Bob Shallit

Three dining and drinking spots planned near arena site

An artist’s rendering shows the southwest corner of what’s envisioned as an arts-themed senior housing complex at the former Clarion Hotel site at 16th and H streets.
An artist’s rendering shows the southwest corner of what’s envisioned as an arts-themed senior housing complex at the former Clarion Hotel site at 16th and H streets. Pacifica Companies

Two of Sacramento’s top nightclub and restaurant operators are planning a massive triple-concept bar and dining location at one of the city’s hottest sites – at Seventh and K streets, just east of the future Kings arena.

Bob Simpson and Trevor Shults, partners in several local ventures, recently signed leases to take over the 10,300-square-foot space that wraps around part of St. Rose of Lima Park as well as an adjoining 1,800-square-foot space that most recently was occupied by the Plaza Cafe Hookah Lounge, said Tom Edler, chief executive of Pacific Coast Advisors, who represented the restaurateurs in the lease talks.

Assuming various contingencies on the leases are ironed out in the next week or two, the partners will move ahead with plans to open an Irish pub called Malt & Mash in the smaller of the two locations, Edler said.

The concept for the larger, L-shaped space is still being tweaked, but will likely be two restaurants that connect to each other, said Tim Harris, a spokesman for Simpson and Shults.

The Irish pub, set to open around Nov. 1, will have some similarities with The Buena Vista Cafe, the popular restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf area, Edler said.

The bigger, two-restaurant operation – in a space once occupied by the Three Monkeys eatery – will be based on a “pretty hip concept that’s worked well near arenas and stadiums in other downtowns,” Edler said.

That portion of the project could open around Dec. 1, assuming the partners don’t run into any hiccups with permitting and licensing.

The planned restaurant and bar space is on the ground floor of the five-story, 111-year-old Sun Building, owned by Sequoia Investments LP.

Associates West sales associate Brenda Miller represented the building owner and said the lease is not yet a “done deal,” given the normal contingencies, but said she thinks it soon will be finalized.

Shults and Simpson have a long track record as partners. They’ve worked together on Pour House, Social Nightclub and Vanguard Lounge, and they have independent interests in various other clubs, restaurants and bars.

They’re the latest business owners to plan operations in the area right around the construction site for the new Kings arena, to be called Golden 1 Center. The sports and entertainment center is set to open in the fall of 2016.

Clarion demolition looming

City officials are expected to give final approvals next month to the conversion of Sacramento’s venerable Clarion Hotel Mansion Inn into an artsy senior housing complex.

Following final review from the Sacramento Planning and Design Commission, demolition of the ivy-covered building at 16th and H streets could begin, followed by construction of a 141-unit senior project.

But a spokeswoman with Pacifica Companies, a San Diego-based real estate investment company that bought the Clarion in 2000, said no timetable has yet been set for that work.

Pacifica, which operates senior facilities in 13 states, plans a four-story, mixed-use building there with market-rate apartments, retail spots at ground level and a community center.

Arts elements abound in the company plans, starting with building facades inspired by the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, according to Pacifica planning manager Carey Algaze.

The community center, open to the public, will be used for arts instruction, gallery space, exhibitions and artist studios, she said. Plus, residents will be able to participate in numerous “art-inspired” activities.

The Clarion was a top Sacramento destination for most of its 57 years before declining over the past decade and closing in late 2012.