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Business Journal: Sacramento Restaurateur Sues Dickey's Barbecue, El Dorado Savings Bank Deal Is Off, Whole Foods Roseville Pilots Pasta Bars

Mark Anderson / Sacramento Business Journal

This Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on J Street in midtown Sacramento closed last year. The franchisee turned it into another restaurant. He also rebranded eight other Dickey's sites he used to operate and is now in a legal fight with the Dallas-based chain.

Mark Anderson / Sacramento Business Journal

Dickey's And Sacramento Restaurateur In Legal Fight

Dallas-based restaurant chain Dickey's Barbecue Pit is suing a Sacramento-based franchisee for $3 million alleging breach of contract. Sacramento restaurant owner Jared Katzenbarger once had nine Dickey's locations. He converted one of those into a quick-service Mediterranean eatery. The remaining 8 became his own brand: Side Burn BBQ and Brew. The Sacramento Business Journal's Sonya Sorich says Katzenbarger responded to the Dickey's lawsuit by filing his own suit against the chain.

"He claims the arbitration demand is not valid," says Sorich. "Katzenbarger's attorney also says the restaurant chain misrepresented the nature of the franchise agreement to the former local franchisee. The attorney said Katzenbarger plans to sue Dickey's based on false representations of profitability."

Katzenbarger said he decided to rebrand his restaurant sites because the Dickey's brand is struggling. But representatives from Dickey's responded by saying their brand is strong and growing.

Deal Off To Sell El Dorado Savings Bank

A deal to sell El Dorado Savings Bank is now off. In September, the Placerville-based bank said it would be acquired by PacWest Bancorp of Beverly Hills. But the local bank didn't get the approval of two-thirds of its shareholders. Sorich says the chairman of El Dorado Savings attributes the stock market's decline as a major factor in the deal's demise.

"When the deal was announced in September, PacWest had agreed to pay El Dorado Savings shareholders in cash and stock valued at $466.7 million," says Sorich. "Since then, PacWest shares have fallen 28 percent, reducing the value of the transaction."

The leaders of El Dorado Savings say it's now business as usual for the bank. El Dorado has 35 branches, many of them in small Sierra Nevada towns. The bank had more than $2 billion in assets at the end of 2017, making it the largest bank based in the Sacramento region.

Whole Foods Tests New Pasta Bars In Roseville, Berkeley And Cupertino

Grocery chain Whole Foods has selected one of its Sacramento area locations as one of three Northern California stores where it will pilot something new this year. Sorich says the grocer has picked its store in Fountains at Roseville to try out pasta bars.

"...both fresh bulk pasta and sauces, designed for shoppers to pick up and cook at home," says Sorich. "And while this is something new for the Sacramento area, Whole Foods already has pasta bars in some stores elsewhere, in places like the East Coast."

The other stores will be in Berkeley and Cupertino. Analysts say retailers and restaurateurs often use Roseville as a test lab for new concepts because of its demographics and fast-growing population.

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

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