As Sacramento staples close their doors, more restaurants are coming in

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Jim-Denny’s, Hot Italian and Mother are all downtown Sacramento food staples that have joined a much bigger list of restaurants that have recently closed.

“There is no doubt there are more restaurants and bars because we have new developed areas,” said Downtown Sacramento Partnership Business Development Manager Valerie Mamone.

It is no secret that since the Golden 1 Center opened years ago the dynamic of downtown has changed. Now, one-third of all businesses between Old Sacramento and 16th Street are either bars or restaurants.

That means more competition, higher rents and, starting on New Year’s Day, minimum wage at $13 an hour.

But, Mamone said while the restaurants have closed, four others have either opened or will soon be open.

“Mother was because they were ready to move on to merge with Empress. Jim-Denny’s was retirement,” Mamone told FOX40. “So, I think everybody has their own reason as to why they’re closing. The timing just happened to overlap.”

But there is an obvious growing trend.

“There is actually going to be more Pete’s 7 locations that are going to have counter service as well,” said Pete’s 7 manager Jay Sandhu.

Pete’s 7 opened a few months ago in downtown Sacramento. It’s the only Pete’s -- for the moment -- that offers counter service.

While Sandhu said the “order at the front” for lunch will give them an advantage over nearby full-service options, fewer waitstaff means fewer people who must be paid the new, higher minimum wage.

“To decrease some of those wage increases that we've talked about can hurt a business if they end up being more of the bottom line than they need to be,” Mamone said.

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