Bennigan’s Taking Over Cafe Bernardo, K Bar Location

SACRAMENTO -- On the night the Golden 1 Center opens for its first event, the Paul McCartney concert, two downtown restaurants are going by the wayside.

The Bennigan's Restaurant chain announced that it will be taking over the Cafe Benardo and K-Bar location to open one its franchises.

The restaurant-bar complex was one of the first to spearhead the revitalization of K Street where several restaurants are now poised to take advantage of arena crowds.

A few blocks away there was a note on the door of RailBridge Cellars in the Elks Lodge building. It explained to customers that a lease dispute is causing them to shut their doors after being open less than a year.

The closings show that the opening of the much anticipated arena is no guarantee of success in the volatile restaurant business.

Commercial real estate broker Brian Jacks says the opportunity for success is still present. He has a restaurant client who is looking to move into downtown.

"Here in downtown, in the immediate proximity to the arena, we have two spots we're going to go after right away," said Jacks.

Still Jacks says opening a restaurant near the arena is still a gamble given the high rents that are being demanded. He says other clients are steering clear to wait to see if the predictions of large crowds for eateries will pan out.

The owner of the Pier Bar and Grill and nightclub rushed to open in time for the first concert.

"There's like a huge crowd for that...I hear talking about it, we are hoping to get all that crowd over here," said India Indiongco, bar tender/server at the Pier.

Still the closings show just how volatile the restaurant business can be. Bad food or service, the wrong price for the wrong menu, a sketchy lease agreement can all torpedo a restaurant quickly, especially since there will be plenty of competition.