As of this week, Matador has quietly opened at 679 Sutter St. with lots of taco options and tons of tequila. It has taken over the former Sugar Cafe space, and Sugar owner Keith Goodman teamed up with Kris Esqueda (Huxley) and Miriam Lipton (Tender) to open the taco bar. The menu, from chef Juan Martinez (Tres), is still limited until next week, but there’s a solid lineup of seven tacos (below) plus standard guacamole and some sides and salad to sate cravings until then.
Drinks, created by bar managers Edgar & Joselino Solis with consultant Adam Chapman (Plum, Chez Papa) offering spirit and bar layout input, set this tequileria apart with a heavy focus on margaritas and other tequila and mezcal drinks. There are two frozen margarita machines, serving up massive, extra-boozy parties in a glass. The space is open, with lots of wood tables and a large bar, and the decor is funky. The room’s overlord is a huge, commissioned painting of a female matador, and the team’s family photos will soon line the walls. During big games, there’s a projector that rolls down in front of the matador. And on some nights, old Mexican movies will project on the windows above the tables.
For this week, Matador is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and just for lunch on Sunday from 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. Starting next Tuesday, February 9 (official opening day), hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.