Biz Beat

What’s up with 10th Street? Downtown Modesto block still to see new restaurants, more

Tenth Street in downtown Modesto, Calif. has a number of restaurants and other projects in the works including Maestros Cocina & Tequila Bar.
Tenth Street in downtown Modesto, Calif. has a number of restaurants and other projects in the works including Maestros Cocina & Tequila Bar. mrowland@modbee.com

After years of being a relative ghost town, the renaissance of Modesto’s 10th Street continues apace.

Since 2018, the downtown Modesto block has seen a flurry of openings with more projects still planned. The street, which once had more vacancies than open businesses, continues to reverse the trend.

Krazy Rolls, the locally owned cinnamon roll bakery which helped kick off the street’s resurgence when it opened in January 2018, has expanded to a second location. They now have a kiosk in the Weberstown Mall in Stockton, located in front of J.C. Penney.

Owners Adalberto Vega and Sandra Avila, who met while students at Stanislaus State University in Turlock, opened the Stockton kiosk at the start of October. Vega said the second site opens them up to new customers and was a good fit for their business. The stand sells the bakery’s freshly made cinnamon rolls with a variety of toppings as well as specialty beverages.

Since opening their 10th Street space, the friends have spruced up the once bare bakery with fresh paint and other decor. They’ve also added mini cinnamon rolls to their menu, which have gone over well for people not ready to commit to their regular, softball-sized rolls. In their expansion, they’ve added three more part-time employees.

Find Krazy Rolls at 907 10th St. in downtown Modesto or 4950 Pacific Ave. in Stockton’s Weberstown Mall. For more information, call 209-596-4133 or visit www.krazyrolls.com.

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Taylor Kamakeeaina dresses a cinnamon roll at Krazy Rolls in downtown Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Right next door to Krazy Rolls, work continues on Maestros Cocina & Tequila Bar. The corner spot at 10th and I streets has been under construction for about a year now. First announced last October, the site has undergone extensive renovations and has begun bringing on staff.

Owner Daniel Perez said the new downtown eatery will have a full menu in its Mexican restaurant and craft tequila bar. Over the years, the corner site has seen a host of restaurants come and go, including the Caribbean-themed Bamboo Villa and Arch Cafe & Grill, which both opened and closed in the early to mid-2000s. The space has been largely vacant since then.

Across from Maestro’s, the old World Savings/Wachovia bank building sits in waiting for its transformation to begin. Vacant for well over a decade, the striking building was scooped up earlier this year by Oakdale-based entrepreneur Jaime Jimenez and his business partner, James Madrid.

The former bank building will become W. Stuart C. Steakhouse, named after Jimenez’s great-grandfather. Plans have been submitted to the city, Madrid said, and are awaiting approval. If things go smoothly, construction could start as early as late November. They are planning for a late March, early April opening — though with a design so ambitious and a project so large (it’s a two-story, 13,000-square-foot building, after all), I wouldn’t be surprised if that gets pushed back.

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Owner Jaime Jimenez looks out over the former bank property where his planning to start a steakhouse in downtown Modesto at Tenth and I Streets in Modesto, Calif., Friday, May 3, 2019. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Jimenez and Madrid are simultaneously working on another project less than a block away, also on 10th Street. The four-story building that was the former Central Stamp & Coin Co. has yet to begin major construction as well. But Madrid said plans are still in place to transform the space into a health and wellness studio called Liv Centers.

A tarp featuring the design concept went up on the space in late 2017. But work has been slow, and the project has blown past its initial planned mid-2018 opening date. Madrid said building plans have been submitted to the city, and he expects the center to be on about the same timeline as the steakhouse for a spring 2020 opening.

Once completed, they promise the fitness center will offer personal training, cycling, Pilates, yoga, meditation and other wellness classes. They will also serve teas and other healthy drinks in a small cafe and have a rooftop deck.

Between the planned wellness center and Che’root Cigar Lounge, Aura beauty salon opened last year as well. The skin, lash and wax salon has completely renovated the space into a lush, contemporary spa. Find Aura at 917 10th St. or call 209-567-2988.

Across the street, Monsoon Restaurant & Banquet continues to have the best lunch buffet in downtown Modesto — seriously, if you’re new to Indian food, it’s a perfect introduction. The restaurant opened in April 2018, and its attached banquet room debuted five months later.

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Gurinder S. Khaira holds a plate with Tandori Chicken and vegetables in their newly renovated banquet space at Monsoon Restaurant in Modesto, Calif., September 5, 2018. Andy Alfaro aalfaro@modbee.com

Owner Gurinder S. Khaira, known as “Binny” by friends, said the banquet hall remains available for weddings, parties and other special events through the end of this year. But as the third banquet room to open in the one-block radius (the others are Greens on 10th and The Century, both across the street from the restaurant), he said he is considering another strategy with the space.

Khaira said he hasn’t quite decided what to do next with the 6,000-square-foot banquet room, which was once part of the next-door Palladium Nightclub. But don’t be surprised if you see some changes with the space in the new year. Find Monsoon Restaurant at 950 10th St. For more information, call 209-248-5711 or visit www.facebook.com/monsoonmodesto.

The only recent sad note for the block was the closing this summer of Beckles Candies & Gifts after some 30 years in business. Longtime owner and chief chocolatier Eddi Marie Julian closed the candy shop at the end of June for a mix of personal and professional reasons.

The store opened in 1986 under its original name Ruffles on I Street, but was renamed shortly after to Beckles for obvious copyright reasons. In 2005, it moved to its 10th Street spot. The space is now empty.

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs multiple times a week. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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