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Pasquale T’s settles into downtown

Move from Highway 49 offers upscale look and the same big menu
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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Pasquale T’s is proof that change is good. Auburn’s Italian eatery, which dates back to 1984, has done well with its role of “new kid on the block” since moving from Highway 49 to Downtown Auburn earlier this year. “We’re ecstatic about the welcome we’ve had, not only from the customers but also from the downtown merchants as well,” said Kimberley Worley, who has owned Pasquale T’s for the past 10 years. Changing the feel of Pasquale T’s, by way of moving, has been a longtime goal of Worley’s. “It was one of my early goals to find a new location for Pasquale T’s,” she said. “I never really liked the road house appearance, and short of closing the business for a serious remodel, the only alternative was to continue to redecorate.” Worley’s initial goal was to move by 2005, but “when you’re a small business owner, work gets in the way of planning for your business.” The new location, next to Citizens Bank in what was previously known as the Shiloh Center, and the old Post Office before that, offers about the same seating capacity as the old location, between indoor and outdoor seating. Worley is delighted with the new spot and enjoys being in Downtown Auburn. “It’s been much busier than the old place. I think our customers appreciate the more upscale look, but we’re not a stuffy restaurant. People can still come and have fun and enjoy Pasquale T’s,” she said. “I think Downtown is going to develop enormously in the next five to 10 years, and I want to be a part of that.” Kathy Sanchez, of Grass Valley, and Jeanine Billingham, along with her daughter Megan, of Lake of the Pines, took advantage of Pasquale T’s patio seating, enjoying lunch Monday afternoon. “We’re having a catch-up lunch,” Sanchez said. “I work in town, and they came to visit.” Sanchez and the Billinghams are all returning Pasquale T’s customers. “This is my first time here since they’ve moved,” Jeanine Billingham said. “I think it’s a great location. We were just saying how nice it is to be here. This has more character.” Newer location aside, the restaurant still has its same charm and appeal, Billingham said. “It’s a nice place because you can bring the kids and there’ll be something they like too,” she said. “What’s nice about it is it’s a family-style restaurant. It was a nice atmosphere before but now it seems a little more upscale, but still conducive to family dining.” Worley said the menu does a lot to lure customers back. “Our menu is enormous, as are our portions, but we’ve gone well past offering Italian cuisine,” she said. In addition to what you might hope to find on an Italian menu — lots and lots of house-made pasta — Pasquale T’s offers a variety of meat and seafood dishes, from Filet Mignon — served with fettuccini alfredo and vegetables, it goes for $25.95 on the dinner menu — to grilled halibut ($20.95 for complete dinner). “Our Filet Mignon and New York steaks are building in popularity, as well as our prime rib, which is a special almost nightly,” Worley said. Chef Dimas Romero has been with Pasquale T’s since 1989. His personal favorite is the seafood pasta plus, which features scallops, prawns and halibut. “The flavor is so rich and good,” he said. A popular option for diners is the Downtown Deuce, which gives customers their choice between 10 of Pasquale T’s pastas — meat and chicken lasagna, spinach ravioli and spaghetti are just some of the choices — for $19.25 (or $15.25 a la carte). Worley enjoys the look of astonishment plastered on many a newcomers’ faces. A large menu will do that to some people, she said, while others are able to focus and almost immediately pinpoint what they want. “Newcomers need guidance from our experienced staff, and then there are the people who have been here 50 times and order the same dish because they liked it so much the first time,” she said. Worley’s business approach has been to think like a customer. “I try to put myself in the shoes of the customer,” she said. “I want to be greeted immediately, I want my needs anticipated and I want the food to be quality and beautifully presented,” she said. “That’s what I look for when I go out, and we have an experienced staff that can do that, and I’m grateful.” The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at lorylln@goldcountrymedia.com, or comment online at Auburnjournal.com. ---------- Pasquale T’s Italian Restaurant Address: 905 Lincoln Way, Suite 300, Downtown Auburn Contact: (530) 888-8440 or www.pasqualets.com Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday Dinner: 4:30-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, open until 9:30 p.m. on Auburn Cruise Nites