November 7, 2007
Sofia Falls, But Could Jump Back Up

Struggling restaurants try desperately to hang on during the year-end holidays, counting on extravagant soirees to give them a last chance at solvency. They sure don't like to give it up on the eve of the holiday season, but that's what has happened with the Italian restaurant Sofia along 11th Street in downtown Sacramento.

The closing, however, may be just temporary. Though Sofia owner Jim DiPinto couldn't be reached for comment, Evan Elsberry, Sofia's most recent chef, and Chris Tucker, who had been managing the restaurant, said a partnership has been formed in hopes of reviving the place within the next few weeks. In the meantime, they are continuing with banquets that had been booked long before the closure, provided the revelers don't want alcoholic beverages; the new group hasn't yet been granted a liquor license. Tucker says he's one of the new operators, along with Jeremy Bennett and a third, silent partner.

When the restaurant reopens, it will be renamed Sofia's on 11th. Elsberry will remain the chef, though the menu will be redrawn to feature more traditional Italian dishes, says Tucker.

For years, the building housing Sofia was home to the steakhouse Bull Market, but since it closed no restaurant has flourished for long on the site.

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