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 live funk and soul music. Called the Butterscotch Den, the new restaurant and bar takes over the former Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room in Oak Park. Following an aesthetic refresh and a complete overhaul of the food and drink menus, the space now sports plush booths, patterned wallpaper, and mirrored back bar, all shining under a warm golden glow.
Irish Hospitality Group creative director Trevor Easter says the company, which also owns the Snug cocktail bar and Ro Sham Beaux natural wine bar, hopes the relatively affordable price point — as in $8 for a freezer martini and $10 for an 8-ounce top sirloin — combined with the menu of playful riffs on retro drinks — they’re bringing back the Pink Squirrel and giving the mango margarita a glow-up, for example — means the Butterscotch Den can meet the cravings of both neighborhood locals and diners seeking something special for a night out. “We’re certainly not going to take ourselves seriously,” Easter says. “We really want to take drinks that feel timeless and take them to a different level.”
In its previous iteration, the restaurant borrowed its grill-your-own steak format and style from Turf Supper Club in San Diego. Irish Hospitality marketing director Lindsey Nader says the company’s goal was to “put a little stardust on it and not change too much.” That means the hulking grill in the center of the room stayed, but the selection of meats to throw on it got an update. These days you can pick from options including a sirloin-and-veggie or all-veggie skewer ($4.50), a portabella mushroom sandwich ($9), or a 12-ounce ribeye ($34); a short list of sides covers all the basics with garlic bread, potato salad, side salads, and prawn cocktail. All steaks will arrive rare, of course, but the menu does provide guidance on how long to leave them sizzling away in order to achieve your desired level of doneness.
The beverage list reaches way back, bringing old-school and out-of-fashion classics into the modern era. For example, the Cosmo Daisy pulls fresh lime juice, pomegranate, and pineapple into the notorious Sex and the City concoction. 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 garnished with both chamoy and Tajin. The most eye-catching options however maybe the freezer martini, batched with a 50-50 blend 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 any of seven digestifs; the list ranges from basic Fernet Branca to less-common options like Cynar and Cio Ciaro. Plus there’s beer, wine, and a couple of non-alcoholic cocktails, too.
Besides the food and beverage, the team hopes a slate of live programming will give the 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 area and baby grand piano. And while Nader says the space is intentionally casual, they hope the company’s community-minded approach to service — “bringing humanity back to hospitality,” Easter says — is what will solidify the restaurant as a neighborhood classic. “That was the most important thing: the neighborhood,” Easter says. “That’s how we think community should exist.”
The Butterscotch Den (3406 Broadway in Sacramento) is now open serving dinner from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.