Monday Jun 11 2012
Restaurant tour whets appetites with tasty morsels in Folsom
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
FOLSOM CA - For Folsom residents Bob and Chris Quinlan, celebrating the first anniversary of their business on Saturday was something special. Nearly 50 people took part in the celebration of the founding of Appeteasers USA, an organized restaurant and pub tour. ?We started this business one year ago in this very building (at Old Europe),? Bob told the gathering. The Quinlans loved organizing parties so when they were looking for opportunities, they decided to do what they enjoyed. ?This is your portable party,? Bob said. ?We?ve only had one guest out of 1,000 who have visited all seven restaurants on the tour.? The Folsom tour concentrates on Sutter Street, bringing 35-50 people into selected restaurants and bars. Drinks aren?t provided, but are available for purchase for those looking to imbibe. ?We?re not 25-year-old kids out on a Friday night looking to get bombed,? he said. The business model has expanded to include California cities such as Auburn, Davis, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego as well as two in Oregon ? Portland and Seattle ? and Ft. Lauderdale in Florida. ?We?ve gone national,? Bob said with a smile. The ?portable party? visits an establishment for 30 minutes, then moves together to the next. At each one, the owner or manager is able to address the crowd and promote the business. They also provide samples of their food, which is included in the price of the tour. Alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages are available at a discount. Participating restaurants and pubs included Old Europe, WineStyles, Kara Caf, Hacienda Del Rio, Pizzeria Classico, LockDown Brewing Co., Beach Hut Deli, Sutter Club, Powerhouse Pub and Scarlet?s. Anthony Sadeghi, owner of Karma Caf, said it?s a great concept and one he supports. ?From the people I?ve seen so far, Appeteasers (crowds) are people who don?t want to party but want to socialize and see cool places,? he said. ?Newcomers to the area, and visitors, get to see some nice places. We like to do this because it?s like a bootcamp. If we can take care of 50 people in 30 minutes, we can handle the few who come in to order something.? Mary Louise Klein, of Folsom, was on her first tour with Appeteasers. ?It?s terrific,? she said. ?It?s a wonderful way to experience Sutter Street restaurants. I think Karma Caf is unique and fun.? The tour ran from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. To learn more about Appeteasers USA, visit appeteasersusa.com.