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The Future of Midtown Is Inclusive

Midtown Love is a verb. At the Midtown Association, we believe individuals from all walks of life should be heard, understood, and appreciated. Sacramento is consistently ranked as one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and as the heart of urban Sacramento, Midtown is committed to creating space for everyone. We are in action to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) beyond our walls and into the heart of Midtown. In 2022, we were selected as one of the Sacramento Business Journal’s inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award honorees for our commitment to promoting practices that advance DEI in the workplace and community.  

 

Through partnerships and collaborations, we team up with local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that share our commitment to building a diverse community. A summary of our DEI projects to date include:

Removing Barriers to Entry for Underrepresented Businesses: Starting a new business can be difficult, particularly for underrepresented and under-resourced communities. Midtown has one of the lowest commercial vacancy rates in the region yet has one of the most dynamic food cultures in Northern California. To help bridge this gap between available space and demand, and to increase equity and access, Midtown Association created the Street Food Sacramento program. This program grants an annual cohort of three food purveyors the ability to do business in Midtown. Selected grantees are able to sell their products and food at the Midtown Farmers Market and Wednesdays at Winn as well as receive technical and marketing assistance. Past winners include those who identify as first generation Americans, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and persons of color. 

Hear more from a Street Food Sacramento Grantee here: Steady Smokin’ BBQ: Street Food Sacramento 2022 Grantee | Good Day Sacramento 

Midtown Association also provides free support to any and all businesses coming into Midtown to assist them through city and county regulatory processes to become established storefronts in Midtown. To request support, learn more about advocacy services here. 

Training for Impact and Change: After forming an internal staff committee to look at DEI in Midtown, the organization prioritized offering an annual training to businesses and residents to raise awareness. In partnership with WEAVE in 2021, Midtown Association offered a Pride, Pronouns, and Progress training to educate employers on gender rights in the workplace. In 2022, Midtown Association is partnering with Level Up NorCal to offer cultural competency training. Midtown Association also offers ongoing training with the American Leadership Forum, Mountain Valley Chapter for the Board and staff on implicit bias.

Representation through Allyship: To demonstrate our support of the LBGTQIA+ community, Midtown Association in partnership with Western Health Advantage, the Sacramento LGBT Center, the Rainbow Chamber and many community champions, displays 37 pride banners along J Street from May through June for PRIDE month and has hung 10 year-round banners in the Lavender Heights district with the messaging “Love, No Exceptions, No Exclusions.” The art wraps on utility boxes in the Lavender Heights District were also created using a rainbow of vegetables with the messaging “Love is in Our Roots.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gary on the Go: Midtown celebrates Lavender Heights with brand new banners | FOX40

Equitable Food Access: In partnership with Sutter Health and Alchemist CDC, Midtown Association offers EBT programs at the Midtown Farmers Market to ensure access to healthy foods for all income levels. EBT can be used for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as some prepared foods. Alchemist CDC cites this as one of the highest use program sites in Sacramento. For those with any limitations that make traveling to the market a challenge, Midtown Farmers Market offers fresh local food delivery as well.

Showcasing Diversity through Artistic Expression: As part of the continuing “Art in Unexpected Places” initiative, the Midtown Association has led, curated, and funded artistry on 21 trash receptacles, 13 utility boxes, and 6 dumpsters that have also spurred other fun artistry to pop-up and beautify the district. With the exception of some of the past artistry projects installed years ago, the majority of the art wraps are still on display throughout Midtown. All artists selected have been selected from the LGBTQIA+ community, are women artists, or are persons that identify as of color. All artists have been encouraged to use art that represents their authentic voice and experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midtown Association unveils ‘Art in Unexpected Places’ in Winn Park | FOX40

Celebrating Chicano & Latino History with a Basketball Art Installation at Muir Park: In November of 2022, Midtown Parks with support from Sutter Health, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, County Supervisor Phil Serna and Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, installed art-wrapped backboards and matching acrylic resurfacing on a basketball court at Muir Park that celebrates the neighborhoods rich Chicano and Latino History and amplifies the diverse history and culture of the surrounding neighborhood.

Art Installation Celebrates Chicano & Latino History in Muir Park| KFBK

Fostering Opportunity for Underrepresented Communities: In February of 2022, the Midtown Association in partnership with Sac Black Biz hosted a Black History Month event at the Wednesday at Winn Market to showcase 21 black-owned businesses. Businesses were able to sell their products at the market each Wednesday during February, but the impact went far beyond February, with many businesses becoming regular vendors at Wednesday at Winn and the Midtown Farmers Market. 

The Midtown Association is committed to creating space for underrepresented communities to thrive and grow in our Central City. We strive to develop opportunities within Midtown that can contribute to the economic prosperity of marginalized communities. Our goal is to create a space that is safe, welcoming and allows all the opportunity to succeed. 

Follow our Midtown Association newsletter to stay updated on more events happening in our community.

Solid Gold Entertainment, Art and Dining at Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub”

Pop quiz—how many of these trendy Midtown destinations do you know? Historic homes turned bars, shipping container beer gardens, forgotten alleyways reclaimed by art and cuisine, and towering trees filled with disco lights, all of this and more are found in the heart of Midtown Sacramento’s “Golden Hub” at the intersections of 24th and K streets. 

Area Murals, History, and Art

The 24th and K Golden Hub features more than ten art installations within one block. Discovering art as you Explore Midtown is one of our favorite pastimes so while we won’t reveal every single mural or unexpected art installation, here are three that are not to be missed for a perfectly Instagrammable and Midtown-y moment. Tag @ExploreMidtown on your photos as you discover these incredible lighting, art and statue art installations. Extra credit if you find Amy Winehouse in the alley! 

The Disco Tree at 24th and K Streets 

Located right on the golden corner, this tree came about through a partnership between Midtown Association, SMUD and local artist and creator Michael Sestak. Featuring color changing “disco ball” lighting features, the tree has become one of Midtown’s hidden gems. The best time to view the tree is at sundown or after from urban beer garden DerBiergarten with a pretzel, stein of beer or cider, or a Schnitz n’ Waffle. Historically, this corner was a blighted and empty piece of land following a fire in the converted home/restaurant prior. The now owner Thomas Roth and operator Sean Derfield created the first shipping container garden in Sacramento.

Midtown Sacramento lettering on K Street 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located below the speakeasy at Cantina Alley (yes there is a speakeasy and yes there is also an authentic cantina in an alley..), these iconic and colorful Midtown letters are best photographed during happy hour or early evening to catch the vibrancy and detail of each letter. Upstairs above the letters is a special Mexican speakeasy, directly to the east of the letters find a mercado in a converted church complete with imported furniture and handicrafts, and right behind the letters find the locally famous Cantina Alley restaurant and bar. Featuring traditional Mexican street foods in an art-filled and garden-esq converted alley, Cantina Alley’s elote and fruit filled cocktails are not to be missed. Interesting historical note, the converted church was originally a Mormon church erected around 1929, became the Spiritual Life Center in the mid-1990’s, evolved to be the Ancient Future Urban Sanctuary, to now become the PlacitaMX mercado.

Take Flight on K Street 

Best photographed during day-time hours and especially with a little one or pup in tow, the Take Flight wings mural was painted by JM Knudsen in the late 2010’s, and is steps away from the Golden Hub. This mural features a city streetscape with wings above and Knudsen’s signature lettering and messaging, “You are Great.” 

Cultural Street Parties

Not a day goes by without something fun going on at the Golden Hub, but a few days are especially notable. Cinco de Mayo hosted by Cantina Alleyway is a celebration with music in the alleyway between J and K streets and some years it spills out to a street closure on K street between 23th and 24th streets. Oktoberfest hosted by DerBergarten is in late September and features a large array of local and imported beers, authentic entertainment, and incredible German foods. Banana Sundaes hosted by Flamingo House is a later evening street party with music and drinks a plenty hosted in June and October each year.

Eating, Drinking and Live Entertainment

Each restaurant at the Golden Hub has a perfectly curated menu and experience ranging from fully plant based at the Burger Patch to the best pizza in town at Pizzasauras Rex. All locations offer food to go or on site, most offer live entertainment in the evenings, and all are equipped with beautiful outdoor dining. 

Burger Patch | @theburgerpatch
2301 K Street | Open everyday 11 am – 10 pm, until midnight Friday and Saturday, for breakfast at 8:30 am on Saturday and Sunday. 

The perfect mixture of flavor and sustainability, Burger Patch provides a fully plant based burger, fries and shakes experience with the best vegan milkshake on the planet. The fresh baked cookies, vegan breakfast and tots are also not to be missed. Open from early to late on the weekends, and everything in between during the week, Burger Patch is a great stop for any meal.

Cantina Alley | @cantinaalley

2320 Jazz Alley | Open Tuesday – Thursday 4 pm -10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 1am and Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm

Originally an 1800s era two story home with a large run down backyard, Cantina Alley is now a shaded garden-esque patio featuring traditional Mexican street foods with a soon to launch speakeasy in the still standing Victorian structure. 

DerBiergarten | @midtownbeergarden

2332 K Street | Open Monday – Thursday 3 pm – 8:30 pm, Friday 3:00 pm – 10:45 pm, Saturday 11 am  – 10:45 pm and Sunday 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM

Der Biergarten is Sacramento’s spot to socialize over some great German beer and light German fare. This Midtown Sacramento beer lover’s spot is a twist on the traditional German beer garden. It’s authentically German in its extensive beer selection and light German food menu, with 32 beers on draft and sausages brought in fresh from Sacramento’s #1 German Butcher.

The Flamingo House | @flamingosac

2315 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 6 pm – 1:30, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm – 1:30 am

The Flamingo House is an intermingling of midtown culture and coastal leisure offering a unique California approach with plates and exceptional cocktails. Two patios along with a bar and lounge offer ample opportunities to listen to the evening’s DJ, hang out on the swinging hammock, or enjoy a handroll or two.  

The Golden Bear@thegoldenbear
2326 K Street | Open Monday – Friday 12 pm – 2 am, Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am – 2 am

Since 2004, Golden Bear has been a casual bar and kitchen in Midtown with a welcoming staff and a laid back vibe. TGB has delicious food made from scratch, cold craft beer and stiff cocktails along with hosting weekly Wednesday open mic nights and popular annual events like the annual Hot Toddy Competition. 

Pizzasaurus Rex | @eatpizzasaurusrex

2322 K Street| Open Mondays 2 pm – 9 pm and Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 9 pm

Pizzasaurus Rex specializes in one-size-only, 18-by-13-inch rectangular pies, fired for six to eight minutes at 475 degrees in the restaurant’s brick deck oven. The menu includes staples like a melty three-cheese version topped with mozzarella, provolone and ricotta, as well as a hearty vegan combo with faux pepperoni, mushrooms, olives and bell peppers. They offer 12 beers on tap to wash down your meal or to take home in a growler for later. The “dino” sauce is a cilantro jalapeno dipping sauce that is a must on the side no matter what you order.

Experience this uniquely Northern California destination on any evening for bustling nightlife, one of the above culturally diverse events, or enjoy a happy hour stroll to see artwork and enjoy a watermelon filled with margarita, a vegan burger, or even a German beer stein filled with pilsner. 

Remember to snap a photo and hashtag #ExploreMidtown for a chance to be featured on our social media @ExploreMidtown or our next blog!