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Readers share memories of Futami and other Freeport Boulevard restaurants

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 - 1:35 pm

The news that Futami Japanese Restaurant had shuttered recently brought out the nostalgia on Tuesday. Futami was a longstanding eatery on Freeport Boulevard that was once a key spot for Japanese food in Sacramento, but like so many restaurants on Freeport, was never destined for the long haul.

We invited readers to share their own memories of defunct Sacramento restaurants, whether on Freeport Blvd. or otherwise, and received some thougtful notes. If you’d like to chime in as well, send an e-mail to

Here’s what folks are saying:

From Bettie Tsuda

My parents started patronizing Futami’s when it first opened up and the owners were straight from Japan. I remember going with them and hearing them conversing in Japanese with the owner and wait staff. We had our picture on the wall. My parents have passed on, so it’s like seeing an era or piece of history disappear.

I also remember the A&W stand with the carhops and food trays that hooked onto your car windows … best fries and root beer freezes in town. And the great broasted chicken at El Chico; the delicious mai tais at the Zombie Hut; the greasy, but tasty fish at H. Salt Esq. down closer to the park; the huge and wonderful burgers served at Gordon’s back in the Lanai shopping center; Gunther’s Ice Cream on the corner of Freeport & Irving.

A relative owned Tamagawa-Do, a Japanese manju-ya that preceded Maharoba by decades, and my son got his first job making donuts at the Winchell’s Donut Shop on the corner of Freeport & Fruitridge (now the Tugboat Fish & Chips).

Your article brought back so many memories of the great food row that was Freeport Blvd. As Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the memories!”

From Randy James

I grew up in the "north area" and our Freeport Blvd. at that time was Fulton Ave. with the Coral Reef, Buggy Whip, even a Harveys et. al. But every once in a while we would venture out to Freeport to savor the fare there, as a family of course. Later on, as an adult, I discovered Futami quite by accident and had been drawn back there ever since. The last time I was there was too long ago with my Mandarin chinese class from Sac City which included several Asian students. Their comments were always about 'how authentic' the food was there.


* A requiem for Futami Restaurant

Read more articles by Chris Macias

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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