Tequila museum, restaurant and bar to open by end of year
Tequila is to Mexico what wine is to France, and restaurateur Ernesto Delgado said he will use tequila to showcase Mexico’s rich culture when he opens Tequila Museo Mayahuel later this year.
The “tequila museum” will include a restaurant serving traditional Mexican dishes and a wide array of between 50 and 100 types of tequila with a museum and gift shop reminiscent of Napa Valley wineries.
“The concept is to showcase Mexican culture through tequila, its history and the process of making it,” Delgado said.
With so many Mexican restaurants and tacquerias in Sacramento already, Delgado said he knew he had to come up with something unique.
“My whole idea here is to create a new spin,” Delgado said. “What’s the next Mexican restaurant? A full tequila experience.”
Pete Andrew of Collier’s International, property manager of 1200 K St. the location, said Delgado’s concept will “kick-start this whole revitalization of K Street.”
Dave Herrera, vice president of the Sacramento branch of Collier’s International, agreed.
“It’s definitely going to bring another amenity with a tremendous amount of culture into the downtown area,” Herrera said. “I think it’s going to be an entirely new concept.”
When finished, the restaurant will feature a statue out front that serves to draw visitors and is the beginning of the story Delgado said he wants to tell through the experience.
The statue will be of a jimador – the name of the farmers who harvest the agave plant from which tequila is made.
Even the name evokes the spirit of tequila – Mayahuel is the Aztec goddess for the agave plant.
Once inside, visitors will see the restaurant portion of the establishment – Maya’s Kitchen – as well as the Coa Room, which can be rented out for private events and parties and is used to celebrate the tequila culture.
In order to cater to his customers, Delgado said that in addition to the traditional restaurant, he will have a “chef’s bar” area where customers can order their food directly from the kitchen and watch it made, an idea inspired by the way his mother takes care of him when he goes to visit her.
In ordering from the kitchen, local workers can get their lunch and quickly make it back to the office.
Chef Ramiro Alarcón, who was trained in Mexico City, will be cooking traditional Mexican dishes such as mole, of which Maya’s Kitchen will feature three types. Delgado said the focus is on fresh ingredients.
Javier Valdez and Mario Favila are also working with Delgado and Alarcón to open and run the establishment.
The price range is in the middle, Delgado said, with mole dishes running about $16 for a dinner-size portion and salads in the $7-$8 range.
But the tequila is where the establishment will truly shine, Delgado said.
Three of the featured brands will be Don Julio, Herradura and, yes, José Cuervo.
“José Cuervo is one of the oldest tequila makers,” Delgado said. “Most people think of it as the cheap stuff, but there is more to it.”
Delgado said that in addition to the standard Cuervo, he will carry José Cuervo’s family reserve, which runs about $100 per bottle and is a far cry from the cheaper products.
The establishment is set to open in three phases, with the restaurant opening first, followed by the museum and bar, then finishing up with the Coa Room.
“I want to make this a destination,” Delgado said. “K Street should be the heart of Sacramento.”
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.