Biz Beat

Downtown Turlock turning into Restaurant Row

Cafe Rome, which will feature Turkish coffee and Middle Eastern pastries, is set open in the next couple of weeks on Turlock’s Main Street, pending final approval by city inspectors.
Cafe Rome, which will feature Turkish coffee and Middle Eastern pastries, is set open in the next couple of weeks on Turlock’s Main Street, pending final approval by city inspectors.

There’s some cool stuff going on in downtown Turlock these days.

Within the next few months, three new eateries are scheduled to open – two of them nearly any day now.

Cafe Rome is set for a spot at 122 W. Main St.

Owner Ramio Eshozadeh said the cafe will feature Turkish coffee and Middle Eastern pastries.

“We’re also going to be doing crepes on site,” Eshozadeh said.

He explained how Turkish coffee is different from traditional brews. It’s thicker, for one thing, made from beans that go through a special imported grinder that produces a fine powder. “You can see all the oils in it,” Eshozadeh said. Each cup is a work of art. “And the taste is unreal. Especially when you have it with a Middle Eastern pastry.”

Sounds great to me. Though the drink is exotic, Eshozadeh is focusing on local producers. His pastries will come from Turlock’s Sunrise Bakery, and coffee from Clayton’s in Modesto.

Eshozadeh has been in business in Turlock for a while – he owns the Exhale nightclub across the street.

“I figured I’d get into the day gig,” he said, laughing.

Cafe Rome will be open in the next couple of weeks, pending final approval by city inspectors. Eshozadeh said he plans to have the cafe open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

On the same block, Hauck’s Grill is expected to open sometime in March.

Hauck’s is going into the former planned home of the Turlock Poker Room at Main and Broadway Avenue. The public notice sign in the window identifies it as a project of Galleto LLC, and Turlock Downtown Association Executive Director Gina Loretelli said Michael Goularte, executive chef of the downtown Modesto eatery, is behind Hauck’s.

“They have already worked with us on an event downtown,” Loretelli said. “They are really cool.”

Finally, a few blocks to the east, Crust & Crumb Bakery appears ready to open any day. The bakery and pizzeria is an offshoot of Edith’s Bakery. I haven’t been able to reach the owners, but Loretelli said they also are at the stage of seeking final city approval.

All are good additions to an area that already is bustling. And there is more ahead, Loretelli said.

“We have a lot of stuff going on downtown,” she said. New banners are going up soon, the pots will be replanted soon, and a run and bike ride are planned in upcoming weeks. That’s good, because I am going to need something to work off all the tasty consumables available there these days.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Recently, major retail chains Macy’s and Walmart have announced closures. Macy’s announced it will shutter 40 stores, followed this week by Walmart’s announcement it will close 269 stores, 159 of them in the United States.

None of the closures affect us in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, however. Macy’s is closing a store in the Sacramento area, and the closest Walmarts to close are in San Jose and Oakland.

And finally, I got a press release this week informing me that Jan. 21 is National Hug Day. What does this have to do with business? Well, apparently 54 percent of advertising and marketing executives – the folks they asked – said hugging co-workers is “at least somewhat common in the United States.” That’s up from 30 percent five years ago.

Hugging clients, however, is less acceptable, with 77 percent saying that’s a no-go. Even if one person is a hugger, the survey said, it can make for an awkward situation.

I guess the upshot of this is if you’re looking to celebrate National Hug Day, you might target your dog or your kids rather than, say, the pizza delivery guy.