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Chef Billy Zoellin, whose creations were featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” when he worked at The Golden Bear, plans to open his first restaurant May 20 in Midtown.
Bacon and Butter, located in the same building as Club 21 at 1119 21st St., will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch in a space designed to make diners feel like they are in their grandmothers’ kitchens.
“The name came because I was thinking about what you do, and it’s your bread and butter,” the 28-year-old Zoellin said Tuesday. “And then I thought, ‘What’s better than bread?’ For me, the answer was bacon.”
In addition to The Golden Bear, Zoellin worked at The Kitchen and two restaurants run by local restaurateur Patrick Mulvaney.
The menu will rotate on a seasonal basis, with as much of the produce as possible supplied locally. Despite the name, Zoellin said healthy choices, vegan options and gluten-free items will all be available.
One of the dishes to be served is Zoellin’s chorizo and egg pancakes. Manager Pete Richter described them as pancakes made from a buttermilk batter with garlic, peppers, onions and chorizo mixed in. Atop the pancakes are fried eggs topped with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
One of the salads is a fried green tomato caprese with fresh-pulled mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinaigrette.
Sandwiches are another feature of the restaurant, and the “Billy” club sandwich has roasted turkey, bacon, jalapeño ranch, tomato and lettuce on sourdough bread.
Entrees will range in price from about $9 to $14, with grab-and-go items such as bowls of oatmeal and house-made donuts being sold for much less.
Plans call for a range of artisan cocktails to be served, with a selection of alcohol-infused coffee drinks.
Ed Castro, owner of the next-door Ed’s Threads clothing store, said he expects the business to thrive.
“It’s definitely an improvement to the neighborhood,” he said Tuesday. “They have a lot of good energy, and that building’s had a history of failures, but I think they’re going to be a success.”
He added that he thinks the restaurant’s opening will draw more traffic through the area, helping his own business as well.
Whitney Johnson, of the Johnson & Ross interior design business, also did interior design work for Shady Lady Saloon and said she and business partner Tina Ross made much of the décor themselves, including the drapes over the windows, which were made of suit lining.
The floor-to-ceiling windows open, and Zoellin said that having them open adds to the ambiance and gives the restaurant a closer connection to the community.
He said that he was waiting for an opportunity to open his own restaurant, and when the space came open last year, he jumped at the chance to lease it.
“I’m looking forward to opening the door,” said. “I’ve been a chef for about 10 years, and it’s fun, but I always wanted to do it for myself.”
Bacon and Butter’s hours will be 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., and possibly longer on Sundays.
Editor's Note: The Sacramento Press has an updated article with pictures of Bacon and Butter food.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.