Calling all geeks

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Comics, coffee and toast: Geeks, you’re getting your very own cafe.

That’s thanks to Laura Benson and Neil Estaris as well as Sacramento Downtown Partnership’s annual Calling All Dreamers competition, which wrapped up last week. Entrepreneurs submit business plans, experts whittle down applicants to a few finalists, and then members of the public vote for what business they most want to see open downtown.

Benson and Estaris won with Oblivion Comics & Coffee, a cafe that will sell vintage and new comics while specifically catering to Sacramento’s thriving community of geeks. They’ll receive a startup package valued at $110,000, including up to six months of free rent downtown.

“I never really have the urge to stay at comic book shops,” Estaris says. “[They’re] not catered to people who would want to stay and hang out, chat about movies or read.”

For that reason, Oblivion will be a card-free haven—think Magic: The Gathering—but Estaris expects to regularly host events and nights dedicated to playing other games. All the while, folks can sip on beverages made with Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters beans in a designed space Estaris describes as “a representation of a pocket universe.”

There will also be artisanal toast, via the San Francisco-grown national trend. Oblivion is still working on securing a baker for the bread, which will be thickly sliced and toasted with a generous amount of butter and variations on a cinnamon-sugar topping. Since this is Sacramento, Oblivion probably won’t charge $4 for a slice, Estaris says.

Oblivion is actively negotiating for a lease on K Street and aiming to open by the end of 2016.

Put the Thai in the coconut: When the Coconut Midtown’s wait grows too long, fans of the restaurant now have another option. They can go to the Coconut on T (1110 T Street).

The new Coconut sits around the corner from South, occupying a section of downtown’s Southside Park neighborhood where the nearest Thai restaurants are on Broadway (Chada Thai Cuisine and Taste of Thai) or 16th Street (Orchid Thai Restaurant & Bar and Thai Canteen).

More importantly, the Coconut on T is way more spacious than the Coconut Midtown. Otherwise, the low-key vibe and menu remain the same.