Employees of the former 4th Street Grille, which closed in May after a 20-year run as one of downtown Sacramento’s favorite gathering spots, plan to open a new restaurant at the same location next month.
The Foundation Restaurant and Bar will feature a “new American” menu of fresh, local ingredients along with all new tables and lighting, said Matt Sin, one of the new owners and former manager at 4th Street Grille.
The bar is the former restaurant’s 19th century mahogany showpiece from San Francisco, he said.
“We wanted to have lower prices and more of neighborhood atmosphere,” Sin said.
Sin’s business partner is Krissy White and their head chef is Jeramie Smith, both former 4th Street employees. They’re bringing back some of the cooks and servers from the old restaurant at Fourth and L streets, he said.
The 4th Street Grille was one of the leaders in a wave of trendy urban eateries in central Sacramento when it opened in 1992, taking over space formerly occupied by Harry’s Bar & Grill.
But its popularity declined as newer competitors took its place.
“At the beginning we were a really hot spot, but it died off toward the end,” Sin said.
Founder and former owner Ron Fleming closed the 4th Street Grille in May after the building’s landlord called an end to a month-to-month lease arrangement, Fleming told The Bee at the time. Twenty employees lost their jobs.
Sin said he and others had tried to buy the restaurant at the time but talks fell through. Instead, they negotiated with the landlord to open the new restaurant.
Their tentative opening date is Oct. 1, he said.
“When we proposed a business plan to the building owner we had no idea the Kings arena might go in across the street,” Sin said. “Our main focus was to revitalize this part of town (as a dining destination).”
Many other popular restaurants are in midtown, he noted. But the downtown area holds promise with plans for more housing and the possible addition of the arena and surrounding development, he said.
Construction recently started on the Bridge District in West Sacramento, where housing, offices and shops are planned just across the Tower Bridge from the new restaurant’s location.
“Our goal is to bring back that old hip place that 4th Street Grille used to be,” Sin said. “The name of the restaurant derives from the idea that “we’re starting fresh and building from a new foundation.”