‘Hella Good’ restaurant brings new lunch option to downtown Stockton


What started off as a one-night pop up restaurant making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches led to an instant hit, and is now is a storefront located at 114 N. San Joaquin Street. (The Cast Iron Trading Co. opened Wed., Oct. 19. )

“After many catering gigs we were given the opportunity to be a part of this space here,” said Eric Lee, one of the owners of Cast Iron Trading Co.

On Oct. 13, Lee and co-owner, Tommy Mogan, held a soft opening in the morning to give the public a taste of what to expect.

“Our immediate focus is serving people within a two block radius because lunch is so important downtown,” said Lee.

Aside from the immediate downtown people, Mogan and Lee expect to see 20 and 30 somethings come in, looking to enjoy something different from the typical fast food and corporate business.

“Stockton does have a university and a pretty large community college that brings kids from all over San Joaquin County and they don’t really have somewhere to go sometimes,” said Garrett Daniells.

So what should the public look forward to that is so different?

“Being in the Central Valley, using fresh local produce and good is important,” said Daniells.

Cast Iron Trading Co. will serve breakfast, brunch and lunch with foods that are local and provide healthy options as well.

The menu will be seasonally inspired as well with rotating food items.

There will be pour-over coffee serving a custom Cast Iron blend from the local Trail Coffee Roasters Company, also located downtown. Baked goods, a selection of craft beer, wine and take out foods will also be available.

Located in a historic building more than 100 years old, Mogan and Lee were inspired to keep that overall feel and environment going.

Both of them decided to make decor and ask for local help.

Table tops and furniture were handmade by Mogan and Lee and the art throughout the location was painted by local artists.

Above the counter on a large black board with their name on it, you will see a custom neon sign displaying “Hella good(s)” created by Daniells.

“There’s something kind of romantic about the idea of revitalizing downtown. It’s historic and there’s something kind of cool about the grittiness and underground nature here,” said Lee.

The goal is to bring something different to the people of the city.

In the future they plan to have event nights on weekends, from live music to art shows.

“Be on the lookout. We’re going to be doing some fun things and some different things for downtown Stockton, things that they haven’t seen in a long time…pushing it to be a cool downtown again,” said Mogan.

Business hours aren’t set in stone as of now, but will be open Monday through Friday.