Can Sacramento handle one more restaurant pushing barbecue? Are you kidding? Our town is BBQ-starved, with diners from all demographics flocking to any old place with a “BBQ” sign out front, no matter how good or mediocre (Where’s your smoker?) the ‘cue and side dishes happen to be.
Now comes word that the shuttered Bisla's sports bar on Folsom Boulevard is being remodeled and tweaked into something new to the dining scene. Yes, Fahrenheit 250 will serve plates of ‘cue and side dishes, but those go-to’s will be delivered to the table by a polished wait staff. No more ordering from a dusty wall-mounted menu and waiting for your number to be called. Plus, the four-star mixology team at Shady Lady Saloon is consulting on the restaurant’s cocktail program (www.shadyladybar.com).
“It will be a hybrid —barbecue with really good table service and signature cocktails,” said director of service Tyler Monk, who was the service trainer for the Il Fornaio chain. “You can kick back, get dirty and have a few cocktails. We’re even going to drop dental floss with the check.”
Everything will be made “from scratch,” Monk said, including sauces, and sides of potato chips, coleslaw, collard greens, red beans and rice, and mac ‘n’ cheese. Pit boss-chef Jacob Carriker will fill the smoker out back with hand-rubbed brisket, ribs, tri-tip and chicken, plus hot links and wings. Also on the menu: shrimp ‘n’ grits, pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, and salmon and artichoke dip. “We’ll also have extensive vegetarian and vegan options,” Monk said.
Co-owners Ray Lettini and Gino Sardo bought the property last year after owner Bob Bisla died. “It was a sports bar with food, and we kept that concept for a while, then closed and began the transition,” said Lettini. “I always wanted to have a restaurant.” Lettini owns Foreign Parts Specialists in East Sacramento, while Sardo has Gino's Java Juice inside Capital Towers downtown.
The building has had various owners and names (Bojangles, the Library) since it rocked as the Cattle Club in the 1990s as an all-ages live-music hot spot. Nirvana played there in 1990, pre-fame, and the video of that gig was screened at the Crest Theatre in 2010.
Fahrenheit 250 plans to open in mid-March at 7042 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento. There’s no phone number yet, and the website is a work in progress ( www.fahrenheitbbq.com).
Monk added this: “I can’t go into details right now, but we’re going to have the coolest group dessert in town. It will be amazing.”
We’ll see. My lunch pals and I plan to drop by the restaurant after it’s been open a couple of weeks, to do a “First Impressions” column in an upcoming issue of Friday Ticket.