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Sierra Central Credit Union to take over former Perko’s site

Siena's Cafe and Grill closed down due to continuous violations of the health and safety code in 2014.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

It’s been nearly a year since Siena’s Cafe and Grill, which occupied the former Perko’s on Plaza Drive, was shut down by county health officials.

But the highly visible building will have a new lease on life soon, albeit not as a restaurant.

The Grass Valley branch of Sierra Central Credit Union, which currently has six employees and occupies a leased space just around the corner at 559 Sutton Way, has purchased the 4,200-square-foot building and will move in early next year.



Sierra Central was formed to serve military personnel at Beale Air Force Base, opening as Beale Credit Union in 1955. It merged with Shasta Cascade Credit Union in 1981, forming what is now known as the Sierra Central Credit Union.

The acquisition will offer the credit union — which opened its Grass Valley branch in 1987 — more space, as well as increased visibility and ease of access, said Pam Sweeney, vice-president of community relations.




The building’s history as a restaurant has been checkered. Paul Jun purchased the restaurant in 2003 after the Perko’s franchise’s former owner, Allene Parrish, had insufficient funds to cover payroll, owing $60,000 in rent, purchases of goods and royalties to the Fresno-based company.

Leah Fowler bought the business in 2012 and left the national franchise in March 2014, renaming the restaurant Siena’s Cafe and Grill. It was closed down on Aug. 26, 2014, due to health and safety violations they failed to rectify over the course of eight months, which included rodent infestation, a lack of sanitation of dishware, and food operators who had no food handling safety certification. Fowler subsequently was officially taken off the lease after a myriad of financial issues that reportedly included non-payment of rent and outstanding debts for several vendors.

Remodeling the existing space for the credit union will take a while, Sweeney said.

“We’re in the design phase right now,” she said. “We should begin construction some time in the fourth quarter of the year, and estimate we’ll be able to move in the first or second quarter of next year.”

For more information of Sierra Central Credit Union, go to https://www.sierracentral.com/.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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