January 20, 2011
Strings Express to open at 4th and I streets

By Chris Macias

Strings, the Northern California chain that specializes in pasta, is opening a new eatery concept near downtown's Amtrak station. Strings Express will debut on Feb. 14 at 431 I St., with 25 items under $7.50 and made to order in five minutes or under. Along with pastas, Strings Express will sell salads, paninis and wraps with a motto of "Fast, Affordable, Grubby" - with "grubby" meaning "good grub."

The partnership behind Strings Express includes local developers Johan Otto and Steve Ayers, with Alexis LLC and Strings founder Al DeCaprio.

"We were looking for a place that's fast and affordable with good food," said Michael Gelber, a managing partner. "We got together and got excited about it, and came up with a whole new menu to address that crowd."

Strings Express will be managed by Michael Chandler, the local sommelier and wine merchant who was recently accused of bilking his former bosses at Market at Pavilions, Enotria restaurant and Taylor's Market.

Chandler has also been tapped to develop a wine program at the upcoming Hanzel and Pretzel. Located on the ground floor of the Elk's Building at 11th and J streets, which is owned by Ayers, Hanzel and Pretzel will feature small plates, a chocolatier, full bar and port wine program. Hanzel and Pretzel is slated to open by September.

"We have a lot of faith in Michael's skills," said Gelber. "We see value in him as an individual and he has a huge skill set that's a benefit to Sacramento."

Strings Express will meanwhile be open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

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