Dive Bar, Pizza Rock owner hopes to build more elsewhere

Dive Bar owner George Karpaty is expanding his business territory.

Two months after opening the mermaid bar and two other businesses on Sacramento’s K Street Mall, Karpaty is in the final stages of negotiating a lease for a fourth concept in El Dorado Hills.

The San Francisco nightclub owner previously said the bars and gourmet pizza restaurant he opened in Sacramento early this year were pioneer concepts he would like to take elsewhere.

Karpaty is now talking with folks in Santa Monica, Hollywood, Las Vegas and Oakland about opening versions of the K Street businesses there, depending on space available. He and Pizza Rock partner Tony Gemignani are also working on plans to open Pizza Rock restaurants throughout the United States, Karpaty said this week.

"Pizza Rock is the one we’re looking for a big roll-out and having a lot of them in the next 10 years all over the country," Karpaty said.

Pizza Rock, Dive Bar and the District 30 dance club, located in a renovated building at 1016 – 1022 K St., are all drawing more crowds and making more money than expected for this stage of the business plan, he said.

Current discussions involve opening Dive Bar and Pizza Rock in Las Vegas and opening just Pizza Rocks in the other three cities. Karpaty is looking into opening the entire trio in additional cities because they complement each other well, he said.

Dive Bar’s giant aquarium, where "mermaids" and "mermen" can sometimes be spotted, is believed to be the biggest aquarium in a nightlife venue in the world – second only to tanks at professional aquarium museums. The tank at the next Dive Bar will be 40 percent bigger than the 7,500-gallon tank at 1016 K St., Karpaty said.

"We’ve never opened anything like Dive Bar" anywhere else, he said.

Karpaty already owned popular San Francisco establishments – Ruby Skye nightclub and a "speakeasy" called Slide – when he developed ideas for a vacant K Street building owned by Sacramento developer David Taylor and Los Angeles-based CIM Group.

Karpaty said it’s too early to talk about the new concept he has in the works for El Dorado Hills Town Center 30 miles from Sacramento. But he’s very close to signing a lease with The Mansour Co., which owns the retail and office complex.

The company’s owner, Tony Mansour, said they’re about 30 days away from finalizing a lease agreement for 6,000 square feet.

"We’re almost there," Mansour said. "You never know until the ink gets dry and the money’s in the bank."

Mansour, who lives in both Los Angeles and El Dorado Hills, experienced Karpaty’s K Street businesses during their grand openings.

"I never do a deal with anybody unless I know what they serve and how they deal," he said. "We love the pizza and the mermaids."

The El Dorado Hills operation could open within six to nine months if all goes as planned, Karpaty said.

"It’s up to him how fast he can open," Mansour added. "We’d love to have him open as soon as possible. We’re excited to have him in the area because we think it will draw from the region."


Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @SuzanneHurt. 

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Avatar of ccc
March 25, 2011 | 8:53 AM

The city didn’t subsidize these restaurants did they?

March 25, 2011 | 9:54 AM

Yes, the Redevelopment agency did put money there, but now they generate tax revenue!!!!

March 25, 2011 | 2:23 PM

More interestingly, will the El Dorado Hills location need to use redevelopment funding?

i am guessing not, making our Sacramento RDA look like even more of a boondoggle than it already is.

March 25, 2011 | 6:23 PM

The “redevelopment money” that was put into these K Street projects came directly from the profit the City and Mr. Taylor made from the development and subsequent sale of the Sheraton Grande hotel at 13th and J. Part of the profit from the sale of that project was required to be reinvested into the K Street Mall area. This seems like a good business proposition to me. These new night clubs and restaurants are generating sales tax dollars, creating jobs and most significantly providing a new vitality to this portion of downtown Sacramento. Already some of the adjacent existing businesses are seeing greater sales and a couple of them are now open at nights and on the weekend.

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