Central city alleys receive names, part two

On Oct. 11, Steve Cohn’s 5-year-old idea to give the alleys of Sacramento their own formal names was finalized, giving them what many residents describe as a new sense of character.

In a continuation of Tuesday’s article, The Sacramento Press has highlighted many local businesses along the alleys and spoke to residents regarding their thoughts on the alleys’ new names.

Fat Alley

Fat Alley.

Khalid Khan’s liquor store, called Don’s Bottle Shop, is located on Fat Alley and 16th Street. Khan, 60, said that naming the alleys won’t do his business any good.

“I don’t have control over what (the city) wants to do,” he said.

He emphasized that the city should be more focused on finding more direct ways to promote local businesses, and that naming the alleys is a distraction from more important issues.

Government Alley

Government Alley.

Sacramento is the capital city of California, and Cohn said that Government Alley’s name is an acknowledgement of the city’s importance in state politics.

Midtown attorney Jan Kaworsky said that while he believes that the effort to name the alleys is worthwhile, he would have chosen different names.

“I probably would have named Government Alley ‘Anti-Government Alley,’ ” he said.

Historic Alley

Jeramy Robinson, the 25-year-old manager of Old Soul at Weatherstone, leans against the coffee bar in Historic Alley.

As the alleys progress further south into Midtown, businesses begin becoming more prevalent on their corners. Old Soul at Weatherstone, one of Sacramento’s popular coffee bars, is located on the corner of Historic Alley along 21st Street.

Jeramy Robinson, 25, is a manager at the coffee bar and lives right by Historic Alley.

“There’s a lot of activity that would benefit from having a name for this alleyway,” he said, referring to the many homes and businesses within the vicinity.

He said that the name “Historic” is very fitting for the alley, especially since Old Soul at Weatherstone is located in the building that housed Sacramento’s first cafe.

Although supportive of the idea, Robinson voiced some concerns about the alley naming.

“It’s a new idea on the grid system,” he said. “It might confuse people that aren’t necessarily familiar with (it).”

When asked what he would have named the alley, Robinson said that he would have given it a name that relates even more closely to Old Soul at Weatherstone.

Improv Alley

Improv Alley, across from Caesar Chavez Park.

Jazz Alley

Broadacre Coffee on Jazz Alley and 10th Street.

Jazz Alley spans several busy areas in Sacramento, cutting through the hearts of Downtown and Midtown. Off of 10th Street is Broadacre Coffee, a new coffee bar owned by Justin Kerr, Jacob Elia, Lucas Elia and Andrew Lopez.

Kerr and Elia, 21 and 23, said they think that while the idea to name the alleys had good motives, the names that were chosen are lackluster and uninteresting.

“I think they could have come up with a better name than Jazz Alley,” Kerr said. “I know the process took a long time, but the names are kind of generic.”

Kerr said jokingly that a more appropriate name for Jazz Alley would have been “Java Alley” because of their store’s location.

Elia said that he can see how naming the alleys would aid police in responding to emergencies more quickly.

“If you can say, ‘I’m on Jazz Alley and 10th St.,’ now they know you’re not just somewhere (in between) Ninth and 10th (streets),” he said.

A celebration of the Day of the Dead that was held in Midtown on Jazz Alley.

Kayak Alley

Harv’s Carwash, located along Kayak Alley.

Bernice Gamino works at Harv’s Carwash, located on 19th Street and Kayak Alley. The 28-year-old resident of Natomas said that she isn’t confident that naming the alleys will produce positive results.

“I think it might confuse people,” she said. “A lot of people don’t even know that they (named) them, and the names are weird.”

She suggested that naming the alleys after things all Sacramentans would recognize would have been better.

“I would have named it Kings Alley,” she said. “It’s the first thing I think of when I think of ‘K’ and Sacramento.”

Watch for tomorrow’s story that will include more of the alleys.

What do you think of the city’s names for the alleys? Leave your thoughts in the conversation below.

John G. Hernandez contributed to this story. 

Conversation Express your views, debate, and be heard with those in your area closest to the issue. RSS Feed

November 2, 2011 | 9:40 PM

For those who may be interested, here’s a list I came up with:

Bordisso (Bill Bordisso, Lou Bordisso) Founders of “Old Ironsides” Tavern, received first city issued liquor license after Prohibition, Sacramento Solons player
Baer (Max Baer) World champion boxer and Land Park resident
Blue (Daniel Blue) His home was original location of St. Andrew’s African Methodist Episcopal church
Ball (Kathryn Uhl Ball) Sacramento artist, best known for watercolors and drawings of Sacramento landmarks, a legacy of Sacramento’s participation in the Depression-era Federal Art Project

Colley (Nathaniel Colley) Civil rights attorney, NAACP vice-president
Clayton (Sarah Clayton) Her advocacy helped found Sacramento County Hospital (current site of UC Davis Medical Center) and Sacramento Foundling’s Home orphanage.
Cooledge (Belle Cooledge) Sacramento’s first woman mayor.

D’Allesandro (Settino “Sam” D’Allesandro) Founder of La Rosa restaurant
Dunlap (George Dunlap) African-American owner of Dunlap’s Dining Room restaurant, State Fair concession and dining service on Sacramento Northern Railway

Ewing (Dr. Elizabeth Ewing) Physician specializing in women’s illnesses
Edson (Katherine Philips Edson) Lobbyist for women’s suffrage, safe milk, labor laws.

Fong (W. Fong Yue) Chinese business owner, built mansion adjacent to Southside Park
Freitas (Tony Freitas) Sacramento Solons baseball player, PCL Hall of Fame
Fat (Frank Fat) Founder of local restaurant
Fletcher (George and Barney Fletcher) Founders of St. Andrew’s African Methodist Episcopal Church

Galarza (Ernesto Galarza) Mexican immigrant, labor activist
Glide (Lizzie Glide) Business owner, land speculator
Gallatin (Albert Gallatin) Huntington & Hopkins Hardware manager, original owner of the home that became the Governor’s Mansion, consolidated streetcar system and electrified Sacramento via Folsom Powerhouse
Grau (Henry Grau) Founder of Buffalo Brewery

Hopley (Nettie Hopley) Principal of Lincoln School, encouraged immigrant youth to become Americans without abandoning their native culture
Heilbron (Dr. Louise Heilbron) Osteopath, German immigrant, moved practice to Sacramento after 1906 earthquake
Hepting (Eugene Hepting) Sacramento bicycle enthusiast, photographer and early historian

Igo (Dr. Louise Igo) Nurse, doctor, first manager of Sisters of Mercy’s school of nursing

Jackson (William C. “Nitz” Jackson) Founder of Club Zanzibar, West End jazz club
Jackson (Lydia Flood Jackson) African-American business owner, suffragist and civil rights activist
Jan (John Jan) Chinese featherweight Pacific Coast boxing champion, Golden Glove champion

Khan (Saddullah Khan) Founder of Sacramento’s first mosque
Klumpp (George Klumpp) Mortuary owner, mayor, rebuilt Edmonds Field baseball field after it was destroyed by fire

Lee (Archy Lee) Slave brought to Sacramento, became free after extended court battle
Lewis (Amanda Lewis) Accomplished cellist and painter, works on permanent display in Crocker collection
Lindley (Mary Denson Lindley) First woman elected to Sacramento city council
Leung (Leung Hing Kuei) Founder of Chung Wah Chinese Language School, Sacramento’s first Chinese language school
Lubin (David Lubin) Department store owner and philanthropist, founder of Weinstock & Lubin (aka Weinstock’s)

Masante (Father Silvio Masante) Priest at St. Mary’s Church, had radio program on KROY, served as military chaplain in World War II
Miyakawa (Tsunesaburo Miyakawa) Japanese druggist, founder of Agnes Hospital which served Sacramento’s Japanese community
Morgan (William K. Morgan) Partner in Morgan-Jones Mortuary, Sacramento’s first African American superior court judge
Morgan-Jones (Grace Morgan-Jones) William Morgan’s sister, partner in Morgan-Jones mortuary, board member Women’s Civic Improvement Club (African American civic organization)
Machado (Manuel Machado) Portuguese farmer, aka “The Bean King,” his X Street mansion later became the Women’s Civic Improvement Club clubhouse and boarding house for single African American women

November 3, 2011 | 6:55 PM

Damn, Bill – you’ve done it again.
How about Burg Alley, after Sactown’s most enthusiastic historian?

November 3, 2011 | 10:33 PM

Heck no. Too many good B names to choose from! I lean towards “Bordisso” myself, but that’s just because I like Old Ironsides.

November 2, 2011 | 9:40 PM

Nevis (Manuel Nevis) Portuguese winemaker and master carpenter, established three wineries in Sacramento
Nushida (Kenso Nushida) First Japanese American baseball player to play for the Sacramento Solons, 1932

O’Neil (Mary Rooney O’Neil) First woman elected to Superintendent of Public Schools

Perez (Juan Perez) bandleader of “Banda de Guerra,” state champion children’s marching band sponsored by Honorifica, local Mexican American community organization
Price (Sophie Price) Schoolteacher, author, historian

Ryan (John C. Ryan) Irish immigrant, founder of Sacramento’s first brickyard
Ryan (Thomas Ryan) Captain of riverboat Flora, early owner of building now occupied by “Old Ironsides”
Robinson (Dr. Charles Robinson) A leader of the Sacramento City Settler’s Association, involved in the Squatter’s Riots of 1850
Ruhstaller (Frank Ruhstaller) Founder of Sacramento City Brewery

Silveira (Gabriel Silveira) Portuguese musician, bandleader, furniture store owner, community activist
Scott (Elizabeth Thorn Scott) Founder of first school for African American children
Satchell (Rev. Charles Satchell) First minister of Shiloh Baptist Church
Shooks (Samuel Shooks) African American hailed as “mayor” of Sacramento’s Depression-era shantytown along Jibboom Street, sometimes called “Shooksville”
Strizek (Jere Strizek) Suburban developer, founder of “Town & Country Village”

Takeuchi (Tadashi Takeuchi) Soldier of 442nd Regimental Combat Team, killed in action in Vosges, France 1944
Thompson (Vincent “Ted” and Georgia Thompson) Owners of Thompson Funeral Home, Sacramento’s first African American owned funeral home
Taverna (Fr. Dominic Taverna) Founder of the Dante Club, an Italian-American social/cultural society

Urbs Indomita (Indomitable City) Sacramento city motto

Vierra (Manuel Vierra) Portuguese immigrant, member of “Arizona Gang”, Southside Park bar/restaurant owner
Vito (Vic Vito) Founder of Vic’s Ice Cream

Williams (Marvin Williams) First African American member of Sacramento Solons baseball team
Wong (Bill and George Wong) Founders of Bel-Air Market chain
Weinstock (Harris Weinstock), co-founder Weinstock-Lubin department store

Yee (Yee Fung Chung) Chinese pioneer, herbalist, provided services to Stanford family and Chinese community

(I couldn’t find anything for Q.)

Avatar of ccc
November 3, 2011 | 9:08 AM

excellent list and the bst part about this is if people did not know these names they may have actually been encouraged to find out more about them and as a result learn more about Sacramento’s amazing history.
Cohn’s names are so bad it almost seems like a practical joke. Is it too late to stop the madness? Improv Alley . . . . .

November 2, 2011 | 9:55 PM

You dont honestly think Cohens “pet project that took 5 years to implement”(his words not mine) is about “eggplant, jazz, or chinatown” do ya? 5 years to come up with that… please and in that 5 years couldnt figure out the $300.00 sign cost! C’mon, people dont concentrate on the “eggplant” concentrate on the ones serving it up to us. Naming the alleys is just a pawn being taken off of the board and I suppose his redistricting plan approved under the cover of darkness was just a coincidence that doubled the size of designated alleys but more importantly consolidated the influence of power over the central corridor; from freeway to freeway. Cohen is alot of things… stupid aint one of them. “They’re” playing chess and we’re saying, “King Me.” THINGS ARE NOT AS THEY APPEAR…

November 3, 2011 | 9:58 AM

Everyone of William Burg’s suggested names entails a chapter in Sacramento’s history. Using them would be a vast improvement over the antisceptic names that have been chosen. Naming alleys after figures in Sacramento’s history would be a major step in keeping our history alive. We could have historial markers placed at each alley entrance providing a short synopsis of each figure’s role in city history. Walking around Sacramento would then become a history lesson in itself.

November 3, 2011 | 10:59 AM

“Khalid Khan’s liquor store, called Don’s Bottle Shop, is located on Fat Alley and 16th Street. Khan, 60, said that naming the alleys won’t do his business any good.”

Khan has been charged in connection with receiving stolen property and food stamp fruad. He had his liquor licence revoked by the ABC.


November 3, 2011 | 2:21 PM

Half these alley names read like an Onion article. Like I still don’t believe they are real.

November 3, 2011 | 3:14 PM

Naming an alley is tantamount to naming a freeway after a prominent historical figure… it may say “Sutter Expressway” but everyone is still bound to call it 80E, or what have you. Burg’s suggestions make sense if the point of naming the alleys is cultural/historical enrichment, but from a practical point of view wouldn’t it be better to go with 15-and-a-half Alley? Or J/K Way? At least people could figure out exactly where those are located.

November 3, 2011 | 6:03 PM

The point of the naming scheme is to start the name of the alley with the name of the street just to the north: Eggplant south of E, Fat south of F (actually, I guess they did use one of my name suggestions!) and so on. So if you forget the actual name of the alley, you know it starts with that letter. My suggestions were pretty ad-hoc (developed by reaching for a dozen or so local history publications on my bookshelf and digging out names) and are kind of deliberately aimed at the sort of folks who don’t often get streets named after them, but they could be developed further.

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