Appetizers

Water damage temporarily closes downtown’s Blackbird Kitchen

Water damage from a broken pipe temporarily has closed downtown restaurant Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery.
Water damage from a broken pipe temporarily has closed downtown restaurant Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery. Bee staff

Popular downtown Sacramento restaurant Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery will be closed for four to six weeks just as the season for the nearby “Concerts in the Park” is heating up.

Water damage from a broken pipe is to blame, said Carina Lampkin, Blackbird’s executive chef and partner.

A pipe ruptured at the eatery, located at 1015 Ninth St., the evening of May 23, Lampkin said. The restaurant was closed the following day. By May 25, the floor and bar were so swollen with water they had to be removed. The hope is to reinstall the bar once it airs out.

It was unclear whether the approximately 20 employees could be paid while the restaurant is dark.

In a phone interview, Lampkin tried to find the silver lining in the temporary closure. The restaurant’s partners had been looking to make renovations – including creating a semi-permanent “parklet” outdoor space – before the damage occurred.

The limited hiatus also will allow her to refine the menu and concept, she said.

“We’re hoping to use the down time to get everything done and reopen as Blackbird 3.0,” Lampkin said, calling it an “unexpected but welcome” renovation.

Blackbird opened in 2012, but closed in 2013 to rework its business model. Blackbird 2.0 arrived last year.

During the summer, Blackbird benefits from the large crowds attending the free outdoor “Concerts in the Park” events one block away at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

The plan is to reopen as soon as possible, Lampkin said. A July 17 party, already on the books to celebrate the restaurant’s parklet plans, will double as the restaurant’s reopening event.

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