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Historic Brewster building in Galt — with $2.5 million in renovations — will be home to new restaurant, bar

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Posted: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:05 am, Wed Jan 26, 2011.

Three young entrepreneurs who own the Shady Lady, a popular bar and restaurant in Sacramento, are bringing their 1920s saloon atmosphere to downtown Galt. The new restaurant will be in the historic Brewster building, which used to be the city’s old post office and a general store.

Sticking with the historical theme, co-owner Garrett Van Vleck said they will call it Brewster’s Bar and Grill. They plan to open in March.

For lunch and dinner, the menu will feature broad Californian cuisine, including pizza, pasta, soups, salads, hamburgers and steak. Eventually, they also hope to offer brunch, Van Vleck said.

“We hope to have kind of an upscale environment, but we want it to be reasonable, so people can come and have an inexpensive lunch,” he said.

The 19th-century renovated building is 7,000 square feet, and will include a large outdoor seating area with a metallic fountain and a glass elevator. There will be a large dining area downstairs with a bar, and upstairs there will be a lounge and banquet area that people will be able to rent out for weddings or parties.

They plan on featuring Napa and Lodi wines, and there will be a glass floor in front of the bar so customers can look into the wine cellar, Van Vleck said.

“We want to provide a place for people to have a decent meal and a night out,” he said.

Van Vleck opened the Shady Lady about two years ago with longtime friends Jason Boggs and Alex Origoni. The three met while working at a variety of restaurants in Sacramento.

The Shady Lady is located in a restored 1913 Perfection Bread Factory at 14th and R Street in Sacramento, and they describe it as an “urban speakeasy saloon.”

It wasn’t their intent to always open in historic buildings, Van Vleck said. D&S Development retrofitted the bread factory, and so they wanted to work with owner Steve Lebastchi again on the Galt project.

One of the reasons Lebastchi wanted to open in Galt is because there are no other upscale restaurants in the area.

Lebastchi has spent two years and $2.5 million renovating the Brewster building, including major changes to meet seismic requirements and reroofing the entire building.

“I’ve done a lot of old historic buildings. They have a lot of character. When you bring them back to life, it’s rewarding, more so than a normal development,” Lebastchi said.

The Brewster building was built in 1868 and housed the Brewster Company Store and the Odd Fellows Lodge.

The city also participated in the renovation project, investing $1.35 million in redevelopment funds. That includes a $340,000 grant for in seismic retrofitting, a $458,000 forgivable loan after 10 years if the tenant and property owner meet certain requirements, and a $550,000 20-year loan at 3 percent interest.

“We provided funding initially to restore and rehabilitate a great historical treasure for our community,” City Manager Jason Behrmann said.

Between the new restaurant and Galt Place, a new 80-unit senior housing complex, Behrmann hopes it will be a catalyst to revitalize the downtown area. Because of the lack of competition, he said a new restaurant will hopefully attract people from out of town.

Since he has worked for the city, he has constantly heard people complain that there are no restaurants where businesses could take clients for lunch.

“You want to go out for a date with your wife, bring your kids out and have a nice sit-down meal. You want good food, good service and good value,” Behrmann said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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  • maureen bottimore posted at 1:30 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

    maureen bottimore Posts: 4

    It will be interesting to see how this upscale restaurant does in Galt. It is needed. By looking at the menu for Shady Lady I hope prices and entrees are "adjusted" to fit the area. I wish them good luck and can't wait to try their fare......

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:43 am on Wed, Jan 26, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    My wife and I are anxious for your grand opening to check out your culinary offerings and appreciate the awesome restoration of that beautiful building! Good luck, sir.



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