Is it because we won’t support them, or because businesses don’t want to come here? Rumor has it Elk Grove will be getting a Smashburger franchise. I like a good burger as much as anyone, but I think we have enough places to get a burger already. We have just about every fast food chain available. We have 5 Guys and Habit Burger, not to mention just about every restaurant serves a hamburger. What we need is something a little more upscale and something that will draw people in. We have some excellent non chain choices now in Boulevard Bistro, Silva’s Sheldon Inn and Ristorante Palermo, and others, but we need more choices. The most popular restaurant in Elk Grove is BJ’s. It is always packed every night of the week. They offer a decent variety of food choices, and are not too expensive, and they are family friendly which seems to be very important to Elk Grove residents. More than that, people like the ambiance there. People want to go to places where there are other people, not to a half empty place. It’s a fun place to go. Sure a quiet dinner is nice sometimes too, that’s when you choose one of the 3 I mentioned above.
Last week we had the chance to dine at Crush 29 in Roseville. Check out their website and the photos. That is the type of place our city is missing. It’s a wine bar/restaurant, great ambiance, good food that is not too expensive. It’s not a chain restaurant and it’s not fine dining. It’s a great place for adults to go have a nice dinner, glass of wine and relax. It’s not too loud. There are many other examples of restaurants we need here if you visit Folsom, Roseville, or El Dorado Hills. Places like Fat’s, P.F. Changs, Bistro 33 and many more. Why can’t we get something like that here? Is it because we won’t support it? Is it the reputation of the city? True or not, people who live in those other cities look down at our city.
Three or four years ago, before the mall was delayed there was a list of restaurants that had expressed interest in locating here, like the Elephant Bar, Lucille’s BBQ and a few others. Nothing too spectacular but at least more choices. Our city has no night life or entertainment. We finally got something for families to do when Strikes Bowling opened up here and they have been beset with issues caused by thugs who have nothing better to do. Many people will not go there at night time because of it. That doesn’t help our reputation. We shouldn’t have to drive 20-30 minutes to find a a fun place to go. We have 150,000 people in our city, I think we can support something nicer here. Will any business take a chance? Are we stuck with Target, Wal-Mart and other cheaper places? Are we stuck being a discount city? For the first time I am wondering if I really want to stay here if this is the best we can do.
Nicer restaurants are just part of it. Do we have anything upscale here? Any nice shopping places at all? Nugget and Trader Joe’s are a good start. That’s one of the reasons we need to get the mall finished. We are more likely to have something locate there than in one of the many unappealing strip malls we have here. Other businesses will want to be near the mall because it will be a hub of the community. Think of all the businesses located around Arden Fair or the Roseville Galleria. The mall attracts those other businesses. People go there to shop and eat.