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November 6, 2013
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Nevada City Eats combines burritos and bicycling


A new restaurant has opened in downtown Nevada City that pays homage to the California burrito and local cycling community.

Owned by Robinson Enterprises Inc., Nevada City Eats at 104 Union Alley, Nevada City, offers breakfast with breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy and a low-carb bowl, as well as regular burritos, tacos, coffee beverages and a fun environment centered around the cycling community.

Bike racks with vintage bikes are positioned up above the tables, which are printed with images of the Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop, the Nevada Union mountain biking team and other cycling and sports companies and groups.

The location was formerly the site of a gas station, one of the five Robinson Enterprises Inc. purchased in 1972, said Don Hoffler, Robinson Enterprises petroleum manager, who helped oversee Nevada City Eats.

Robinson Enterprises Inc. owns Robinson Shell at 892 E. Main St. and 201 E. Main St. in Grass Valley, Card Lock + Bulk Fuel in Nevada City and Gas N Go in Georgetown.

Inside the Shell locations is also California Fresh Bistro, which offers something different from the fast and unhealthy food typically associated with gas station fare with made-to-order burritos as a way to build the profitability of the gas station.

The location at 104 Union Alley was formerly one of those gas stations Robinson purchased, which was torn down and built anew in 2002, Hoffler said.

The building was leased out through the years and was most recently a Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill, until it closed last year.

Wanting to create something new and profitable for the space, Hoffler came up with the idea to expand the concept behind California Fresh Bistro, and the idea for Nevada City Eats was born.

The decision to open the restaurant was made around August, Hoffler said, and after some alterations to the existing interior, the restaurant opened Oct. 28.

Hoffler, who is one of the Nevada Union High School mountain biking coaches, said he wanted to recognize the cycling history of the area with the Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop, the annual Nevada City bicycle race and the AMGEN Tour of California bike race, which included Nevada City in past years.

“Nevada City has a strong cycling heritage, and we thought we would play off of that,” Hoffler said. “There’s never been a cycling-based restaurant in Nevada City that catered to healthy foods, sports and fitness.”

Often after a long race, cyclists eat burritos because of their nutritional punch with a variety of meat and carbohydrates, Hoffler said, which was another connection between the theme and menu.

“They are fast-serving, easy to prepare and seem to be a regular part of people’s diet,” he said.

The restaurant will eventually serve specialty and craft beers and possibly wine, Hoffler said, after the alcohol and liquor license process is complete. The 30-day minimum for consideration will be Nov. 15, and after that date, it should only be about a week until the process is complete, Hoffler said.

He understands the challenges of the restaurant businesses and admitted that without the setup, which was conducive to a restaurant since it had been used for such purposes already, he would not have considered such a venture.

“It was just a matter of doing some decorating, painting the place up, and hopefully we can attract enough people to make it profitable,” he said, adding the community support has been helpful and the response has been positive so far.

“The cycling community and our friends and neighbors have been very supportive. We’re just figuring it all out.”

The store hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

For information, contact 530-470-8894.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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The Union Updated Nov 6, 2013 10:58PM Published Nov 8, 2013 10:07PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.