July 27, 2006
Coming: Another Cafe Bernardo

Roseville is losing its Cafe Bernardo, but Sacramento is getting another one. After pondering for weeks what to do with his mammoth property at 15th and R - originally the pan-Asian restaurant Sammy Chu's, most recently the New American bistro Icon - restaurateur Randy Paragary has decided to turn it into the city's second Cafe Bernardo.

But there's more to it than that. The bar portion of the facility will be rechristened R15. Paragary isn't calling it a sports bar, but it will have nine or so TVs, along with four pool tables in one of the structure's former dining rooms. "There will be a lot of televisions playing sports when sports are on, but we're not really filling it up with sports memorabilia and that type of thing," says Paragary. "It will be a little edgier than a sports bar, with more of a Monkey Bar look to it." Monkey Bar is an immensely popular tavern in connection with Cafe Bernardo at 28th and Capitol.

Paragary is most excited about this latest project because of the Australian-made music-video system he's installing, stocked with 8,800 selections ranging from country to hip-hop. "It's like a big iPod," says Paragary. Once sports are over for the evening, the system can be programmed to play only a specific kind of music the rest of the night, he notes.

The Cafe Bernardo portion of the business will be in the back, in conjunction with the site's kitchen, which because it is larger than kitchens at other Cafe Bernardos will allow cooks to expand on the cafe's basic menu. Counter service will remain the norm, however.

Sacramento designer Bruce Benning is in charge of the makeover. Paragary hopes to have the place reoponed around Sept. 1.

As to the Cafe Bernardo in Roseville, it's being restyled into Mas Mexican Restaurant, a collaboration involving Paragary and Ernesto Jimenez of the restaurants Ernesto's, Zocalo and Tortugas in Sacramento. Mas is expected to open around Aug. 7.

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