“It’s been packed. This past week has been nonstop,” said Tracy Losch, general manager. “The community, East Sac especially, has been incredibly welcoming. It’s been a great community to open into.”
Both the neighborhood and Track 7 followers were eager to see the new taproom and restaurant, said Losch, adding that in the weeks leading up to the official opening it wasn’t unusual for people from the community to stop in to ask when The Other Side would be up and running.
Unlike its other taproom locations in Natomas and Curtis Park, The Other Side does not have a brewery on site. But Losch says it does have 10 Track 7 tap handles, along with other offerings that include two guest ciders and a few wines.
The Other Side, located at 5090 Folsom Blvd. not far from Trader Joe’s, also carries beers in bottles and cans and will offer special releases as well, according to its menu.
Track 7 is currently brewing a pilsner specifically for the new East Sacramento location, Losch said, which is lighter than the hop-forward brews Track 7 is known for and pairs better with food.
“They really do have a more well-rounded catalog of beers than people realize,” Losch said of Track 7’s beer selection, adding that The Other Side will feature some of the brewery’s lighter and maltier styles because they are better at complimenting the food, allowing customers to get more of the culinary flavors they are creating.
Soft beverages include small-batch craft sodas, house-made lemonade and tropical green iced tea.
While the other Track 7 taprooms do bring in food trucks most days, The Other Side is the first location with its own restaurant. The menu features rotisserie-style chicken, pork shoulder and whole-roasted cauliflower with your choice of of two house-made sauces. Other entrée options include things like burgers, soup, salads, bites to share and desserts.
“It’s fun food, it’s recognizable, it’s unpretentious. It’s just great community food for beer,” said Oliver Ridgeway, opening executive chef and consultant.
The food is also prepared from scratch, Ridgeway said, adding that they are working with local farmers and are doing as much farm to fork as possible.
“It’s comfort food with integrity,” Ridgeway said.
Ridgeway, who used to be a chef at Grange Restaurant & Bar, came up with the food program for The Other Side and helped with the restaurant’s opening. While he will still serve as a consultant in the future when needed, Ridgeway said the head chef for the restaurant is Noah Mansfield, formerly of Mother, Empress Tavern and Hook & Ladder.
“Ryan’s always been a friend of mine. His beer business is obviously growing, and he’s always wanted to get into food,” Ridgeway told The Bee before the restaurant opened. “He wanted a place where he could still showcase the beer ... but now you have a family-style restaurant where you could bring people to eat all day and hang out all day.”
Starting Thursday and going into the weekend, Ridgeway said it was full-on busy.
“It’s been a really good week,” Ridgeway said, adding that the brewery had to do do extra runs for them. “We are selling the beer.”
Laurel Mildred, who had never been to Track 7 before, has been to The Other Side twice since it opened last week. Mildred said she likes to sit on the patio and enjoys the restaurant’s atmosphere and service.
“So far, I love it. They have killer onion dip,” Mildred said, adding that the staff is extremely nice and didn’t mind her bringing her dog. “It could be the next Cheers.”
Stella and Matt Pudewell have been supporters of Track 7 since the first week the brewery opened its doors in Curtis Park several years ago and were still hand pumping pony kegs.
Track 7 beer was also the only beer served at their wedding, Stella Pudewell said.
Monday marked the first time the Pudewells had been to the new East Sacramento location, toting along a board game with them to play during their visit.
“Really like the concept that you can go up to the bar, check everything out and then ... you have a server at the table,” Stella Pudewell said. “And the vibe in here is just awesome. It’s great.”
The Pudewells said they like that Track 7 came from humble beginnings and haven’t compromised their commitment to the craft beer culture, even as they have grown into a successful, well-known Sacramento brewery with multiple locations.
“We’ve been going to Track 7, the one in Curtis Park, from the get-go and it’s just been like a good spot that’s local,” Matt Pudewell said. “Good beers, fun spot to hangout, play Scrabble. Lot’s of good times.”