Business & Real Estate

Mayahuel owner looking to open Cesar Chavez Plaza eatery

Ernesto Delgado appears poised to take over the former Café Soleil eatery in downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza.
Ernesto Delgado appears poised to take over the former Café Soleil eatery in downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza. Tequila Museo Mayaheul

Sacramento restaurateur Ernesto Delgado appears poised to take over the former Café Soleil eatery in downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza in what would be his second new venture launched this year.

Delgado, who opened the popular Mayahuel restaurant and tequila museum at 12th and K streets in 2010, earlier this year announced plans to open a restaurant, bar and market called Mesa Mercado in Carmichael. Now he’s in talks with the city to lease the Soleil restaurant site that closed at the end of last year after being run for almost two decades by the Ix family.

Valerie Mamone-Werder, a business development manager with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, said the city is in “exclusive negotiations” with Delgado to take over the restaurant site but said no deal had been completed.

“We’re hoping to reach an agreement soon, and we’re excited to be working with him,” she said.

The partnership was tapped to solicit applications for the space and conducted interviews that ultimately led to the current talks with Delgado.

Mamone-Werder declined to talk about Delgado’s plans but said the city’s goal is to bring a “really dynamic restaurant to the park and activate the entire area.”

Others said Delgado intends to offer Mexican food, including a taco bar, along with beer and wine at the new site if he can reach agreement with the city’s parks department.

Fast track for Eviva project

Look for some high-speed construction progress when prefab manufacturer Guerdon Enterprises starts its work on the Eviva Midtown apartment building in mid-September.

By that time, the project’s two-level concrete podium will be completed and ready to hold five floors of apartments at what will be a 118-unit complex at 16th and N streets.

The process of installing the prefab modules will be “really amazing,” said Lad Dawson, CEO of Guerdon, which is based in Idaho. “We’ll show up on site and in a matter of five to six weeks, we’ll go from zero to a complete building.”

In contrast, using conventional construction, a similar project could take “eight months or maybe more,” he said.

The unusual project, initiated by the Capitol Area Development Authority, has been in the works for almost a decade.

Groundbreaking finally occurred in September, and crews now are working on the podium that will include one level of underground parking and, at street level, additional parking and about 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Last week Guerdon began producing the modular apartment units for Eviva at its Idaho plant. By mid-September, most of the units will be done and sitting at a staging site in the downtown railyard.

At that point, general contractor Tricorp Hearn of Gold River is going to “stack” as many as six of the completed modular apartments atop the concrete foundation each day, having all in place by early November. The units then will be bolted in place while plumbing, mechanical and electrical connections are made.

Finally, Tricorp Hearn will add a roof and stucco “skin.” The project is set to be ready for occupancy next spring.

Faces turns 30

Faces, the pioneering gay-oriented nightclub at 20th and K streets, has its 30th anniversary this month, and owner Terry Sidie is planning a bunch of celebratory activities.

Among them, he’s giving away three new Chevys to customers who fill out forms for a drawing.

The first car will be given away on Aug. 15, Faces’ anniversary date. A second will be awarded at the Rainbow Festival on Sept. 6. The third will be given away on Oct. 9, Sidie’s 70th birthday.

Sidie, who started his first bar – Bojangles – 40 years ago and has since owned several others, is particularly proud of Faces’ track record.

“Thirty years and no (enforcement actions) from the ABC and no problems with the police,” he said. “What other club in Northern California can say that?”