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Broderick: stiff drinks, big portions coming to West Sacramento

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The owners behind a new restaurant and bar set to open in West Sacramento have plans that are both unpretentious and ambitious. They want to serve basic bar food at a reasonable price, and help spur development in a neighborhood that could use a boost.

Broderick, set to open at 319 Sixth St. in October, will be a working-class bar with stiff drinks, big portions and a no-frills, no-nonsense approach, according to manager and co-owner Chris Jarosz, who is also the operator of the Wicked ‘wich food truck.

"It will be real American bar food," Jarosz said. "No Nouveau California cuisine, no fusion this or that. It’s just going to be pure, unadulterated, old-school Middle-American bar food: heavy-duty comfort food, but as good as it gets."

The menu is still in development, but Jarosz said he has items in mind like East Coast-style chicken wings (big, fat and meaty), monster burgers, Philly cheesesteaks – the kind of hearty bar food that goes down well with beer, which will also be available in abundance.

The food will be made from scratch and locally sourced, with produce coming from Feeding Crane Farms and farmers markets, according to Jarosz.

The restaurant’s team consists of Jarosz and Matt Chong from Whicked ’wich, Steve Hamm and Marvin Maldonado from inFORM Design, and real estate broker Thaxter V. Arterberry, who owns the property and has run the Jazzy Blues Café at the spot for the last few years.

The idea for Broderick came about after Arterberry told Jarosz and Maldonado, whose wife runs the Gypsy Mobile Boutique, that he was interested in hosting food truck events at the Jazzy Blues Café, which was not in regular use.

When Maldonado went to see the restaurant, he said he quickly saw its potential. It had, he said, a unique authenticity that many restaurant owners and designers spend thousands of dollars to create. The low ceiling with dim lights, the old brick columns painted gray and the long, dark hickory bar with brass railings, as well as extra touches like the vinyl records on the wall, all helped to create a sense of a speakeasy, or intimidate corner bar. 

"You walk into this place and it has the layers of paint, it has the years of artwork and memorabilia that you just don’t find and you can’t replicate it," Maldonado said. 

A panorama of the interior.

Maldonado and Jarosz said they named the bar after the Broderick neighborhood in West Sacramento, which in turn was named after California State Senator David C.Broderick, an anti- slavery politician was killed in a duel with a pro-slavery politician in 1853.

They said they hope the restaurant can become part of the community. Jarosz said he has paid close attention to the way food trucks in cities such as Austin and Portland have helped draw businesses to underserved neighborhoods, drive up real estate values and rehabilitate struggling areas. He hopes Broderick and the food truck events they plan to host on the property can play a similar role in its section of West Sacramento.

“There has been a kind of media-driven stigma about the neighborhood, (and) even though it’s transformed over the years, it’s a little bit rough,” he said. “We wanted to embrace that and give the community something they can hold on to and be proud of.”

The Broderick team has met with West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who said he thought having a restaurant serve as a hub for food trucks and mobile food events was a smart idea. The city, he said, ended most restrictions on the trucks long ago, and Broderick, which is near both downtown Sacramento and Raley Field, will be well positioned to succeed.

“These guys get the neighborhood, its unflinching pride, its storied heritage, its eclectic diversity, and its essential soul,” Cabaldon wrote in an email. “Just as important, they get the business fundamentals, taking advantage of huge number of residents and employees added to the area over the past few years plus the property’s strategic position for access by patrons from throughout the region’s urban core. Broderick was one of the very first settlements in the entire Sacramento region, and this new hotspot will remind us why.”

Maldonado, who also oversaw the recent remodel at Fox and Goose, will soon set to work on the restaurant’s interior and the patio – which will hold 80 seats each. He said he’s excited by what he has to work with and thinks Broderick will offer an experience not easily found elsewhere in the Sacramento area.

“It wouldn’t work in Midtown, it wouldn’t in uptown, it’s just one of those things – you’ve got to get off the grid to experience something like this,” he said. “Here’s this gem. All it needs is a little bit of paint, a little bit of elbow grease, and it’s perfect."  

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