April 14, 2008
The Citizen Bows In

Sacramento's first high-rise luxury boutique hotel isn't to open until mid-November, but a couple of rooms already are basically finished, we found on a tour through the structure the other day. From one, you can look down on the Capitol as you shower. From virtually every room, in fact, the view of the Sacramento skyline is spectacular. Almost makes you want to move away so you can return to book a room.

The hotel is The Citizen, taking over the historic 14-story former Cal Western Life building at 10th and J streets. It will have 197 rooms, five penthouses and nearly 15,000 square feet of event space, including a seventh-floor terrace bound to become the hottest party-venue in town, and not just because it's on the southwest side of the 1926 building.

I joined the tour in hopes of finding out about the hotel's restaurant, but didn't learn much more than it will include a two-story glass-enclosed wine vault stocked with 2,000 bottles, a principal dining room with 22-foot-high ceilings, an industrial look but sophisticated feel, an adjoining lounge and mezzanine with a law-library ambience, and a towering "jewel-box" loggia along the 10th Street side of the building.

The principals of Joie de Vivre Hospitality of San Francisco, the hotelier pulling together the project, say they have an operator and a name for the restaurant, but for now they aren't revealing anything more. Joie de Vivre operates some 30 other boutique hotels, most of them with restaurants that are casual in attitude and contemporary in cuisine, including American Restaurant & Bar at Hotel Vitale, Cafe Andree at Hotel Rex, and Saha Restaurant at Hotel Carlton, all in San Francisco. Whatever the restaurant is to be called at The Citizen, it's to open with the hotel this fall.

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