A Hardhat Look at Noir in Hayes Valley

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The front bar and its domed ceiling. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The communal table at Noir, with cinematic lighting. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The back bar, with a classic film noir scene above it. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

As previously reported on tablehopper, Hayes Valley is getting a new spot, and it’s coming soon. ~NOIR~ (site under construction), from owner Brian Cassanego, should be opening by the end of February if all goes smoothly. The restaurant, which is in the former Frjtz space, has been redesigned by Gi Paoletti Design Lab and built by Sean Wells to resemble a Jazz Age/film noir hideaway, complete with sexy wallpaper and red leather sofas.

The L-shaped space has been designed to function as three different areas, all of which can accommodate private parties of varying sizes. In the very back is a film screening room, where they plan to screen old films and sporting events, as well as host events. The back bar area, which can be curtained off from the rest of the dining room, boasts a bar with a classic film noir scene illuminated behind it, and it can also be reserved for groups. The main dining room has a communal table that seats about 14, with a cool lighting system of shutters in the ceiling that throw long, noirish shadows across the table. In the center of the main room is a large bar of illuminated gold onyx, under a domed ceiling made from a satellite dish. There will be tall, red leather seating throughout the front dining area, with some tucked-away booths for twosomes in the front windows.

The dinner menu, which was created with assistance from Adam Hinojosa of Per Diem, is designed with sharing in mind. There are snacks like frites, which are available “casual” (with lemon aioli), “dressed up” (with béarnaise and an egg), and “black tie” (with short rib gravy and smoked cheese curds), plus several salad options, a chicken liver pâté, and popcorn. In the entrée department you’ll find chicken and waffles, pork stew, and mac and cheese. There will also be weekend brunch with French toast, egg dishes, and crêpes. Sommelier Gianna Gaudini helped with the wine list, which has 50-60 bottles, 20 by the glass, plus four wine options on tap. There will also be nine beers on tap, though the final list of options is still in progress.

For now, they’re tentatively planning to do Mon-Fri happy hour 3pm-6pm, with the kitchen open Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 5pm-12am, and Sun 5pm-9pm. Stand by for news on the opening date and brunch hours. 581 Hayes St. at Laguna, 415-431-6647.