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Brian Garcia Conquers His 1,000-Pound Grilla

Adam Mankoski,
April 14, 2010

Grilla Bites owner Brian Garcia obtained a lease for his restaurant in March ‘08, negotiated with the city for four months about plans for a patio, filed a permit application that July, and four months later got permission to begin renovation. Plans seemed on track to open in March 2009 — until December ‘08, when Brian lost a financial partner, derailing his plan. After an additional year of sweat and perseverance, Brian Garcia and his wife Coleen quietly opened Grilla Bites in the Market Street Promenade in downtown Redding on March 25.

The long-anticipated opening drew crowds that waited up to 45 minutes to order from Grilla Bite’s menu of organic grilled sandwiches, soup and burgers – evidence that the concept of fresh, organic, locally grown, sustainable edibles isn’t lost on local foodies. The Market Street Promenade’s newest tenant also offers a coffee bar, fresh squeezed juice, smoothies, natural sodas and a well-appointed by-the-pound salad bar.

“We’re a Jamba Juice, Starbucks, tea room and bar, all-in-one,” explains Coleen, whose background is in catering and events. She is responsible for an aggressive schedule of happenings for the restaurant, including live music, participation in 2nd Saturday ArtHop, and healthy-food themed events, like a monthly “raw” night, hosted by local raw food experts and chefs.

The focal point of the new space is a welcoming patio that will soon be shaded by umbrellas, cooled by misters, and softened by bamboo and vines. Diners can eat alfresco, soothed by the trickle of water from a courtyard fountain, created by Brian’s brother, Tim, a Maui-based sculptor. The patio’s ornate metalwork was created locally by Jim Baldovin of Redding’s Norris Steel.

Brian can look back about the trials that brought him to the March 25 opening and half-joke that there were times that he “looked around for things to sell” in order to realize his dream. But the professional kitchen is humming, his staff of 25 is trained and a formal grand opening is coming soon. Just as A News Cafe’s publisher Doni Greenberg did in her June ‘08 and February ‘09 updates about Brian’s progress, we’ll keep you posted.

Grilla Bites is at 1427 Market Street, in the Market Street Promenade, downtown Redding, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more Grilla information and menus, visit or call (530) 242-6656.

Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State news and events to


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