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Enjoy Magazine

A Steak in Downtown: Market Street Steakhouse

10/01/2006 10:08AM ● By Brandi Barnett
By Elizabeth Silverstein

Downtown Redding is known for a few things: One way streets, the downtown mall and a huge potential that is just beginning to be realized. And now, downtown’s reputation is about to change once more for the better – at least when it comes to finding a good place to eat. Market Street Steakhouse, located near the Cascade Theater in the building that used to be the address for Nannette’s Restaurant, opened its doors in August. Downtown Redding may never be the same.

The origins of Market Street Steakhouse is a local-boy-makes-good story. But it’s three guys with Redding roots, not just one. Kenny Breedlove, Justin Byxbe and Wes Matthews are all graduates of Shasta High School. And all three believe in the future of Redding’s downtown.

“We’re just a bunch of local boys that know Redding,” Breedlove, 30, said. “This is really about the revitalization of the downtown.” The trio banded together to give the community a restaurant that is owned by people who understand – and love – the area.

This is not a cookie-cutter chain restaurant with out-of-state corporate owners. “Things are always done best when the owner is present,” said Byxbe, also 30. What these three men have created is an establishment where there is a personal feel and a chance to relax. Breedlove makes it his job to make the rounds to make sure the customers are satisfied.

After graduating from Shasta High, Breedlove and Byxbe went to Chico State University. Matthews, the youngest at 26, stayed in Redding, learning the restaurant business from his parents, Bryan and Nancy. Breedlove, who earned his degree in marketing, was a sales representative for a major liquor distributor. Byxbe, who majored in coaching and administration, worked his way through college as a bartender.

When the elder Matthews decided to sell Nannette’s, it became the “perfect storm” for the entrepreneurial trio. They didn’t just want to make a few cosmetic changes to the existing restaurant – they wanted something that they could call their own. And something that Redding could call its own.

First, a dramatic transformation took place. Out came the yellow and orange color scheme. In went the classy, yet comfortable, burgundy and black décor. Out went the carpeting and in came the hardwood. The mood isone of sophistication.

Next came the culinary makeover. Some of Nannette’s favorites remain, including the artichoke chicken sandwich and the Thai chicken salad. And, sure, you can order steak, chicken, pork and vegetarian dishes. But, Matthews, who spent years in this same kitchen, has added some pizzazz to the menu.

When ordering a steak, customers can spice it up with a selection of toppers such as Zinfandel butter sauce or caramelized garlic mushrooms. “Over the toppers” such as shrimp scampi or Dungeness crab are also on the menu.

If it’s smaller dishes you’re after, Market Street Steakhouse offers a full appetizer menu, including crab cakes, shrimp cocktail and onion rings. An early favorite is the cheeseburger sliders, mini-burgers that were featured in an eating contest during a recent Monday night NFL game.

Byxbe, the former Chico bartender, is the resident mixologist behind the bar. The signature drink at Market Street is the mojito. The Cuban concoction’s ingredients include rum, muddled mint sprigs, sugar, lime and soda water. In addition, the bar carries about 50 wines.

It’s nice to see that downtown Redding has a classy joint to call its own. Can Breedlove’s vision of
downtown revitalization be far behind?

The feedback, so far, has been extremely positive. “The number one thing people say is ‘Redding has been waiting for this,” Breedlove says.

Market Street Steakhouse is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. except Mondays and is located at
1777 Market Street in downtown Redding.