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.