August 2, 2006
Time Out for Joey B's

Say goodbye to Joey B's, the luxury box of Sacramento's sports bars. Oh, wait, it only may be taking a long 7th-inning stretch.

Frank Rompal Jr., who has been operating Joey B's since it opened a little more than two years ago, is giving up the place to run another business at the U.S. Army's Fort Irwin near Barstow.

Under regulations of the Business Enterprises Program, a branch of the state Department of Rehabilitation, which oversees food-service operations in state facilities, vendors can operate only one permanent site at a time, explains Marta Bortner, an information officer with the department.

Rompal chose to run the Fort Irwin facility and said he would close Joey B's in about two weeks. He wasn't available for comment, but Julie Reynolds, the manager at Joey B's, said she expects the restaurant's last day to be Aug. 11.

In the meantime, officials of the Business Enterprises Program, whose goal is to provide the blind with remunerative employment by operating cafeterias, vending machines, coffee kiosks and the like in state buildings, are seeking bids from prospective vendors.

Joey B's is on the ground floor of the state Department of Health Services at 17th Street and Capitol Avenue.

State authorities hope to have a new vendor lined up and the restaurant reopened by around Oct. 1, says Bortner. Whether it will be called Joey B's or something else, and whether the format will remain the same remains to be seen.

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