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North Auburn’s Oakfire restaurant reopening

Eatery will have casual dining and live music
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Four months after an electrical panel fire closed North Auburn’s Oakfire Grill, the restaurant will reopen Oct. 12 as Oakfire Barbecue and Bar. Customers can expect the same menu but in a more informal setting. Most of the staff is returning, too, general manager and co-owner Pablo Chichoni said this week. The concept will be quick service, similar to Pluto’s and Jack’s Urban Eats, Chichoni said. Diners will order their food in line, pay the cashier and take their selections to a table. “What’s going to set us apart is our bar,” Chichoni said. “It is a fully licensed bar.” He’s planning plenty of entertainment, too. Thursdays will be country night featuring line dancing or square dancing with live music and DJs. Friday and Saturday nights will offer classic rock and blues. Sunday and Mondays will be “industry night,” with discounts for those who work in food service or liquor service. They’ll get 20 percent off on meals and drinks, Chichoni said. There will be a soft opening on Monday Oct. 12. The grand opening is set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17, with a tent and portable bar outdoors and a band. There will also be prize giveaways and a cookout for kids. CW31’s Good Day Sacramento is scheduled to visit the Highway 49 eatery the morning of Oct. 16. The Wolf radio station will be there in the evening and Rock 98 radio will make an appearance Saturday, Oct. 17, Chichoni said. “We’re also planning Halloween Party on Oct. 31,” he said. Teresa Welch, who previously owned the restaurant with husband Frank, is co-owner. The third partner is Bob Rivard, a New York businessman. The Welches opened the business last October at the former site of Pasquale T’s Italian restaurant. The June 23 fire not only damaged the eatery’s electrical system, but also left Frank Welch recuperating from toxic smoke inhalation. Chichoni previously was associated with the Cheesecake factory and Macaroni Grill, and helped open Tres Agaves Mexican restaurant at The Fountains in Roseville. — Gloria Young