Iconic Sacramento Restauranteur Randy Paragary Dies At 74

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Longtime Sacramento businessman Randy Paragary has died. He was 74.

His restaurants throughout Sacramento and beyond have won both awards and accolades for decades.

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Paragary has been a pioneer of the local nightlife scene since 1969 when he opened his first establishment, the ParaPow Palace. Since then, he has opened man other restaurants and most recently, the Fort Sutter Hotel.

He also worked with the city to redevelop areas such as the bustling pedestrian mall on K Street and recreated a South of Market vibe at 15th and R streets, according to the Paragary Restaurant Group website.

He is known not only as a businessman but a mentor to many—including Patrick Mulvaney, owner of Mulvaney’s B&L.

“I would call him for advice. Phone calls were always picked up and answered quickly. It would always be ‘Come in and have a drink,’ ” Mulvaney said.

Cafe Bernardo and his namesake, Paragary’s, are among his best-known restaurants. He was also a founding member of the Midtown Association, the organization behind Explore Midtown.

Mulvaney worked for Paraguay in the ’90s, and now his own restaurant is paying tribute by serving one of Paragary’s original meals.

“Randy Paragary lifted Sacramento dining and gave it a platform for the rest of us to take it to another level,” he said.

Paragary Restaurant Group honored its founder by issuing the following statement:

“His vision and leadership has shaped and guided the business for over 30 years. His impact on the restaurant industry, and the Sacramento community, is immeasurable.”

Paragary is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, and McGeorge School of Law.

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Condolences started pouring in shortly after the news of his death was released.

In a tweet earlier today, Mayor Darrell Steinberg referred to Paragary as “one of the greatest Sacramentans of all time.”

He continued, “He helped put Sacramento on the culinary map and relentlessly, bullishly invested in its future. He will be sorely missed but his legacy is imprinted on our community.”

Other tributes came from the Midtown Association, calling Paragary an incredible force behind the vibrancy that is midtown Sacramento.

“Everyone who has lived in Sacramento for any amount of time will think about Randy Paragary when they think about celebrations,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Angelique Ashby.

Councilwoman Ashby just spoke with Paragary a couple of weeks ago, designating him the founder of Sacramento’s Sutter District with his latest accomplishment: the Fort Sutter Hotel.

“That’s a hotel you would see in Santa Barbara,” she said. “We are so fortunate because he brought that vision, that level of class, that unapologetic belief that Sacramento could do more.”

A lasting legacy that helped to raise a city to new heights won’t be forgotten

“Randy was a mentor to so many, as well as a loving husband, father and most recently—a visionary hotelier. The Fort Sutter Hotel was clearly a labor of love and the Paragary family has created a beautiful, lasting legacy for generations of Sacramentans to come,” Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the Midtown Association, said in a statement.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui issued the following statement:

“Sacramento has lost a true innovator, whose vision for Sacramento’s culinary scene has shaped our great city for generations to come. Randy held an unwavering belief in Sacramento and its people – his restaurants reflected that passion and built bridges within our community.

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“While he will be remembered for his entrepreneurial spirit and enduring impact on Sacramento’s cultural fabric, I will always remember his kindness and cherish our friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Paragary family during this difficult time. Randy will truly be missed.”