Cathie Anderson

Anderson: Elk Grove’s Baguettes prepares to open new space

The owners of Elk Grove’s Baguettes Deli, Larry and Paula Hunley, finally have room to express themselves at a new space at 8351 Elk Grove Blvd. It has 1,900 square feet, more than three times the space at their former location on Elk Grove-Florin Road.

The Hunleys have given the new space some custom flourishes from Stockton muralist Carlos López and Wilton woodworker Darin Moore. Many locals will remember Moore as a standout pitcher for Lodi High and University of the Pacific. He played minor-league ball for the Stockton Ports and the Frisco RoughRiders, but he left that life behind in 2003. Now the stay-at-home Dad, 38, designs and builds custom wine rooms and wine-barrel furniture.

“I’ve been doing woodworking since I was 15 ... and I did a little bit more in college,” said Moore, who has a mechanical engineering degree from UOP. “When I went to play baseball, I got with a custom-door company in the off-season and they taught me everything I needed to know.”

Moore created a bar, seating, tables and trash cans for the new restaurant. The 62-year-old López, meanwhile, painted produce and farm animals on the deli walls. If you’re a Nugget shopper, you have seen López murals at that grocer’s stores in Elk Grove, Roseville, Woodland and West Sacramento. He creates stencils as a guide.

“All of the shading, you just have to do it by eye,” he said. “You’ve got to mix the colors, too. I used to be a billboard artist.”

At the new location, the Hunleys will be able to seat 48 diners inside and as many as 194 on a sizable patio. They have hired an additional eight workers, many of them from the culinary program at nearby Cosumnes Oaks High School, Paula Hunley said. Her husband is excited to have enough kitchen space for an indoor smoker, and he’s got plans to add dinner service on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Hunleys are in the process of getting inspections done and expect to open later this month.