The 102-year-old D.O. Mills Bank building at 629 J St. will reopen at 9 p.m. this Wednesday as The Bank, downtown Sacramento’s long-awaited food hall with no shortage of alcohol.
Seven fast-casual kitchens — two will open Wednesday — will replace what was the Sacramento Grand Ballroom for the last two decades on the ground floor. The last actual bank tenant left in 1990, three years before businessman James W. Cameron Jr. bought the building and began converting it into a corporate hub.
The Bank’s basement houses 68 self-service beer and cider taps — which are available in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, 8-ounce and 16-ounce pours — as well as 18 TVs and two ornate private rooms. The main floor’s bar looks like a somewhat refined sports bar, similar to Firestone Public House, while bottle service and higher-priced liquors give the mezzanine bar an old-world feel like The Shady Lady Saloon, spokesman Patrick Harbison said.
“The hope here is that no matter what your budget is or what you want your experience to be, we can create that here,” Harbison said.
Several original or decades-old details from the D.O. Mills Bank building remain, including golden ceilings, dangling light fixtures and circular vault doors in the basement taproom. The 30,000-square foot building will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays.
The last tenant to sign at The Bank is one of the first to open. Twins Micky and Brady Sisenglath announced Poke Bros’ opening just last month, yet the Sacramento natives are ready to serve Hawaiian-style raw fish when The Bank doors unlocks Wednesday.
Poke Bros’ menu includes the eponymous bowls plus miso soup, spam musubi and a handful of sushi rolls. Chef-designed bowls and “poke nachos” served over wonton chips run $10 to $13, while create-your-own bowls cost $12 or $15 depending on the size.
The most interesting part of Chocolate Fish’s cafe in The Bank isn’t the coffee. Sandwiches and pasta salads from Zia’s Delicatessen, ice cream from Gunther’s, gelato from Conscious Creamery and baked goods from Bella Bru, Boy’s Bakery, and Sweet Dozen are all available at the cafe, which marks Chocolate Fish’s second new location this year.
Co-founders Edie and Andy Baker were initially disappointed by Sacramento’s relative lack of fresh ingredients when they immigrated from New Zealand in 2004, Edie told The Bee in April. After watching appetites change and local produce become highlighted more frequently in area restaurants, though, they opened the first Chocolate Fish at Third and Q streets in 2008.
The following eateries should open in the next three months, House said:
The first restaurant announced at The Bank back in April 2017, Mama Kim’s will run the gamut from an oyster bar to salads to the chicken and waffles once found at Kim Scott’s Del Paso Boulevard soul food kitchen.
Scott closed her old restaurant in January to prepare for The Bank’s opening but kept catering in the meantime. OpenTable users voted Mama Kim Eats one of the Top 100 places in the U.S. for brunch in 2014.
Mama Kim’s will distribute buzzers to all customers, allowing them to take grab a drink while they wait for their entrees. Food can be eaten anywhere in The Bank.
Preservation & Co.’s first sandwich shop will showcase the midtown brinery’s homemade pickles, jams and cured meats. It’ll also coincide with a significant change to the existing store.
Retail sales will end at Preservation & Co.’s 19th and Q streets operation on Christmas Eve, owner Jason Poole said, but the building will remain in use as an industrial kitchen. Poole and others will smoke meats and pickle vegetables there, he said, while leaving cheese plates and a nut butter-and-jelly bar to the folks at The Bank.
One sandwich on the menu at Preservation & Co.’s 460-square foot storefront in The Bank: house-cured pastrami with stone-ground mustard, cider slaw and a half-sour pickle. Other options include a Cubano, Chicago-style Italian beef and a giant meatball in a marinara sauce flavored with Preservation & Co.’s bloody mary mix.
Co-owners Minnie Nguyen and Trinh Le will hawk a trimmed-down version of their Station 16 menu with a name to match, including burgers, lobster rolls and milkshakes.
Nguyen and Lee also own Station 38 coffeehouse in East Sacramento and Firehouse Crawfish in South Sacramento. Sactown Magazine previously reported Station 8’s burgers will range from classic (grass-fed beef on a brioche bun) to eccentric (pork belly stuck between two baos).
Platypus Pizza and street taqueria
Few details have been made public about The Bank’s two northern restaurants, both of which have the same anonymous owner. Platypus Pizza will serve traditional Italian-style thin-crust pies, The Bank general manager Juliet House said, while its unnamed neighbor will sell street tacos.
This article was updated at 3:48 p.m. on Nov. 28 to correct the spelling of Station 8 owners Minnie Nguyen and Trinh Le.