Chef Cal to Open ‘Old School Restaurant’ at Former Pio Loco’s

Chef Cal DeMercurio and his wife Christa today announced they will open a new restaurant in downtown Redding’s former Pine Street School site, which celebrates its 89th anniversary this year.

The deal signed recently between DeMercurio and property owners Les and Diane Monthei will showcase one of Redding’s newest restaurant offerings, to be located at 1135 Pine Street, in the former Pio Loco building.

“We are delighted that Chef Cal will return to Redding’s west side and that he chose the Pine Street School Plaza,” Les Monthei said. “He has a winning business model that will fit in great with the property and bring more charm and color to downtown.”

The restaurant will be casual and appropriately called “Old School,” partially because of its location in the historical landmark but more so because of the desire to offer reasonably priced and traditional amenities that are of high quality and value, DeMercurio said. The menu will be developed and priced with affordability in mind, while still offering items that are artistically prepared and presented. Menus and pricings have yet to be completed, but Chef Cal assures that there will be something for everyone.

The restaurant will have several cosmetic and ambient décor changes to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. In addition to seating in the main dining room and bar, the restaurant will also have two banquet room facilities, one upstairs seating 20 to 60 guests and a smaller private dining room accommodating up to 12 guests. Old School Restaurant will be open six days a week (closed on Sundays) serving unique, comfort-style meals for lunch and dinner as well as offering take-out and off-premise catering. In addition, the restaurant will have a large selection of hand-crafted beers and moderately priced wines.

Pine Street School Plaza was recognized for its historical significance in April at Redding’s annual State of Downtown event. As a school in continuous operation from 1922-1967, it provides Redding with a sense of time and place. The building was originally built in 1922 with an architecture representative of the Mediterranean Revival style and the building still retains its original integrity with first redevelopment occurring in the late 1970s. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978 and the State’s Points of Historical Interest since 1977.

Old School Restaurant is expected to employ 25-30 employees and job applications will be available online at oldschoolrestaurant.com beginning June 15, with the business scheduled to open midsummer.

“We are very excited to be back within the landscape of independent downtown restaurants and businesses, offering hometown hospitality at its finest,” DeMercurio said. “My wife Christa and I view this business as a ministry. Ministry is defined as ‘the act of serving’ and that is what Old School is all about, we want to serve our guests in as many ways as we can, providing gracious and accommodating service, beginning with a warm and friendly smile from our team members. Certainly food and ambiance are important at every level, whether fast-food, casual-dining or fine-dining, but it’s the total dining experience that I believe must be considered. Dining out is more than just a physical act. If done right, it’s an emotional experience.”

To receive updates and current opening information on Old School Restaurant, you may sign up online at oldschoolrestaurant.com or check-in on Chef Cal’s blog at chefcal.com.

View the location of Old School Restaurant in a larger map.

-from press release

Press Release

-from press release

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