Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category
By Allen Payton
Perhaps it was the lucky numbers of the day’s date, 11-12-13, that played in his favor. But, after working with the city and being “bullied through this process by out of town interests” Antioch businessman Tony Keslinke received unanimous City Council approval to reopen Kelly’s restaurant and card room, Tuesday night.
“After a year-long process, we have a staff recommendation for approval,” Keslinke said in his presentation to the council. “Following Planning Commission approval and a 5-0 vote of the California Gambling Control Commission, I am asking for a decision that is conditioned upon state license approval.”
Following public comments of a veritable Who’s Who of Antioch supporting the effort, including two Antioch School Board members, one of whom represented the Rivertown Preservation Society, a former Antioch councilwoman, business leaders, the former Chair of the Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission, an Economic Development Commissioner, as well as a variety of friends and business owner tenants of Keslinke’s ABC Building on A Street and refurbished Friendship Manor on Cavalo Road, that’s exactly what the council gave him.
“City Hall needs to get rid of the red tape and start rolling out the red carpet for business,” stated Brian Bellante, owner of an auto repair business and Chairman of the Board of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce.
That was followed by a rousing speech by Chamber CEO and local chiropractor Dr. Sean Wright, a former tenant of the ABC Building, which elicited the largest round of applause.
“He’s [Keslinke's] done more for economic development in the last 10 years in Antioch than anyone else,” Wright said. “It’s a decision over future economic development for the next five years and the investors he’ll bring to our city.”
The “landmark Kelly’s restaurant” as Keslinke referred to it, which included a six-table card room, located on O Street, near the corner of 4th Street, has been closed for a few years. The building has fallen into disrepair and has attracted homeless people and squatters to the property.
One neighbor, Ruth Riley-Evans, who owns Scotto’s Auto Body across the street, said she supported “the 24/7 operation with professional security,” which will benefit the neighborhood.
The council’s unanimous decision to approve the issue included a list of conditions, including recommendations from Chief of Police Allan Cantando, a few of which were met with opposition by both Keslinke and one speaker.
“Metal detectors and full-body scanners is taking things too far,” stated Antioch resident Phil Robinson, who said he wants a place to play cards in town.
But, no one spoke against the matter and many in attendance held signs stating “I Love (heart sign) Kelly’s” and “I Love (heart sign) Jobs.” It is projected that 48 new jobs will be created at the restaurant, bar and card room.
Following the public comments, Mayor Harper said he had worked for 17 years in Emeryville, which had a card room, and wanted to “move forward on the matter tonight.” The council then approved the motion by Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha, seconded by Councilman Tony Tiscareno to give a conditional license pending approval by the state within 36 months, but not until after they received input from City Attorney Lynn Tracy Nerland and Councilman Gary Agopian about their concerns with voting on the motion without the additional conditions recommended by city staff, and amended the motion.
The Council then took a break allowing the staff and Keslinke to meet in a conference room at City Hall to hammer out the details of the conditions.
That list of conditions was later brought back to the council for their final decision on the matter, which also passed with a unanimous 5-0 vote.
Earlier this year, on the day of the Planning Commission vote, a full-color, glossy campaign-style mailer appeared in Antioch residents’ mailboxes opposing the reopening of Kelly’s. It was put out by a group that labeled itself ProtectAntioch.org. However, it was later discovered that those behind the fake organization was the California Card Club Association, and funded by the Oaks Card Room in Emeryville, California Grand Casino in Pacheco and the San Pablo Lytton Indian Casino, among others, trying to prevent additional competition. During his presentation, Keslinke referred to their representatives, saying “some of them are in this room, tonight.”
Nerland also mentioned a possible lawsuit and a possible referendum of the council vote, which could be led by the opponents.
Antioch allows for six licenses for six-table card rooms. Currently, only one, The 19th Hole, is in operation.
By Allen Payton
The long wait for the opening of Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill’s second location is over. Opening in late September, at the corner of Lone Tree Way and Golf Course Road in Antioch, Tailgaters features an exciting place to watch your favorite sports teams.
They offer something for pretty much everyone with over 40 flat screen TV’s and 49 beers, wines and mixed drinks (including three Margaritas) and even root beer on tap, plus great food including Saturday and Sunday breakfast and brunch buffets, and two full-size pool tables and a hand shuffle board game, as well as power strips to keep your cell phone or laptop plugged in, and finally, two outdoor dining patios, also with TV’s.
After opening their Brentwood location in 2005 and enjoying success, there, they’ve been working all year to open their new, Antioch location.
They’ve built a $200,000 custom-designed tap room, kept at 29 degrees, so the drinks are served nice and cold.
“The self-contained, walk-in, refrigerated tap room runs on a mix of nitrogen and oxygen,” said Norman Poot, the brains behind its construction. “There’s not one piece of refrigeration equipment under the bar.”
It has glass and mug dispensers and operates “like a well-oiled machine,” Poot added.
The bar features 49 taps in just eight feet of space and another set of 38 duplicated taps for the servers who take care of those eating in the restaurant. The tap handles are all three inches long, which offers a better pour, due to more control.
Their menu includes bone-in, boneless and grilled chicken wings with 16 different flavors. They can handle orders of 10 to 1,000 wings. Be sure to get there for Wing Wednesday when they offer an All You Can Eat special.
Plus, they offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches, sliders, soups, salads, wraps, appetizers, fries, onion rings and soft drinks, as well as a kids menu.
As for sports, you can watch all the college football games on Saturdays and NFL games every Sunday, Monday and Thursday with their DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, as well as NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball games.
“Every where you look, you can see a TV,” they said.
Plus, any time a Bay Area team scores, they offer a $2 Fan Favorite on drinks.
Their Grand Opening will be tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12 at 11 a.m.. The first 100 guests get free food for a year.
So stop in, today and see what you’ve been waiting for. Tailgaters is located at 4605 Golf Course Road, at the corner of Lone Tree Way in Antioch. Call them for a take-out order at 754-2277 or visit them online at www.TailgatersSportsBars.com. They even offer a Tailgaters app for your Android or Apple iPhone.
By Allen Payton
After Humphrey’s on the Delta Restaurant closed its doors this last Christmas Eve, the building went into foreclosure and was then sold by Wells Fargo Bank, which carried the loan.
A new buyer purchased it about a month ago. Local businessman John Majidi, President of Majidi Properties in Antioch, bought the restaurant and plans to either run it, himself, or find someone who will.
The restaurant sits on property owned by the City of Antioch and the previous owners were behind on their rent payments, (which were based on a percentage of sales or a flat rate, whichever was greater) by about $68,000.
The restaurant was given an appraised value of $940,000, last year. The remaining loan balance was $400,000. So, if Majidi paid the note and the back rent to the City, he was able to get twice the value for his investment without even opening the doors, again.
Check back for more information on this issue.
By Allen Payton, Publisher
Whether you are in the mood for indulgence or healthy eating options, Uno Chicago Grill has just the ticket for both, from excellent New York strip steaks, to lobster and shrimp scampi, to wonderful salads and low-fat and carb options that taste great. Additionally, they have a full Gluten Free menu, and full information about their menu and offerings, on line. Of course they offer their tasty deep-dish, Chicago-style pizzas. Home Delivery is also available from their full menu, to the surrounding communities.
Locally owned and operated by long time Antioch residents Matt and Marilyn Pellouchoud, Uno’s features a family friendly environment, along with a great Sports Bar with the best mini-appetizers around. They have a special kids feature with a Kids Eat Free program on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Please ask for Matt personally when you stop by so he can say hello, and make sure your visit is exceptional in every way possible. Uno’s focuses on friendly, informative service, with smiles and attention given to all the details of exceptional quality.
Uno’s also provides many services to our community, most notably their Fund-Raiser program that offers up to 20% of sales driven by your specific club or organization. Just give them a call and they can set up your own Fundraiser, and make some dough for you and your cause. (Get it? Dough. As in pizza dough?) They focus on local high schools, elementary schools as well as many churches and civic organizations.
If you are looking for some great Mid-Western hospitality, outstanding food and menu options, along with a comfortable and warm environment, stop by their location in Antioch at 4827 Lone Tree Way, or give them a call for directions or reservations at 925-522-8554. Visit them online at www.unos.com.
They are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with lively music and excellent food, served late for your convenience.