Less than two months after announcing its closure, Justin’s Kitchen in Yuba City is back in action with the same name, same staff, and a new owner.
Paul Rogers, a local musician and long-time customer of the restaurant, was eager to step in and take the reins so to speak.
“There was nothing wrong with the financials,” said Rogers. “Justin’s Kitchen has become such a local treasure, but it’s a hard business to be in when you’ve got a young family.”
The previous owner, Justin France, opened his restaurant in 2015 and shortly after he got hitched and started a family. Rogers said this new arrangement allows France to cut his working hours in half while focusing on his passions: singing and cooking.
“We call him the ‘Singing Chef,’” laughed Rogers, “He has such a wonderful voice and we’re looking forward to hosting karaoke nights with him here as well.”
France will remain the head chef of Justin’s Kitchen, and Travis Blagg will still be whipping up craft cocktails from behind the bar. The majority of the restaurant’s kitchen and waiting staff have remained on board as well, along with the addition of Jonathan Rogers, Paul Rogers’ son and business partner.
Other than a new floor and a stylized gate commemorating The Beatles, the venue remains relatively the same. Its major changes will be implemented in the coming months, including new menu items, live entertainment, culinary competitions, and a recording room.
“When people come to a restaurant they want great food, craft cocktails, and good entertainment,” said Rogers enthusiastically. “Entertainment is really my specialty and that’s what I’ll be bringing to the table.”
The recording room will be located in the private bar toward the back of the building. This studio could be used to stream live performances of local musicians on TVs throughout the restaurant and on YouTube. The goal for Rogers is to help boost exposure to local talent and facilitate submissions to “The Voice,” an American reality TV series.
“I actually know some of the production staff behind the show and ever since COVID they now host their initial auditions online,” explained Rogers. “Imagine how awesome it would be for someone from this area to get on the show, and I think we can help make that happen.”
Justin’s Kitchen is currently open Wednesday through Saturday from 4-9 p.m. with Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Business hours will soon increase to include Monday dinner service, and starting on June 7, the staff is looking to serve box lunches for pick up.
For more information, visit the restaurant’s social media pages or drop by in person during business hours at 628 Plumas St. in Yuba City.