Sacramento history to be celebrated through local food and music

Sacramento’s historical West End will come to life on Sunday via food and music. This area of town, situated between the Sacramento River waterfront and State Capitol, was once home to Sacramento’s Japan Town and a thriving Chinese community, especially in the 1920s. The restaurants in this West End neighborhood also played host to a bustling jazz scene, though much of the area was redeveloped into office buildings as Sacramento continued to grow.

Chef Adam Pechal and the esteemed Sacramento musician and educator Harley White Jr. are joining forces to bring back this local flavor from the Roaring Twenties. “West End Cabaret” will be held Sunday at Spiritual Life Center (2201 Park Towne Cir., Sacramento) with an Asian style buffet by Pechal, followed by music by the 9-piece Harley White Jr. Orchestra. As the band plays period pieces and original tunes which reflect the era, local historian Bill Burg will detail some of the West End history as images are projected on a wall.

“It’s a throwback to a dinner theater type of experience that you can’t really get any more,” said White. “In the West End, most of the jazz clubs were in Chinese or Japanese restaurants. This was a very unique experience in Sacramento. We’re bringing all these characters back.”

Pechal, who previously worked as a cook at P.F. Chang’s and the former Samy Chu’s, will cook a stir-fry called “Seven Treasues of the Farmer’s Market” which is based on local produce. He’ll also prepare a chow mein dish with noodles sourced from downtown’s Mei Mei Noodle Factory, among other dishes.

“It’s food and music all wrapped in history,” said Pechal. “I didn’t know much about the culture and history of the early days in Sacramento, and we’re having fun bringing it together.”

This series of music, food and history will continue throughout the year. Upcoming events will focus on Sacramento circa 1890 and film moir of the 1940s.

Lunch will be served Sunday at 12:15 p.m. followed by music and a historical talk at 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased at this link.