May 7, 2009
California Pizza Kitchen opening soon

There's a lot of talk about pizza in Sacramento these days. Downtown foodies have been keeping an eye on the renovation of the old Firestone building taking shape at the corner of 16th and L streets. Though opinion will be mixed about whether we should be thrilled that a chain will be anchoring one of the most visible and attractive rooms in the city, there is little doubt that this corner is already a happening place.

In recent days, there has been a flurry of activity inside California Pizza Kitchen, much of it from folks donning chefs coats. We just received a notice in the mail that there will be a grand opening preview on Sunday, May 17 from 5-7:30 p.m. The event is invitation only.

I haven't had a pizza from one of these places in several years. If I recall, it was pretty good. How will this place do against some of the big guns in town? Hard to say. But chains seem to do well here. Just look at the nearby Old Spaghetti Factory, where it is common to see people lined up to get in.

Speaking of pizza, I recently spoke with Rick Mahan at Waterboy, and he told me his pizza venture in East Sac called One Speed is slated to open May 22 on Folsom Boulevard. That will be exciting for the neighborhood and, if the pizza is anything like the food he cooks at Waterboy, exciting for pizza lovers all over.

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