Restaurant News & Reviews

Fried chicken joint with Southern cocktails to open along R Street Corridor

Bawk is expected to open this fall at 1409 R St. in the spaces formerly occupied by Nido and Stone Vintage Music Boutique.
Bawk is expected to open this fall at 1409 R St. in the spaces formerly occupied by Nido and Stone Vintage Music Boutique.

Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse co-owner Rob Archie and Selland Family Restaurants are linking up to open Bawk, a fried chicken eatery with a full bar, in the R Street Corridor this fall.

"Simple" was the adjective Archie used most when describing Bawk. The Woodland native and former professional basketball player opened Urban Roots with Peter Hoey last month and continues to operate Pangaea Bier Cafe, which he founded in 2008.

If Archie and Selland Restaurant Group CEO Josh Nelson, his best friend for years, were going to work on a concept together, they needed it to be something less intensive than Urban Roots' 17,000-square-foot operation and less formal than Selland properties such as The Kitchen and Ella Dining Room & Bar.

Magpie Cafe co-owner Ed Roehr approached Archie and Nelson after closing Nido at 1409 R St., and they took over the neighboring suite housing Stone Vintage Music Boutique as well.

"We see it as a freedom project, in a sense," Archie said. "If you take all the great things from all the concepts we've done, that's what we want to put into Bawk in a really simple way ... where no matter what you order, it's going to be great."

A trimmed-down menu will center around bone-in fried chicken and boneless fried chicken sandwiches, Archie said. Customers should be able to get a meal for around $10, though the menu isn't final yet.

House cocktails figure to be a little more unorthodox, including a bourbon sweet tea and a drink made with Coca-Cola, peanuts and undetermined liquor. Bawk might have only eight taps, Archie said, but all will serve hand-picked beers that pass the owners' taste test — including some from Urban Roots.

Contractors have knocked down the wall separating what used to be Nido and Stone Vintage Music Boutique, giving Bawk an interior exceeding 3,000 feet as well as a 50-person outdoor patio, Archie said. It'll likely stay open late to catch people hitting R Street bars or coming out of a concert at Ace of Spades.

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, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.