Bob Shallit

Italian restaurant closing at Sacramento’s Arden Fair mall

Maggiano’s Little Italy has been one of three main food destinations at Arden Fair mall for the past two years. It is closing at the end of June.
Maggiano’s Little Italy has been one of three main food destinations at Arden Fair mall for the past two years. It is closing at the end of June.

Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant is saying arrivederci to Sacramento two years after opening at the entrance to Arden Fair mall.

Steve Provost, president of the chain of 50 restaurants nationwide, said Maggiano’s will close when its lease ends at the end of June or early July.

“It’s really unfortunate,” he said, noting that Maggiano’s had a “great guest response” and consistently high Yelp ratings.

But he said revenue was 30 percent to 40 percent below company expectations.

“Those who came here loved it, but the gap (between sales and expectations) was just too great,” he said.

He added that the subpar results here were a “a bit of a head scratcher” considering the strength of the Arden trade area and Maggiano’s successes in other markets.

The company, a division of Brinker International Inc., has closed only two other restaurants in its 25-year history.

Provost said one of his biggest regrets is the breakup of a good team of employees. He said many are being offered opportunities to relocate to work at the company’s locations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

A spokeswoman for Arden Fair mall said she could not comment on Maggiano’s exit and said there is no news to report yet on possible replacements for the Italian restaurant, which is next to the mall’s Starbucks cafe.

High-rise hitting market

One of Sacramento’s premier office towers has come on the market – the second big Capitol Mall building to hit the auction block this year.

Real estate sources say the U.S. Bank Tower at 621 Capitol Mall is being offered for sale by its owners, Britannia Pacific Properties and David S. Taylor Interests, with Sacramento’s Palmer Capital in charge of soliciting offers.

None of those groups could be reached for comment.

The 25-story, 366,000-square-foot building, with a seven-level atrium lobby, gleaming glass exterior and LED screens at its top, is one of the city’s best business addresses and one of its most recognized landmarks.

The news of its possible sale follows reports that a nearby building, at 520 Capitol Mall, has been put up for sale by its owner, BTV Crown Equities.

Randy Getz, the CBRE broker listing the eight-story, 82,401-square-foot building, said 520 Capitol represents “a generational opportunity” for a buyer to acquire “one of the best-located pieces of real estate in the region.”

The asking price: $28.6 million.

As for the much-larger U.S. Bank Tower, which opened in 2008, Getz said he understands the owners are seeking around $170 million – or more than $450 per square foot.

That’s an “order of magnitude” higher than what other buildings have traded for in this market, he said, but added it’s a “beautifully built, Class A, fully tenanted building getting great rents.”

Why are the two Capitol Mall buildings – and perhaps other core downtown properties – coming on the market now?

As Getz sees it, it’s all about timing. Golden 1 Center is nearing completion a block away from Capitol Mall, office rents are rising and the overall economy is showing strength.

“If you’re going to sell, you do it when everything is right,” he said.

Capitol Mall dining

Speaking of downtown office buildings, there’s no announcement yet on what new restaurant is headed to 555 Capitol Mall. But there’s plenty of speculation.

An Old Soul coffee shop is going into one space on the building’s ground floor this fall, joining House Kitchen & Bar. That leaves room for at least one more dining spot.

Tim Jordan, one of the partners at Old Soul, said he was told two restaurant operators are in the running for the space.

Both are “fine dining, farm-to-fork” outfits, he was told, “along the lines of what (acclaimed restaurateur) Patrick Mulvaney is doing.”