Cathie Anderson: New owner, same fare for Crepeville in Curtis Park

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 - 6:42 am

The crêpes will be made from the same recipes, but the name and ownership of the Crepeville in Curtis Park will soon change.

Brothers and business partners Derar Zawaydeh and Philippe Masoud are selling this location for an undisclosed price to a couple who own a couple of bars in Norway. Zawaydeh and Masoud do not have plans to sell off the Crepeville locations in midtown or Davis, and they'll hold onto their four Burgers and Brew eateries as well.

"We felt that we could concentrate on the others and expand to some other areas of Sacramento," said Zawaydeh, explaining that they decided to focus on locations with higher profit margins. "… You could spend your time someplace and make $2 or go another place and make $10."

The new owners, Rafi Rozbahani and Banafsheh Nabizadeh, are getting training in the Crepeville culture at the Davis location, the original store in the Sacramento region. They will take over the restaurant, to be called Cafe M, as soon as they receive licensing approvals.

Zawaydeh recalled how welcoming Curtis Park has been over the past six years: "Everybody was extremely generous toward us in terms of kindness and business."

Old depot, new tricks

Danny Benvenuti will invest roughly $150,000 to get the old Greyhound bus station on L Street near Seventh ready to present to potential tenants, but he expects to spend a lot more on improvements once leases are negotiated.

Asked about the plastic curtain hanging across the bus dock, Benvenuti explained: "We had to put all that up there to try to keep all the birds out. We had to clean up and do some painting to turn the bus platform into a parking garage."

Benvenuti was ebullient and chatty, despite receiving the call at 1 a.m. in Rome, where he's taking cooking classes with his daughter Katherine, a pastry chef who interned at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

The developer expects to charge $1.75 to $2 per square foot, and he said the building's 15,000 square feet can accommodate a mix of three to four office, retail or restaurant tenants. Work on the roof and other rehab should be finished by the end of the month.

"They had these beautiful, tall ceilings," he said, "and someone came in and dropped them to put in the Burger King. We've gutted the spot that had the Burger King and restored the high ceilings."

Bowled over by AMF

Leaders and ten-pin lovers in Woodland were shocked last Thursday by the closure of the Woodhaven Lanes bowling center, said City Council member Tom Stallard. It had operated there for about 40 years.

"There was no advance notice, nothing," Stallard said.

AMF Bowling Centers had owned the facility for six years, said Merrell Wreden, AMF's vice president of marketing, and it didn't prove to be a profitable venture. About 10 employees lost their jobs.

AMF owns roughly 285 bowling centers nationwide, having closed 15 this year, Wreden said. What will AMF do with the equipment?

"Sometimes we put it into a warehouse and inventory to use in another center," Wreden said. "Sometimes we sell it to somebody. In a few cases, there will be a situation where somebody may want to come in and keep running the facility as a bowling center, so we might sell it as well."

Wreden said he doesn't know of any takers at this time. Property owner Salvatore Muzzi said that AMF has another year on its lease. Restaurateur Charlie Chu will continue to welcome diners at the adjacent Corkwood Lounge, 154 W. Main St.

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