We’re introducing our Best Real Estate Projects for 2021-2022. This is the best new restaurant.
In golfers’ parlance, former golf pro Juli Hilton’s decision to open a sophisticated yet family-friendly restaurant in west Roseville was theoretically a gimme, given the dearth of nearby eateries. Faced with more business than she bargained for when the first-time restaurateur opened her kitchen747 last November, however, Hilton and her crew had to temporarily retreat to that proverbial 19th hole.
“The week we opened, we did more business than we anticipated, and after the first week, we had to shut down for lunches just to get our breath and reassess,” said Hilton, who named the restaurant kitchen747 as a nod to the last three digits of its zip code. “The demand was here.”
Hilton, who’s lived in the area since 2005, initially envisioned a freestanding restaurant to address the area’s lack of dining choices, as the nearest restaurant – Timbers at the Lodge – is almost 2 miles away. When a 3-acre vacant site became available for sale, however, Hilton teamed up with her parents to develop it into the 25,000-square-foot Village Westpark retail and office center, with the 5,800-square-foot restaurant as its centerpiece. Hilton, who declined to disclose the development cost of the center, said that, aside from two spaces totaling about 2,000 square feet, all of Village Westpark’s space has been leased.
“There are 15,000 people in a 2-mile demographic. We needed a restaurant on this side of town,” said Hilton. “I must have been told a thousand times not to do it, but if I did do it, make sure to own the land. This was the smallest property that we could find where it could work.”
Ever the athlete, Hilton built out an indoor-outdoor space where guests can complement their food, drink and sports-watching with games such as table shuffleboard, cornhole and pingpong. Garage-style doors that open up the patios on nicer-weather days help give the restaurant what Hilton calls an “industrial-chic” vibe.
Hilton’s clear vision for a community-oriented, full-service restaurant with a bar and gaming areas as well as the fact that the space was a new-build enabled the restaurant to achieve its design goals, according to the restaurant’s architect, Roseville-based Borges Architectural Group Principal Richard Sambucetti.
“Being able to start with a blank canvas is always wonderful,” said Sambucetti, whose firm has designed about a dozen restaurants within the past five years. “It gave us the opportunity not only to design the restaurant in terms of tables and chairs and bar but it gave us the opportunity to create the spaces and transition from one space to the next.”
With a 90-seat patio area complementing the 140 seats inside, kitchen747 looks to take advantage of good-weather days while offering Covid-wary diners the option of eating outside. Additionally, Hilton says the restaurant’s 48-seat rooftop area, which opened in June, offers guests views that can’t be found in any other local restaurant.
“My architect said it’d be expensive, but I thought it’d be something that sets us apart,” Hilton said. “The sunsets you see are amazing. You’re in your own world up there.”
Details: 5,800-square-foot restaurant within Village Westpark center
Cost: Not disclosed
Completed: November 2021
Developer: Creekview Investments LLC
Contractor: Jackson Construction
Architect: Borges Architectural Group
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