By Jessica Nguyen
If you live in Stockton, chances are you’ve been to or have at least heard of Cast Iron Trading Co. (and if you haven’t, here’s your chance!). Since it’s addition to the downtown community three and a half years ago, Cast Iron has continued to serve up both delicious specials and good vibes. It’s hard not to notice the positive energy in the space brought on by the friendly staff, happy customers, and local performers. If you’re interested in dining in an amiable climate complete with live music and craft beer (and of course great food- burgers and brussels sprout tacos, anyone?), this is the place for you!
About the Owner
Eric Lee, Stockton native and owner of Cast Iron, shares that he has always had a love for food and cooking- in fact, he describes his entire family as “foodies.” Before becoming a business owner, he worked in restaurants and soon after had the idea of bringing pop-ups to downtown. In fact, Eric explained that he and his business partner were among the first to introduce pop-ups to Stockton. They quickly gained traction and solidified a name for themselves within the community by setting up as a vendor at the Stockmarket, a Stockton marketplace that offers handmade crafts, live music, and street food. After that, they decided to turn their cart “into a full-time gig.”
Why Downtown Stockton?
During his experience as a street food vendor at the Stockmarket, Eric started seeing, “a lot of movement and blooming potential [in the area].” It’s true that downtown may have some challenges, he says, but he acknowledges the community’s contagiously positive energy in their efforts to revitalize the downtown area, and wanted to be a part of it. What else does Eric love about downtown? He enthusiastically cites the architectural history and unique infrastructure of its buildings.
What Makes Cast Iron Unique?
It’s a given that Cast Iron serves up some amazing dishes and that their, “craft beer is easily the best in Stockton!” However, there’s another key feature that makes this restaurant unique: its commitment, enthusiasm, and connection to the local arts. From the vibrant interior decor designed by local artists to the local musicians who enliven space with their performances, Cast Iron is committed to supporting local artists and in doing so, emphasizes the importance of community.
How Can We Support Cast Iron Trading Co. Amidst the Pandemic?
Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Cast Iron’s priority is to be “cautious for our staff and community.” Thus, they’ve reduced their indoor capacity to adhere to CDC guidelines. However, this doesn’t mean you have to put off your visit because we’ve got some GREAT news— Cast Iron recently got the go-ahead to convert the alleyway adjacent to their restaurant into an outside dining area! The space is newly adorned with new paint, greenery, furniture, shady umbrellas, and decorative string lights that tie it all together (don’t be shy, we know you want to come see it!).
Cast Iron is currently open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for dinner (4pm–10pm) and Sundays (from 10am–3pm) for brunch. They’ve also recently reintroduced Friday night live music in their new alley space! Eric is considering booking musicians for Saturdays too, and is also currently eyeing the possibility of putting on a couple pop-up events in July. Follow Cast Iron on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated! Also, if you’re a musician interested in performing, feel free to reach out to Cast Iron on social media (and no, mayonnaise is not an instrument).
To sum it up, Cast Iron has great food, a great atmosphere, and of course, GREAT beer- what more could you want? See you there! 🙂