Selland’s Market-Cafe opened its newest and largest location on Friday, across from the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery on Broadway.
At 7,300 square feet, the casual-style restaurant, with its 200 tables, will serve up to 1,000 diners a day – double the size of the original location in East Sacramento.
Calling it “Selland’s on steroids,” chef-owner Randall Selland, 62, said the family was responding to the tremendous demand for healthy, fresh food in the Land Park and Curtis Park neighborhoods. While the family had always considered setting up a Market-Cafe in the downtown core, he said Broadway is “even better,” due to ample parking spots and convenient freeway access.
“East Sacramento was so darn busy all the time,” Selland said. “People in Curtis Park and Land Park have been asking us to come into their neighborhood for 10 or 12 years now.”
Selland hopes to also capture the lunch crowd of state workers who are a quick car ride away. Selland Family Restaurants, which is owned by Selland, wife Nancy Zimmer, and their grown children, Josh Nelson and Tamera Baker, also operates Ella and The Kitchen.
The grand opening comes more than two years after the company purchased a stake in an old office building at 915 Broadway, initially seeking to relocate The Kitchen. The building was entirely gutted and transformed into a restaurant at a cost of $2.8 million, according to Selland. The building is also shared by Bike Dog Brewing, which is expected to open in three months.
“We rehabbed the entire site,” Nelson said, noting that 30 olive trees were planted to beautify the property. “It was a very kind of drab building in a barren parking lot.”
Gudrun Lorensen, 65, and Linda Hayward, 75, lined up at 10:40 a.m. on Friday, hoping to be among the first to dine. The two Land Park residents had read about the opening in The Bee and wanted to beat the crowds.
“We expected there to be throngs,” said Hayward, a retired teacher, adding that she would likely frequent the Market-Cafe since it is about 2 miles away from her house.
The restaurant didn’t receive a Black Friday-type line, but within the hour, the dining floor – decorated with white and green chairs – was packed with people lunching on sandwiches and home-style dishes. The company rolled out 30 new menu items to coincide with the opening.
The location will also house a central bakery for the other restaurants in the chain. Selland showed off the spacious kitchen, saying there was room for expansion as business needs grow.