Restaurant News & Reviews

Bacon and Butter to open second restaurant where beloved East Sacramento bistro once stood

Executive chef and owner Billy Zoellin at his Bacon and Butter dining room in Tahoe Park. Zoellin says he's opening a second Bacon and Butter at the old Formoli's Bistro location at 3839 J St.
Executive chef and owner Billy Zoellin at his Bacon and Butter dining room in Tahoe Park. Zoellin says he's opening a second Bacon and Butter at the old Formoli's Bistro location at 3839 J St. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Bacon and Butter signed a lease Friday to inhabit the old Formoli's Bistro at 3839 J St., owner and executive chef Billy Zoellin confirmed Sunday night.

The 2,600-square-foot breakfast and lunch restaurant will open sometime in 2018, Zoellin said, and may welcome customers as early as September. It'll have a take-away counter for baked goods to assuage the hourlong wait times seen at the current operation in Tahoe Park, as well as an outdoor patio.

A second Bacon and Butter was always part of Zoellin's plan, he said, and a third will likely follow at some point. The J Street restaurant's head chef has yet to be determined, though Zoellin said he would continue to spend most of his time at 5913 Broadway.

The long wait to get into the Tahoe Park restaurant does not detract from its quality dishes. Video by Carla Meyer, The Sacramento Bee.

Zoellin is somewhat of a prodigy among Sacramento chefs. The Tahoe Park native bused tables for Biba Caggiano as a teenager, earned his kitchen stripes doing salad prep for Randall Selland and worked for Patrick Mulvaney as a line cook.

National audiences caught a glimpse of Zoellin when The Golden Bear's former head chef cooked for Guy Fieri on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" in 2010, two years before he founded the original Bacon and Butter in midtown at the age of 28. Now 34, he's looking at opening other Bacon and Butters beyond Sacramento.

"I'm not saying I'm going to be the next In-N-Out or anything but … for the foreseeable future, I want to get to the point where we're the breakfast place in Northern California," Zoellin said. "At my age, if I didn't seek (to fulfill) the potential that Bacon and Butter has, I would be settling."

Formoli's Bistro closed last month in advance of Aimal Formoli's foray to the kitchen of Solomon's Deli, the much-anticipated Jewish eatery opening in Davis this month before coming to K Street in Sacramento. Zoellin said the property's landlord approached him shortly after and eventually offered "a deal I'd be a fool to not take an interest in."

The Bee's Benjy Egel is launching a new effort to cover Sacramento's dining and beer scene. Please send tips and story ideas by email at begel@sacbee.com, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.

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