Restaurant News & Reviews

Two big names pull out of The Bank food hall in downtown Sacramento, replacements sought

Two much-hyped eateries have exited The Bank’s food plaza in downtown Sacramento, a project spokesperson confirmed to The Sacramento Bee last week.

Preservation Kitchen & Market and Mama Kim Eats will not open in the downtown food hall after years of anticipation. Undetermined food vendors will take their places, said The Bank general manager Juliet House.

“Preservation Kitchen & Market and Mama Kim Eats have executed leases, but have chosen not to proceed,” House said in a text message. “Therefore we will be actively looking to fill these kitchen spaces with new tenants.”

Jason Poole closed Preservation & Co.’s retail storefront in January to focus on the stand in The Bank, which would have sold sandwiches with house-cured meats and pickled vegetables as well as to-go jars of the latter. Poole plans to serve hot dogs and canned pickled veggies when he opens Sacramento’s only distillery, Preservation Spirits, at the old storefront at 1717 19th St. in midtown.

Kim Scott became the first restaurateur to sign on at The Bank when she agreed to bring new-school Southern cuisine to the five-story neoclassical building in an April 2017 announcement. Scott closed her Del Paso Boulevard restaurant in January 2018 but continued to do catering while waiting for The Bank to open.

“We decided to go a different direction and are working on something that is a better fit for our business,” Scott wrote in an email.

Sacramento businessman James W. Cameron Jr. bought the historic D. O. Mills Bank Building at 629 J St. for about $3 million in 1993. The building was used as corporate offices and the Sacramento grand ballroom in the last two decades before construction began in 2017.

Playtpus Pizza, Poke Bros, Taco Moto and Station 8 have all opened in the ground-floor food hall, as has Harvey’s, a cafe named for The Bank’s rabbit mascot that sells local items such as Chocolate Fish coffee, Bella Bru pastries and Zia’s Delicatessen sandwiches. All three publicly accessible levels have bars, include 70 taps of self service pay-per-ounce beer, cider and kombucha in the basement.

The downtown restaurant scene has become increasingly competitive since Golden 1 Center opened in October 2017. Downtown Commons, 7th and K and The Bank have more than 35 eateries open or under construction between them, to say nothing of dining options closer to the Capitol or inside the arena.

Dominos such as El Rey and brü co. taproom have already fallen this year despite Golden 1 Center hosting 14 percent more events in 2019’s first six months than the same period in 2018.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.