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.

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August 12, 2010 | 10:25 PM


August 13, 2010 | 8:49 AM

Felicidades a Mayahuel!

August 13, 2010 | 12:22 PM

I’m looking forward to the Grand Opening!

August 13, 2010 | 12:50 PM

Exciting project, stimulating K Street organically! Great concept.

August 13, 2010 | 1:54 PM

Only one thing missing!
Jose Lopez Portillo (JLP), known as “The Last Revolutionary President”, was one of Mexico’s finest presidents, serving his beloved country from 1976 to 1982. To understand the reason Jose Lopez Portillo created a tequila bearing his name, we must trace his family history –
a history rooted in the original development of tequila. In November of 1758, Jesus Lopez Portillo y Galindo, the president’s ancestor and Governor of the Villa of Tequila in the Jalisco region, granted a Hacienda to Jose Antonio Cuervo in the name of King Carlos III of Spain. It was there, in 1795, that Cuervo’s daughter Maria married Vicente Albino Rojas — from whom Jose Lopez Portillo also descends – and they founded the distillery, La Rojena. They would become the first to receive the official concession from King Carlos IV of Spain to develop and produce tequila.
Later, in the 19th century, the family brought German agronomist Franz Weber to Mexico to classify the agave. Today this agave is known as Agave Tequiliana Azul Weber, which is the founding base for fine tequila. Mr. Weber also married into the Lopez Portillo family. These brief key points illustrate how President Lopez Portillo’s ancestors were the founding fathers of tequila, which is today is Mexico’s strongest agro-industries. During his presidency, Jose Lopez Portillo displayed his fondness of, and connection to, tequila by offering foreign dignitaries only the finest tequilas his country had to offer. While his predecessors served cognac and other fine spirits, JLP
remained true to the history of his family and country. He also took the remarkable step of securing the intellectual property for tequila, so that only products created in Mexico and approved by the government could be called “tequila.” Later in his life, Don Jose decided to pay homage to his ancestors by branding a premium tequila, and the result was JLP “The
President’s” Añejo, a 100% agave anejo tequila blend with a twelve-year growth cycle of Tequilana Azul Weber Agaves from the volcanic soils of Jalisco. It’s a product that’s 100% pure, free of additives, and utilizes a double distillation process and an eighteen-month resting period in French white oak barrels to produce a complex flavor with a smooth finish; a taste that eclipses the desires of those searching for the perfect blend. The hand-made bottle is a work of art, featuring JLP astride his favorite horse, which was gifted to the president by the King of Spain.
Don Jose Lopez Portillo’s desire to produce only the best has been realized with JLP “The President’s” – a tequila with class for the distinguished connoisseur, offering a piece of Mexico’s history through every sumptuous bottle. Get ready for our new release!!! pdelacruz@thepresidentstequila.com

The release of the new JLP aka ‘The President’s Tequila’ packaging will be on shelves next month.

August 17, 2010 | 11:24 AM

Mas Tequila!!!!

August 21, 2010 | 5:04 PM

According to Darrell Corti, El Tesoro de Don Felipe is all you need to know about Tequila. I agree wholeheartedly. The rest is all fancy bottles.

February 4, 2011 | 12:34 PM

Great! This reminds me of La Conquista Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar in Redding Ca. They too have a Mexican restaurant with over 500 Tequilas. Now I will have another spot to visit when traveling northern cali!! :-)

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