Design Global, Eat Local

Another sign of Sacramento’s growing sophistication: When the owners of The Kitchen decided to open a restaurant on the K Street Mall, they turned to an international design firm with an impressive roster of clients to create the new restaurant’s look.

The Selland family hired UXUS Design (based in Amsterdam and Napa) to design their $4 million restaurant, Ella Dining Room and Bar, scheduled to open later this summer. The Sellands are in illustrious company: UXUS clients include Levi’s, Nike, McDonald’s, Comme des Garçons and Oilily.

Randall Selland, The Kitchen’s famously extroverted chef/owner, wanted Ella to have a look of rustic luxury that was world-class, not provincial, according to UXUS creative co-director George Gottl.
Located on the ground floor of The Cathedral Building at the corner of 12th and K streets, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant will seat about 200 people in three separate dining areas.

The main dining room will feature an open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling drapery panels that can be used to close off sections of the restaurant for privacy. The centerpiece of the room will be two tables d’hôte, or host’s tables, next to the kitchen.

There will be a small private dining room and a communal table in the bar.

With its muted color scheme and understated lighting, the space promises to be pale and brooding, says Gottl’s partner, architect and creative co-director Oliver Michell. (A third partner, Erika Gottl, acts as general manager.) It’s very postmodern, George Gottl adds.

Man About Town

Photo by Gabriel Teague

Ever spend more time looking for a parking space than in the meeting you actually needed the parking space for? Ken Turton, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis, had to put a stop to that, so now when he heads
from his office on Capitol Mall to City Hall (or any parking-challenged block), he leaves his Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG in the garage, puts on a helmet and barrels out into traffic on a 49cc Honda Metropolitan motorbike. Presto! Parking possibilities are everywhere. I’ll drive it to meetings to discuss multimillion-dollar properties, says Turton. You can drive slowly and still get to an appointment 10 minutes earlier than if you go by car.

Turton says he got his first motorbike as a bonus from a client after a particularly tough real estate deal. He keeps two on hand for his commercial real estate staff to use, and he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a third. I guess it’s funny to see a guy in a fine-quality business suit getting off a mo-ped, he says. People may laugh at it, but if you’re in New York or Paris or Milan, it’s absolutely normal. Here, it’s not commonplace&emdash;yet.