Fresh ideas on the table for Kirby’s |

Fresh ideas on the table for Kirby’s

It started when two women decided they didn’t want to be stuck in traffic jams the rest of their lives. Soon, four Southern Californians had purchased Kirby’s Creekside Restaurant in Nevada City, where they have ambitious plans to update the well-known establishment.

New owners Yolanda Simmons Bachtell, Antonio Campanella, and Michelino and Julie Sassano took over Thursday with the goal of retaining Kirby’s favorites (“particularly the crab cakes”) while adding authentic Italian dishes and “freshening up the decor,” Bachtell said.

The upstairs band area will be expanded to accommodate larger groups and create a dance floor, and entertainment will be offered seven nights a week. The 180-seat establishment at 101 Broad St. will also offer a cigar bar.

All of this began when longtime friends Bachtell, an attorney, and Julie Sassano, an Internet consultant, were talking on their cell phones while stuck in Los Angeles commuter traffic.

“I told Julie we needed to get clever or we’ll be stuck in traffic the rest of our lives,” Bachtell said Thursday.

That eventually led them to Nevada County, where they found Kirby’s. Bachtell said they liked being near Deer Creek, and the area reminds Campanella and Michelino Sassano of their hometown in Italy.

“They’ve known each other since their mothers were pregnant together,” Bachtell said, and both were trained at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Potenza, Italy. Each has 18 years of experience in the restaurant business.

“Michelino and Antonio believe in first-class service,” Bachtell said. “Service is really going to be our signature.”

Executive Chef Frank Thompson has more than 27 years of experience in the industry, most recently at the Main Street Cafe. His résumé includes running three restaurants at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

Although the new owners will keep the name of the restaurant the same for now, they may change it in the future

Dinner will be served Monday through Thursday, 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lunch will be served Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Sunday brunch, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bachtell said the new owners also plan to expand the restaurant’s banquet and catering businesses.

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