The bar at Taps. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
Dining room and slab wood communal table/back bar. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
Seating at the open kitchen. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.
Russian Hill and Nob Hill residents have been wondering for a while what was opening in the former Pasha space (and short-lived Cossu) on Broadway. The owner is Giovanni Toracca, a name many North Beach longtimers know well. He’s opening ~TAPS~, a 170-seat restaurant that will have chef Michael Lamina at the helm (he was at Leopold’s the past two years, and was previously at Cav, where I totally dug his charcuterie). Lamina tells me the menu will be gastropubby by nature, with an extensive selection of elevated bar food, like terrines and five kinds of pâté (there are also plans for an in-house salumi program; stand by). There will be a wood grill, and a rotisserie with different meats on it each day (lamb, pig, chicken). The menu will have plenty of apps for large parties to share, and main dishes will be offered à la carte with sides listed separately, like a duck breast, chicken, steak off the grill, and, of course, a burger.
Jesse Ostroski (previously Bigfoot Lodge) is running the bar program, which will feature 28 beers on draft, and will highlight many local craft beers (Lagunitas, Pine Street, Magnolia), plus two ciders and a range of choices by the bottle, including Belgians, sours, and some of the Mikkeller beers. There are also eight wines on tap. Cocktails will feature six classics to start, and fresh juices and seasonal ingredients will be a focus (look for more drinks to be added later on).
The front room features a long 35-seat bar as well as a stand-up table made from a wooden slab, which creates a border between the bar and dining area. In addition to several high seating areas, including two counters along the front windows, there’s a communal table, and an open kitchen with more counter seating, plus a chef’s table for 10 in its own alcove. There’s also a back room with a separate bar that will open a month later as a quieter raw bar space. The look is simple and rustic—and a little industrial—with banquettes in leather and warm-toned fabric upholstery. All of the wood in the bar comes from Toracca’s collection, and some has been burnt a bit to add more texture. The tap system behind the bar was made by a friend of Toracca’s out of cast-iron pipe, and definitely fits in with the industrial aesthetic. The space dates back to 1971, and Toracca sunk more than $2 million in the extensive buildout and reconditioning of the space (including some serious plumbing and new flooring). The prep kitchen is massive, and there’s room for 100 kegs in the refrigerator.
They need to make it through some inspections and should be open in October. Once we have a menu, hours, and an opening date in sight, we’ll let you know. Dinner will be up first, then brunch and lunch added later on. 1516 Broadway at Polk.