TURLOCK, Calif. — A popular Turlock restaurant temporarily closed its doors in mid-January, but the restaurant is primed to bounce back in quick fashion to fire up some classic favorites and some new dishes.

Table 26, located near the corner of Geer Road at Minnesota Avenue, has been uncommonly empty for the past couple weeks. The restaurant started a series of renovations and training sessions District Manager Ray Ashak says are finishing up soon.

Back in October 2019, Table 26 was actually sold and brought under new ownership. Principal Owner Victor Esaloo and Ashak originally had a vision for a new restaurant akin to Firenze's, another restaurant they own in Oakdale. But, those plans were halted when they saw the restaurant's wait list.

 “We saw the reservation book, and there was backlog all the way through January,” Ashak said.

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With the sheer amount of banquets and private meetings, Ashak said they just couldn't cancel them, so they decided to honor the commitments and make changes after the holidays.

However, plans for the restaurant overhaul never came about. Working day to day at the restaurant brought their ears to the patrons, and they quickly realized the restaurant was too popular to change.

That being said, there was still room to revamp some elements of the restaurant. Ashak said the menu hadn't changed for some time, so they will be adding some items from Firenze's, like seafood ravioli and other pasta dishes.

Just last week, Table 26 started looking into what it would take to bring a wood-fire pizza oven to the restaurant for their patio area.

"I think the people were looking for some kind of change on the menu…,” Ashak said.

Part of the reason they temporarily closed their doors in mid-January was to train their staff on the new menu and expand the kitchen.

“It was a big decision, but like I said, it was something we needed to do,” Ashak said.

Table 26 plans to reopen their doors on Feb. 5.

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