A fun project is coming to the former Sugar Café called MATADOR, which will be a taco bar and tequileria. Sugar owner Keith Goodman has brought in Miriam Lipton (Tender) and Kris Esqueda (Huxley) to create, design, and operate the venture.
Chef Juan Martinez, a longtime sous chef from Tres, will be offering nine varieties of tacos, a selection of appetizers, and salads. Take a look at the menu here, which includes queso fundido, lamb albondigas, esquites, and pozole rojo. Taco options include carnitas, New York strip, Negra Modelo battered shrimp, and the queso with griddled Oaxaca cheese, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, cactus, and Anaheim chile.
Adam Chapman (Plum, Chez Papa) is consulting on the bar program, which will include frozen margaritas, a variety of tequila, mezcal, and whisky cocktails, and beer and sangria by the pitcher. Two brothers are heading up the bar (and are working with Chapman on the program): Joselino and Edgar Solis, who have both worked for many years at La Mar, where Joselino was the bar manager and oversaw the cocktail program.
The space was refreshed to have a clean, natural, and open feeling. White oak was used for a built-in banquette (with leather cushions), the bar, and the large back bar; the front of the bar features old-world encaustic tile (decorative tile made of cement) and will be a focal point in the room. It ends up the entire team has Mexican ancestry (some a lot, some a little), so they will be displaying some old family photos (even from the construction team!). There will be about 50 seats, and there is also covered seating on the patio for about a dozen.
They are hoping to open the first week in January (maybe on the 4th)—we’ll keep you updated. Matador will be open daily for lunch and dinner, and eventually they plan to serve until 2am on the weekend.
It’s sure to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, considering it will be one of the few Mexican restaurants (with tequila!) serving Union Square, Lower Nob Hill, Downtown, and the Tenderloin. 679 Sutter St. at Taylor.