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New faces on K Street

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Three new façades add a bit of “wow” to K Street Mall.

Work is close to wrapping up on San Francisco nightclub owner George Karpaty's new businesses, Dive Bar, District 30 and Pizza Rock. A month away from the expected openings, contractors applied some of the finishing touches to the exteriors Thursday.

The bar, club and restaurant technically occupy one building, owned by Sacramento developer David Taylor and CIM. But the exteriors were rebuilt to look like three distinct, separate spaces – from sleek contemporary to slightly edgy to quaint, Old World charm.

The façades are like book covers, designed to entice by giving just a taste of what's inside, said the project's architectural design manager, Michael Boskovich of RMB Architects in Sacramento.

"This is – in my opinion, as a longtime local, – a big step up, something that's hopefully very contagious and will have legs in Sacramento," he said. "That's one of the things I appreciate about George's group – stepping out and doing this and, of course, including us."

District 30 at 1022 K St. sports a contemporary, minimalist exterior to match the interior of the sleek, elegant over-30 dance club. Three sets of double glass doors were set in a frame of white, metal composite panels. A copper and bronze "District 30" sign sits beneath 20 gray panels that will feature changing collages of illuminated art once the business opens.

"The sign is very subtle. It's not as much attitude or in your face as Pizza Rock," Boskovich said.

Pizza Rock, with its red neon sign and laser-cut metal flames, seems to burst from between its two sister venues. Filigreed flowers, hearts, stars and butterflies – designed to look like tattoo art – soften the sign, inspired by tattoos worn by Pizza Rock co-owner Tony Gemignani's wife. LED backlights will be added to give the flame a shadow.

Gears were bolted onto the tan travertine tile exterior to emulate old earthquake ties used to reinforce buildings. The centerpiece for an outdoor seating area in front is a glass- and mesh wire-enclosed fireplace built into an industrial-looking copper cauldron made to look like it was reclaimed from a junkyard. Inside, the other side of the cauldron holds one of the restaurant's pizza ovens.

"It's meant to add to the ambiance out here," Boskovich said.

Dive Bar at 1016 K St. was given an Old World hotel feel, with a brick façade and copper-penny storefront. Three curtained, "second-story" windows add to the illusion.

Stockton muralist Carlos Lopez painted Dive Bar's sign to mimic old painted ads still found downtown, including next door at 1030 K St., which contains Ambrosia Cafe. Lopez also painted Pizza Rock's ceiling mural resembling Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" – with the hand of God holding out an electric guitar.

Pizza Rock is expected to open Jan. 14. Dive Bar and District 30 are slated to open Jan. 19. Hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Tuesday, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

The building’s renovation added 15 to 20 feet in height to the exterior. Several one-of-a-kind features were designed to create the three distinct looks.

Boskovich, whose company does a lot of retail restaurant work, said he's eager to see more entrepreneurs use such creative, high-quality exteriors on new businesses.

"I'd like to do more like this in Sacramento," he said. "Sacramento's ready."

Sign photos by Kati Garner. All other photos, including photo of Michael Boskovich of RMB Architects, by Suzanne Hurt, a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @SuzanneHurt. 

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Suzanne Hurt

  • open till 3 am? AWESOME FINALLY

    • William Burg

      “Finally” what?

    • Uhh as in finally a place open past 130? Welcome to Earth

    • Colleen Belcher

      Sapporo Grill and Petra are both open until 3 a.m., but it will be nice to have more places open late.

    • Wow. How do you do that and get up at 5?

    • Ben Ilfeld

      Let’s not forget Ink, Plum Blossom, what used to be Bistro 33 Downtown, Pieces, maybe uncle Vitos, Chita’s, diners and a personal favorite – Del Taco 24 hours!

    • Good point, but I meant more places other than to get food……and IHOP cannot be forgotten.

    • Lindol French

      Spin Burger.

    • William Burg

      Considering that all three of these places are restaurants, and it is illegal to sell alcohol after 2 AM, they will also be, pretty much by default, “places to get food.” And yes, as mentioned above, there are already quite a few places in the central city open past 1:30 AM, mostly places like this (bars that serve food) and a couple late-night restaurants like La Garnacha–although there is always room for a few more.

    • I do not see anything that states the dive bar is exclusively a “place to get food.” or the over 30 dance club. Im not trying to start a presidential debate, I merely stated Sac lacks activities after 130. Im not alone in this thinking.

    • William Burg

      Both are bar/restaurants, but I assume that they stop selling alcohol at 2 AM. An exclamation like “FINALLY!” implies that no place in Sacramento stays open after 1:30 AM. Now, there aren’t many, and it’s nice to have more, but there are some already, so relax and have a drink, unless it’s after 2 AM, in which case you might want some sliders or whatever.

    • I meant some place as in a dance club open till 3am, hence my “FINALLY,” If these clubs are 3 identical places like Ink, I won’t go there. Im never posting on here again. I have a headache.

  • This is Sac in a nutshell:

    “Pizza Rock, with its red neon sign and laser-cut metal flames, seems to burst from between its two sister venues. Filigreed flowers, hearts, stars and butterflies – designed to look like tattoo art – soften the sign, inspired by tattoos worn by Pizza Rock co-owner Tony Gemignani’s wife. LED backlights will be added to give the flame a shadow.”

  • Lindol French

    “Lopez also painted Pizza Rock’s ceiling mural resembling Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’ – with the hand of God holding out an electric guitar.”
    I’d like to have been a fly on the wall for the conversation that led to this decision.
    “So, its gonna be a pizza place?. . . and it’s called Pizza Rock? Wait, Wait, I got it. Get this: We paint the ceiling like that one place in Italy, the chappel with the roof painting, you know, the one that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was named after. . . ”
    “Yeah. Yeah. That”s the one. Okay, but we’re gonna change it up. God won’t just be pointing his finger out to Adam, that’s kinda lame. We wanna be edgy. In ours, God will be handing Adam a bad ass electric guitar. With flames and everything. You know, cause it’s Pizza Rock”
    “Yes, That’s it! Why didn’t I think of that?”
    Worst. Idea. Ever.
    Are Bill and Ted in charge over there?
    A part of me is still excited for this, but, man, this doesn’t help matters.

  • Why can’t we attract developers whose ambitions reach beyond the set of a Brett Michaels video?.

  • Chris Fryer

    I wish God would hand me an electric guitar.

  • Amazing work! God bless 🙂

  • Lindol French

    Pizza Rock also has a full semi truck cab in the main dining room, if I’m not mistaken. Subtlety is not their strong suit.

  • Sacramento needs to focus more on branding themselves as an actual city, rather than trying ever so desperately hard to mirror bigger cities, such as San Francisco, and L.A. Coming from someone who lived in Sacramento for four years, and was smart enough to move to Southern California, a few here have told me that, “Sacramento tries way too hard to be like San Francisco or L.A.” With that being said, it is unbelievably sad that Sacramento seems to have what I like to call a true identity crisis. Further more, just because a nightclub owner who happens to own two of the most successful nightclubs in San Francisco, decided to invest his time and money into this project, doesn’t necessarily mean that all three of these new venues will thrive as much as the S.F. nightclubs. Especially considering the fact that the economy is more than bad in Sacramento, and the job market is at an ever so declining rate. So bad that people were so desperate for jobs, that they even applied to do Roseville Galleria fire debris clean-up. Why would people want to go out and spend money with no jobs? Simply put, Sacramento will never be like L.A. or San Francisco, so they may as well quit before these new nightclubs lose money and business like Tre night club.

    • William Burg

      Sacramento County’s unemployment rate is 12.5%. San Francisco’s unemployment rate is 10%. Not that different, really, and while plenty of people are out of work, most of us are still working and occasionally go out to eat or dance. Taking a look at the rather crowded and bustling restaurant/nightclub scene in the current Midtown/Downtown venues will show you that.

      These projects may not be as successful as Mr. Karpaty’s ventures in San Francisco, but do they necessarily have to be? Maybe they’ll just be successful enough to stay open, make some money, and provide some service jobs and a few more late-night lights on K Street? Tre didn’t work out, and the “ultra lounge” concept didn’t pan out very well, so hey, maybe something a little less fancy might work out here. And if people here are desperate for jobs, perhaps the construction and rehab jobs created during the repair, and the service jobs created while the restaurant is open, must count for something.

    • bye bye Sacpress

      I don’t think you have to be very smart to move to Southern California

  • Looks like they are trying to replicate some Midtown funky sucess down on K Street mall. Just might work. I personally hope it does because poor old K Street needs some love.

    • Midtown? Funky? Really? Wow. Looks more like they’re trying to replicate some test-marketed, trendy, generic, MBA faux hip franchise wet dream down on K Street. And you’re right, “K Street needs some love.”

  • I’ve been in these places… They are awesome! The sound system in District 30 is better than anything I have ever heard and the tank over the dive bar is pretty sweet even without the mermaids or fish. Honestly I am so happy that such a sucessful business owner has faith enough to put up the money and effort. Also thankful that even though I was laid off last month I now have a new job along with well over 100 others. So, good luck to all involved and I hope to see people change their tune here once they have a chance to check it out. PS the food is going to be amazing and until 3am, no one else has that, this isn’t bar food.

    • how do they clean the fish poop out of the mermaid tank?

  • It’s too bad they had to butcher the original building and do the cliché trendy facade. I give the mermaids gimmick 4 months–six month tops before they’re history. I might try the the pizza place some night before a movie at the Crest, but probably won’t be making a special trip. Masullo is hard to beat for quality and price–I’ve seen a semi truck before…

    • “butcher the original building and do the cliché trendy facade” = Sacramento’s take on redevelopment in a nutshell.

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