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Two Guys on Broadway move one block, drop catering
The Brick
On Broadway with Two Guys Catering celebrate the grand opening of its outside patio in 2008. On Broadway catering is set to close in 2013, but owners Steve Backus and Ed Samo plan to open The Brick Bar and Grill just a block down the street. - photo by Journal file photo

Two Guys on Broadway will soon exit the catering business, moving its successful Red Brick Café just down the block to a piece of prime Main Street real estate.

Following Planning Commission approval, granted Thursday, the renamed The Brick Bar and Grill will relocate to the long-vacant storefront at the corner of West Main Street and North Broadway, across from the Dust Bowl Tap Room.

“We’ve been wanting to get out of the catering business for the last several years,” said Ed Samo, co-owner of Two Guys on Broadway and The Brick. “This was a great opportunity.”

Samo and co-owner Steve Backus began that transition about two and a half years ago, when they opened the Red Brick Café inside of the Two Guys on Broadway site. Since that time, the Red Brick Café has operated as a highly-successful bar and restaurant, routinely packed on weekend evenings.

“It's good to see businesses that have to change, change in a positive way,” said Planning Commission Chairman Mike Brem. “I think it'll be a good addition to the community."

The Brick will put a bigger emphasis on the restaurant aspect, Backus said, with a “great menu.” On Wednesday nights, the restaurant will offer a one-pound Dungeness crab; a collection of steaks, prime rib, seared ahi, caribou chops, burgers, wraps and sandwiches will be daily fare. Vegan and gluten-free menus will also be available.

The 4,000 square foot development will offer outdoor, patio seating for 24 guests. The bar itself will be larger, too. And the new The Brick will offer bottle service, a mainstay of high-end clubs where parties can purchase a full bottle of liquor.

“It’s not going to be what we have here,” Samo said at the Red Brick Café.

The Brick will still feature live entertainment – DJs and bands alike – and dancing. And the outdoor taco cart will make the move as well, offering late night snacks until 1: 30 a.m.

The full menu will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. for dinner, with appetizers available until 12 midnight. The bar will close at 2 a.m., after the Red Brick Café’s current 1:30 a.m. closing time.

That extension of hours came following years of running a successful business, requiring little intervention from Turlock Police. The Brick employs one security person per 30 guests, far more than the city-required 1 per 100 guests.

“They have a good history, and run a good business,” Brem said.

The business is permitted to operate every day, but owners expect to be open only from Wednesday through Saturday to start.

The Brick is expected to open Feb. 1, 2013, should all go according to plan. The Red Brick Café will close within days of The Brick’s opening.

According to Backus and Samo, The Brick could be one of many restaurants coming to Main Street next year; the duo have heard from several restaurateurs interested in joining the booming downtown scene, following the 2011 opening of the Dust Bowl Tap Room and La Mo.

But apparently not coming to downtown will be the Turlock Poker Room; The Brick’s new home was previously intended to be the downtown home of the Turlock Poker Room. When the poker room moved from digs at the corner of West Main and Locust streets to the Turlock Cinema Center in 2009, owners said at the time they planned to move downtown in “three to four years.”

“Downtown is the future for us the way we see it,” poker room co-owner Joe Fernandez said at the time. “… If the city wants our business downtown then it’s up to them at this point.”

Journal calls to Turlock Poker Room owners were not returned on Friday.