Lisandro Madrigal, known to lovers of street tacos in these parts by his nickname "Chando," as in Chando's Tacos, promises to offer all the menu items from his original Arden Way location when he opens a second restaurant July 7 on Power Inn Road.
But there will be a few surprises, he said, letting slip that he plans a Baja-style, deep-fried fish taco.
"I don't want to give details on the other things I'm going to add, but we're going to still keep it simple," Madrigal said.
Madrigal and his co-owner and wife, Karla, have been training new staff, he said. They now have 20 employees but will likely add 10 to 12 others.
As I reported Friday, the Madrigals decided on 5665 Power Inn in Sacramento because it has the same blue-collar flavor and busy traffic patterns as their Arden site. They also liked the ample parking and proximity to LaBou, Squeeze Inn and other restaurants.
Commercial broker Brenda Miller of Associates West Commercial Real Estate said Madrigal checked out many locations over a year. "He was leery of the (Power Inn) site because he didn't know the area, so he went out there several times at different times of the day," she said.
New owner, familiar face
The tough choices begin as you approach the front of the line at Baguettes Deli in Elk Grove. Will it be the warm brie and Granny Smith sandwich or the California BLT with cheddar, smoked bacon, avocado and honey?
The creativity continues from there, with each bundle priced at $7 to $10.
Baguette's new owner, Paula Hunley, is trying hard to ensure that the lunch crowd won't miss cafe founders Bret and Debora Bohlmann.
The couple grew so busy with the deli, Boulevard Bistro and Clarksburg's Old Sugar Mill that Bret was doing more management than cooking, and that didn't sit well with him. So they sold the year-old Baguettes at 9380 Elk Grove Florin Road to Hunley in May. She used some of her retirement savings to buy it.
Hunley and the Bohlmanns have deep roots in the region. She went to high school at C.K. McClatchy in Sacramento; the Bohlmanns at Elk Grove High.
"We've known each other for years because I was one of their customers," Hunley said. "Then I went to work for them (at Baguettes), and they knew of my catering experience. I think that they just felt that I could honor what they started. That's my goal."
Angels heard on high?
The offices of State Street Bank and Trust look down on tiny Cafe Soleil in Cesar Chavez Plaza, and many of the investment firm's 450 employees have enjoyed "the personal touch" of owners George and Nicole Ix.
Yet, until my May 3 column, most employees did not know that Nicole had stage 4 colon cancer or that Cafe Soleil had dropped its health insurance to cut expenses.
"The word hadn't gotten out broadly to our office until your article got posted, and once it did, there was a flurry of activity," said Andrea Camden, vice president for program management at the firm.
Twenty employees volunteered to join Brenda Bulger-Sheikin, vice president for relationship management, in recruiting customers and injecting capital into Cafe Soleil. They hope to free Nicole to focus on her health and avoid affecting her Medi-Cal eligibility.
It's been a money manager-style Occupy movement. Employees have claimed different days of the week when they will patronize Cafe Soleil. They're using Facebook, www.facebook. com/SupportCafeSoleil, and Twitter, #CafeSoleil, for marketing. They also are raising $5,000 to replace a broken coffee machine.
Nicole Ix marveled at it all: "They just said, 'Why don't we help our friends, people that we love, that we've been using for 18 years?' My husband and I are just blown away."