Ever since Gil Moore sold his oil wholesale company to the third-largest refinery in Japan two years ago, the 61-year-old longtime Sheldon resident has been itching to find a new project.
“I haven’t had anything to do, so I’ve been really anxious to do something good and bring something unique to Elk Grove,” Moore said. “There’s nothing normal about what I’m doing.”
A wine and liquor store with a beer cave, a golf-themed pizza restaurant with real putting greens and a health food deli featuring hand-held Cornish pies are just a few of the businesses Moore wants to open on a 4.5 acre parcel in Sheldon.
Late last year Moore submitted an application to the city of Elk Grove to build a 13,600 square-foot shopping center at the corner of Sheldon Road and East Stockton Boulevard.
The project has yet to be approved, however, and a problem over a freeway sign could stall Moore's plans or even kill them altogether.
The proposed project also includes a McDonald’s restaurant, Arco gas station, Big Kahuna frozen yogurt shop and a car wash.
“My whole concept for this project is No. 1, the area doesn’t have any groceries or gas, so that’s where I started,” Moore said. “Secondly, the economy is in the pits so I’m building this project so people can get cheap gas, an inexpensive car wash and have all the food choices they could possibly want.”
Moore hopes his $8 million investment pays off.
“We suspect once we build this project, we’ll see a hotel come in and more commercial growth,” Moore said. “But right now, nobody’s doing anything because they’re all afraid of the economy."
The shopping center would be a family affair, with most of the businesses run by Moore and his grown children, although the patriarch has already claimed the wine shop as his own.
“I grew up on a vineyard in Lodi, and I supported myself through school working in the winery, so I’ve always been involved in wines. It’s going to be my wine shop,” Moore said.
“I’m going to taste every single wine myself and will be able to recommend a good quality wine for a good price.”
In addition to selling liquor, Moore and his son, Chris, want to build a state-of-the-art beer cave which will be kept at a cool 32 degrees.
The deli, which would feature soups, salads and healthy sandwiches, would also sell Cornish pasties.
“It’ll bring something new to Elk Grove, and you can make all kinds of different pasties – Asian, Mexican, beef stew, chicken,” Moore said.
Moore got his inspiration for the Hole in One pizza restaurant from downtown Sacramento’s Pizza Rock, which has a truck over the bar.
“I just thought, ‘Holy cow, look at this. This is what we should do,’” said Moore, who already has a Cadillac golf cart for his restaurant.
“We’ll put putting greens all around the place for kids and adults, and it’ll be a golf-themed, family-oriented pizza restaurant.”
If all goes well, Moore could start construction as early as this summer and open for business in December.
Despite , some city councilmembers, including Pat Hume and Steve Detrick, voiced initial support for the project.
“I’ve never met someone who is so excited about doing a proposal here in Elk Grove,” Detrick said at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting. “He’s almost as giddy as a little kid, sometimes.”