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Wicked ‘Wich’s grand plans begin with the Downtown Plaza

The Wicked’Witch food truck.

Wicked ‘Wich isn’t quite a household name, but if its owners have their way, eventually not only will those in the Sacramento region know the sandwich makers’ brand, they won’t have to travel far to enjoy the East Coast-style cuisine.

"We’d like to see Wicked ‘Wich in airport terminals," said co-owner Chris Jarosz. "We feel we have a good brand and better options than some others. We’ll keep pounding away and hope that fuel will take us to the next level."

What started as a food truck in July 2011 was eventually expanded into a restaurant – Broderick Restaurant & Bar in West Sacramento in Fall 2012 – and is now making its way to a Downtown Plaza near you. Announced last week, Wicked ‘Wich will open a brick-and-mortar eatery in the food court early this spring, and eventually – maybe – set up shop in Roseville, Davis, Rancho Cordova and Folsom.

They’re talking mall food courts, airports, casinos, strip malls, anywhere a restaurant could potentially open shop, they’ll test the market. After all, what good’s a food truck if not to scout out locations?

But first things first. The Downtown Plaza space is set to open in late February/early March, and without giving too many details away, will pay tribute to its mobile food roots through its design, said Jarosz. And just like the food truck and Broderick, the mall shop will use locally-sourced ingredients and make everything – except for the bread, which comes from a bakery in Davis – from scratch.

"We don’t spare any expense and we don’t take any shortcuts," Jarosz said, adding that the potatoes aren’t local, they’re from Idaho, otherwise everything is from the Sacramento area. "You know when you eat our food, it’s fresh. Even if you want to be bad, it’s still quality."

So why downtown’s struggling mall, which recently lost The Gap and Brookstone? Well, as Jarosz and co-owner Steve Hamm point out, the mall is changing to include more local retailers that embody Midtown’s artsy, "janky" feel.

Plus, downtown has a huge lunch and dinner crowd, and the Downtown Plaza food court gets plenty of business even if the rest of the mall isn’t doing so well, Jarosz said.

So back to the bigger picture – putting a Wicked ‘Wich on every street corner. While the owners aren’t quite that ambitious, they do want to bring their heavy, Americana, blue collar food to other markets that could benefit from the flavor. No plans are set in stone, but Jarosz and Hamm agree that the truck is the best way to find another home for Wicked ‘Wich.

Until then, they’re just happy to have found a local customer base that’s supporting their move into the Downtown Plaza. "We feel really privileged to have the great group of customers and fans we have," Jarosz said. "We want to be a local Sacramento institution."

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