A new grill proposed for Richmond will likely attract some high-profile NASCAR drivers, as they have a strong connection with the planned eatery’s owner.
Golden Gate Meat Co. — a family-owned, San Francisco-based provider of organic meats that in February opened a spacious and inviting wholesale location at 803 Wright Ave. in Richmond — is asking for the Richmond Planning Commission’s approval to open Jimi Z Grill on its existing property, although the name for the new eatery is not yet set in stone.
Regardless of what the grill is called, it is sure to attract some high-profile customers.
Golden Gate Meat Co. is owned by Point Richmond resident Jim Offenbach, known as Jimi Z, whose product was delicious enough to gain him a star-studded connection to NASCAR.
The story begins at a San Rafael restaurant in 1989, when former NASCAR driver and current team owner Richard Childress was having a meal with legendary racer Dale Earnhardt. The men, who had been participating in races at the Sears Point track in Sonoma, more than enjoyed the food. Childress claimed to have consumed the best steak he ever had, and Earnhardt shared that sentiment about the osso buco dish (veal).
They inquired with the chef and learned about Golden Gate Meat Co.
“‘He said, I get it from Jimmy, who owns a meat company in San Francisco,” Jimi Z told the Richmond Standard on Tuesday. “He asked for 35 steaks for the crew.”
Jimi Z brought the steaks to Sears Point, where he grilled them himself along with pasta and vegetable dishes for the professional racing teams. Every year Childress came out, he’d call Jimi Z, who would feed three of his teams.
“We became friends,” Jimi Z said of Childress. “I liked cars. It just hooked me.”
Jimi Z eventually launched into the racing business and started a development team for Childress that he sold a year ago. He’s known for discovering Kevin Harvick and other top racers for Childress.
NASCAR featured Jimi Z’s company and racing team in an article in 2013.
Now, Jimi Z is looking to launch his famous grill for the first time in a permanent location: right on the Golden Gate Co. property in an industrial and bustling Richmond neighborhood.
“They kept asking, ‘Jimi Z, when you opening up? You opening up?’ I just know it’s going to be big; it’s going to be good.”
He said he might call the eatery Double G Grill, for Golden Gate Meat Co.
“We will be right next to [the meat company]. How much fresher can you get your hamburger meat?”
Jimi Z doesn’t see competitive drivers as his primary customer base, but in fact the populated area surrounding his Richmond business.
We’ll keep you updated on the grill as it moves through the Planning Commission process.