This has been one peculiar year on the Sacramento dining scene, if for no other reason than that Randy Paragary hasn't opened, closed or relocated a restaurant. In 2007, Sacramento's most expansion-oriented restaurateur stood on the sidelines, though he wasn't exactly benched, just planning for 2008.
Next year, Paragary again will be shaking up diners, not only in Sacramento but Stockton, where in early spring he is to open his long anticipated Paragary's Bar & Grill in the restored 1910 Hotel Stockton, a fixture of the city's surging downtown revitalization. The restaurant is to be completed in February, with a debut expected in March, says Paragary. He describes the concept as a hybrid cross between his casual Paragary's Bar & Oven and his more upscale Esquire Grill, with a more extensive menu than either.
Back on his home turf, Paragary in September is to open Cosmo's, a deli-inspired restaurant in the Cosmopolitan Building, formerly Woolworth's, at 10th and K in downtown Sacramento. The concept was inspired by the restaurant's proximity to another tenant in the building, Cosmopolitan Cabaret, a 208-seat venue run by California Musical Theatre, which in September is to launch a series of musical comedies in the space. Paragary's concept for Cosmo's is being inspired largely by theater-district delis in New York, but will be more than a sandwich shop, he notes. Paragary's executive chef, Kurt Spataro, is starting to research and assemble the restaurant's menu, including a formula for the establishment's own housemade pastrami. "We hope to be a real presence in the middle of K Street," says Paragary.
Also on his agenda for next year is to determine what to do with retail space he is to control on the ground floor of the massive new parking garage nearing completion at 28th and N, close by his Paragary's Bar & Oven and the neighboring restaurant Ink Eats and Drinks, which occupies quarters he owns. "We've been thinking of moving Ink over there, but so far no concept has flown into my head that I think will work there," says Paragary.
Hmmm, what's hot in food and beverage right now and could work there, especially with the neighborhood's growing influx of doctors, nurses and hospital visitors? Cupcake bakery? Creperie? Wine bar? In the meantime, Paragary is starting to plan an intriguing spring benefit on the roof of the parking structure. It's to be a fundraiser for B Street Theatre, which is looking at possibly relocating to the area.