SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A car dealership that offers snacks while customers wait for an oil change? These days, that's pretty standard fare. But how about a dealership that doubles as an elegant restaurant, serving Kobe beef sliders and grilled asparagus along with lube jobs?
George Grinzewitsch Jr. is giving the idea a shot at his new Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Sacramento suburb of Rocklin. His in-store restaurant is much more than Starbucks and sandwiches or burgers and fries. Grinzewitsch wants the restaurant to become a destination unto itself.
He came up with the idea two years ago as he pondered how to make his fourth Mercedes point in the region stand out.
At first he thought of opening a simple sandwich bar. But when Grinzewitsch's architects told him he had some extra room to play with, he had bigger thoughts.
His Mercedes dealership in nearby El Dorado Hills already had done several events with local restaurant magnates Matt and Fred Haines, owners of the upscale Bistro 33 in Sacramento.
He liked their style, so Grinzewitsch pitched the idea of Bistro 33 opening its eighth restaurant inside the new dealership, Mercedes-Benz of Rocklin. The Haines brothers jumped at the chance.
"I've been going to their restaurants for 15 years and always had a good experience," said Grinzewitsch. "The wait staff is friendly, the drinks aren't overpriced, the food is always consistent. It's what we want to provide our customers and the brand."