With Sweet River Grill & Bar closing last week, a new restaurant is already in the works to make its way into the Geer Road location in approximately two months.
Frank Lemos and partner and chef John Gardner found an opportunity to get into a new business venture after the owner of Sweet River decide against renewing his lease at the 2600 Geer Rd. location.
“The restaurant business always intrigued us (Lemos and his wife),” said Lemos. “… Over the last several years, we befriended John and kind of starting talking about things mutually to where it grew to a common desire to do something together and that’s been going… until we found the right location at the right time.”
That “right location at the time” will become Table 26, a community centered restaurant serving American cuisine with a “locally driven” menu. Table 26 wants to take the best ingredients the Central Valley has to offer to create simple, yet quality dishes.
“I’m not trying to do a type food that’s unknown,” said Gardner. “My big thing is like okay we’re going to have mac ‘n’ cheese on the menu, but we’re going to use Hilmar Cheese Company cheddar.”
Gardner is working with farmers and companies all throughout the valley to get the best produce, cheese, and even olive oil for Table 26.
Construction on the new restaurant is already underway, with the inside getting a whole new, updated look. All of the floors are being replaced, and the walls are being repainted for new themes and a new look. The outside will also get a new look, with a redesigned, more secluded patio featuring a fireplace and water features, said Lemos.
However, not everything will change within the restaurant, as the layout will remain the same with the bar and dining remaining separated. There may be a difference in management systems as new software from companies like Revel Systems is installed, to keep the restaurant working efficiently and effectively. Lemos said, however, that the bar and banquet areas can be secluded or combined based on need and the restaurant will feature a “community gathering area” for friends to gather, or diners to make some new friends.
The layout will not be the only thing staying from Sweet River, many former Sweet River employees have already been hired for various positions, said Lemos. Table 26 is still hiring servers, bartenders, and others positions. All are encouraged to apply, including former Sweet River employees who have not already been hired. Applicants can mail their resume to Table 26, P.O. Box 3578, Turlock, CA, 95381.