Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Uncertain future for Capitol basement cafeteria

Griselda’s World Cafe was located in the Capitol basement cafeteria for eight years, but cleared out in February after it was closed for health and safety violations.
Griselda’s World Cafe was located in the Capitol basement cafeteria for eight years, but cleared out in February after it was closed for health and safety violations. The Sacramento Bee file

The vacant Capitol basement cafeteria, which closed late last year amid a cockroach infestation, underwent a makeover this week as crews ripped out appliances, flooring and ceiling to assess its structural condition.

The demolition is part of a preliminary evaluation by the state as it determines whether it will remodel the space, one of only two Capitol dining options for staffers, lobbyists and tourists.

“We wanted to see what the heck we have underneath everything,” said Debra Gravert, the Assembly Rules Committee’s chief administrative officer. “So far, the demo hasn’t shown anything horrible. So that’s good news.”

The renovation still may not proceed if there’s no interest from businesses in moving in downstairs. Gravert said she has talked to three potential vendors so far, but all of them have expressed concerns that the brick-lined basement location wouldn’t be profitable.

Previous operator, Griselda’s World Cafe, cleared out in February after eight years, following the December closure by county health inspectors because of health and safety violations.

COAL LOTTA LOVE: Teachers’ demands that their pension fund unload its holdings in a gun manufacturer tied to the Newtown school shooting have kicked up controversy, but CalSTRS is more quietly weighing another call to divest from coal. The board will vote today on whether to direct its investment committee to study the possibility of coal divestment, a process that would take 4 to 8 months and $150,000 to $300,000, 8:30 a.m. at the CalSTRS headquarters in West Sacramento.

NEW JOB: Former Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who lost a bruising Senate race in November, has settled on his next step, joining the government law and policy practice of Sacramento’s Greenberg Traurig law and lobbying firm. He follows former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who was hired as chair of the unit last fall.

MOST EGG-CELLENT: Legislators are constantly making history with bold new bills, but this weekend, the Capitol will be the setting for a new kind of groundbreaking event. Blue Heart International, a local charity focused on fighting sex trafficking, plans to set the record for the world’s largest Easter egg hunt with a massive search featuring 510,000 plastic eggs and representatives from Guinness World Records on hand to certify the achievement. The egg hunt, Saturday at 9 a.m., is free, but the event also serves as a fundraiser for Blue Heart.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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