The Butterscotch Den: Self-serve grills and frozen martinis are making a comeback at this ’70s-inspired Sacramento steakhouse

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The team behind some of Sacramento’s most popular drinking destinations has taken over a Broadway restaurant, hoping to turn the dark and sexy venue into a destination for grilled meats, classic cocktails and funk and soul music in direct. Called the Butterscotch Den, the new restaurant and bar takes over the former Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room in Oak Park. After an aesthetic refresh and a complete overhaul of food and drink menus, the space now sports plush booths, patterned wallpaper and a mirrored aft bar, all gleaming in a warm golden glow.

Irish Hospitality Group creative director Trevor Easter said the company, which also owns cocktail bar Snug and natural wine bar Ro Sham Beaux, hopes the price will be relatively affordable – like $8 for a freezer martini and $10 for an 8-ounce top sirloin – combined with the menu of playful riffs on retro drinks – they bring back the pink squirrel and give the mango margarita a shine, for example – means the Butterscotch Den can cater to locals and diners looking for something special for a night out. “We’re definitely not going to take ourselves seriously,” says Easter. “We really want to take drinks that feel timeless and take them to a different level.”

In its previous iteration, the restaurant borrowed its grilling steak format and style from San Diego’s Turf Supper Club. Lindsey Nader, Irish Hospitality’s marketing director, said the company’s aim was to “put some stardust on it and not change too much”. That means the towering grill in the center of the room has remained, but the selection of meats to throw on it has been updated. These days, you can choose from options like a sirloin and veggie or all-vegetarian skewer ($4.50), a portabella mushroom sandwich ($9), or a 12-ounce rib eye ( $34); a short list of sides covers all the bases with garlic bread, potato salad, side salads and shrimp cocktail. All steaks will arrive rare, of course, but the menu indicates how long to let them sizzle in order to reach the desired level of doneness.

The drink list goes way back, bringing old-school, fashionable classics into the modern era. For example, the Cosmo Daisy pulls fresh lime juice, pomegranate and pineapple into the famous sex and the city mixed. There’s also an espresso martini built on a base of Mast Coffee cold brew and Amaro Nonino; a Den Old Fashioned that combines bourbon, rye and rum; and a mango margarita topped with chamoy and tajin. However, perhaps the most eye-catching options are the Freezer Martini, made with a 50-50 mix of gin and dry vermouth and available with an optional caviar bump for $3, and that aforementioned pink squirrel, served with whipped cream and a literal cherry on top. For $5, diners can also order one of seven digestives; the list ranges from basic Fernet Branca to less common options like Cynar and Cio Ciaro. In addition, there is beer, wine and some mocktails.

Besides food and drink, the team hopes live programming will give Butterscotch Den the same appeal as retro supper clubs. Expect live music, with a focus on funk and soul artists, made possible by a stage and grand piano. And while Nader says the space is intentionally laid-back, they hope the company’s community approach to service — “bringing humanity back to hospitality,” Easter says — is what solidifies the restaurant as a neighborhood classic. “That was the most important thing: the neighborhood,” says Easter. “That’s how we think the community should exist.”

A cocktail garnished with whipped cream and a cherry.

A margarita with a Tajin rim.

A close up of a large grill with sauces and salt and pepper.

A stand under a wall with brightly colored patterned wallpaper.

A round stand under dim lighting.

A tray with caramel candies and a display of checks.

The lair of caramel (3406 Broadway in Sacramento) is now open and serves dinner from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.

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