Bob Shallit

New-look midtown Sacramento bar has novel ‘give back’ strategy

Reclaimed wood has replaced velvet wall coverings and snakeskin accents as part of the new look at midtown’s Barwest.
Reclaimed wood has replaced velvet wall coverings and snakeskin accents as part of the new look at midtown’s Barwest. bshallit@sacbee.com

A popular midtown bar and eatery is letting its customers eat well and do good at the same time.

Barwest, at 2724 J St., recently completed a complete remodel and revamped its menu. It also established what owner Trevor Shults is calling a “community table” – a designated booth at the back of the restaurant with an unusual feature.

All profits from meals ordered at that table go to a designated charity – Big Brothers Big Sisters this month, Shriners Hospital in January, and others, changing each month, over the next year.

Shults, one of the city’s most successful bar and restaurant operators, said he’s always been active in supporting charitable events such as golf tournaments and holiday toy drives. But he said he and his staff opted to do something that would “give back all the time.”

Thus, the community table. Shults said 10 percent of the proceeds – his estimate of net profits – will be donated to the designated charities.

“I don’t know anyplace else where you can get a burger and a drink and just by paying your tab you donate to a good cause,” he said.

The Barwest remodel was completed last month after Shults decided the place needed to shed its “Baja beach bar” theme and go for a more “Sacramento” look. Out went the velvet wall coverings, faux snakeskin accents, surfboards and thatching over the bamboo bar. The new look features reclaimed wood on the walls, a stained concrete bar top and artwork that includes a carved bear and California state map.

The makeover also involved upgrading the bar’s 31 TVs, doubling its beer taps, to 24, and “upping our burger game,” Shults said.

Remarkably, the entire bar transformation was completed in just over three days.

Shults said he closed the bar on a Sunday night, brought in 15 friends and employees and “went to town,” finishing the makeover in time for the arrival of the Thursday night football crowd.

“We were joking that it was like a Jon Taffer flip,” he said, referring to the Spike TV reality show “Bar Rescue,” where troubled drinking establishments get instant makeovers.

Vrrooom! Cycle firm heading here

A Bay Area motorcycle parts manufacturer is relocating its operations to Loomis, bringing 50 jobs and potential for more growth.

Motion Pro, which makes and distributes custom parts and tools for motorcycles, scooters and ATVs, last week acquired a 62,000-square-foot warehouse from Nor-Cal Beverage Co., and will have its operations running there by June, said Chris Carter, Motion Pro’s founder.

“It’s a great little spot, just outside Sacramento and still very convenient,” Carter said of the Loomis site, at 3171 Swetzer Road, that was acquired for about $3.7 million.

Motion Pro, founded in 1984, makes mechanic’s tools as well as specialized parts and has annual sales between $10 million and $15 million, said Carter, who was a top motorcycle racer before opening his business.

Carter said he moved his company three times in the past to accommodate growth but couldn’t find any sites he could afford in the superheated South Bay when he outgrew his current space in San Carlos.

“The problem is, we are losing companies like mine that are not high tech,” he said of the Bay Area price escalation.

But the tech-driven price spiral ended up helping Carter. He still owned one of his previous Motion Pro locations – a building in Menlo Park, near the new headquarters of Facebook – and received three unsolicited offers for it from developers.

“That’s how I was able to afford” the Loomis property, he said.

Mike Lyons, a CBRE broker who represented Nor-Cal in the sale, said high prices in the Bay Area could lead to more relocations of this sort.

“We’re not going to get a lot of social media business over here,” he said. “But we might start to get an influx of Motion Pro-type industries that want to be where costs are not so prohibitive.”

Editor’s note (Dec. 16): This column has been updated to correct information about which charities will benefit from the new “community table” at Barwest. A previous version had the months reversed.

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