Appetizers

LowBrau owners plan West Sacramento eatery, beer garden

The owners of midtown’s LowBrau are eyeing a project that will bring a new set of food and drink options to West Sacramento’s riverfront.

Restaurateurs Clay Nutting and Michael Hargis are overseeing an eatery and beer garden that will be embedded in The Barn, a $5.6 million outdoor venue developed by Fulcrum Property of Sacramento. The two are joined in the venture by Michael Tuohy, the executive chef of LowBrau and its sister restaurant, Block Butcher Bar.

The 25,000-square-foot project near Raley Field features a large shade sculpture as its centerpiece and will host the restaurant along with a variety of outdoor events. According to Stephen Jaycox, Fulcrum’s design director, construction on The Barn is slated to begin in October and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015.

While the restaurant and its accompanying beer and wine garden has yet to be named, it will focus squarely on regional ingredients and brands.

“The concept is an urban farm kitchen and beer garden,” said Nutting. “It’s celebrating Sacramento as the epicenter of all these amazing things we have around us, from food, to wine, to beer. It’s a very unique space and The Barn acts as a big shade environment for outdoor seating.”

Nutting and his partners are also mulling what kind of restaurant hours to keep. While The Barn is geared for outdoor events, business may also be drawn from the nearby CalSTRS headquarters and West Sacramento’s City Hall.

“We’ll probably keep fairly traditional hours, but it won’t be a late-night type of destination,” said Nutting. “We’ll have to feel it out. But we see it as a high quality but casual kind of concept. You can be wearing flip-flops or pumps.”

The Barn is a prominent component of West Sacramento’s budding Bridge District. The development includes 500,000 square feet of retail space and 4,000 residences, including 32 single family homes at The Park Moderns.

In May, the West Sacramento City Council approved $2.6 million in funds for The Barn project. The Barn was initially supposed to be in midconstruction by the start of TBD Fest, a music and arts festival co-organized by Nutting and Hargis that runs at the site from Oct. 3 to Oct. 5.

Nutting hopes that once completed, The Barn will become a new Sacramento-area landmark.

“We hope this project represents that The Barn is ground zero for Sacramento’s place as the heart and soul for the entire Northern California region,” said Nutting. “We want to showcase that through beer, food and wine.”

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