Business & Real Estate

Craft cocktail carts to roll in new K Street bar/restaurant

“Tiger milk,” anyone? This rendering of the upcoming Tiger bar and restaurant, to be built on K Street, shows the upper mezzanine and milk bottle logo. The main bar and seating area are down stairs.
“Tiger milk,” anyone? This rendering of the upcoming Tiger bar and restaurant, to be built on K Street, shows the upper mezzanine and milk bottle logo. The main bar and seating area are down stairs.

The Sacramento restaurant team behind Red Rabbit now has a Tiger by the tail.

The Golden Group – Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar partners Sonny Mayugba, Matt Nurge, Dave Pringle and John Bays – are collaborating on a new K Street cocktail bar and cart-service restaurant catering to thirsty (and hungry) patrons in a hurry, coming or going from Golden 1 Center.

Named Tiger, this new bar/restaurant will use custom-made carts to bring craft cocktail service and dim sum-style small plates to guests, Mayugba explained. This grab-and-go concept can let patrons drink, eat and run in a matter of minutes or, if they have more time, relax and sample the menu at a more leisurely pace.

Working the carts will be cooks/mixologists/servers who create the drinks tableside as well as put together the small plates.

“It’s a real novel idea,” Mayugba said. “We looked around the Sacramento area and nobody was applying that server concept to craft cocktails and local seasonal food.”

Besides catering to Kings fans and concertgoers, the casual restaurant also should draw from the Downtown Commons neighborhood, providing an entertaining alternative to other dining and drinking options.

“It’s like a perpetual happy hour,” Bays added. “We’ll be throwing a pre-game cocktail party every night.”

The signature drink (and inspiration for Tiger’s milk bottle logo) will be “Tiger’s Milk,” said Nurge, who is still working on its recipe.

Eric Sarmento, formerly of Tuli Bistro and several other Sacramento-area restaurants, joined the Tiger crew this week as executive chef. Most recently, he was culinary manager for Hillstone Restaurant Group (owners of Bandera locally and 52 restaurants nationwide).

With a seasonal focus, Tiger’s all a la carte menu will put fun and creative twists on party food favorites, Sarmento said. Think chips and dips, appetizers and finger foods, but elevated to accompany upscale cocktails, beer and wine.

“We’ll have a lot of vegetarian items, such as beet poké or farro with green olive salsa verde and a fried egg on top,” Sarmento said. “But we’ll also have meat and seafood options such as steamed shellfish served with hot broth, riffs on crab cocktails or crispy duck nuggets. There will be something for everyone.”

With a March 1 target for opening, Tiger will be part of K Street’s growing restaurant row. Along with partner Andrea Lepore of Hot Italian, The Golden Group recently broke ground on Solomon’s Deli, two doors down from Tiger on K Street, in the former Tower Records building.

At 722 K St., the 220-seat Tiger will occupy what was originally the W.T. Grant Store. In more recent years, it had been a tattoo parlor. For Tiger, the 8,000-square-foot space will be transformed into a two-level bar with a reverse mezzanine on street level and stairs walking down to the main bar and seating area, said Keri Knight-Nurge, who leads Tiger’s design team.

Above the bar area will be a 45-foot ceiling, channeling energy throughout the space, Mayugba said. “K Street has always had an edge. We want Tiger’s vibe to feel energized, exciting and edgy, too.”

Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, @debarrington

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