Appetizers
October 29, 2008
Randy Paragary, History Buff

Sacramento restaurateur Randy Paragary is something of a history buff. That's evident at his newest restaurant, Cosmo Cafe at 10th and K downtown. He not only has dressed up lounge and dining area with magnificent photos of the city's business core during an earlier heyday, he's hauled out of storage the collection of political memorabilia that once brightened his Capitol Grill at 28th and N, now Ink Eats & Drinks.

And now he's nearly nailed down a deal that would give him and longtime business partner Kurt Spataro half interest in one of Lake Tahoe's more historic and iconic dining and drinking destinations, Chambers' Landing at Tahoma on the lake's west shore. The two plan to team up with old Tahoe hand Rick Brown to lease the seasonal hot spot, which includes a bar on the end of a pier and a restaurant just above the beach. The bar dates from 1857 or 1858 and has seen duty as general store, schoolhouse and post office as well as tavern.

The three plan to lightly remodel both structures over the winter and have them ready for their next incarnation by Memorial Day, when the facility customarily reopens for the summer. Paragary says seating at the bar on the pier will be expanded and its traditional burger menu will be upgraded along the lines of Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Napa Valley and San Francisco.

The menu at the shoreside restaurant, meanwhile, will be rewritten to offer more casual dining than Chambers' Landing has been recognized for in the past. The culinary style will be California Cuisine, says Paragary.

The three are sure to retain, however, the restaurant's signature tropical cocktail, the Chambers' Punch, which Brown is credited with creating in the 1970s.

Graham Rock, who had been running Chambers' Landing for 18 years, says he gave up the facility because of his concern that consumers are cutting back in dining out while they're in the Tahoe Basin, because of homeowner-association restrictions on what he wanted to do with the site, and because he wants to concentrate on his other restaurant, Graham's in Squaw Valley.

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