New and nostalgia blend at Hacienda

By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Placer Herald Correspondent
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If everything old is new again, Mendy Golightly and Jerry Garrison picked the perfect name for their new Rocklin restaurant on Granite Drive. The Hacienda operates in the same location as the former Hacienda del Roble, offering a new menu, sports bar with brewery in the works and an indoor stage for live entertainment. Golightly, who runs the restaurant, calls Hacienda food “Cali-Mex.” She had her 4-year old daughter Morgan in mind when opening the bar and grill in June, because she wanted a family restaurant and also a spot for the adult crowd to enjoy a late-night kitchen, outdoor/indoor billiards and live music. Golightly, former owner of Rebounds Sports Bar and Grill in Rocklin, brought in her long-time kitchen manager and chef, Lewis McGeorge to perfect new recipes and old favorites for The Hacienda, including a signature appetizer called Chipotle Wild Wings. “We also created a unique menu item called Burrito Your Way, so customers can choose how many items they want in their burrito including a green chile sauce or chilada sauce,” Golightly said. “Our ribs are awesome and so is our smothered chicken and our Enchilazagna is our version of a lasagna-type enchilada. So it’s California and Mexican cuisine combined.” For dessert, Golightly recommends the deep fried cheesecake called a cheesecake chimichanga with choice of raspberry, boysenberry, or strawberry topping. A beverage favorite is the Tangarita. Bar manager John Grady mixes a margarita with tangerine juice. “Mendy’s done a great job putting everything together and coming here she’s brought a ton of customers with her,” Grady said. “It’s actually a bit of a relief for them to come in here because they can still have the full kitchen menu up to 11 or 12 o’clock at night.” Bartender Liz Peck of Rocklin worked at the former Hacienda del Roble when she started as a hostess in the 90s and is happy to be back to her old stomping ground. “It was 1994, Peck said. “Then I followed Mendy and bartended for her and now I’m back here. People that were dating back then are now married and they have their kids and they bring them in. There are a lot of families here and I’ve had the same regulars for almost 20 years. It feels good to be back.” The Hacienda offers nightly entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. On Wednesdays, The Steve Foster Band performs until midnight, Thursdays are karaoke DJ nights ‘till closing, Friday and Saturday nights feature more live music, while Sundays and Mondays focus on sports. “We’ll have NFL ticket and sports packages,” Golightly said. “We have 14 TVs. Mexi-Mondays are $2.50 Corona, Corona Light and Pacificos all day. Happy hour is Monday to Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with dollar tacos.” Golightly is also excited to offer guests 2,000-square-feet of outdoor patio seating. Bill Mohammed of Newcastle remembers hanging out at the restaurant 20 years ago with his golf club and made a special visit to relive some old times. “Oh it’s nice,” Mohammed said. “We kept driving by because we were waiting to see if it would open again.” The Hacienda Grill Brewery and Sports Bar will hold a grand opening on July 10. The Hacienda Where: 4810 Granite Drive in Rocklin Hours: Open 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday Information: 259-1230,