The City Council approved a lease tonight for a local Mexican food restaurateur to open a new establishment at the City-owned restaurant facility at Cesar Chavez Park at 9th and I streets.  Ernesto Delgado’s new restaurant, he named La Cosecha, was selected through a competitive selection process as the superior proposal. It’s expected to open in spring of 2016.

The Mexican theme was chosen in response to a local survey earlier this year by the City. The overwhelming response was Mexican in honor of Cesar Chavez, the namesake for the plaza.

La Cosecha means “the harvest,” and was inspired by the Farm-to-Fork Capitol of America, according to Delgado. He also operates Mayahuel on 12th and K streets.

“I am very excited to bring a new ENERGY to Cesar Chavez Plaza through a new market-to-table Mexican restaurant. The concept could not possibly be a better fit for our downtown plaza and for our beloved Sacramento. It’s also associated with name sake of the park and his dedication to improving the farm worker’s life,” said Delgado.

The restaurant will feature two extensive patio dining areas, surrounded by fencing, new landscaping and LED lighting. It will be open evenings and weekends, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and alcoholic beverages.

The total project cost is $916,000. The City investment for park and building improvements is $485,400, of which $156,000 covers park improvements and $329,400 will fund the expansion of the café building which the City will continue to own. The other half of the project is being funded by Delgado.

“I plan to bring the excitement of Mexico’s plazas to Cesar Chavez Plaza while maintaining our local Sacramento roots through nourishment of the body and soul, through food, beverage, relaxation, music and farm to fork advocacy,” Delgado added.

The La Cosecha lease before Council stems from an interest in not only finding an operator for the vacant City building, but a commitment to improving the overall park experience. The investment is a means of reclaiming the park. The restaurant has been vacant since last December.

Construction will start immediately after the owner obtains permits. The plan is to open in the spring, (early May) in time for the 2016 Farmer’s Market.