Bob Shallit

The Triple-Double sports bar to open near downtown arena

A new sports bar and restaurant is opening this summer just north of what will be downtown’s Entertainment and Sports Center.

Elk Grove developer Curtis Smith said he and a partner acquired the former Zokku Lounge building at 419 J St. last August and they now have a tenant group that plans to open a bar called The Triple-Double there in June.

Triple-double is a basketball term, and the name plays on the bar’s proximity to the future home of the Sacramento Kings.

Smith, head of a company called Silver Lining Properties, identified the tenants as two couples – New Orleans residents Joseph Waltz and Emma Berry and Trevor and Kristina Elliott, currently in Philadelphia. He said both couples have extensive experience in the food industry.

“They were actually looking for locations in Roseville, Natomas and Portland and by coincidence they found this (site) and fell in love with it as soon as they saw it,” he said.

Smith has hired Lionakis of Sacramento to redesign the building’s exterior, aiming to give it a look that he described as more “up to date and consistent with the design” of the ESC.

One key step will be changing the building’s pagoda-style roof line. But he and architect Brian Crilly of Lionakis said an effort will be made to retain some of the building’s Asian flair.

“We want to pay homage to the Chinese culture – what they did for this community, what they continue to do,” Crilly said.

Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, said the new business should fit well with city plans to create a “real active urban district with (pedestrian) flow before and after events” at the arena complex.

“It’s an exciting thing,” he said of this user, adding that he expects the openings of many more related businesses based on momentum generated from the ESC.