, with little shade, and you’ll likely do a bit of boulder scrambling. QUICK TIPS: There is a parking lot restroom. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. Bring a few dollars for the donation box near the Homestead trailhead. POST-HIKE REFRESHER: Berryessa Brewing is a popular roadside stop on the way back to Winters. Or drop into Winters’ quaint downtown for sidewalk pizza.

BTW: If you like this hike, you’ll like Valley Vista Trail out of Rumsey in the Capay Valley. There, you’ll get distant views of Mount Shasta, Mount Lassen and the Sutter Buttes.


Getting lost, long a hiker’s fear, is no longer the problem it once was. Thanks to global positioning system technology, you can almost guarantee you’ll know exactly where you are on a hike, wherever you are. Garmin makes handheld GPS devices worth checking out. They cost $100 and up. Many hikers use free Gaia or AllTrails apps for smartphones. The AllTrails Pro app ($30 annually) shows you where you are even when you’re out of cell range. But technology shouldn’t control your experience. A hiking partner reminded us of that recently when he saw us staring repeatedly at our GPS app. “You know,” he said, “when I hike, I like to look at the scenery.”



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Nevada County


Beale Falls Loop

If you love waterfalls and swimming holes, this gentle hike is worth the convoluted drive. We count three swimming holes fed by two waterfalls and an assortment of smaller cascades.

GETTING THERE: From Wheatland, head northeast on Spenceville Road. Turn right on Camp Far West Road, then left at the Y. (If you cross the bridge at the reservoir, you missed the turn.) Make a right on Spenceville Road (again), which will take you 2 miles to the trailhead.

If you love waterfalls and swimming holes, this gentle hike is worth the convoluted drive.

WARNING: The last few miles are a gravel road that will leave your car in need of a wash. The parking lot is free. No restrooms.

DIFFICULTY: The 5-mile loop is rolling and relaxed, passing through open fields and oak woodlands. You’ll see families with kids, dogs and picnics. PAYOFF: Dry Creek comes bounding down a rock staircase from a tight canyon. The taller drop, often called Beale Falls, plummets into a starkly beautiful pool flanked by cliffs.

BE AWARE: The waterfalls will dwindle in summer. Before you head out, check on to see what recent visitors say about the latest flows.

FOOD AND REFRESHMENT: You’re not near anything out here. So pack in a light picnic, and maybe stow a cooler in the car with after-hike drinks. SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Butte County 3 Phantom Falls The volcanic mesas that form the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve in Butte County are a geological and botanical wonder. Spring here is alive with a half-dozen ribbonlike waterfalls spilling from flowering plateaus.

BE AWARE: Those falls are seasonal and will be dry by late spring unless a late rainstorm hits. Hikers who like creeks and cascades should bookmark this hike for next March.

START: Park in the free Phantom Falls trailhead lot about 7 miles north of Oroville on Cherokee Lane. There are restrooms on-site.

FEE: Beforehand, buy a state Fish & Wildlife “lands pass” online or via phone. Cost is $4.89 per person. The phone number is (800) 565-1458. The online site is There is a trailhead sign with a QR code if you neglected to get a pass beforehand. DIFFICULTY: Phantom Falls Trail is an easy, undulating 4-mile out-and-back walk, some of it on private land. There is no shade, though. And the trail is rocky and hard to track. Our phone GPS app came in handy. AVOID CROWDS: If you’re here on a crowded spring day, consider peeling off for side visits to Beatson Falls or Lower Ravine Falls. POST-HIKE REFRESHER: For a sweet reward, stop at Unicone ice cream in old downtown Oroville.



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Yolo County Putah Creek South Fork Preserve


This creek-side stroll near Davis is great for families with young kids, or for people just looking for a nice spot for a contemplative moment.

START: Park at the free lot off Mace Boulevard

2.5 miles south of Interstate 80, south of the city of Davis. There’s a portable toilet on-site.

DIFFICULTY: The pathway is flat and partially shaded. You can stroll to an observation deck over the creek a quarter mile from the parking lot. Or you can do a 3-mile circuit that traverses open fields. WHY GO: You get an up-close view of valley riparian habitat. The display boards are detailed. One tells you everything you need to know about galls, starting with: What the heck’s a gall?

BONUS: There are working beehives on the south side of the preserve. We walked past them, but it’s easy to steer clear of them. FOR THE DOGS: Dogs are not allowed at the preserve. But Grassland Regional Park, 2 miles farther south, also on Mace Boulevard, has a large dog park in a former orchard.


Have you been out hiking and realized to your chagrin that you know little about the flora and fauna or geology and history around you? Try a group hike led by a naturalist or docent. “If you know the plants and flowers you’re seeing, nature is less of a blur. You become friends with it,” says Elena DeLacy of the American River Conservancy. Here are a few expert-led walks: • At COSUMNES RIVER PRESERVE , naturalists lead photography and natural history walks and, occasionally, canoe outings.

• Sacramento Splash offers vernal pool tours for children and adults in the ILLA COLLIN PRESERVE at Mather Field.

• The AMERICAN RIVER CONSERVANCY offers tours, including a walking poetry workshop and a geology walk. (In winter, they’ve done a mushroom identification walk.)

• At the SUTTER BUTTES, guided hikes occur October through mid-May. One, led by a biologist, is called “Bats of the Buttes.” Slots fill fast.

• At DEER CREEK HILLS PRESERVE , guide-led walks sometimes include stargazing and yoga.

• Guides on MOUNT DIABLO offer tarantula tours during the fall mating season when the critters come out of their burrows.


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El Dorado County South Fork American River Trail

This is a go-to trail if you want a wilderness fix just minutes from suburban Sacramento. The full trail runs 9 miles point-to-point through woodlands from Folsom Lake to Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park on Highway 49.

START: We propose biting off a 7.5-mile out-andback chunk from Skunk Hollow to a spot on the river called Satan’s Cesspool. Park in the Skunk Hollow lot ($10 fee) at the Salmon Falls Road bridge, a few miles north of El Dorado Hills. Restrooms on-site.


DIFFICULTY: There is a rocky uphill switchback that gives way after 1.5 miles to an easy-rolling single track. VIBE: You may glimpse a modern-day gold miner sluicing in the shallows, a reminder this canyon once teemed with 49ers. It’s peaceful here now, “like walking through a mystical wood,” says Elena DeLacy of the American River Conservancy. PAYOFF: That allegedly satanic “cesspool” is in fact a lively river rapid. Hikers can wade in side pools or perch on boulders to watch whooping rafters and kayakers bounce through.

POST-HIKE REFRESHER: Keeping with the pioneer spirit, head to Sutter Street in the Folsom Historic District.


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Monroe Ridge and Monument Trails Loop


Here, in picturesque Coloma north of Placerville, it’s not just about the hike. It’s a chance to travel back to a pivotal moment in California history. You’ll start and finish your walk in Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.

START: Park in the Gold Discovery Museum lot off Highway

49, or in lots across the street ($8 fee for cars). The Monument trailhead is at the base of the hillside behind the museum. You’ll transition to the Monroe Ridge Trail a half mile up the hill.

DIFFICULTY: It’s an easy 3-mile hill climb. You can add a mile by including the Gam Saan Trail, which stems off of Monroe. If you have children, consider doing only the Monument Trail portion. It takes you to the James Marshall statue, perched on a panoramic overlook. BONUS: At hike’s end, cross the street to the spot where Marshall, who was John Sutter’s contractor, collected those fateful first gold flakes in 1848. (Marshall never benefited financially. He lived much of the rest of his life in poverty.) POST-HIKE REFRESHER: Coloma has lovely riverside picnic areas. For more bustle, head to historic Main Street in Placerville. BTW: A half-dozen miles up Highway 49, you can hike to the river in the new Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park.


If you covet shade on a hot summer’s day, check out the densely forested American Canyon trail system in El Dorado County. You’ll cross cascading creeks adorned in moss and ferns as you make your way down to the middle fork of the American River. The trailhead is on Sweetwater Trail (an actual paved street) off Highway 193, 6 miles east of the town of Cool.


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Placer County 7 Hidden Falls Regional Park

Hidden Falls outside Auburn offers a smorgasbord of hiking on 30 miles of interconnected trails that curve around wooded knolls and overlook creeks. Everybody loves this place: Expect to say hi to horseback riders, dog walkers, cyclists and runners.

START: The parking lot is off Mears Drive and Mears Place, two rural lanes that stem from Mount Vernon Road. Restrooms on-site. There is a picnic area on the knoll above the parking lot.

BE AWARE: Online advance parking reservations ($8 full-day, $4 half-day fees) are required on weekends and some holidays. Parking is free, though, with no reservations on weekdays.

DIFFICULTY: Most trails have gentle slopes, and junctions are well-marked with signs. THE FALLS: The straightest shot to the waterfall is a 3.3-mile round trip. Here’s our preferred 6-mile alternative: Take Poppy Loop trail from the parking lot, then string together Blue Oak Loop, Seven Pools Vista, the lower portion of Seven Pools Loop and finally Canyon View Trail.

AVOID CROWDS: Hike beyond the falls on any of these trails: River Otter, Deer Creek, Grey Squirrel and Creekside. AFTER-HIKE REFRESHER: Moonraker Brewing and Knee Deep Brewing near Auburn Municipal Airport are practically a must for beer fans.



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Lake 8 Clementine Trail

The Auburn State Recreation Area is our region’s Disneyland for hikers. Easy hikes. Steep hikes. River hikes. Swimming holes. Waterfalls. If you like steep stuff, tackle Training Hill Trail. If you want long and rolling, amble along Quarry Trail. But if you’re looking for a casual climb, let the Lake Clementine Trail be your introduction to the “Auburn confluence” area.

START: The trailhead is at the bottom of Old

Foresthill Road, near Highway 49, where the north and middle forks of the American River join. You’ll likely park on the side of the road, but you still pay the $10 day-use fee. Restrooms are next to the ranger booth.

DIFFICULTY: Clementine is a 4.5-mile hill hike, but the gradients are modest enough to be kid friendly. Dogs are allowed on leash. WHY CLEMENTINE? For the waters. At the upper end of the hike, you’ll overlook Lake Clementine Dam’s roaring spillway. On a hot day, you can swim at Clark’s Hole, a popular spot a short distance from the start. BE AWARE: It can be busy on weekends. Get there early. Or get there in the afternoon when parking spots start to become available again near the trailhead.

THAT BRIDGE: Way overhead, that’s the Foresthill Bridge. It has the tallest deck height in California and was built when a planned Auburn Dam would have turned this canyon into a lake.


“I like to sniff certain trees like the Jeffrey pine. Stick your nose in the bark and it smells like butterscotch. Just a captivating aroma. When you hike, you get to do things like that.” —Jordan Summers, author of “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Sacramento,” who says he always packs his sense of wonder


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Bay Area Mount Diablo Summit This is one for serious hikers who enjoy tough summit treks. Mount Diablo stands 3,800 feet tall. You’ll climb the equivalent of 350 floors. There isn’t a lot of shade. There are tarantulas, though. Seriously. (More about them below.)

START: Mitchell Canyon parking lot and visitor center is near the town of Clayton in Contra Costa County. Vehicle entry fee of $6. Restrooms available.

SUMMIT PATHS: We suggest the route via Mitchell Rock and Eagle Peak. It’s steep, but the terrain and views are great.

DIFFICULTY: It’s a 13-mile round trip. You have to be in shape. It’s one thing to make it to the summit. But it can be risky returning down gravelly slopes on rubbery legs. WHY GO: For one, bragging rights. Then there are the views in every direction. Plus, you can buy ice cream bars and cold drinks at the top. The summit is not pristine, though. It’s a paved parking lot.

There are tarantulas, though. Seriously.


BONUS: Tarantulas live in abundance on the mountain. In late summer and fall, mature males are out looking for a mate. Steer clear of them and their burrows. They won’t hurt you, but you could harm them by stepping on a burrow.


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Briones Regional Park

If you want a peak Bay Area hiking experience but aren’t ready for Mount Diablo, try the easier summits of nearby Briones and Mott peaks. No tarantulas. But plenty of stubborn cows.

VIBE: Briones Regional Park, near the city of Martinez, is a vast East Bay wildland area with fold after fold of hills and vales, crisscrossed by numerous wide trails. You might catch a cooling bay breeze on its hilltops when the weather is sweltering in Sacramento. DIFFICULTY: You don’t need to hit the peaks to have a lovely hiking experience here. There’s a multitude of routes, most of them pleasant rollers that take you for miles. SUMMIT: The easiest route to Briones or Mott peaks is from the upper end of Briones Road. A popular start point with a big parking lot is the Alhambra Creek Staging Area. It offers trails in several directions. A small parking lot at Reliez Valley Road and Gloria Terrace also has a path to the top up the steeper Blue Oak Trail.

POST-HIKE REFRESHER: The Main Street area in downtown Martinez has upped its game in recent years, becoming an enjoyable waterfront locale for dining, shopping and bayside strolls.


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Sacramento County Ancil Hoffman/ Effie Yeaw River Loop This riverside nook in Carmichael is one of many pocket-sized walking areas on the American River Parkway. Many of the best are east of Watt Avenue where the levees are set wide, allowing for a more natural river environment.

VIBE: The Hoffman/Yeaw area is popular for good reason. It’s easy to access, mainly flat, and you usually get to see deer and turkeys from a short (but respectful) distance. For that reason, dogs are not allowed in the Effie Yeaw portion of this walk. DIFFICULTY: Three miles long and flat, it’s a Sunday stroll. START: Park at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center lot in Ancil Hoffman Park. The car fee is $5 at the kiosk on the road or at Effie Yeaw. Restrooms on-site.

HIKE LOOP: Cross the street and wooden bridge from the Effie Yeaw lot to the dirt trail that loops along the back of the gaming field. Circle the golf course, then head back along the river.

POST-HIKE REFRESHER: Picnic at Effie Yeaw. Or sit on the patio at the Ancil Hoffman golf course bar and grill. OTHER RIVER WALKS: Rossmoor Bar in Rancho Cordova, Bannister Park in Fair Oaks and William Pond area in Arden-Arcade.

It’s easy to access, mainly flat, and you usually get to see deer and turkeys from a short (but respectful) distance.



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Howard Ranch Trail

If you appreciate wide-open spaces and subtle beauty, Howard Ranch will inspire. This hike is just plain pastoral. There is zero shade. But you can swim in Rancho Seco Lake afterward.

START: Rancho Seco Recreation Area off Twin

Cities Road in south Sacramento County. Fee is $12 per car. Trail parking is on the north side of the lake on the gravel road. Restrooms are available near the trailhead. The area is open till 6 p.m.

DIFFICULTY: The 7-miler is flat. But it’ll get hot. Start early when the air is cool. VIBE: You get vernal pools and flowers in spring. You get cows. Lots of cows. And you get a big sky that stretches to snow-capped Sierra peaks. PAYOFF: Partway through, you’ll find yourself on a grassy ridge. The Mokelumne River valley spills out below you like the bucolic opening scene of a cowboy movie.

THOSE TOWERS: To the west are the twin cooling towers and bullet-shaped reactor building of the former Rancho Seco nuclear power plant. POST-HIKE REFRESHER: There’s a store and snack bar on the south side of the lake next to the swimming beach.


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4/13/22 1:08 PM

B Street

by marcus crowder photos by tim engle

Buck Busfield, producing artistic director of B Street Theatre, retires next month.


ate in the afternoon of March 4, Buck Busfield fine-tuned a scene of the B Street Theatre production “Lovers and Executioners.” Actor Meher Mistry threw cloth potatoes at another actor, Melinda Parrett. The play, a modern verse adaptation of a 17th century French commedia dell’arte nod to classic Shakespearean comedies, is full of physical fun. The prop potatoes sailed by Parrett’s head, careening into the audience—a potential safety issue. It’s the last play Busfield will direct as the producing artistic director of B Street before he retires in June. “They don’t really hurt, though, do they?” Busfield asked the room. “Buck, they might,” answered Lynnae Vana, the veteran stage manager, annoyed that the question was even asked. She flipped a potato to Busfield and he tested the heft of the compacted material. Vana muscled the base of a ceramic stone water fountain onto a rolling dolly. “Can’t we just leave that downstage here?” Busfield asked, watching her. Vana stood upright, her hands on her hips. “I suggested that two weeks ago, but everybody had a better idea, none of which have worked,” Vana said deliberately. Busfield smiled. “Just put it where you want it,” he said. “Let’s move on.” He calmly swiped through screens on his notepad.

“We’ll fi x the potatoes later,” he added. The production’s opening-night performance was less than four hours away. After 36 years, hundreds of plays directed (at least 200, he estimates), thousands of performances overseen, millions of audience members around the world entertained, and a major performance venue built, Busfield will leave the company he co-founded with his brother Tim. Buck is the only artistic director the company’s ever known. “It’s a combination of where I’m at internally in my life with my age, turning 70. There’s some other things I want to do,” Busfield said to me later. “The other piece is the last two quarters before the COVID closure were really important because that’s when the business model worked.” The last half of 2019 was the company’s best in nearly 10 years. It was just their second year in The Sofia, the theater complex for which Busfield spent 10 years raising money. It opened in 2018. “We were paying everything off, making enough money to pay all our bills,” Busfield said. “It was the marriage of those two things that really gave me confidence.” Busfield was already scheduled to direct “Lovers and Executioners,” but his involvement was ambushed by a COVID delay. As a thank-you acknowledgment to a few longtime company members, he took them

on a trip to Scotland in early February for a music festival. Busfield’s trip home included a 10-day quarantine in Amsterdam after he tested positive at Schiphol Airport during a layover in Holland. Assistant artistic director Lyndsay Burch put the play up on its feet during Busfield’s absence. Burch has been named incoming artistic director, succeeding Busfield, and will assume his creative duties. The company will hire a managing director for the administrative oversight as well. It’s a typical arrangement for American theaters that can afford a person in each position. B Street has often gone without one. That Burch can so seamlessly step in and out of the director’s chair or that so much is being confidently stitched together in the last moments (in truth, most theater comes together this way—B Street just takes it to an extreme) are tributes to the “B Street way” and what Busfield has built. He’s long considered his acting company an anchor of the company’s success. He told me that “truthfulness, the ability to make big theatrical choices and remain truthful,” was the key to being successful on the B Street stage. “The most important aspect of any endeavor that’s a business or a nonprofit is a personal connection with the public, without a doubt,” Busfield said later.



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Buck's childhood home in Lansing, Michigan

Tim and Buck, 1965


Buck (far right) as the captain in “H.M.S. Pinafore”

The acting company was unofficial for many years, but anyone going to a B Street production in early 2000s knew they were likely to see Elisabeth Nunziato, Kurt Johnson, John Lamb, Greg Alexander or Dana Brooke. Years later, Jason Kuykendall, Amy Kelly, Peter Story and Stephanie Altholz became familiar faces as well. “Up until social media started, all of marketing was about selling. Now, it’s all about engaging. It’s a very different thing,” Busfield said. “B Street, because of our acting company, was engaging all along. We were doing it as the DNA of the theater. It wasn’t so strategic; it’s who we were.” Burch first came to B Street as a directing intern, which allowed her to shadow Busfield for nine months. “You could get to hear him talk about the process and why it was the way it was, and why it might have looked different than at some other place,” Burch said. One of Busfield’s unique qualities was his early commitment to new work rather than the slow-death-by-development process that so many theaters employ so they won’t have to actually put on the untried play. B Street green-lit the plays, and rehearsals became the development process, whether it was Busfield’s own drama, “Not in the Stars,” his commission of nationally known playwright Idris Goodwin’s “Bars and Measures,” or a comedy created by company members. To work that nimbly required a certain


type of actor, and once he found them, Busfield held onto them. “It was amazing to watch the company members, because they were just so comfortable with that process,” Burch said. “I immediately fell in love with the model of the acting company. The shorthand, the familiarity, the long relationships and, of course, chemistry.”


Busfield’s father was a theater professor who taught at Florida State, The University of Alabama and then Michigan State, where the family put down roots and stayed. Buck, the second eldest of four kids, was born in Florida but grew up in Lansing, Michigan, where his dad often directed college and community theater productions. In their backyard, Buck and younger brother Tim made Super 8 films that typically ended with “someone getting blown up or set on fire.” “One of my earliest memories is my dad pushing me out onto a stage to say a line and me upsetting him because I didn’t understand. I had to know what I was doing at age 4. What’s my motivation?” Busfield said. We were sitting in TBar, the cafe next to The Sofia on Capitol Avenue. Busfield had chosen it from the several vendors interested in setting up shop on the site. He tasted his soup, which he decided needed heating. “My dad said, ‘Just go say the line.’ I remember going out and saying, ‘Everyone relax, it’s cool,’” Busfield said.

All photos courtesy of Buck Busfield and The Sofia

Dad Roger (right) directing at Michigan State Univ., 1959

Mom Jean with Tim and Buck, 1976

Wife Mehera and Buck, 1989

Those walk-ons continued throughout grade school before he was able to age out of the kid roles and pass the duties to his younger siblings as music and sports entered his life. “We were surrounded by it growing up,” Busfield said of theater making. “It was something that was so near, it seemed impossible. I shouldn’t say it seemed impossible—it seemed pedestrian.” Yet when younger brother Tim, breathing fire from his recent Hollywood film and television successes, called in 1986 to say he wanted to start a children’s theater in Sacramento, Buck, then working as an actor in Minneapolis, was all in. Together they founded Theatre For Children Inc., which evolved into the B Street School Tour. Buck had just returned from a spiritual retreat in India, where he met the woman who would become his wife, Mehera. They are both devotees of Meher Baba, an Indian spiritual master who preached the oneness of life. In 1988, Buck sent her a round-trip ticket to come visit him in Sacramento. “The theater was still going through some rough stuff, but I just figured, ‘I’m going to stay here. I think I can make this work,’” Busfield said. “I don’t think I ever had a thought of leaving.” They were married in 1989 at First United Methodist Church. She never used the second half of the ticket. The first tour went out in the fall of 1986 with all the short plays written by Buck or Tim. “The fi rst show we did brought down the house with comedy,



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“The most important aspect of any endeavor that’s a business or a nonprofit is a personal connection with the public.”



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Buck and Tim, 1988

Original B Street Theatre, 2016

and there was silence when appropriate. It’s what we wanted,” Busfield said. “I guess it validated our aesthetic. What we like, kids will like, teachers especially. The more you got validated or invalidated by the audience is how you get your confidence. Then you just do a lot of it.” Over the years, hundreds of actors have piled into vans to take original live performances across the region, where an estimated 3.6 million kids have experienced the shows. Five years later, they founded B Street Theatre and began producing world premieres by such writers as Aaron Sorkin, Joe DiPietro and James McLure.


B Street’s home since 1991 had been a converted warehouse sandwiched between a levee topped by train tracks and a modest city park playing field. By the early 2000s, Busfield realized his evolving theater company needed larger, better performance spaces to fulfill its potential and showcase its varied entertainment ambitions. A new theater required a capital campaign. Bill Blake, a respected nonprofit arts consultant, was recruited in 2005 to help Busfield manage the process. Blake understood he was hired to do two things. “One was, get the building project done, help them realize this plan,” Blake said.


Buck, Councilmember Steve Hansen and Mayor Darrell Steinberg at opening ceremony

“It’s a huge undertaking for an organization, and Buck knew he needed some help, just more bandwidth to do that.” They had one huge thing going for them: the promise of land from Sutter Health, which Busfield felt was the most important part. “I could go to anybody and get their attention,” Busfield said. “It put a stake in the ground of validity that made everything flow from that. If it weren’t for that, I don’t think anyone else would have given.” Blake’s second initiative was to maintain and grow the operating cash flow. “B Street relies more on earned revenue (ticket sales) than contributor revenue (gifts or grants) and definitely wanted someone who would come in and help with that,” Blake said. Busfield is a master of cash flow and also has an innate feel for ticket sales and trends. “He’d been doing it a long time when I started, and it was just so in his bones, the business of it,” Blake said. “He just had an amazing intuitive sense of how the market was responding to the work.” Busfield and Blake were on a roller coaster of selling tickets, raising money, designing a theater and then riding out a recession. It was sometimes suggested they take a break. “I think both of us just felt like we couldn’t give up,” Blake said. Raising money was the central piece since construction couldn’t start until there were commitments in place to pay for it.

All photos courtesy of Buck Busfield and The Sofia

The Sofia during construction, 2017

The Sofia, 2018

It was the metaphorical heavy lifting of the project. Blake remembers Buck having an epiphany early on in the process as they drove home from yet another event where they didn’t get the big, splashy gift they desperately needed. At that point, the proposed budget was around $21 million. They had met lovely people who pledged support at modest levels, but capital campaigns live on big chunks of cash—million-dollar chunks—and they weren’t getting those. “It was hard to see that there were many prospects, and we were just so down about it,” Blake said. But then Buck started talking about what they did have. “It’s not a few big donors that support this company,” Blake remembered Buck telling him. “It’s actually a lot, a lot of people who are ticket buyers and donors at smaller levels, and there’s huge power in that.” They gave themselves hope and inspiration. “If we could engage the mass of the public that did support B Street, and did support live theater, and did support the growth of midtown—that ultimately would carry the project over the finish line,” Blake said. It took them 10 years. Blake returned to private consulting in 2015 after the capital to build the theater had been secured. In 2016, the company broke ground on Capitol Avenue. In 2018, B Street moved



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into a brand-new, state-of-the-art-complex: The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts. The theater complex ended up revitalizing the entire city block between 28th and 29th streets. At the east end of Capitol is the late Randy Paragary’s new Fort Sutter Hotel and redesigned Cafe Bernardo. Next to it is The Sofia, a two-story, 49,000-square-foot complex with two theaters, three rehearsal halls and a smaller informal performance space upstairs. Across the bottom floor is a long, glass-walled, street-facing lobby. At the end of the block on the west sits TBar.


Even after Busfield steps down in June, he will still be around—not so much physically at first, but he’ll see shows, and he plans on programming some of the music The Sofia presents. He’ll also write a holiday play this year and direct occasionally in coming seasons. He’ll continue combining his love of travel and music. He doesn’t think much about the idea of his legacy, but since he’s been asked about it quite often lately, he’s considered it. The building, the block really, he knows are considerable achievements. Already they’re part of the city fabric. They will outlive him.

“I got a building here that I think I’ve got to take some credit for,” Busfield told me. “But I’ve had my regrets all along the way in terms of strategy, management, artistic stuff that just I can’t stop from thinking, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that.’ Those things keep me honest.” Some achievements are quantifiable. Stunningly so. More than a million children have seen live B Street theater since that first tour van hit the street. “Over 30 years and counting—12 shows a week with that school tour, and then when he added the Family Series, he added more kids,” said artistic producer Dave Pierini, one of the longest tenured company members. Pierini added, “The true artistic legacy is going to be the fact that that guy, through his stewardship and his leadership, made sure the kids of the Northern California region were exposed to theater in an unprecedented way.” Busfield accomplished a personal goal early on after The Sofia opened: two simultaneous sold-out shows. “The vision for this place was to have a solid play, a concert together where you had a blending of communities—a blending into one,” Busfield said. “Where you could watch the ballet audience mix with hip-hop artists and get that community. It’s not so much what’s inside, it’s what’s in the lobby—the synergy.”

Blake, who travels the West analyzing arts organizations for a living, has a unique perspective. “I think The Sofia is an incredible legacy of what he built here in terms of an artistic company, who give life to The Sofia, to the organization itself,” he said. Blake includes the longserving administrative staff, as well as the actors, directors, technicians and people “who’ve just been there.” “It really is a creative, energetic family. That’s an amazing legacy, and an amazing thing for a city like Sacramento to have inside of it.” Having a drink outside at Cafe Bernardo, Busfield reflected on his longtime board member Randy Paragary. “He was so clear and direct. I learned a lot from him,” Busfield said. He then talked about getting The Sofia built, but he could have been describing his long run at B Street. “I can acknowledge something without understanding it,” Busfield said. “People have bought into the vision I create.” Having created so much, he seemed outwardly sanguine about letting go. We walked back down the street past the glass exterior of The Sofia lobby as late arrivals hurried into the building. “I do want to stay connected in some way, and the board wants me on the board,” Busfield said. “I just don’t want to read the financial reports.”



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702 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom CA 95630 | 916.932.2769 ❦ Photography by Holly D. Photography

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INTERRUPTUS Multiple wedding dates—and in some cases multiple years!—later, these couples figured out how to finally say “I do” despite all the reasons COVID-19 said “you can’t.” BY MARI TZIK AS SUAREZ SACMAG.COM May 2022

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hings brides and grooms used to worry about possibly blemishing their wedding day: inclement weather, an overserved aunt or uncle, the DJ playing “The Chicken Dance.” Try dealing with unexpected shutdowns, new variants and ever-changing travel restrictions—with the weight of your family’s’ conflicting expectations and varying immunization statuses on your shoulders, too. These couples had to reschedule, replan and reprioritize their dream weddings multiple times, with each new date bringing a different set of concerns and considerations. But as they say, love always prevails. Here’s how these brides and grooms persevered with their pandemic weddings.


Original wedding date: May 9, 2020

When the world felt like it was starting to shut down due to COVID-19, Kimberly Comeau and her fiancé, Colin O’Neill, both 30, were less than two months


away from their big day. Which means they were just about to dive into pre-wedding festivities, like their bachelor and bachelorette parties. Two years later, they’re still waiting to party. Kimberly and Colin came to the unfathomable realization that their wedding date wasn’t going to be possible, yet there was no blueprint for the fallout and follow-ups to come. “There were so many unknowns with the vendors, because it was such a fluid situation,” says Colin, a sales manager for a startup. “That caused a lot of stress and panic. I called to see if we could get wedding insurance literally one day too late.” The couple ended up rescheduling to an October 2020 date at their original (indoor) venue, Folsom’s Lake Natoma Inn. But as that date approached, and with no vaccines on the horizon, their plan for a 225-person gathering again was just not possible. “Clearly things were not getting better, and we just didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” says Kimberly, who works for a nonprofit. Plan C: Postpone the big wedding again, slash the guest list down to just immediate family (35 people total) and do an intimate, outdoor and truly DIY October wedding in


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Rachel Fawn (5)

Kimberly and Colin

the meantime. They had just one month to put it all together. “We still had our wedding, but it was completely different. We did everything: set up tables, chairs and Zoom cameras, hung lights, brought our own bar, locked down a pizza truck, recruited friends to bartend, and even cleaned up,” says Colin. Though they treasured what they call their “pivot wedding,” it still left this super-social couple wanting more, things like getting ready with their bridal parties, having first dances and enjoying traditional toasts. However, this pared-down affair did prove to have a major silver lining. “Because we didn’t have to spend the money we had saved for the original big wedding, it allowed us to bolster our savings, so we were able to buy a house and get a dog,” Kimberly proudly admits. “Ultimately, this whole situation pushed us further along than we expected to be at this point in our lives. None of this would have happened if our original wedding would have happened.” Colin and Kimberly are now thinking of doing a five-year anniversary as the big bash they’ve long

looked forward to throwing. “We want everyone to be able to get together without masks, take a bunch of pictures and have a big dance party,” says Colin. “And I’m going to hire a planner next time—I don’t want to do anything,” says Kimberly. “I think we deserve that.”


Original wedding date: Dec. 6, 2020

Andrea Ellinghouse, 32, and Jordan Ollanik, 30, sent out their save-the-dates for their December destination wedding in Mexico mere days before the pandemic swiftly went from zero to 60. “Originally, nobody knew what the shutdown meant,” says Andrea, executive director of Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation. “We thought it was just going to be a couple weeks, so we held out hope.” That hope had a good run—it lasted until September 2020, when the couple officially sent out changeSACMAG.COM May 2022

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the-date postcards announcing a new date in May 2021 at the same place, Martoca Beach Garden in Puerto Vallarta. “We bought ourselves six months, hoping COVID would be over by then,” says Jordan, an engineer. The upside of rescheduling their destination wedding was that all their vendors were directly booked through the venue, so they didn’t have to replan piece“THERE WAS SO MUCH by-piece. Other logistics were UNCERTAINTY AND NOT not as easy. “We had to keep checking on international KNOWING WHERE THINGS WERE travel restrictions,” says AnGOING TO LAND. IT WAS A VERY drea. “We were also wonderDIFFICULT SPACE TO LIVE IN.” ing if the venue was still going to be there in six months,” adds Jordan. “Businesses surviving was a concern.” (Note: Andrea and Jordan hadn’t even had the opportunity to visit the venue yet—obviously those plans went by the wayside, too.) “There were a lot of emotions,” says Andrea. “There was so much uncertainty and not knowing where things were going to land. It was a really difficult space to live in.” To regain some control of the situation, the couple


decided to reclaim their original wintertime wedding plans and have a small ceremony in Sacramento the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2020. “Honestly, I was still so upset that this was how our wedding was shaking out to be,” admits Andrea. “But it turned out to be one of the best days. The intimacy was amazing. Everything in the ceremony had meaning.” They held the wedding at her parents’ community clubhouse and hired a caterer and a friend to play guitar. Jordan built the chuppah. All 12 guests donned a custom face mask featuring their role in the wedding. They ended the night with a boom box dance party. And the date, Nov. 27, matches the day of the month of both their birthdays. Fast-forward to May 2021: Vaccines had rolled out, and the Delta variant wasn’t yet on anyone’s radar. Travel to Mexico was open, and the wedding was a go. All the vendors were still in business, and out of the 200-plus guests Andrea and Jordan invited, 95 were able to attend. The couple’s second wedding was held on a warm, beautiful day. It was just as they imagined, just six months later. (And guess what? It rained in Puerto Vallarta on Dec. 6, 2020, their original date.)

Brian Park (3)

This page: Andrea and Jordan’s November 2020 wedding


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This page: Andrea and Jordan’s May 2021 wedding

“Even though it was a huge roller coaster, it really ended up being the wedding of our dreams,” says Jordan. “I wouldn’t know what to recommend more, between a small wedding and a ‘big’ wedding. They were both so fun,” says Andrea. Because they got both, the couple jokes that they now have an anniversary every six months. “We feel grateful that we got to do both,” says Andrea. “It’s all good memories now. It’s easy to forget the struggles.”


Raúl Medina (4)

Original wedding date: March 28, 2020

Hotel rooms were booked. Transportation was organized. Vendors were paid. Matejka Handley, 35, and James Morris, 42, were cruising toward their late-March wedding at Vizcaya in midtown Sacramento, just a few weeks away. Then some rumblings about COVID -19 started to pop up. A week later, restrictions on group gatherings went into effect. “Soon after that, everything shut down, and everyone was told to go home for three weeks until the pandemic passed,” remembers Matejka. She and

James, both lawyers, were in a sort of pandemic purgatory. “We were just weeks away and fully paid [up],” says James. “I cried,” says Matejka. “I was upset because so much planning had occurred, and I was just ready to see it through. Had we just gotten engaged, we would have just changed plans to a backyard or courthouse wedding. But our choices were either to keep trying to have the wedding we originally envisioned or change it and lose a bunch of money.” The couple had to pick a new wedding date quickly. Vizcaya was offering options in late summer or fall of 2020, but the couple couldn’t commit to them. Not because of COVID concerns but because they now had another date to focus on: a due date. Just days before the shutdown, Matejka and James happily found out she was pregnant, and the baby was arriving in October. “We were originally planning to announce the pregnancy at the wedding in March,” says Matejka. “That is a moment that I really wanted to happen,” says James. “It would have been fun to get the collective ‘awwwww.’” They selected March 29, 2021, as their new wedding date. “It was going to give us time to get through SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Matejka and James

James, Matejka and Mia Everlee

the pandemic and focus on the baby,” says Matejka. “We thought we were being overly cautious by waiting a whole year. We thought we would be assured that everything would go off without a hitch.” Matejka and James welcomed their daughter Mia Everlee Morris on Oct. 19, 2020. And in mid-February, they decided to postpone their wedding yet again. “Vaccines were just becoming available to select people, and we were working with our vendors to understand what a pandemic wedding would look like with health and safety protocols. It sounded like it was going to be sad,” says Matejka. This postponement wasn’t as difficult to process as the first, thankfully.

“For us, the wedding is a moment that you signify to your partner and the world that you are going to be together forever,” explains James. “That moment happened to me when Mia was born. All the meaning and purpose of the wedding happened that day. The wedding will now be a big party more than a cementing of our love.” That big party finally took place on April 2, 2022— two years, five days and one child after their original wedding date. “James and I didn’t put our life on pause because of the pandemic,” says Matejka. “Had we waited to buy a house or start a family, I would have been more frustrated. The marriage stamp now is kind of just a formality, but we wanted the event we paid for, and now our daughter gets to be there,


Kate and Nick


s a wedding planner helping her own clients navigate through their own postponements, Kate Whelan Pesci didn’t even attempt to plan a traditional wedding after she got engaged in May 2021. “It felt too difficult to bring family members with conflicting viewpoints together,” she admits. In January, Kate and her fiancé, Nick Pesci, enjoyed an elegant elopement. It started with dinner in San Francisco, followed by a ceremony at San Francisco City Hall the next day. Kate and Nick then came back to Sacramento to celebrate with a private dinner for two at Localis, where chef Chris Barnum-Dann spoiled them with an epic chef’s counter tasting menu. “We got to make it about us and our relationship,” says Kate. “It was nice to be able to honor that and do exactly what we wanted, when we wanted. It was also fun to surprise people.”

Above: Doug Miranda (2); below: Weddings by Scott and Dana (2)



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Photo Credits: 1 Bellus Photography 2 Oh Lovely Photography, Taylor Coppo 3 Victorio Photography 4 Carmen Salazar



Now Booking for 2023 at our Industrial Wine County Setting

Five Unique Event Spaces to Choose From Indoor/Outdoor Options Venue Coordination Included Wedding Suites for the Wedding Party Can Accommodate Groups 1-250 Guest


916-744-1615 | OSM.indd 55

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THE ATRIUM AT WOODLAKE An elegant, versatile, flexible and affordable event space for weddings, showers, birthday celebrations, corporate events and more.

1431 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815 • (916) 274-4553 •

The Atrium at Woodlake is a unique and affordable indoor/outdoor Atrium Event Space with retractable roof, valet parking, changing room, water feature and tons of included amenities. Over 3700 square feet of space accommodating 200+ guests with multiple service options, catering kitchen, robust partner list and on site coordinator.

What’s Happening in Sac? Get Local Updates In Your Inbox Every Weekday. SIGN UP ON

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926 J STRE E T | SAC RA ME NTO, CA 95 814 | THECITIZENHOTEL .COM | 9 16 447 2700

Brunch GUIDE


The 2022 Brunch Guide features signature dishes from some of your favorite Sacramento restaurants!

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The Mimosa House ATMOSPHERE: Family is one of the most, if not the most important thing in our lives. It is for that reason we created this restaurant. A place where families & friends can come together, over food & drinks, and show why the best memories are made around the table. VOTED BEST BRUNCH IN 2021!

SIGNATURE DISHES: Brunch Burger: Pure angus beef beef patty with two fried eggs, hickory smoked bacon, melted cheese, tomato, red onion, lettuce and aioli on a toasted brioche bun. Maui French Toast: Flambéed Sliced bananas with six thick slices of cinnamon vanilla battered French toast, coconut, macadamia nuts and salted caramel.


RANCHO CORDOVA: 3155 ZINFANDEL DRIVE (916) 970-1761 EAST SAC: 5641 J STREET (916) 400-4084 ROSEVILLE : 761 PLEASANT GROVE (916) 784-1313 EL DORADO HILLS: 2023 VINE STREET (916) 934-0965 FOLSOM: 25075 BLUE RAVINE ROAD (916) 293-9442 GOLD RIVER: 2180 GOLDEN CENTRE LANE, GOLD RIVER (916) 822-4145

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Scott’s Seafood on The River


ATMOSPHERE: Perfectly located on the banks of the Sacramento River, our comfortable and casual dining room highlights a menu with something for everybody. Sip on a mimosa and watch the boats go by on our spacious riverside patio.

SIGNATURE DISHES: Smoked Salmon Benedict: Hollandaise over two perfectly poached eggs nestled in Santa Barbara Smoked Salmon Strawberries and Cream French Toast: Freeze dried strawberries, mascarpone, berries, cream over sliced brioche, with real maple syrup Petite Crab & Avocado Omelet: Two egg french omelet with fresh dungeness crab, tomatoes, green onions and avocado, finished with hollandaise



Bennett’s American Cooking ATMOSPHERE: Our atmosphere features an expansive bar at the heart of the restaurant with an upscale, yet casual, dining experience. Expect attentive service and Bennett’s signature hospitality.

SIGNATURE DISHES: Loaded Bacon Omelet: Blistered tomato, cheddar, green onion, sour cream, smashed potatoes. Avocado Toast: Acme Pain au Levain, avocado, radish, salad greens, house vinaigrette.



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Brunch GUIDE



Tower Cafe




We offer a vibrant array of old world style dishes and drinks. Listen to the babbling fountain, as your eyes take in our garden surrounding the patio. Amazing art and culture await!

Don’t Miss!


SIGNATURE DISHES: Famous French Toast: Custard soaked and delicious. Eggs Tower: Our version of the classic Benedict. Enchiladas de Oaxaca: Spicy and loaded with authenticity!

518 BROADWAY, SACRAMENTO, CA 95818 | (916) 441-0222 | TOWERCAFE.COM

Capitol Garage

The Porch



Our space still pays homage to its punk roots with walls adorned with local art and other highlights from the past venue. Capitol Garage has grown to satisfy the tastes of the growing capitol city.

With a California approach to authentic southern dishes, the Porch is a space where people can come to have a great meal, a great cocktail, and forget about the worries of everyday life.

SIGNATURE DISH: Eggchilada: Chorizo spiced pulled pork, pinto chili, and cheddar wrapped in an egg shell and topped with tomatillo jalapeno hot sauce and pico de gallo, potatoes.



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SIGNATURE DISH: Brisket & Biscuit: Smoked and shredded brisket, porch BBQ sauce, split and grilled biscuit, melted pepper jack, two poached eggs and hollandaise.



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Bravo 0 5



i n s i d e: Meet Tower of Power’s keyboardist

The Real Deal Roger Smith is best known as a member of the enduring R&B/funk band Tower of Power. Our writer chatted with him about his music career and his other endeavor: owning a winery.

Roger Smith in his home studio

t yler & christina SACMAG.COM May 2022

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or Roger Smith, playing music is all about the feel. When the spirit moves him, his fingers fly wildly around the keyboard like a tarantula on speed. “With classical players, every finger is perfectly aligned, but mine look like an uncoordinated spider crawling around,” he jokes. But make no mistake: The 72-year-old musician knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s just too modest to say so. Most know Smith primarily as a member of the legendary R&B/ funk band Tower of Power, the horn-heavy Oakland-based ensemble that first found fame in the ’70s with such hits as “You’re Still a Young Man” and “What Is Hip?” He’s also the band’s lone Sacramentan. But there’s much more to his story. Before joining T.O.P. in 1999, the keyboardist and Hammond B-3 master had done stints with such musical heavyweights as Gladys Knight, Willie Nelson and Leon Russell. Along the way, Smith has also done a ton of solo projects (his current band is Jazz Rosco), opened a winery and survived cancer. In brief, he’s had a life. A friendly sort, Smith welcomed me with a warm smile and a quick hug when I arrived for our interview at the Land Park home he shares with his wife, Kathleen (and a dog and cat). Here are some highlights from our chat. Where did you grow up and how did you get into music? I was born in Dallas—my entire family tree comes from Texas. My folks moved out to California when I was 4 or 5. So I’m basically 95% Californian. My interest in music started when I was about 11 years old, after my folks left the Fresno area and moved the family to Sacramento. Some friends of mine in the neighborhood, the McGriffs, were relatives of Jimmy McGriff, the famous organist from Philadelphia. The McGriffs had what I knew of then as a church organ—a Hammond B-3. When Jimmy would come to town, he’d stop by and play. I had never heard a church organ sound like that. It didn’t sound like “church music” [chuckles]. So I was taught my first two songs by the late Jimmy McGriff. That’s kind of where it all began.

Did you get formal training after that? My mom was a devout Christian and wasn’t gonna have that “heathen” music in her household, so I took lessons. That lasted maybe one year. Lessons and formulated theory training just wasn’t in my nature. So at that time I didn’t really play music; I just kinda goofed around on the organ in church.

When did you get more serious about music? I got drafted, and at the end of my tenure in the service I was in San Antonio. There was a Special Services department where a lot of the kids would go over and jam. I hung out there all the time, and it was then that I started getting more serious about music. Fast forward, I was honorably discharged, came back to Sac and got a call from one of the kids I used to hang out with in Texas, asking me to join his band. I thought he was BS-ing



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At Bump City Wine Company in Clarksburg

me, but he sent me a $500 Western Union wire transfer and airline tickets to Austin. So I packed my little duffel and flew down to Austin. That’s where I started the group Blind Melon, and among the players in that band were a young Eric Johnson [legendary Texas guitarist] and bassist Roscoe Beck. Our band was opening shows for a bunch of groups: the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cold Blood, ZZ Top, others. All of this led to my very first-ever pro gig, with [blues guitar legend] Freddie King. His organ player was sick, so I knocked on the door of opportunity and said, “I’ll play.” The gig didn’t last long, maybe 10 days. But it was an eye-opener for me in the beginning of my career. After that, gigs just started kind of happening. Willie Nelson, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, guitarist Harvey Mandel [Canned Heat], Jeff Beck. Boom, boom, boom, fast, fast, fast.

Tyler & Christina

Who did you work with next, pre-T.O.P.?

“With this band, you won’t get backing tracks, you won’t get fake this or fake that, or somebody pressing a button to make something sound good.”

Things started changing in Austin and LA started calling, so I came back to California. When I moved back out here, Gladys Knight was the biggest thing that happened to me. That was the true start for me—the real beginning of my career. The Gladys connection came from my friend [the late] Stan Lunetta, who was taking the Sacramento Symphony to the Concord Pavilion to back her up. The pianist that was with the symphony definitely wasn’t a Gladys Knight-type piano player. Great pianist, but no R&B, no soul. So Stan called and said, “You wanna do this?” And I just happened to know every song Gladys ever did. So I went and played in the pit at the Pavilion. That led to a tour with Gladys. SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Before Gladys, I had another career-changing opportunity when I joined the “Soul Train” [television show] house band, Sunbear. It was damn good fun and a hell of a band. But it was short lived—about a year.

Your career was on fire. How did you make that happen? Was it just a matter of working hard at your craft, or something more? That’s a good question. A lot of it, as I’ve learned over the years, has to do with the way you carry yourself, your personality—even over musicianship. If the vibe is right, they’ll give you a shot. I’ve met a lot of musicians who played their asses off, but they came in the door like they forgot Elvis left the building. And the people who were checking that out went, “Oh boy.” Because if you’re gonna be out on the road with somebody, the last thing you want is Mr. or Ms. Diva.

You’ve been with Tower of Power nearly 25 years now. What has this experience been like? I’ve always loved this band—loved them forever, long before I joined the group. But being with a group that is, in my opinion, iconic, and to get on stage with a band that’s doing what no one else is doing, with a sound no one else can replicate—well, that has changed my life. There is also consistency in this band, and that’s a blessing. Right now, we’ve got a full tour schedule for 2022, and we’re already going into 2023. It’s that kind of security, as opposed to these bands that are “hot now, cold tomorrow.” Tower sits right here.

T.O.P. celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 and is still touring worldwide and reaching younger audiences, too. That’s pretty amazing. What else might surprise us about T.O.P.? When we get on a tour bus, it’s like a rest home on wheels—it’s hilarious. But once we get up and get our joints oiled up, we hit the stage and we give it our all. I think that’s what surprises people. With this band, you won’t get backing tracks, you won’t get fake this or fake that, or somebody pressing a button to make something sound good. What you hear is what you get. It’s the real deal. One hundred percent. And it hasn’t changed. I think that’s what a lot of people don’t know about T.O.P.: that we are working hard to pass on the honesty and the purity of music.

Despite your chockablock schedule, you somehow found time to start Bump City Wine Company, with a clever nod to the title of T.O.P.’s second album. Tell me about that. Wine is a passion, just like my music. I’m blessed with having a dear friend as my partner, Mike Smolich. He’s retired but was previously the boss/CEO of a few companies, and we’re both wineheads; we love wine. We launched the company in 2014 with our flagship, Bump City Red. We’ve now got 10 varietals. When the idea came up to do this, I thought, “This is great. But retailing? And learning about the rest of this stuff? I don’t have time.” So I told Mike he had to be the boss. Somebody has to be. What am I gonna do if I’m in Australia [on tour]? Somebody’s gotta be here handling the details. So Mike was left to figure out the bottles, the corks, our licensing. . . . It was a lot of work. My thing was, and is: I’m the face of this company; I’m the personality. And that’s the beauty of our partnership. And the company has grown. The synergy between the music and the wine is huge. We’re now working on doing a series of concerts in 2023 at the Old Sugar Mill, where the tasting room is located.

Looking back on your life, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? One big lesson I learned is get over yourself. When I was a young musician, I was cocky. So much was happening so fast, and at such a level. I’ll be honest: I was running to S.F., going to North Beach Leather and buying myself leather outfits, thinkin’ “I’m Billy Preston . . . I’m that guy.” I went there. So get over yourself, you know? And do your best. Just aspire to be yourself.



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Above left: Wayne Thiebaud, “Watermelon and Knife,” 1989, Crocker Art Museum, gift of the Artist’s family, 1995.9.30. © Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society, NY; Below right: Daniel Ng



M AY 1

Funny, Very Funny—One of the

most celebrated and recognized humorists today, David Sedaris is a master of satire. The best-selling writer’s candid observations of the everyday and droll assessments of the human condition have garnered him a huge following since he first read his “Santaland Diaries” on NPR in 1992. Enjoy An Evening With David Sedaris at the Mondavi.

M AY 6–8

Get Your Groovy On—Celebrate Mother

Earth on Mother’s Day weekend at UC Davis’ Whole Earth Festival. Around since 1969, this free, family-friendly, student-run, zero-waste festival attracts thousands who come for live music, dance, art, poetry and kids’ activities plus hundreds of booths offering vegetarian food, handmade crafts, tie-dye, henna tattoos, massage and more.


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Hail to The Chief—

6–8 M AY 1 1–22

Reprise on a Roll—In another Hol-

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Thiebaud Tribute—In honor

Country Music Association’s 2020 Entertainer of the Year Eric Church (aka “The Chief”) has a devoted base of fans (aka “the Church Choir”) who revel in his Southern country-rock sound. Since 2005, the country superstar has produced nine studio albums and 11 chart-topping singles. Take yourself to Church for The Gather Again Tour at Golden 1 Center.

lywood hit turned Broadway musical, the 1982 film “Tootsie”—starring Dustin Hoffman as a temperamental actor who disguises himself as a woman to get work—is reimagined as a laughout-loud musical comedy. Broadway Sacramento welcomes the national touring production of “Tootsie” to the SAFE Credit Union PAC stage.

of Sacramento’s most renowned artist, who died in December at age 100, Crocker Art Museum presents Wayne Thiebaud: A Celebration 1920–2021, a reprise of its recent exhibition, Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings. Don’t miss this (second) chance to see the locally beloved, internationally acclaimed artist’s iconic works.

Note: All events are subject to change, based on local and state health and safety regulations. Before you set out, confirm the event’s dates and details, and be ready to comply with any COVIDrelated measures (mask, proof of vaccine/booster, negative test) required to attend. SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Our full-service design firm takes clients from the initial concept to completion, and no matter the scope of work, it all begins with a conversation around timelines. As much as we all hoped for a quick return to normalcy, everything from full-scale new builds to oneroom renovations will require flexibility. Careful planning and lots of patience is imperative. Also, keep in mind that the design phase can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more. Due to the continued demand for building and renovations, available contractors can be hard to come by. Same goes for designers + architects. We recommend to inquiry early, talk to your designer, and ask everyone on the team for a deposit process to hold your spot on their schedule. By now, we’ve all seen how the ongoing supply chain disruption has made a significant impact nearly everywhere.

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Most notably, we’re seeing unusually long wait times on essentials related to renovation and design. We found the biggest issues with plumbing supplies, high-end appliances, doors, windows, paint, and a lot of furniture. Before anything else, we recommend ordering your appliances, doors, and windows as soon as possible. When those items are in limbo, it tends to delay projects pretty significantly. Also, if you are considering any custom furniture, include those choices early on in the furniture selection process. A notion we have followed for years: look at the overall concept and not at individual prices of items. Lighting, for example, is well worth splurging on. We always find ways to offset costs by making smart design choices throughout the project. Lastly, be prepared for prices to increase with short or no notice. Our best advice? Invest in your dream design and go from there.

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sacdesign Spring/Summer 2022

WIDE OPEN SPACES Homes that live BIG

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Milgard Trinsic™ Series | V300 Vinyl Windows & Doors. Now available in a NEW black-on-black finish shown here! If you’ve been looking for a contemporary vinyl window, the new Trinsic Series is for you. The frame profile is so narrow, you’ll hardly know it’s there. With the maximum available viewable glass area you’ll enjoy amazing views outside. The low-profile hardware, uniquely designed for this series, practically disappears from view. Plus, it features a full lifetime warranty for added peace of mind.

Call 800.MILGARD (800-645-4273) or visit for more information.

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Building Your Future! Custom Home • Additions • Kitchen & Bath Remodel • Tenant Improvement • New Construction Proud Member

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Photography: Jose Manuel Alorda


IRG’s Calacatta Paonazzo Marble

IN STOCK NOW Bold, dramatic and sophisticated, IRG’s Calacatta Paonazzo Marble can elevate your kitchen to a true work of art.

Discover more at IRG.

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mood board

FLOWER POWER THE NATIONAL EXCHANGE HOTEL in Nevada City recently got a swank makeover, complete with lush, nature-inspired wallpapers that feel at once time honored and trend conscious. Out of respect for the hotel’s origins (it was constructed in 1856), Palm Springsbased designer Anne L’Esperance of An Ellipsis Design took cues from the classic Victorian-era patterns of aesthete William Morris in selecting the wallcoverings. “The overall design concept was to give a nod to the opulence of the Victorians but do it in a more timeless fashion so that it will still look good in another 50 to 100 years.” —catherine warmerdam In this room: Ava Blue wallpaper by Sandberg

Above: Kat Alves

plants on wheels

WHAT DO TACOS, ice cream cones and California native plants have in common? They can all be purchased from a truck that rolls into your neighborhood spreading good vibes. Miridae, a West Sacramento-based landscape design-build firm, first launched its mobile nursery as a way to support do-ityourself landscapers, says founder Billy Krimmel. He soon recognized that the plants-on-wheels concept had the capacity to grow community connections, too. “It’s very joyful” to bring plants to the people, says Krimmel. “There was a time when people were starved for community during the dark days of the pandemic. We also did events around the social

justice protests. It was beautiful to see the impact of the mobile nursery beyond just providing plants.” It works like this: Miridae connects with someone in a neighborhood or organization who wants to host the truck, then provides them with materials to publicize the event. They recruit friends and neighbors to stop by and shop. The truck is staffed with a landscape designer or ecologist (sometimes both) who can provide site-specific advice regarding that day’s plant selection. Hosting is free, says Krimmel, “and it’s a great way to get to know your neighbors.” All proceeds from the mobile nursery benefit Miridae Living Labs, a nonprofit that uses gardens to engage students in STEM education.—catherine warmerdam Spring/Summer 2022 SAC DESIGN

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Color Me Fun

This El Dorado Hills remodeling project doesn’t take itself too seriously. By Catherine Warmerdam

The living room has a playful, lighthearted vibe, thanks to a navy leather sofa and nesting coffee tables.


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hen Kristen Fiore of Kristen Elizabeth Design was approached by a young family to design the interiors for their four-bedroom home in El Dorado Hills, she noted two things about her clients: “They love color and they like to have fun.” Translating those qualities into a newly built residence that, in the wrong hands, could have felt stark and cold called for creativity. “Thankfully, the homeowners, who had come from a house with a more bohemian look, were super open to exploring different avenues of design,” says Fiore. “My job was to be thoughtful about how to integrate what they love but still achieve a contemporary look.” She also had to ensure that none of the finishes or furnishings were too precious for an active family with school-age children and indoor pets. The designer was “adamant about making sure there was an element of warmth” in every space. In the living room, for example, the wood floors, flat-weave rug and woven poufs are textural counterpoints to a towering fireplace clad in large-format oxidized metal tiles. The kitchen cabinetry doubles as a showcase for woven baskets and hand-painted glazed ceramics—a clever method for introducing color and pattern into the space. The island is a mix of materials: a walnut waterfall section on one end, blue azure quartzite on the other. “When your eye moves through the space, it all feels very tranquil, which was my goal,” says Fiore. Colorful surprises abound in the bathrooms: a deep-blue wall in the spalike principal bath; a smudgy blue-and-green wallpaper in the powder room; an ombre wave of lagoon-blue tile in the pool bath. The result is a striking home where fun and sophisticated design go hand in hand.


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TOP: Designer Kristen Fiore introduced subtle pattern and color through baskets and ceramics showcased in the upper cabinets and the prominent veining in the azure quartzite island. The alder cabinets were first bleached then stained a warm white. In the breakfast nook, a delicate pendant light makes an ethereal statement. LEFT: A cloudlike Eurofase chandelier hovering over the dining table pairs perfectly with the soft-blue performance velvet chairs and hand-knotted rug.

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RIGHT: In the pool bathroom, mosaic tile with an ombre wave design is right at home.


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“My job was to be thoughtful about how to integrate what they love but still achieve a contemporary look.” —Kristen Fiore LEFT: In the powder room, the watercolorlike mural wallpaper from Feathr and the plaster teardrop pendants from Norris Green Design give the room its organic feel. BOTTOM: Behind the Farrow & Ball Hague Blue wall in the main bathroom sits a shower on one side and a steam room on the other.

Spring/Summer 2022 SAC DESIGN

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A house gets a fun, flirty, feminine redo.

by catherine warmerdam photography by kat alves


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In the principal bedroom, feminine detailing—from the pretty patterned curtains to the curved settee and floral throw pillows—reflects the homeowner’s personal style.

Interior Design: Rebecca Ward

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t takes vision and a little moxie to purchase a home with a style the polar opposite of your own and transform it into your dream house. In the case of this 5,800-square-foot Granite Bay residence, the homeowner saw through the dated wallpaper, funky light fixtures and faux-Venetian detailing, believing a thorough makeover could redeem its good bones. Interior designer Rebecca Ward was called in to give the home a fresh start, which began with selecting a cheerful, feminine color palette dominated by blues and greens with touches of salmon. “The owner wanted a style that matched her own, a place that was calming and beautiful and a retreat from her busy professional life,” says Ward. Geometric patterns—in upholstery, wall moldings, tile layouts and more—are a unifying theme throughout the five-bedroom home. “It’s classic but modern at the same time,” Ward explains. “The shapes add texture to a room, and it’s a pleasant experience seeing all that subtle pattern.” The refinished wood floors and counter-level windows are about the only


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OPPOSITE PAGE, ABOVE: Geometric patterns abound on the walls, upholstery and carpet. OPPOSITE PAGE, BELOW: Designer Rebecca Ward kept the shape of things traditional but introduced a look-at-me factor with a blue animal-print armchair.

“The owner wanted a style that matched her own, a place that was calming and beautiful and a retreat from her busy professional life.” Designer Rebecca Ward

ABOVE: A gray-white stain on the wood cabinets and white grout on the marble mosaic backsplash keep the kitchen light and bright. BELOW: Blush chairs sport a classic rounded-back silhouette.

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vestiges of the former kitchen. The polished marble mosaic backsplash is the perfect complement to the cabinets, which were done in two tones to break up the expansive space. The living room is rife with traditional touches, including a classically shaped mirror flanked by dainty sconces over the fireplace. Daybed-style seating, which is situated at the room’s entry point, “allows the room to speak to the rest of the house” by keeping the view open and fluid, Ward says. The room’s boldest stroke—an animal-print armchair—“makes a bit of a statement.” The principal bedroom is intended as an oasis, complete with a canopy bed, loveseat and plenty of stylish cushions, a sure invitation to kick one’s feet up. “The homeowner wanted a space where she could close the door and have a retreat,” says Ward. The salmon walls in the adjoining bathroom are feminine without being frilly. The attention to detail in each room—through inviting colors, tailored yet comfortable furniture and classic finishes—breathed new life into a house that sorely needed it.

ABOVE: A centered table lends the home a sense of grandeur, while the orange bench and patterned curtains introduce elements of fun. BELOW: The green used in one of the bathrooms “functions as a neutral,” says Ward, “because it’s found so much in nature.”


SAC DESIGN Spring/Summer 2022

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SACRAMENTO COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, CA 95864 (916) 481-8811 | Sacramento Country Day School is an independent, co-educational school providing a personal, dynamic and academically challenging environment for PK-12th grade students. With small class sizes and a uniquely close community, Country Day’s personal learning environment offers a wide array of opportunities. Students in every grade are able to discover their unique strengths and talents and pursue them with passion. Our students try new approaches, explore new perspectives, and discover themselves in each new experience. Guided by teachers who know them well, Country Day students are fully engaged in their own education and develop a lifelong love of learning. At Sacramento Country Day, we are committed to providing an individualized education that encourages students to “think critically, live creatively, and act compassionately.” Country Day is now accepting applications for the 202223 school year. Inquire today at to be invited to special events and learn more about our Priority Application Deadline.

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THE GIFT OF KIDS DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL Jennifer Tommasini, Owner 5130 Golden Foothill Parkway, El Dorado Hills www.THEGIFTOFKIDS.NET The Gift of Kids was formed in 1999 when owner Jennifer Tommasini could not find good child care for her own son. Gift of Kids started as an in-home day-care and preschool and has grown into a large facility in El Dorado Hills where we accommodate 200 children and have 30+ wonderful, educated, loving teachers. The teachers at Gift of Kids bring us talents that include yoga, cooking, Spanish, and music. We offer childcare and preschool for infants, preschoolers, and private kindergarten. Jennifer works closely with teachers and families to ensure comfort, address any and all concerns, and implement ideas that bring us the newest and greatest ways of teaching effectively. We pride ourselves on our loving environment combined with a highly educated curriculum. Jennifer is blessed with 4 children of her own, ages 24, 21, 12 and 10. Contact Jennifer for a tour today at (916) 521-1835 or visit

SACRAMENTO REGION WALDORF SCHOOLS Camellia Waldorf • Cedar Springs Waldorf Davis Waldorf • Live Oak Waldorf • Sacramento Waldorf The Sacramento region is home to five Waldorf schools affiliated with the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. Our shared goal is to provide Waldorf education to as many children as possible, building confidence and imagination through the educational philosophy developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1919. Waldorf education focuses on a child’s developmental stage, prioritizing wonder, creativity, and imagination as essential childhood values. Rigorous academics in the upper grades provide strong math and sciences interwoven with fine and practical arts. Music, dance, theater, writing, literature and imaginative play are building blocks for deep thinking and character-building. Teachers focus on students’ intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacities. Waldorf education is an early childhood through 12th grade journey. We invite you to visit our campuses for tours and experience what a Waldorf education can do for your child! Learn more at In-person outdoor learning available.

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Celebrate the best Sacramento has to offer. This year’s event will be outdoors and under the stars, at The Barn, a unique venue in the Bridge District. Mingle with the region’s most influential people as they experience food & drink from their favorite farm-to-fork restaurants, breweries, distilleries and wineries.

AUG. 18, 2022 5:30-9:30 pm MEDIA SPONSORS

A portion of the proceeds will benefit our local chapter of Make-A-Wish.

Get Your Tickets Now • $65 For information and vendor applications: SPONSORED BY

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i n s i d e: Frankly French / Folsom’s Flock / Clear Cut

Get ’em While They’re Hot You’d better be quick on the draw if you want to grab a crispy taco or two (or three) from BIBI’S , a crazily popular Mexican food truck parked every day at 3084 Sunrise Blvd. Owners Michel and Sarah Romero start taking orders at 11:45 a.m. and close shop when they sell out, which happens fast—sometimes in under two hours. In May, the couple plans to open a brick-andmortar, serving their food-truck fare (tacos, burritos and quesatacos) along with their specialty: Michoacánstyle enchiladas. That should solve the scarcity problem. For the truck schedule and to order online, go to ga br iel te agu e SACMAG.COM May 2022

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À La Française Franquette brings French style and cuisine to West Sac’s Bridge District.



est Sacramento’s fledgling Bridge District got a major dose of street cred with the recent opening of Franquette, a contemporary French café from the owners of Canon. It’s an open-all-day, drop-in-for-a-glassof-wine kind of place inspired by the cafés of Paris. But it’s not a Disneyland version of a French café—“no checkerboard floor, no berets or bistro aprons,” says Brad Cecchi, one of the owners. Originally, the developer of the Bridge District had a coffee-oriented business in mind for the space, but Cecchi (who co-owns East Sac’s Canon with Clay Nutting) had other ideas. The Michelin-anointed chef had spent time in Europe and felt that Sacramento needed a European-style place where people could go for coffee and pastry in the morning, lunch at midday, wine in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. For the French, Cecchi explains, that sort of place is “their everything.” He partnered with two Canon colleagues, Jack and Elena Winks, who met and fell in love while working in Paris—Jack as a bartender, Elena as a chef. Together, the three of them came up with the concept for Franquette: casual, simple, modern and focused on local ingredients, with just a few exceptions such as French wines and cheeses. At breakfast, you can order a freshly baked croissant, porridge, salmon tartine or mushroom galette, along with an espresso or a bol de chocolat—creamy hot chocolate served with a decadent slice of toasted, buttered brioche for dipping. At lunch, the choices are similarly limited: one soup, four salads, quiche and a jambon sandwich on a baguette. Dinner offers slightly more options, including oysters on the half shell, duck meatballs and boeuf bourguignon. Elena Winks, Franquette’s chef, designed the menu with Cecchi’s input. The goal was to come up with simple dishes that could be easily executed in the already-built-out kitchen. No dish has more than two or three “touches”—chef-speak for components such as sauces and garnishes. By comparison, Canon’s complex dishes typically have 10 or 11 touches.

The frisée salad—a traditional salade Lyonnaise served at both lunch and dinner—is instructive. A tangle of feathery, curly greens served with a softly poached egg, crispy lardons and warm Dijon vinaigrette, it is both basic and magnificent. Winks remembers the transformative moment she ate frisée with lardons at an inexpensive restaurant in Paris’ 10th arrondissement. “It was not particularly attractive,” she recalls. “But OMG. It was a saucy salad, almost like a soup. So flavorful. With a perfectly poached egg, crispy but fatty bacon and acidic dressing. It’s hard to get right. It’s not the most beautiful salad, but it’s a classic.” For Franquette, Winks re-created that salad without any twists or tricks. “It’s already perfect,” she says. “You don’t need to put a spin on it.” Raised between the United States and Germany by an American father and a German mother, Winks was inspired by the foods she ate growing up. A dish called, simply, Poached Potatoes is a version of an Alsatian cabbageTHE FRISÉE SALAD—A and-potato concocTANGLE OF FEATHERY, tion that her family CURLY GREENS SERVED used to make. She WITH A SOFTLY poaches local Bintje POACHED EGG, CRISPY potatoes in butter LARDONS AND WARM DIJON VINAIGRETTE— along with purple cabbage, which tints IS BOTH BASIC AND the sauce a lovely MAGNIFICENT. pink, and serves them with apple-fennel sauerkraut. Winks describes her cooking style as emotional, nostalgic and feminine. “I make food I like to eat,” she says. “I was always more of a home-cook style of chef.” It’s grandma food— or in this case, grandmère food. Winks got pregnant with her first child during the pandemic, and she was on maternity leave until he was almost a year old. When she returned to work, it was to open one of Sacramento’s hottest new restaurants. Only 27, she seems to be taking it all in stride. “I try really hard to do what sounds good in my head and hope people like it,” Winks says.

Warm frisée and lardons

FRANQUETTE 965 Bridge St., West Sacramento

Boeuf bourguignon and duck meatballs

mike battey



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For breakfast, a savory galette and bol de chocolat

Brad Cecchi, Jack Winks and Elena Winks

Poached pear


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I Can See Clearly Now

First Flight It’s all about taking care of people. That’s what Jordan Davis, who has cooked for some high-profile restaurateurs over his two-decade career, including Nancy Oakes of San Francisco’s Boulevard and “Top Chef” alum Brian Malarkey of Herb & Wood in San Diego, brings to the experience of launching a restaurant of his own, Flock, which opened in Folsom in February. “I tell my staff all the time: We are in the business of yes,” says Davis. “That’s how I lead in the kitchen. My ego is completely unimportant when it comes to serving the guests. We do whatever we can to make them happy.” It seems to be working. Locals who appreciate good eats are, well, flocking to the eatery. Flock’s menu is at once familiar and novel. “My idea was to make some delicious food that isn’t over people’s heads but is interesting,” Davis explains. Pizzas are a staple, and Davis puts his personal stamp on them by focusing on quality ingredients and the extra effort it takes to turn out a terrific crust. “We use a three-day cold-fermented dough, which Jordan Davis helps build up the flavor,” explains Davis. “And we’re not topping them in the traditional way. I lead first with vegetables and herbs, with protein as a supporting cast member. I love the idea of seasonality, even as it pertains to pizza.” That translates to inventive pies that pair, say, asparagus with red onion or broccolini and lemon with fennel sausage. As much as the pizzas at Flock shine, the entrées more than hold their own. A citrus-brined, spice-rubbed chicken—roasted so perfectly that it makes you fall in love with this humble bird all over again—hints at a passion of Davis’s. “Initially I wanted to open a place that only served pizza and chicken, but I knew I couldn’t pigeonhole myself like that.” So he added some thoughtfully conceived dishes to round out the menu, including Ora King salmon with luscious cumin yogurt and charred lemon, and New York strip dressed up with a bright shishito salsa verde. Even the sides and appetizers are treated with care. Brussels sprouts are taken to a new level when tossed with lime, chili, mint and crunchy peanuts. Tender Spanish octopus, with olive relish and preserved lemon aioli, is like a mini vacation to Barcelona. If everything goes to plan, Davis hopes to bring his interpretation of hospitality and contemporary, ingredient-driven food to other parts of the Sacramento region. “We don’t want to stop with Folsom,” he says. 185 Placerville Road, Folsom; (916) 694-0202;—CATHERINE WARMERDAM


The Block Artisan Ice Co.

Below: Anna Wick

Pepperoni pizza from Flock

A few years ago, Matt Briggs had what you might call a cool idea: to launch an artisan ice business servicing Sacramento’s bars and restaurants. Having worked at fine dining establishments in Hawaii for 12 years, the former bartender and Sacramento native did some research and learned that high-end bars in cities like Miami and Los Angeles sourced their ice from vendors who turn out crystal-clear cubes that make cocktails look gorgeous and taste better. Thus was The Block Artisan Ice Co. born. Conventional ice is marred by THE COMPANY SELLS TWO cloudiness, so Briggs employs a SPECIAL CUTS NAMED AFTER special ice maker that agitates the LOCAL BARS: THE SNUG water as it freezes from the bottom CUT, A SLIM RECTANGLE FOR up, resulting in pristine, glasslike SHORT TUMBLERS, AND THE TROPHY CUT, A 5-INCH-LONG blocks. He uses an Alaskan lumber mill chainsaw to cut the 400SPEAR FOR HIGHBALLS. pound blocks into slabs, which are further cut into bars and then fist-size cubes using a band saw and a commercial meat slicer. Because the water Briggs uses is highly filtered, it doesn’t contain any of the impurities that could alter a drink’s flavor. The company currently sells its ice to a couple dozen bars and restaurants in Sacramento, Napa and Reno. “Artisan cocktails have been on the rise for years now, and ice is just another ingredient to take the drink to the next level,” explains Brigg’s sister and co-owner, Heather Briggs. “Our ice doesn’t water down the drink, and it’s beautiful to look at.” Bars can even imprint their logo onto cubes using brass stamps that the company has fabricated. The owners hope to make artisan ice the norm at fine restaurants and bars and even with home bartenders looking to step up their game. The cubes are sold at select Nugget Markets and at their facility. Custom orders—think fruit, herbs or even entire bouquets frozen into cubes—are also available. (707) 721-2383;—CATHERINE WARMERDAM


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SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE HAS SOME EXCITING NEWS On May 1, 2021 we launched “The Sacramento Magazine Digital Studio” – a full-service suite of digital services including: Google Display and Programmatic Advertising • Paid Social Media Advertising Search Engine Optimization (SEO) • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) • Website Remarketing Video and Connected TV Advertising • Custom Email Marketing

Contact us:

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Sacramento’s favorite ice cream parlour for 35+ years. Our award-winning ice cream and sauces are made fresh daily and served in generous portions. We also offer a large variety of delicious sandwiches–from our specialty crab sandwich to great burgers. Leatherby’s is the perfect old fashioned ice cream parlour for families, friends, large groups or parties. Sun–Thur: 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri–Sat: 11 a.m.–12 a.m. Sacramento | Arden Way | 916-920-8382 Citrus Heights | Antelope Road | 916-729-4021 Elk Grove | Laguna Blvd | 916-691-3334

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Dine As a reader service, Sacramento Magazine offers the following list of noteworthy restaurants in the Sacramento region. This is not intended to be a complete directory, and not all restaurants profiled appear every month. Before heading to a restaurant, call or check its website to make sure it’s open.

ARDEN ARCADE ABYSSINIA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT If you can’t decide on one of the Ethiopian stews, served here with injera bread, opt for a grand sampler that includes four different stews, along with spicy red lentils, split yellow peas, collard greens and cabbage. 1346 Fulton Ave.; (916) 481-1580. L–D. Ethiopian. $$ CAFE VINOTECA Located in Arden Town Center, Cafe Vinoteca serves some of the loveliest Italian-inspired cuisine in the city. 3535 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 4871331; L–D. Italian. $$$ DUBPLATE KITCHEN & JAMAICAN CUISINE One of the few places in Sacramento where you can get Caribbean food, this restaurant serves Jamaican specialties such as curry goat and jerk chicken. 3419 El Camino Ave.; (916) 339-6978; dubplatekitchen L–D. Jamaican. $$ FAMOUS KABOB Smokily delicious, meat kabobs are the attraction here and are served with fluffy basmati rice and grilled tomatoes. 1290 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-1700; L–D. Persian. $–$$ THE KITCHEN Part supper club, part theatrical production, part cocktail party: This is like no other restaurant in Sacramento, and it’s Michelin starred. You need to make reservations months in advance for the multi-course dinner. The food is complex and mind-blowingly creative. 2225 Hurley Way; (916) 568-7171; D. American. $$$$

PLAN B The menu is compact, with a handful of appetizers and several wonderful salads. Plan B’s claim to fame is its stellar mussels, offered six ways. 555 La Sierra Drive; (916) 483-3000; planbrestau D. New American/French. $$–$$$ TEXAS WEST BAR-B-QUE This no-frills establishment serves slow wood-cooked meat in big portions. Dig into the tender Western-style pork spareribs and beef brisket or the smoky chicken. 1600 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-7427; L–D. Barbecue. $–$$

Roasted beet and pear salad from Taylor’s Kitchen dishes, the restaurant encourages family-style dining. 2422 13th St.; (916) 737-5115; irongrillsacra L–D–Br. American. $$–$$$

food can be a real lifesaver on nights when you’re too busy to cook. 915 Broadway; (916) 732-3390; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$

KATHMANDU KITCHEN This family-owned restaurant envelops you in a cocoon of exotic fragrances. Order the lal maas (lamb curry with chili sauce) or chicken saagwala (stir fried chicken, spinach and curry). 1728 Broadway; (916) 441-2172; kathmandukitchensac L–D. Indian/Nepalese/vegetarian. $

TOWER CAFE This place is a hot spot on weekend mornings. Regulars swear by the New Mexico blueberry cornmeal pancakes and the thick-cut, custardy French toast. Breakfast is all-American, but lunch and dinner have a global flavor. 1518 Broadway; (916) 441-0222; B–L–D. World fusion. $$

ANDY NGUYEN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT This bastion of Buddhist-inspired vegetarian cuisine serves food that is fresh and flavorful. 2007 Broadway; (916) 736-1157; L–D. Vegetarian/Asian. $

REAL PIE COMPANY At this homey pie shop, you’ll find the pies of your dreams, made with all-butter crusts and seasonal fruit sourced from local farms. In addition to dessert pies such as jumbleberry and butterscotch banana cream, you can order savory pot pies, shepherd’s pies and dishes like mac and cheese, all available to eat in or take out. 2425 24th St.; (916) 838-4007; L–D. American. $

IRON GRILL Come here for a sizzlingly romantic dinner or a cocktail-laden business meeting. With a compact menu anchored in traditional American

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE Choose from an array of appetizers and hot items along with crowd-pleasing side dishes and pizza. This high-quality takeout



CAPAY ROAD TRIP BAR & GRILL This family-friendly joint serves up classic roadhouse fare, from salads and burgers to chops. 24989 State Highway 16; (530) 796-3777; B–L–D. American. $–$$

CARMICHAEL D’MILLER’S FAMOUS BBQ Ribs, hotlinks, tri-tip and more are served with traditional accompaniments

Gabriel Teague

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Go for the ice cream, all made on the premises and used in shakes, malts and towering sundaes. 2333 Arden Way; (916) 920-8382; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $


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ECHO & RIG Located in the lobby of The Sawyer hotel, this outpost of a Vegas steakhouse is sleek and unstuffy. In addition to standard cuts like filet, NY steak and rib-eye, you’ll find butcher cuts such as hanger, bavette, skirt and tri-tip. 500 J St.; (877) 678-6255; B–L–D–Br. Steakhouse. $$$ ELLA This stunning restaurant, owned by the Selland family, is an elegant oasis compared to the gritty hustle and bustle outside. From the open kitchen, the staff turns out innovative dishes and old favorites. The emphasis is on seasonal, local and artisanal. 1131 K St.; (916) 443-3772; elladining L–D. New American. $$$$ FOX & GOOSE PUBLIC HOUSE This tavern plates up some of the best breakfasts in town, along with pub staples like beer-battered fish and chips, a Cornish pasty or Welsh rarebit. 1001 R St.; (916) 443-8825; B–L–D. English pub. $ FRANK FAT’S Downtown Sacramento’s oldest restaurant, Fat’s is a favorite of the Capitol crowd. The restaurant is well known for its steaks and its brandy-fried chicken. This is Chinese cuisine at its most sophisticated. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; frankfats. com. L–D. Chinese. $$$ GRANGE RESTAURANT & BAR Located in The Citizen Hotel, Grange proves that a hotel restaurant doesn’t have to be pedestrian. The menu changes frequently and spotlights some of the area’s best producers. At dinner, the ambience in the stunning dining room is seductive and low-lit. 926 J St.; (916) 492-4450; B–L–Br. Californian/American. $$$$

Cocktails from Mas Taco Bar such as cornbread, coleslaw and baked beans. The food, simple and hearty, arrives on disposable plates at this casual eatery. 7305 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 974-1881. L–D. Barbecue. $$ MARK & MONICA’S FAMILY PIZZA The pizzas here are belly filling and hearty. 4751 Manzanita Ave.; (916) 487-1010; L–D. Pizza. $$ MATTEO’S PIZZA & BISTRO The menu is compact, and there’s no skimping on first-rate ingredients. The pizza crust is damned good, attaining that chewy-crispy-airy trifecta. You also can order pasta, steak or a burger. 5132 Arden Way; (916) 779-0727; L–D. Pizza/American. $$

CITRUS HEIGHTS LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 7910 Antelope Road; (916) 729-4021; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ SAM’S CLASSIC BURGERS At this drive-up burger shack, the shakes are great and the burgers wonderfully straightforward. 7442 Auburn Blvd.; (916) 723-7512. L–D. Burgers. $

CURTIS PARK PANGAEA BIER CAFE While it’s known as a beer cafe and bottle shop, this casual spot also serves up tasty bar food, including a burger that has taken home top honors more than once at Sacramento Burger Battle. 2743 Franklin Blvd.; (916) 454-4942; pan L–D. American. $$

DOWNTOWN BAWK! CHICKEN & BAR Along with crispy chicken coated with a red spice mix that kicks it up a notch, you can order salads, oysters on the half shell and collard greens. 1409 R St.; (916) 465-8700; bawk L–D–Br. Southern. $$ BRASSERIE DU MONDE This beautifully designed restaurant is based on a traditional French brasserie. The menu hits the high points of the brasserie canon, everything from onion soup to steak frites. 1201 K St.; (916) 329-8033; brasseriedu L–D. French. $$–$$$ BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; burgers L–D. Burgers. $ CAFE BERNARDO The menu offers straightforward fare guaranteed to please just about everyone. Breakfast includes huevos rancheros and eggs Bernardo, drizzled with housemade hollandaise sauce. Lunch and dinner feature chewy-crusted pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and substantial entrées such as pan-seared chicken breast with mashed potatoes. 1431 R St.; (916) 930-9191; B–L–D. New American. $ CAMDEN SPIT & LARDER Highly regarded chef Oliver Ridgeway opened this swank brasserie in a modern, glass-walled building near the Capitol. It appeals to lobbyists, lawyers and legislators with its gin-forward cocktails (martini, anyone?) and a menu that’s an interesting mash-up of British chophouse classics, English schoolboy favorites and elevated pub fare. 555 Capitol Mall; (916) 619-8897; L–D. Steakhouse. $$$– $$$$

KODAIKO RAMEN & BAR Partly owned by Kru’s Billy Ngo, this below-ground ramen shop takes the Japanese noodle soup to a whole new level. Ingredients are organic, and almost everything is made in-house. For a fun experience, sit at the six-person ramen counter and chat with the chefs. 718 K St.; (916) 426-8863; L–D–Br. Japanese/ramen. $$–$$$ MAGPIE CAFE This restaurant has a casual, unassuming vibe, and its hallmark is clean, simple fare that tastes like the best version of itself. 1601 16th St.; (916) 452-7594; B–L–D. Californian. $$ MAS TACO BAR Tasty little tacos are the headliners at this casual eatery. They come with all sorts of delicious fillings: braised short rib, Korean fried chicken, banh mi shrimp and roasted cauliflower. You can also get rice bowls, salads and starters such as elote (Mexican street corn) and habanero fire balls (a mixture of roasted chilies, cream cheese, bacon and pepper jack, rolled into balls and fried). 1800 15th St.; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR This hip sushi bar serves its sushi with a side of sass. There are three sushi bars and a dense menu of appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ NASH & PROPER The owners first rocked Sacramento’s food scene with a food truck featuring Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches. Now, they have two brick-and-mortar locations serving their famous sandwiches, along with quarter and half birds, impressive sides and chicken and waffles (weekends only). You pick the heat level for your fowl, ranging from naked (no heat) to cluckin’ hot. 1023 K St.; (916) 426-6712; L. Fried chicken sandwiches and plates. $ SHADY LADY SALOON The charming faux speakeasy is an excellent place to meet up with friends for a SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Dine round of cocktails and a first-rate meal. Bordelloinspired wallpaper and dim lighting set an alluring stage for the robust and flavorful food. 1409 R St.; (916) 231-9121; L–D. American/ Southern. $$ URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this brewery, a massive smoker turns out succulent meats—brisket, ribs, turkey and sausage—in the tradition of the great barbecue houses of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Sides include collard greens, mac and cheese, yams and poblano cheese grits. Sit indoors or out at long picnic tables. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; L–D. Barbecue. $$

EAST SACRAMENTO CANON With Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi at the helm, this chic restaurant offers an ambitious menu of globally inspired sharable plates. Much of the menu is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, but you can also order from a selection of meat, poultry and fish dishes. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433; canoneast Global/New American. D–Br. $$$–$$$$ CELESTIN’S Gumbo is the signature dish at this charming, minuscule restaurant specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine. It comes in six varieties, including chicken, vegetarian and seafood. But the pièce de resistance is the namesake Celestin’s gumbo, chock-full of chicken, sea scallops, wild shrimp, rock cod and sausage. 3610 McKinley Blvd.; (916) 2584060; L–D. Cajun/Creole. $$ KRU Kru turns out exciting Japanese fare, and there’s a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestau L–D. Japanese. $$$–$$$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE This local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The rest of the menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 5641 J St.; (916) 400-4084; mimosa B–L. American. $$ OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR This casual Italian eatery is beautifully designed and efficiently run. There are hot dishes and cold salads behind the glass cases, ready for the taking. But the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and wood-oven pizzas. There’s also a full bar serving Italian-theme craft cocktails. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 822-8720; L–D. Italian. $$ ONESPEED Chef Rick Mahan, who built his stellar reputation at The Waterboy in midtown, branched out with a more casual concept at his East Sac eatery. The open bistro has a tiled pizza oven that cranks out chewy, flavorful pizzas. 4818 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 706-1748; B–L–D. Pizza. $$ ORIGAMI ASIAN GRILL This fast-casual eatery serves Asian-flavored rice bowls, banh mi sandwiches, salads and ramen, along with killer fried chicken and assorted smoked-meat specials from a big smoker on the sidewalk. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; L–D. Asian fusion. $–$$

Pan-fried pork buns and Chinese meat burgers from Journey to the Dumpling food, interesting fusion entrees, traditional dishes such as teriyaki and tempura and—yes—sushi. There’s a short, approachable wine list, sakes and a full bar serving handcrafted cocktails. 4361 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 941-9181; L-D. Japanese/sushi. $-$$ C. KNIGHT’S STEAKHOUSE An upscale dinner house serving steaks, chops and seafood, this restaurant offers classic American fare that’s stood the test of time. Make sure to order the Green Phunque, a tasty side dish that’s like creamed spinach on steroids. 2085 Vine St.; (916) 235-1730; cknightssteakhouse. com. D. American steakhouse. $$$$ MILESTONE This unstuffy eatery serves great takes on comfort-food classics like pot roast and fried chicken. It’s straightforward, without pretense or gimmickry. The setting is like a Napa country porch, and the service is warm and approachable. 4359 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 934-0790; milestoneedh. com. L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 2023 Vine St.; (916) 9340965; B–L–D. American. $$


SIENNA RESTAURANT A luxurious Tuscan interior features a large bar and pretty patios. The menu includes a playful melange of global cuisine, including fresh seafood, steaks, stone hearth pizzas, inventive appetizers and a stacked French dip sandwich. Sunday brunch includes a made-to-order omelet bar and unlimited mimosas. 3909 Park Drive; (916) 941-9694; L–D–Br. Global. $$–$$$

AJI JAPANESE BISTRO This casually elegant restaurant offers an innovative menu of Japanese street

STICK HOUSE ASIAN FUSION AND MONGO BAR This hot spot offers a new, tastes-fresher take on

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under Broadway. 5340 H St.; (916) 736-3333; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$


Mongolian barbecue—noodles (including zoodles and other gluten-free options) or rice or mixed greens, choice of additions ranging from veggies to crispy toppings, and sauces galore. You’ll also find Asian-inspired street food such as crab wonton nachos, bao sliders, rolls and meatballs. 2023 Vine St.; (916) 673-9620; L–D. Noodles/Asian street food. $

ELK GROVE BOULEVARD BISTRO Located in a cozy 1908 bungalow, this bistro is one of the region’s best-kept dining secrets. Chef/owner Bret Bohlmann is a passionate supporter of local farmers and winemakers, and his innovative food sings with freshness and seasonality. 8941 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 6852220; D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ JOURNEY TO THE DUMPLING This Elk Grove eatery specializes in Shanghai-style dumplings (try the soup-filled xiao long bao), along with Chinese dishes such as green onion pancakes, garlic green beans and salt-and-pepper calamari. 7419 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 509-9556; L–D. Chinese. $$ LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 8238 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 691-3334; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 8525 Bond Road; (916) 714-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ NASH & PROPER For description, see listing under


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THE VIRGIN STURGEON This quirky floating restaurant is the quintessential Sacramento River dining experience. In summer, a cocktail pontoon is connected to the restaurant, where you can drink and enjoy the breezy proximity to the water below. Best known for its seafood, The Virgin Sturgeon also offers weekend brunch. 1577 Garden Highway; (916) 921-2694; L–D–Br. Seafood/ American. $$

GRANITE BAY HAWKS One of Placer County’s best restaurants, Hawks is known for its elegant cuisine and beautiful interior. The dining room has clean lines, soothing colors, and crisp white tablecloths. Framed photos of farmscapes remind diners of owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients. 5530 Douglas Blvd.; (916) 791-6200; L–D–Br. New American/French. $$$–$$$$

GREENHAVEN/POCKET CACIO At this tiny restaurant, the fare is highquality Italian comfort food, with an emphasis on pasta. Service is warm and homey, prices are gentle, and reservations (even at lunch) are a must. 7600 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 399-9309; caciosacra L–D. Italian. $$

Caprese salad, sashimi and oysters from Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse Downtown. 9080 Laguna Main St.; (916) 897-8437; L. Fried chicken sandwiches and plates. $

FAIR OAKS MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 4323 Hazel Ave.; (916) 961-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ SUNFLOWER DRIVE IN This casual spot serves healthful, wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare. Faves include the Nutburger, the egg salad sandwich and fruit smoothies. 10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 9674331; L–D. Vegetarian. $

FOLSOM BACCHUS HOUSE WINE BAR & BISTRO With a seasonal menu packed with innovative, globally influenced dishes, this restaurant has plenty to choose from. 1004 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-7500; bacchus L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication in a retail center, this place offers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier entrées. But it’s the wine program that really knocks this charming little bistro out of the park. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1201; (916) 986-9100; backbis D. New American/Mediterranean. $$–$$$ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR At this glamorous restaurant, the menu focuses on Asian cuisine, from Mongolian beef and Hong Kong chow mein to Thai chicken satay served with a fiery curry-peanut

sauce. 2585 Iron Point Road; (916) 983-1133; fats L–D. Pan-Asian. $$ LAND OCEAN The menu hits all the steakhouse high notes: hand-cut steaks, lobster, seafood and rotisserie, entrée salads and sandwiches. 2720 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 983-7000; L–D–Br. New American/steakhouse. $$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 25075 Blue Ravine Road; (916) 293-9442; B–L. American. $$ SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ROUNDHOUSE This restaurant offers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to roasted lobster tail. 824 Sutter St.; (916) 989-6711; scottsseafoodroundhouse. com. L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$ THAI PARADISE Standouts on the extensive menu include spring rolls, tom kha koong (coconut milk soup with prawns), green curry, spicy scallops and pad thai. Try the fried banana with ice cream for dessert. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thai L–D. Thai. $$

GARDEN HIGHWAY CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER This riverfront restaurant draws crowds looking for a great place to party on the water during warm-weather months. Boats pull up to the restaurant’s deck, where you can sip a cocktail, and roll-up doors blur the line between indoors and out. The Cajun-inspired menu includes fish tacos and several fun entrées. 1375 Garden Highway; (916) 929-2268; L–D– Br. Cajun/American. $$

SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ON THE RIVER Located in The Westin Sacramento, Scott’s has a patio and a view of the river. Breakfast dishes include crab cake Benedict, and lunch entrées range from petrale sole to a prawn Caesar salad. For dinner, splurge on a lobster tail or choose a more modestly priced grilled salmon. 4800 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 379-5959; scotts B–L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$

LAND PARK RIVERSIDE CLUBHOUSE The busy kitchen focuses on a solid menu of American classics. Beautifully designed, the restaurant features a stunning outdoor waterfall and a tri-level fireplace. 2633 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 448-9988; L–D–Br. American/New American. $$ TAYLOR’S KITCHEN Step inside the cozy space and you’ll notice the focal point is an open kitchen where the chefs prepare meats and produce sold at Taylor’s Market next door. 2924 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 4435154; D–Br. American. $$$

MIDTOWN BEAST + BOUNTY The beating heart of this chic restaurant is its open hearth, where meats and vegetables are roasted over a wood fire. The meaty rib-eye, served over potatoes roasted in the meat’s fat, is meant to be shared. So is the pizza, thin, flat and seductively charred from the wood-burning pizza oven. 1701 R St.; (916) 244-4016; eatbeastand L–D–Br. American. $$$ HAWKS PROVISIONS & PUBLIC HOUSE At this sophisticated gastropub, the food is rustic Mediterranean, with beautifully executed dishes like country pate and baked rigatoni. The pastas are made inhouse, and even the burger is top-notch: Wagyu beef is ground in the walk-in fridge, and it’s served on a house-made brioche bun with hand-cut French fries. In addition to the restaurant (the “public house”), there’s a casual takeout shop next door serving coffee, pastries and sandwiches (the “provisions”). 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; hawkspublichouse. com. L-D-Br. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$ SACMAG.COM May 2022

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Dine HOOK & LADDER MANUFACTURING COMPANY Located in a Quonset hut, this restaurant is both hip and cozy. Despite the barlike ambience, Hook & Ladder is serious about food. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. 1630 S St.; (916) 442-4885; hook L–D–Br. Californian. $$ KUPROS This fun gastropub is housed in a beautifully renovated 1910 Craftsman building. Belly up to the ground-floor bar for a pint of beer, or head upstairs for a seat in the dining room or the outdoor balcony, where you can tuck into fare such as steak frites or pot roast. 1217 21st St.; (916) 440-0401; kuproscraft L–D–Br. New American/gastropub. $$ LOCALIS This upscale restaurant is a pleasant surprise. Localis (Latin for “local”) is a dinner-only restaurant with an inventive, prix-fixe menu of ingredient-driven dishes. Chef Christopher BarnumDann works with local farms to source most of the menu within 100 miles. 2031 S St.; (916) 737-7699; D. Californian. $$$–$$$$ LOWBRAU BIERHALLE This chic yet casual watering hole serves house-made sausages, duck fat fries and stand-out beers. Long communal tables make for an experience that’s noisy and convivial. 1050 20th St.; (916) 706-2636; L–D– Br. Beer hall. $ MULVANEY’S BUILDING & LOAN Distinctive and cozy, this topflight restaurant exudes the generous affability of its owner, chef Patrick Mulvaney. It’s housed in a brick firehouse from the late 1800s, and the lush patio is a popular spot in warm months. The menu changes frequently and is focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; L–D. Californian. $$$

THE RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR The menu is a playful jumble of dishes, some robustly American, others with an Asian, Latin or Mediterranean influence. 2718 J St.; (916) 706-2275; L–D–Br. New American. $$ THE RIND At this cheese-centric bar, you can savor cheese in a number of ways. The menu includes variations on macaroni and cheese, cheese boards and creative grilled cheese sandwiches. 1801 L St.; (916) 441-7463; L–D. American. $$ TANK HOUSE This midtown ’cue joint offers a limited menu of ribs, brisket and sides along with a thoughtful selection of craft beers. 1925 J St.; (916) 431-7199; L–D. Barbecue. $ THE WATERBOY This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant produces perhaps the finest cooking in the region. Chef/owner Rick Mahan honors local farmers with his commitment to simply prepared, highcaliber food. You can’t go wrong if you order one of the lovely salads, followed by the gnocchi, ravioli or a simple piece of fish, finished with butter and fresh herbs. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads and pomme frites. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$ ZELDA’S ORIGINAL GOURMET PIZZA Zelda’s is legendary for the greatness of its pizza and its attitude. But that’s part of Zelda’s charm, along with the dark, dingy atmosphere. It’s all about the food: old-school, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that routinely wins “best pizza” in local polls. 1415 21st St.; (916) 447-1400; L–D. Pizza/Italian. $$


Tank House’s baby back ribs and mac ’n’ cheese ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas. The restaurant is high-ceilinged, with a wood bar and roomy booths. During warm months, the wraparound sidewalk patio is one of the most popular spots in town. 1801 Capitol Ave.; (916) 4410303; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$



J.J. PFISTER RESTAURANT & TASTING ROOM In addition to a tasting room where you can sample locally made premium gin, vodka and rum, this family-owned distillery also operates a restaurant serving lunch and dinner. The all-day menu features salads, sandwiches and tacos, along with the whimsical “Adult Lunchable”—an assortment of cheeses, deli meats and accompaniments. Desserts get the boozy treatment: Order cheesecake topped with bourbon caramel and whipped cream, or fudge clusters made with Pfister’s Navy Strength rum. 9819 Business Park Drive; (916) 672-9662; jjpfister. com. L–D. Casual American. $$

FIXINS SOUL KITCHEN This bustling place serves up friendly Southern hospitality along with delicious Southern fare, including chicken and waffles, gumbo, fried catfish, and shrimp and grits. 3428 Third Ave.; (916); 999-7685. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$ LA VENADITA This inviting, casual taqueria has a concise menu that includes inventive street tacos, a brightly flavored ceviche and an enchilada with rich mole sauce. It also boasts a full bar and an enticing menu of craft cocktails. 3501 Third Ave.; (916) 4004676; L–D. Mexican. $$

OLD SACRAMENTO THE FIREHOUSE Since opening in 1960, this has been Sacramento’s go-to restaurant for romantic atmosphere and historic charm. Located in a 1853 firehouse, it’s white tablecloth all the way, with crystal wine glasses and top-notch service. The outdoor courtyard is one of the prettiest in town, and its canopy of trees sparkles at night with tiny lights. The food is special-occasion worthy, and the wine list represents more than 2,100 labels. 1112 Second St.; (916) 442-4772; L–D. Californian/American. $$$$

CATTLEMENS This classic Western steakhouse serves up big slabs of prime rib, porterhouse, T-bone and cowboy steaks, plus all the trimmings: shrimp cocktail, loaded potato skins, deep-fried onions and more. 12409 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 985-3030; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 3155 Zinfandel Drive; (916) 970-1761 and 2180 Golden Centre Lane; (916) 8224145; B–L. American. $$

ROSEVILLE CATTLEMENS This classic Western steakhouse serves up big slabs of prime rib, porterhouse, T-bone and cowboy steaks, plus all the trimmings: shrimp cocktail, loaded potato skins, deep-fried onions and more. 2000 Taylor Road; (916) 782-5587; cattlemens. com. D. Steakhouse. $$$ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR For description,

Rachel Valley

PARAGARY’S This legendary restaurant focuses on elegant, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. 1401 28th St.; (916) 457-5737; L–D–Br. New American/Californian. $$–$$$


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556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; wildwoodpavil L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$

SOUTHSIDE PARK BINCHOYAKI Small plates of grilled meats, fish and vegetables are the stars at this izakaya-style restaurant. But you can also order ramen, tempura and other Japanese favorites. 2226 10th St.; (916) 4699448; L–D. Japanese. $$–$$$ SOUTH In a town of great fried chicken, this casual restaurant may serve the very best fried chicken of all. It’s moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and comes with braised greens and a flaky biscuit (made from a secret family recipe). Other delights include a fabulous hamburger and traditional Southern desserts such as sweet potato pie. 2005 11th St.; (916) 382-9722; L–D. New Southern. $$

TAHOE PARK BACON & BUTTER Lively and delightfully urban, the place is packed with fans of chef Billy Zoellin’s homey flapjacks, biscuits and other breakfasty fare. 5913 Broadway; (916) 346-4445; baconandbuttersac. com. B–L. Breakfast/American. $–$$ MOMO’S MEAT MARKET This family-run business serves simply first-rate barbecue, smoked over wood in huge drums in the parking lot. Sides include pepper Jack mac ’n cheese, cornbread and deepfried cabbage. 5780 Broadway; (916) 452-0202. L–D. Barbecue. $$

The James Roll from Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar see listing under “Folsom.” 1500 Eureka Road; (916) 787-3287; L–D. Pan-Asian. $$ LA PROVENCE RESTAURANT & TERRACE This elegant French restaurant offers some of the region’s loveliest outdoor dining. The seasonal menu features items such as bouillabaisse and soupe au pistou. 110 Diamond Creek Place; (916) 789-2002; laprovence L–D–Br. French. $$$–$$$$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 1565 Eureka Road; (916) 797-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 761 Pleasant Grove Blvd.; (916) 784-1313; B–L. American. $$ PAUL MARTIN’S AMERICAN GRILL The bustling, comfortable restaurant is a local favorite. The kitchen offers a great list of small plates and robust, approachable entrées. 1455 Eureka Road; (916) 783-3600; L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$$

Jeremy Sykes

P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO The extensive menu offers dishes whose origins spring from many regions in China but that reflect a California sensibility. 1180 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 788-2800; pfchangs. com. L–D. Chinese. $$ RUEN THAI Simple and serene, Ruen Thai is a family-owned restaurant that offers a surprisingly large selection of fresh-tasting food. 1470 Eureka Road; (916) 774-1499; L–D. Thai. $ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE This swanky dinner house serves some of the tastiest meat in town. Ex-

pertly cooked steaks are seared at 1,800 degrees. Don’t miss the cowboy rib-eye or the fork-tender filet mignon. 1185 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 780-6910; D. Steakhouse. $$$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento.” 761 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville; (916) 784-1313; B–L– D. American. $$

SIERRA OAKS CAFE BERNARDO AT PAVILIONS For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 515 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2870; B–L–D. New American. $ ETTORE’S This bakery is a convivial spot for a casual meal. It’s hard to take your eyes off the dessert cases long enough to choose your savory items. But you’ll soon discover the kitchen’s talent extends to the wonderful pizzas, cooked in a wood-burning oven, hearty sandwiches and burgers, and fresh salads. 2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 482-0708; ettores. com. B–L–D. Bakery/New American. $–$$ LEMON GRASS RESTAURANT Lemon Grass serves delicious, upscale Asian fare such as salad rolls, green curry and catfish in a clay pot. Everything tastes fresh, light and clean. 601 Munroe St.; (916) 486-4891; L–D. PanAsian. $$$ WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR This chic restaurant serves New American and global cuisine, with naan, ahi poke and rock shrimp risotto sharing the menu with an all-American burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music.

WEST SACRAMENTO BRODERICK ROADHOUSE Burgers rule at this appealingly scruffy bar/restaurant. In addition to the juicy beef burgers, there’s also a selection of more avant-garde versions, including the duck burger. 319 Sixth St.; (916) 372-2436; L–D–Br. Burgers. $ BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 317 Third St., (530) 572-0909; L–D. Burgers. $ DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in a stunningly modern indoor-outdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves excellent thin-crust pizzas, along with a few salads and appetizers. You can get table service indoors or on the patio. But if you prefer something more casual, grab a folding lawn chair, find a spot at the sprawling outdoor taproom and order a pizza to go. It’s fun galore, with kids, dogs, fire pits and a tap trailer serving beer. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 423-0971; L–D. Pizza. $$ VIENTIANE RESTAURANT This dynamic spot offers some dishes you might not find at other Thai restaurants, such as garlic quail, deep-fried and lavished with pepper and garlic. 1001 Jefferson Blvd.; (916) 373-1556. L–D. Thai/Laotian. $ Subscription rates: $19.95 for one year, U.S. only. All out-of-state subscribers add $3 per year. Single copies: $4.95. Change of address: Please send your new address and your old address mailing label. Allow six to eight weeks’ advance notice. Send all remittances and requests to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Drive, Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Customer service inquiries: Call (866) 660-6247. Copyright 2022 by Sacramento Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Prices quoted in advertisements are subject to change without notice. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) Volume 48, Number 5, May 2022. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) is published monthly by Sacramento Media, LLC, 1610 R St., Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95811. Periodical postage paid at Troy, MI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send change of address to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098


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Dedicated to Service Penelope Cravens, shown here in a 1976 Sacramento Bee photograph, was the first woman to serve as a California State Police officer, having joined the force in 1975. The officers were responsible for the protection of state employees, visitors and property. They were also tasked with protecting the governor, and Cravens was a bodyguard to Gov. Jerry Brown. The State Police merged with the California Highway Patrol in 1995. —DARLENA BELUSHIN MCKAY


Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPMP00948



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Real talk: What you see here is pure, unfiltered Nevada. With the most mountain ranges in the lower 48 and vistas for days, we're full of surprises. That's why we say - in the Silver State, we'll see your unexpectations...and raise them. CATHEDRAL GORGE STATE PARK, NEVADA (TOP) VIEW FROM LIBERTY PASS, LAMOILLE, NEVADA (BOTTOM)

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