GOTG Favorites: Places Now Closed

New series by Girls on the Grid where we give shout out’s to our favorite [INSERT CATEGORY] around Sacramento. We love to support our local entrepreneurs and businesses. Please feel free to leave your recommendations or suggest categories by leaving a comment below!This time we asked GOTG – what closed business (etc) do you miss the most? Of course we heart most of the current offerings, but we all have that one treasured spot that we wish was still open. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you bring back to the grid?

ALANNA: Slightly off the grid, but Tower Records. Video killed the radio star and the internet killed the music store. I really miss going in and browsing Tower’s selection and listened to new albums standing in the aisles.

AMELIAL Wine Lounge: nearly two years after it closed, my husband and I still pine for its special combination of great wine, great drinks and one-of-a-kind vibe.  Seriously this place was like our “Cheers.”. We always saw people we knew and it was such an easy, chill place to hang with friends.  There were actually people in Sacramento who we only ever saw at L Wine Lounge and I really miss that community feel.

AMY: I really miss La Bonne Soup Cafe. Not only was the food absolutely worth the wait, but the owner/chef/dishwasher/waiter was a lovely man. And, the extremely long waits created a sense of community among those willing to stand for nearly 45 minutes for soup!

BRANDY: Deep Yoga. Oh how I miss those Kundalini chants.

CAROLINE: I have two…

  • My favorite place on the grid that went away some time ago whilst I worked in the Legislature is Taco Loco.  It was where the La Bou is now across from Chop’s (which was Brannan’s) at 11th and L.  It was the “go-to” spot for tasty burritos and tacos at such a cheap price! The line would be out the door every day.   Back then (late 90’s), there was not much to choose from downtown for lunch, and dinner – ha!  Although, I will say at that time for us poor, underpaid Capitol staffers, we also had a Taco Bell and a McDonald’s (now a Chinese place) on K Street that we had to frequent out of necessity.  And, to take some of you way back, (and, honestly, I hope this doesn’t exist anymore), was lunch at the “Old Folk’s Home” as we called it, on N across from Capitol Park.  It was cheap and they made “big salads” (so hard to find in Sac back then!), but frighteningly, there was a huge glass wall that was the side of a swimming pool that allowed you to peer into the old folks’ as they breast stroked by, and your appetite could be easily lost.  But I’m on a tangent, and I don’t miss that.  Back to Taco Loco, there is still one in Folsom – and they have THE BEST CARNITAS around – hands down.  I’ve begged the owner to bring it back to the grid.
  • My other favorite place on the grid that, and let’s just allow ourselves to put the nail in this coffin people, is the Downtown Mall and what it once was.  It was my favorite place to shop upon moving here in 1996.  The Macy’s is huge and has the best home section around.  It had J. Crew – the only one in a 100 mile radius.  It had staples like Victoria’s Secret, Cacique (man they had good panties), Banana Republic, etc.  Roseville Galleria didn’t exist, and Arden Fair didn’t have J.Crew, nor a Macy’s home or furniture store.  I wish we still had a vibrant Downtown Mall.  I used to love to do much of my shopping there (because Nordstrom hadn’t become so mainstream yet, no TBD, Savvy was expensive, and downtown Macy’s jumped right into designer denim and their Impulse section – now junky and limited).  So, I know the new downtown arena completely displaces the sad ruins of what once was the Downtown Mall, but I hope that in the plans for downtown is some kind of shopping revival so we don’t so often have to make a trek off the grid to shop.

CHANTEL: It wasn’t on the grid but it was still pretty amazing – Bojangles aka The Cattle Club for live music was awesome!

CHELSEA: My most missed grid treasure definitely has to be True Love Coffeehouse.  Back in my pre-21 days, we always popped into True Love on the weekends for coffee/tea and delicious late night waffles.  They always had fun music and was an awesome spot for us youngsters to hang out (when we weren’t driving up and down Sunrise Blvd looking for trouble – yeah, we did that).  Of course, I also love Beach Hut (which currently occupies that spot) but True Love was so unique and fabulous.

JULIA: I couldn’t pick just one. #SorryNotSorry

  • KZ Pork Store: This gem of a store was producing local delicious sausage way before LowBrau made it cool again. Bobby, Joe and Maria Martin owned the store, which was on 36th and J where La Trattoria Bohemia currently is located. Whenever my parents would take me in the store, Maria would always give me a treat of a freshly made hot dog, which might sound weird, but they were so amazing. They made all their sausage on site and I often find myself having unrequited cravings for their meat!
  • Records: I love the simplicity of this store’s name. As a young teenager in Sacramento, one of my favorite stomping grounds was K Street. I used to troll between Getta Clue, the Tower Records outlet, and the various piercing parlors that lined the street. While all these stores are now gone from K Street, the one that I miss most is Records. For those of you familiar with the Endtroducing album by DJ Shadow, this is the record store featured on the cover filled with crate digging patrons. In the 99-cent bins outside the front of the store you would always come away with some weird or amazing find.
  • Thursday Night Market on K Street: This monthly event mixed crafts, food and farmer’s market produce. Vendors lined K Street and drew crowds of people to K Street for an after-work evening event that eventually became a victim of its own success. Thursday Night Market always had the greatest people watching and I just remember it feeling like it made K Street a great public gathering spot for this one night a month. Word to the Midtown business community; let’s bring Thursday Night Market back!
  • New Helvetia and New Helvetia 2: The vast majority of my teenage free time was spent in coffee shops.  New Helvetia was in the spot where Mulvaney’s is currently located. Before the Starbucks hegemony took over Sacramento, there were so many amazing independent coffee houses. (Thankfully there has been a resurgence of these types of spots with Temple, Tupelo, Insight etc.) This historic firehouse turned coffee shop was such a cool spot to drink your latte and look introspective. I spent much more time at the location in Curtis Park, given that I took ballet classes 5 days a week at Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet right next door (also no longer there).  I still miss the current scones. They were served with a heaping side of butter that I always smeared over this nugget of deliciousness. Yum!
  • The tree in front of the old Java City on Capitol: This tree (along with the adjoining coffee shop) recently departed the Midtown landscape. The street will never look the same to me.

JAMIE: Newsbeat at 20th & K. For a magazine/news junkie like me, this place was HEAVEN. They had every single publication you could imagine – even obscure European mags – not to mention great cards, gifts, and a ridiculous candy and ice cream selection. Bonus: The place was dog friendly, and the staff always had a treat for any visiting pups. There’s nothing else like it in Sac 🙁

KIRA: The food was mediocre, but the concept and location of Brew It Up was fantastic. Brew your own beer while enjoying small plates and beers with friends, and slap a custom label on it for serving out of your own fridge later – it was fun, and I wish the grid still had it.

LAURA: Le Petit Paris. It was a coffee shop, restaurant and boutique with Parisian flair. Amazing inventory, lovely/sophisticated vibe and impeccable customer service. GOTG’s Ashley Robinson even held a wedding shower there – it was so freaking cute! You can read Ashley’s eulogy here.

LYNDSEY: L Wine Lounge: I used to love going here with my friends for a glass or even sharing a bottle of wine with the girls! The from the decor to the service everything was great!!

MARY BETH: I will always miss Java City. See my eulogy here.

MEGAN: I miss L Wine Lounge! Being in the industry forever, it was my favorite low-key place after work. Nothing like a steak salad and speciality cocktail from Chris Tucker to wind down… It was also a great place to meet up with girlfriends on summer afternoons or to take your parents for a pre-dinner cocktail. I just loved that place!!

RACHEL: I have two…

  • Bistro 33 on 16 and K streets which would later become two consecutive monstrosities that we call Spin Burger and (as it sits currently) Monsoon. Bistro was cheap, open until 3AM and had a large smoking patio– three key elements to any successful libation house. It was the first place that came to mind when thinking about where to have morning mimosas and also the first place you wanted to go for a night cap, a GNO, or simply to mow on some gorgonzola fries after a night of dancing (who goes dancing?). Most importantly, it was a place where you’d run into people, but never the people you didn’t want to see. It’s deeply missed.
  • Secondly, we mustn’t forget the king of all day drinking hang outs…Hangar 17. Can I get a HELL YES! Probably THE premier patio in midtown and home of the original “Swayze” shots which left us all pantsless in the chip aisle of Safeway a time or two.  It was a great place to watch a game (drink and pretend to watch) plus they sold cigarettes. They also had bomb food including Caribbean wings which had “Hangar 17” written in sauce on the plate. Say what? Oh, yes. And hello people, are we forgetting the 2 for 1 drinks at 10PM? Not like, half off drinks – they’d literally give you two drinks at one time…which subsequently brought in the ghetto crowds and ultimately caused the whole place to shut down. BUT it was great while it lasted.

STACY: Bistro 33 on 16th & K … I loved their happy hour on the patio.


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