For the past decade, Grizzly Rock Cafe and Grill in Turlock has become not only a go-to restaurant for classic American cuisine, but a unique venue to listen to live music and enjoy standup comedy.
Owner Frank Sanders said that he decided to open up the family-owned restaurant in 2007 to provide a place for locals to just “hang out” as there wasn’t anything like it at the time. About a year and a half later, Sanders said he was approached by some customers, who asked if they could play music at the restaurant.
Sanders said that one music performance in 2008 quickly transformed the cafe and grill into an a concert venue as well with a diverse music scene. He said that while the restaurant mainly brings in alternative and indie rock, past musicians have also performed jazz, country and bluegrass in the restaurant’s large outdoor patio. The business also began hosting comedy showcases once a month last summer.
“We’ll be starting the next series towards the end of March, beginning of April,” said Sanders of the comedy showcases. “It’s a fun time. We’ve had people from Comedy Central and Nickelodeon out here already.”
Sanders said that Grizzly Rock has hosted a number of events for Stanislaus State’s radio station, KCSS 91.9 in the past, including the annual Rocksgiving Concert in November and the annual Bandstand Concert, which features local artists, around the first weekend of May.
“That weekend we get 15 plus bands,” said Sanders. “We also get bands that come all the way from Toronto, Canada to play here or people out in Los Angeles who are on their way to tour in San Francisco.”
Grizzly Rock is not only known for live music and comedic performances, but for its mouthwatering food as well. Sanders said that the cafe and grill offers “traditional American comfort food” for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including fresh hamburgers, smoked tri-tip sandwiches, pulled pork, prime rib and homemade clam chowder. The restaurant also offers a full service bar with 14 beers on tap inside and 8 beers on tap outside.
When asked about what he thinks makes Grizzly Rock unique, Sanders simply said it was his customers.
“We get an eclectic group,” said Sanders. “We get everybody from kids who don’t have driver’s licenses and their parents drop them off for shows to senior citizens. We accommodate everybody.”
Grizzly Rock Cafe and Grill is located at 4905 N. Golden State Boulevard in Turlock. The restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. To access the restaurant from Highway 99, take the Taylor Road exit. For more information, call 250-0086.