Biz Beat

Hungry for tri-tip? Vintage Faire Mall getting popular Northern California BBQ chain

A new Buckhorn Grill California BBQ will move into the Furniture & More location in Vintage Faire Mall. This will be the Northern California chain's first Northern San Joaquin County location.
A new Buckhorn Grill California BBQ will move into the Furniture & More location in Vintage Faire Mall. This will be the Northern California chain's first Northern San Joaquin County location. mrowland@modbee.com

Hey, Modesto, do you like tri-tip?

Sorry, silly me, that’s like asking if you like kittens and puppies and sunshine. Of course you like tri-tip (vegetarian and vegan friends excluded, but gosh you’re missing out). So it only stands to reason that you’re going to be pretty excited to hear the Buckhorn Grill California BBQ is coming to Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall.

The Northern California restaurant chain specializes in char-roasted meats and offers a more upscale style of barbecue. Think lots of tri-tip, yummy yummy tri-tip. They also have pulled pork, roasted chicken, salmon, burgers and even big hearty salads.

Would be the first Buckhorn location in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and only its fourth outside of the Bay Area. Buckhorn Grill has 11 current locations including restaurants in San Francisco’s bustling Embarcadero and Market Street. It’s other Central Valley locations are in Sacramento and Roseville. The first Buckhorn Grill opened in downtown San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center in California in 1999.

Bringing this meaty delight to the area is Modesto resident Rich Loudermilk, who fell in love with the restaurant after eating at one in Walnut Creek. He had been waiting in line to get into the Cheesecake Factory there, but then walked a little down the street to Buckhorn and never regretted his decision.

“The food was great, the decor was great, we really liked it. Most people like it, there’s not much not to like,” said Loudermilk who with his wife Christine also owns two Roundtable Pizza restaurants in Sonora.

The Buckhorn will go into the space occupied by Furniture & More on the corner of the outdoor addition on the south side of the mall which also houses the Coach, Apple and Sephora stores. The new dining spot will be next to Men’s Wearhouse and across the way from stand-alone restaurants BJ’s Brewhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings.

The 4,000-square-foot space will include a full bar, display kitchen and outdoor patio. Once completed, Loudermilk said he expects to employ a staff of about 35. He said he hopes to be open by March 2018.

Until then, check out the Buckhorn Grill menu online and dream of tri-tip sandwiches, tri-tip platters, tri-tip burgers and tri-tip salads. I know I will be.

“We’re really excited about this. I think it’s a great addition to Modesto. It’s an upscale BBQ that Modesto doesn’t really have. It’s not just another burger place or pizzas place — we got a lot of food,” he said.

And did I mention the tri-tip?

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In other Vintage Faire Mall news, the Crocs store has closed.

The shoe retailer famous for its nearly indestructible rubbery clogs opened in the lower level of the mall in 2013. It had about 10 employees. The retailer shut its doors in late August. But another tenant, a Sprint store, has already moved into its spot. The Sprint store had previously had a temporary space on the upper level where the new BoxLunch pop culture-themed novelty store opened this week.

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