The newly opened Hermosa California Kitchen restaurant and bar is something different for Fresno, with its red and purple lights, loud music and waitresses in black tank tops and denim shorts.
The owners wanted the vibe of the restaurant at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue, in the space once occupied by Aqua Shi, to feel like that of a restaurant you would find in Las Vegas or San Diego.
"We just wanted to bring some excitement to the dining experience," says Lewis Everk, one of three partners in the business that opened last month.
One of the best changes to the space is the gorgeous Dia de los Muertos-themed murals of women by tattoo artist J. Esparza, owner of Resistance Tattoo.
Everk — who has done restaurant management and marketing, along with event promotion for years — has partnered with Jesse Mendoza, owner of Salsa's Cantina in Clovis, and builder Tommy Phelen.
HCK — as they hope it will be known — had a decidedly young crowd last Saturday night, but the restaurant doesn't target any age group, Everk says.
It is open from 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. A stage is set up for a DJ and live music on Thursdays, but Everk says they don't put the tables away and turn into a nightclub.
HCK serves Mexican and American food and the kitchen is open til 12:30 a.m. on weekends. Fajitas, burritos, burgers and salads are on the dinner menu. Most dishes are under $13.
On Saturday and Sunday, breakfast is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with bottomless mimosas.
Details: Facebook.com/hckfresno or (559) 433-9200.
Taste of River Park
All kinds of food will be available for sampling at A Taste of River Park from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
This year's theme is "The California Lifestyle," and the street where the farmers market is held will be divided into four California-themed areas.
The Asian fusion section will feature food from Dai Bai Dang and P.F. Chang's, along with Asian drummers, for example.
Restaurants from throughout River Park will have food samples and 13 wineries will offer tastings. Live music, a fashion show and dancers round out the entertainment.
Tickets for the 21-and-older event cost $30 in advance and are available at most River Park clothing stores and online. Tickets cost $40 the day of the event.
Details and tickets: 559-437-4855 or ShopRiverPark.com.
The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @BethanyClough on Twitter. Read her blog on fresnobeehive.com.