After less than a year on Sacramento’s streets, local food truck Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen is adding a brick-and-mortar establishment at 908 15th St. that blurs the line between sports bar and food truck.
The Republic Featuring Drewski’s is set to open the week before the Super Bowl (Feb. 5), and Drewski’s owner Andrew “Drewski” Blaskovich said he’s excited to be part of the growth in downtown Sacramento and to offer a late-night food and entertainment spot, closing around 3-4 a.m. on the weekends.
“It’s going to be a sports bar,” Blaskovich said. “We’re going to have 12-15 TVs, pool tables, video games and – we’re hoping – skee ball.”
The four pool tables will complement old-school video games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, and entertainment will be provided by live bands as well as DJs.
Moving to add a traditional restaurant and bar is something many food truck owners aspire to, but Blaskovich said he has no plans to rein in the food truck aspect of the business.
“The trucks are my babies,” he said.
And that is trucks – plural.
“We’re going to be adding another truck, and we’re shooting for about two months,” he said.
One of the biggest problems that comes with operating the trucks is solved by opening the brick-and-mortar establishment, Blaskovich said.
“For the truck, I don’t have any storage, so I have to shop every day,” he said. “Now, I have a place to prep all the food, take deliveries and store it so I have to shop only once a week, plus I can save money by getting discounts on things in bulk.”
Blaskovich is partnering with a bar operator, whose name he is not yet releasing, and he will focus on the food.
The cuisine will include the menu from the food truck, but the full kitchen will allow an expanded menu.
“We’re going to have some street tacos, and we’re doing a variety of burgers, different hot wings, chicken sandwiches and all kinds of good stuff,” he said.
Meals will run about $10, he added.
Appetizers, including garlic rosemary tater tots, will be included, as well as salads and other sandwiches. A variety of sauces such as Thai peanut sauce, a tangy barbecue sauce and others will accentuate the dishes.
Plates won’t be used, with all the food served in the cardboard boats with paper linings that those who frequent the food truck are familiar with.
Those who want to challenge themselves will have the option of facing down a massive burger, getting their photo on the wall and a T-shirt if they’re up to the challenge.
The 18-Wheeler will be a 4- or 5-pound burger that Blaskovich said will be a meal for about three people, but anyone who finishes it in a set time, possibly 20 minutes, will earn a spot on the wall.
Formerly Dream Ultra Lounge & Restaurant, The Republic Featuring Drewski’s is getting a facelift with black ceilings, a roll-up door facing Memorial Auditorium that leads to one of two patios, and interior décor of faux brick and wood molding with either mirrors or stained glass artwork.
Chalk It Up! art festival Marketing Director Lisa Martinez said it’s unique to see a food truck open a brick-and-mortar establishment in Sacramento, and the location should be a successful one.
“They’re in the middle of an entertainment district, and it’s a great amenity,” she said. “I think the beauty of it is they already have a successful following, so the business is coming in with an established clientele.”
Across the street from Memorial Auditorium, the business is close to the Torch Club and not far from the Wells Fargo Pavilion, the newly opened Maydestone apartment building and the future site of Coyote Tap House.
Blaskovich said he is looking to appeal to the after-work happy hour crowd, opening around 4 or 5 p.m., as well as anyone looking for late-night eats and entertainment, or people leaving Memorial Auditorium after a concert. Sunday brunch will be served and will likely feature a dish of waffles and fried chicken, which is growing in popularity.
“I’m from Sacramento, and I’ve always been a big supporter of downtown Sacramento and the growth we’ve experienced in the past,” Blaskovich said. “I want to be a part of that, and this gives people downtown the chance to have Drewski’s if the truck is out in Roseville or Elk Grove or something.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.