While Sacramento’s dining scene got off to a shaky start in 2014 with a string of notable closures, here’s some good news about local restaurateurs in expansion mode. Magpie Cafe, a standout in Sacramento’s farm-to-fork scene, has outgrown its space at 14th and R streets and moving into the upcoming 16 Powerhouse building at 16th and P Streets.
16 Powerhouse, a six-story mixed use building with 50 market rate apartments and three businesses on the ground floor, is slated to open in the fall. Along with Magpie Cafe, which will be housed in a 2,900 square foot space plus patio, 16 Powerhouse’s tenants include Insight Coffee Roasters and Orchid Thai restaurant.
Owners Ed Roehr and Janel Inouye opened Magpie Cafe in 2009 as a small eatery and base of their catering operations. The kitchen space alone takes up two-thirds of the 14th and R location, leaving just 44 seats inside and an additional 16 patio seats. At 16 Powerhouse, the dining occupancy will increase to 70 seats inside and 25 to 30 patio seats.
Roehr and Inouye are also keeping their space at 14th and R Streets for catering, but still mulling if they’ll offer food to-go or any other forms of dining. The two also opened Yellowbill Cafe and Bakery at 14th and N streets in 2012.
By focusing exclusively on restaurant operations at 16 Powerhouse, Roehr expects Magpie Cafe’s menu to expand as well. The cafe focuses on local and seasonal ingredients, with such current menu items as miso cured bacon and mushroom and runner bean ragout.
“Catering is still an important part of what we do,” said Roehr. “In the restaurant, we have a culture and cuisine now that’s solid, and we’ll be adding some equipment elements so we can push that style a little further.”
16 Powerhouse is a project by Sacramento’s D&S Development, who are also Magpie Cafe’s landlords at 14th and R Streets and focus on recruiting tenants with local ties. The building will include solar water heating and other energy saving features, with a goal of LEED platinum certification by the time the project’s completed. ( Click here for a video rendering of the building).
“We always tried to be a ‘greener’ business and and (16 Powerhouse) fit well with what we want to do,” said Roehr. “Looking around, we’re seeing downtown changing and we want to see local businesses. We’re pro-Sacramento and believe in it.”