A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Bank, Sacramento’s Newest Culinary Concept
With its vibrant culture, high concentration of businesses, and chic and upcoming restaurants, downtown Sacramento has long been the place to be. But lately, the area has seen a bit of a renaissance with the addition of the Golden 1 Center, which has drawn performers from all over the country and sparked the interest of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs who are interested in becoming a part of this new chapter. In fact, in the next few years, we expect to see a complete revitalization of the downtown corridor.
One such project is the long awaited food hall dubbed The Bank, which will open later this year in the historic D.O. Mills Bank Building. The space will span three levels and 30,000 square feet, and will include a culinary concourse with grub from renowned local vendors, two bars, and a taproom. Prior to this renovation, the bank building’s underground vaults were closed off to the public (understandably so), but not anymore — the never-before-seen underground area will open into a trendy and chic taproom serving local craft beers and cocktails.
This project has been in the works for nearly two years, and now that opening day is finally nearing, the buzz and anticipation just continues to grow! We are certainly looking forward to seeing the new digs and sampling all of the great food, which is why we got a bit of a sneak peek of the venue from the Bank’s General Manager Juliet House. Read on to hear about her journey with the concept so far, and the impact she expects to see in the downtown Sacramento community.
Lyon: Can you tell us how the idea for this new concept (culinary concourse and beer hall) was sparked?
House: Our owner heard that the arena was going in very early on in their process. That knowledge started the wheels spinning. After traveling the world and seeing the open air food markets that are a staple throughout Europe, [he found that] the many options and sense of community that comes from being able to socialize in a common space are something that we don’t see much of here. Combining that with just as many options for the bar settings just seemed to be a natural fit. I mean any kind of food you want, and just about any kind of bar setting you want (including a taproom with 70 beers on draft) is ideal no matter who you are.
Lyon: Tell us about your involvement with the project.
House: I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the process for well over a year now. It’s not that often that management gets brought in this early, so being able to weigh in on decisions that directly affect the daily operations is such a fantastic move.
Lyon: How do you feel now that the transformation is nearly complete?
House: We are completely ecstatic! This team has talked about everything from the build, to the design, to how it will be run for so many months now; to see it start to blossom before our eyes is just incredible. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.
Lyon: Can you tell us about the process for selecting the vendors?
House: Our goal with the vendors was just like everything else for the building; we want to curate the best selection of chefs and operators that we can — whether it’s a little known chef who has been waiting their opportunity to have their own kitchen, or [a chef that is] established, well known and looking to grow or start a new concept, or maybe a food truck operator that has a crazy following. The sky is the limit and around here options are the goal! Just think of all those options and gourmet goodies in an upscale (but with a casually comfortable feel) atmosphere; I know I’d want to hang out here.
Lyon: What has the response been from the chosen vendors?
House: The response from everyone has been so overwhelmingly positive. It’s fantastic to see others get excited and passionate about this as much as we are.
Lyon: Are you and your team still on the hunt for more vendors, or is the roster full?
House: There are just a few spots left. Interested parties can reach out to our leasing agent, Kelly Rivett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lyon: The bank building has gone through a variety of upgrades and renovations in the past century. Can you tell me a bit about how the building has been transformed to house this new concept?
House: We want to honor the great past of this building while ushering in a whole new era of memories. Keeping that in mind, not too much will change structurally outside of the mezzanine that is being built. The original vaults will be featured in a very cool way, and the amount of detail that has gone into every aspect of the design on this will absolutely meld with the already existing grand features the building is known for. Our goal is for this to be a destination not just because of the choices it offers, but because it is truly unique and gorgeous.
There are aspects of this building like the iconic ceiling, those grand brass doors, revolving doors, and vaults that are key to what makes the D.O. Mills Building so exceptional. Everything we are doing is meant to integrate and enhance what already makes this place so incredible. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, just adding some features to it.
Lyon: It seems like you all picked an incredible location in downtown Sacramento, close to the Golden 1 center and other popular attractions. How do you think this concept will add to/affect life and culture in this area?
House: There are so many wonderful new businesses opening up this way; we are in great company. With all these fun new places to visit, it is our hope that this part of downtown becomes its own destination for locals as well as those visiting. We want this to be a place to hang out and walk around, like any other well established metropolitan. Along with all the options for food and drink, we plan to offer an environment that is welcoming to all — families, business men and women, students, construction workers, doctors and lawyers, first responders, etc – there’s something here for everyone.
The Bank will open in the coming months, although the opening day has yet to be announced. Trust us, we are looking forward to it just as much as you are! Check back for more information at the Bank’s website here.
All photos are courtesy of The Bank.