Sgt. Nightlife

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Bunker hospitality: Marine veteran Miguel Hinojosa just purchased the craft beer bar Alley Katz, renamed it the Bunker Bar & Grill (2019 O Street) and gave it an interior makeover to honor fellow service members. His tribute goes beyond what’s hanging on the walls. At the grand opening on March 3, he partnered with the charity Go Give 2 Live to raise money for veterans’ PTSD treatments.

Hinojosa spruced up the bar with flags, uniforms and regalia that honor not only the four branches of the military, but also firefighters and police officers. After his service, Hinojosa himself became a police officer in Stockton before retiring and bringing those skills to the hospitality industry.

His journey into the nightlife biz started while on tours of duty in Panama and Okinawa, Japan. Hinojosa used to spend his downtime in local bars and grills, when he dreamed about running his own. One day, he asked a bartender if they had anything new. He got served his first IPA.

“My first reaction was, ’Oh, my God, this is horrible,’” he said. “Now, I’ve developed a taste for hops.”

Hinojosa plans to use the Bunker’s 60 spouts in the back room to pour strictly local beers, which, considering the proliferation of Sacramento-area breweries, he figures he’ll have “no problem” keeping stocked.

He will add wings, a couple of “ginormous” burgers and a chipotle-chicken pasta to the menu. Besides that, things should remain relatively the same. He’ll still serve craft beer from its stocked fridge and 80 taps.

Going forward, Hinojosa plans to offer a roughly 20 percent discount to all service members.

Debut slice: To celebrate the opening of a new location in the Milagro Centre (6241 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael), Fish Face Poke Bar founder and chef Billy Ngo filleted an 80-pound tuna on March 1 to demonstrate the knife skills that provide the raw fish for the restaurant’s poke and salads.

Restaurant manager Paul Rodriguez said the speedy chef broke the fish down in “like five minutes.”

Farm-to-beach: Local pear and cherry farm Steamboat Acres will use parts of its 10-acre vegetable garden to provide for its new restaurant, Steamboat Landing (12414 State Highway 160) in Courtland, which will open in April. The Landing will be housed in a renovated building where a same-named establishment went out of business 20 years ago.

The seasonal menu will include sandwiches, rotisserie chicken and Kansas City-style barbecue. Guests will have access to Steamboat Acres’ private beach (with a $5 entry fee) and 200-foot boat dock.