Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill coming to downtown Roseville

By: ToLewis The Press Tribune
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Veteran rocker and restaurateur Sammy Hagar is looking to play a role in the development of downtown Roseville with a new restaurant. Local developer Steve Pease announced Thursday that the former JC Penny building at 238 Vernon St. will soon become Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill. The “family-friendly, island-themed” restaurant will feature pan-Asian influenced cuisine with burgers, seafood, sushi, pasta and salads as well as a full bar, wine list and draft beer. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant will also have two floors, outdoor seating on two levels and a stage for live entertainment. “It’s pretty exciting stuff for us as the real estate owner,” Pease said. “And for the city with everything that is going on downtown.” Jon Yip, managing member of Innova Restaurant Concepts, which is developing the restaurant, expects to have a grand opening on Sept. 15. Sammy’s Rockin Island Bar & Grill will be the first one of its kind and is designed to be a hybrid of Cabo Wabo Cantina and Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill, Yip said. Pease said the building, which he purchased from the city of Roseville several years ago, underwent extensive exterior renovation in 2008 creating a covered outdoor patio facing Vernon Street. Yip said Innova Restaurant Concepts expects to begin the $3 million renovation of the inside of the building in the next few weeks. In addition to outdoor seating, the restaurant will also have upstairs, open-air seating that will allow patrons to look out over Atlantic Street and the Roseville rail yards. Innova Restaurant Concepts is currently seeking essential upper level personnel and management for the restaurant. Yip said the restaurant will provide close to 100 new jobs and hiring will begin for non-management positions about 10 weeks before the expected grand opening date. City officials hope the restaurant will be a catalyst in realizing the ultimate goal of turning downtown Roseville into a vibrant community center and entertainment district. “A restaurant venue such as Sammy’s is exactly what the community was seeking to see happen down here,” said Kevin Payne, assistant director of economic development for the city of Roseville. Payne said $80 million in redevelopment funds, private financing and city funds have been poured into the renovation of downtown over the last 20 years with the goal of getting it ready for such use. Payne also serves as vice president of operations for the Roseville Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit entity which was created in 2010 by the Roseville City Council to help further downtown renovation projects. Since the fall of 2010, the Community Development Corporation has poured $37 million in capital improvement projects and programs in the downtown area, Payne said. The corporation has purchased several properties in the downtown area, including the building directly adjacent to the future Sammy’s restaurant. That 7,000-square-foot space is also ready for a restaurant tenant to move in, Payne said. “We’ve had a number of different restaurateurs that have toured the building,” he said. “There’s been some significant interest in that.” Payne said that with the announcement of Sammy Hagar’s new concept restaurant coming to downtown, he expects to see an even greater amount of interest for name brand restaurateurs to open up shop. Pease said that patron’s of Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill might need to be ready for a surprise, unannounced guest from time to time. “One of the nice things about having Sammy Hagar involved is he makes surprise appearances in the restaurants periodically,” Pease said. “So we have to have that stage ready for him.” Toby Lewis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.