Capitol Alert

Chops steakhouse bids farewell to Capitol crowd Friday

John Bovee, of The Bovee Company, talks with Republican Scott Wilk, who is running Assembly, on Oct. 27, 2011, at Chops in downtown Sacramento.
John Bovee, of The Bovee Company, talks with Republican Scott Wilk, who is running Assembly, on Oct. 27, 2011, at Chops in downtown Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee file

Political insiders and downtown diners will lose one of their landmark hangouts when Chops serves it last martini on Friday.

The 11th Street steakhouse and bar with a prime Capitol view is shutting down this week after nearly 15 years. It follows the closure of a second location in Folsom last summer.

Chops has been a signature gathering spot for lawmakers and lobbyists since it opened in 2003 across the street from Capitol Park. It played host to countless fundraisers, including two scheduled for breakfast and lunch this past Wednesday, according to the Capitol Morning Report.

Geoff Flynn, one of the owners of Chops, said he plans to open the bar around 10 a.m. on Friday and run down the restaurant’s stock.

“We have enjoyed and appreciated our customers and just the loyal patrons over the years. And for that, we’re truly sorry, because we're going to miss the friendships,” he said. “But we look forward to not being in the business.”

Rumors began swirling around the Capitol community on Monday evening as word first leaked to Chops regulars. Lobbyist Adam Keigwin said he was at the bar after work when employees told him that it would close Friday. “I feel like this is the last episode of #Cheers,” he tweeted.

Keigwin said the loss will be felt acutely at the end of the legislative session, when its neighboring location to the Capitol makes Chops the ideal place to hang before late-night votes.

“When you’re waiting for a bill to come up and you don’t know what’s going on, it’s easy to monitor from Chops,” he said. “Hopefully something comes in that’s unique to Sacramento.”

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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