Event Center Rebrands
The long-awaited opening for local restauranteur Chris Jarosz’s The Patriot restaurant in Milagro Centre is once again slated for some time in early July, with a possible and fitting date, given the eatery’s name, of Independence Day. When it does finally open, the restaurant and adjacent and formerly named Milagro Experience event center will operate under one moniker.
Executive Chef Jeremy Zimmerman was brought into the Jarosz fold in October of 2016 to take over the kitchen at the 8,500-square-foot Milagro Experience, following the dissolution of a partnership agreement between Jarosz and local entrepreneur Jen Crabbe, with whom Jarosz opened the center in June of 2016. The team initially brought in Chef Allyson Harvie to run the center’s kitchen. Harvie also was set to serve as executive chef for The Patriot. Zimmerman will now serve as executive chef for both spaces, which were rebranded in February as one entity: The Patriot Restaurant and Events Center.
“This did begin as two separate entities, that’s true, but now we are pushing to brand the restaurant and the event space as one,” said Zimmerman. He added that, with nearly a full year of event bookings and building up awareness in the community, the events center, he believes, has been working to build a buzz for The Patriot itself.
“We’ve been here for a while now and, while we have had delays on the opening of the restaurant, the center is building up our reputation, getting the word out,” Zimmerman said. “I know it’s not very common for one company to open a big event space and then open up a restaurant, but that’s the way this shook out and I think it’s all coming together pretty well.”
Zimmerman, who came to Carmichael following a five-year run at The Girl In The Fig, an iconic Sonoma eatery celebrating 20 years in operation, said the center has booked close to three dozen events since last June, 20 under his direction since fall. Originally from Southern California, Zimmerman is a graduate from the Scottsdale Culinary School and previously worked both front- and back-of-house positions in Pasadena, California for the Outback Restaurant chain, among others.
The Patriot Event Center is equipped with seating for roughly 350 and offers state-of-the-art video monitors for conferences, live cooking experiences with an eye on the chef in action, faux crystal banquet chairs and lavish lighting and décor—ideally suited for receptions and parties of any kind, as well as corporate meeting or offsite events.
With a new brand and name, the goal is to use the momentum and relationships established with event center patrons to build loyalty for the new restaurant, and, in return, establish relationships with new customers at The Patriot that may translate into event center bookings down the road.
“It’s really about one relationship here and we hope to build loyalty and community awareness for the center and restaurant through those relationships,” Zimmerman said.
The Patriot’s opening was set for July of 2016 but several delays have ensued, many of which are not uncommon for restaurant openings, including permit and construction blips. The 46,000-square-foot Milagro Center has been slowly filling the spaces with several eateries as the delays continued. Once in place, The Patriot will share entryway space with Fishface Poke Bar and serve to anchor Milagro’s remaining lineup, which includes Mesa Mercado and its recently opened Taco Bar, Insight Coffee Roasters, Jaynee Cakes Custom Cakery, Ghiotto Gelato and River City Brewing Company.
“Trust me, we want The Patriot to open as soon as possible,” said Zimmerman. “Why we’ve had so many holdups I honestly can’t say because I’m not the project manager. I know we did have some permitting issues and holdups with construction, but beyond that, I’m not really sure. I’m just excited to be getting really close now.”
Zimmerman said patrons can expect fresh, farm-to-table and seasonal foods, including a specialty pizza menu with a “build-your-own” option, rustic dishes that will include a list of small bites for sharing for those who, like him, love to sample multiple menu items in one seating.
“I’m somebody when I go out to eat, I literally want to order half the menu at once,” Zimmerman said. “I just want to try everything. So I want our menu to feature that too.”
The Patriot will also offer handcrafted pastas and a charcuterie program, Zimmerman said.
“It will be fine, rustic food,” Zimmerman said. “I want a beautiful plate of food. I’m not a tweezers kind of guy. I want real plates of food coming out of my kitchen.”