Food Network’s Guy Fieri visits Modesto
If it’s good enough for Guy Fieri and Alton Brown, it’s definitely good enough for downtown Modesto.
The husband-and-wife behind the Food Fix Truck are expanding to their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the old Cobblestone Bakery location on 11th Street. Chef and owner Hank Olson first opened his popular food truck in 2015. That same year celebrity chef and Food Network star Alton Brown ate at the truck, and then a year later it was featured on Guy Fieri’s hit Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Olson has wanted to open an accompanying restaurant all along, but was looking for the right space in downtown Modesto. The Cobblestone site, which sits in between the Heart & Soul coffee house and Barkin’ Dog Grill, has been for lease since last July when the troubled bakery officially closed its doors for good.
Olson said he was excited to move into the spot, which has been through various other incarnations over the years including a sandwich shop and a Mongolian grill. The large dining room can seat over 100, which is exactly what he was looking for.
“I didn’t want to outgrow the space,” said the former Institute of Technology culinary instructor. “Right now we have to turn away too much stuff.”
But, don’t worry food truck fanatics, his signature bright orange Food Fix Truck will stay on the streets. The truck will continue to run as it does now, in its regular lunch spot at the Warden’s Outlet Center on North Ninth Street and other locations in the evenings. In 2017, The Daily Meal website named Food Fix the No. 1 food truck in the country.
The restaurant will now serve as a hub for his Food Fix business, including his busy catering service. That side of business has grown exponentially, up 150 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Olson and his wife, Ashley Olson, also plan to expand the truck’s menu in the new restaurant. Besides signature sandwiches like the Porkstrami & Pretzel, Root Beer Pulled Pork and Angry Bleubird, the Olsons want to bring in more healthy dishes, including salads and vegan options, and grab-and-go items. They already bake their own breads for sandwiches, and could begin adding more baked goods to the slate as well.
The Olsons plan to name the new restaurant Food Fix Butcher & Baker, and have a vintage butcher shop theme inside. A new bar will be built near the front of the restaurant, which will serve locally sourced craft beer and wine. Olson said he hopes to install 26 taps, his lucky number, for beer on draft.
Like with his food truck, Olson plans to set up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the new enterprise. In 2014 he raised around $20,000 to jump start his culinary dreams. He plans to have the new Kickstarter set up soon, and loyal customers will receive various rewards for their donations.
The Olsons, who have three young boys, hope to have the restaurant up and running by June. Renovation work should start soon, starting with the kitchen.
Find out more about the Food Fix at www.foodfixtruck.com.