Blackbird. Kitchen + Beer Gallery

By Chantel Elder & Rachel Smith

Blackbird. Kitchen + Beer Gallery (Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram) (1015 9th Street)

Girls on the Grid was invited to lunch with Demetri Gregorakis, the general manager of Blackbird. Kitchen + Beer Gallery.  We were familiar with the location and Blackbird as a downtown restaurant, but with the reopening and restructuring of the establishment we were excited to see what Blackbird 2.0 had to offer.

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The Vibe: The location of the restaurant is 1015 9th street, spitting distance from the 800 J lofts and Caesar Chavez Park, and once you walk through the doors you feel like you’ve been teleported to San Francisco or New York. And that’s not a bad thing. It looks upscale, but feels laid back -without even trying.

Price Range: Very reasonable prices, considering you are getting primo food and service. They have a relatively small menu, but the dishes make a huge impact and are very filling!

Dress Code: The great thing about this place is that you can come as you are! The customers range from legislators in suits to yoga pant clad chicks straight from the gym.

What to Order:  The fried chicken!  OR the Captain’s Fries –  or do what we did and order both…  We asked Demetri what a newbie should order and this was his suggestion:

  • Beer: Sculpin – A bright citrusy IPA
  • Dish: Pan Blistered Shishito Peppers (Sweet/Mild)
  • “These two pair perfectly together” – Demetri Gregorakis

Masterminds behind Blackbird:

  • Demetri Gregorakis – General manager
  • Carina Lampkin – Executive Chef

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The Back Story:

Think of Blackbird as the Drew Barrymore of Sacramento restaurants.  They opened in April of 2012 and were loved wholeheartedly as a youngster of a restaurant.  After they opened they had a few issues – It’s no secret they closed and restructured.  With the restructuring of partners and a little self evaluation, Blackbird reopened their doors in December of 2013 with a different vision and what appears to be more confidence than ever before.  If that story doesn’t parallel a child actor coming of age then I don’t know what would.

Food for Thought:

  • The basement of Blackbird houses Matt Brown’s Art Pit – a studio/gallery
  • This place is vegan friendly! We hear the risotto burger is a solid choice right down to the locally sourced bun.
  • Ever heard of a Brunch Disco?  All the best things about brunch with your friends the morning after… plus a DJ.  Basically a breakfast party. Details are in the works so stay tuned.
  • Want to throw a little party in this lovely space?  You can rent out the upstairs section or the whole space!
  • Blackbird has 50+ beers on tap – true story.
  • If you loved the old Blackbird you will be happy to know they kept their fan favorites on the new menu – oysters, clam chowder and fish tacos are here to stay!
  • Busiest time for the restaurant – Friday Happy Hour from 5-7pm (especially after concerts in the park).

We thought the food, ambiance and service was fantastic!  If you haven’t tried them, give them a go and let us know what you think, or if you have checked them out share your experience with us!

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