There has been a major development in the Corti Brothers situation that I posted about a month ago. We heard at that time that Corti Brothers had lost their lease to a nascent grocery store venture called Good Eats and had two months to vacate and re-open in a new location. Since then the city has been holding its collective breath wondering whether Darrell Corti would pull off this Herculean feat or choose this moment to retire. There has also been a growing movement of support for Darrell and increasing ill will gathering toward Good Eats, culminating in a rally/press conference to be held today at 3pm in the Corti Brothers parking lot. This morning we hear that the people behind Good Eats have acknowledged the built-up bad blood and are disengaging from that Corti Brothers site altogether, leaving Darrell to deal with his landlord to re-negotiate his lease. Let us hope that negotiation goes smoothly, and they each commit to a very long term contract. The local reaction to the possibility of losing Corti Brothers indicates that Sacramento holds this treasure of a grocery store quite dear.

Now Good Eats will debut down the street from Corti Brothers in the old Andiamo’s location, and have plans for a near future Midtown location. Michael Teel, of Good Eats, was quoted in the Bee as saying about Darrell, “We wish him the best. We think there’s room for us and for him.” I couldn’t agree more. The two stores don’t seem similar at all — Good Eats will focus on organic produce and prepared foods, while Corti Brothers excels in wine, spirits, dry goods like German yeasts and canned sardines, and the ever popular deli. I personally never buy produce there (except once when I wanted cardoons for bagna cauda and he was the only one carrying them). Good Eats seems to be positioning itself more like a local version of Whole Foods, an empty niche in the Central City (I’m not counting the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op as being in this category, it’s better than that). I think this move of backing away from the Corti Brothers location will buy them considerable good will, and their new venture will stand a much greater chance of success.

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