Businesses target Standard area

By Walt Cook, The Union Democrat August 18, 2010 11:09 am

    Two Sonora business owners specializing in food and drink plan to expand to Standard.
    Diamondback Grill owner Eric Davis is in the process of remodeling the historic corporate office of the Standard Mill, which most recently housed the Lumberyard Brewing Co.
    Davis’ new restaurant — which will focus on food and beer, but not the late-night crowd — will be called the Standard Pour.
        The Lumberyard closed in January 2009 due, in part, to the recession. Nonetheless, Davis is hopeful there is demand in Standard for a Diamondback-like restaurant.
    Meanwhile, Sally Arnold is devising plans to open up a drive-through coffee shop and eatery across the street from the Standard Pour. Arnold is the owner of Schnoog’s Cafe and Espresso in the Timberhills Shopping Center in Sonora.
    Arnold’s new place will be called Schnoogs Station. She hopes to have it up and running in about a month.
    Davis doesn’t plan to deviate far from a business model that has made the Diamondback Grill one of the most popular eateries in downtown Sonora. The Standard Pour’s menu will be new, he said, but it will feature some of the Diamondback favorites, including the free-range Table Mountain burger.
    The big difference between the Diamondback and the Standard Pour, which Davis hopes to open just before the holidays, can be summed up in two words: draft beer.
    The Standard Pour will specialize in on-tap craft and micro brews predominantly from the West Coast. Davis plans to have 14 beers on tap. He also plans to have two wines on tap from a Calaveras County winemaker.
    “It will share the same sensibility (with the Diamondback) for the food quality and price point,” Davis said. “It will be very casual with a simple menu that is beer-friendly. A number of the foods will be spicy and ethnic.”
    Though the drive-through version of Schnoogs will feature less space, and be focused on speedy service, Arnold is also sticking to a winning game plan.
    Schnoogs has focused on now-from-scratch food made with organic and, when possible, local ingredients since its opening six years ago. Arnold said that won’t change.
    “Our concept is: Real food, real fast,” Arnold said. “We make our own bread, our own granola, we grow all the basil for our pesto.”
    And then there’s the coffee and other specialty drinks. Arnold is just as picky about the quality of her teas and coffees as she is about her food.
    If you order a drink with whipped cream, the topping will actually be fresh, made-from-scratch whipped cream.
    And she doesn’t use manufactured chocolate powders to flavor her drinks — she uses real chocolate purchased from a chocolatier.
    Her fair trade espresso beans, meanwhile, are delivered within 24 hours of being roasted.
    “Success is in the details,” Arnold said.

    Contact Walt Cook at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 588-4530.