Ronaldo Fierro’s work is far from done in his native Riverside, a community he loves.
The young CEO of a downtown gastro pub called The Salted Pig plans to open two more businesses on the block. Both works-in-progress in buildings that he owns are well underway: a specialty cocktail bar called W. Wolfskill and a combination coffeehouse and craft beer shop named Bobby’s Bottle Shop/Augie’s Coffee Roasters.
“I’m extremely blessed,” said Fierro, 28, who sports a nearly-shaved head, signature comic book shirts and oversized glasses.
With the help of investors and his parents, Mel and Mary-Ann Fierro, owners of Inland Premium Packers, the rookie restaurateur opened the 8,000-square-foot Salted Pig at 3700 12th St. on Valentine’s Day 2011. He bought the former Crystal Antiques store, which contains the vacant site he is turning into the hybrid brew tasting room and coffee house, in 2008.
“I feel as though I’ve hit it out of the park with my first restaurant in a part of downtown Riverside that was underdeveloped,” Fierro said. “We’ve been through some hard times, but we’re very profitable. I’m not in this to make a lot of money, but to develop the bar and restaurant scene.”
He said he has sunk close to $1 million gutting and remodeling the abandoned Royal Falconer Pub at 4281 Main St., a building he owns five doors from The Salted Pig.
By next fall or winter, he hopes to open a 4,000-square-foot bar there that serves high-end, hand-crafted cocktails. The name is a tribute to William Wolfskill, a Los Angeles agronomist/cowboy who helped develop the state’s commercial citrus industry, especially the Valencia orange.
“We want Riverside to be known for innovation, not imitation,” Fierro said.
Mark Allen, a Riverside resident, said he has succeeded. He recently brought a colleague to The Salted Pig for a business lunch. Allen, 35, a Friday night regular, praised the staff’s knowledge of its craft beers, the ambience, the “show” in the kitchen and the food.
Fierro’s other project, the joint coffeehouse and bottle shop, will occupy the 1,500-square-foot empty corner next to The Salted Pig at 4205 Main St and will seat 40 inside and out. The shop will marry gourmet roasted beans from Augie’s Coffee House in Redlands and craft beer, the latter to be poured and sold on site. Fierro said he is shooting for a late summer or early fall opening.
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