Corner Store Sneak Peek

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The bar area. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The open kitchen, with a view of the dining room. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The future home of the outdoor patio, with heat lamps and planter boxes. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Up on Geary and Masonic, the former Hukilau space has been taken over by a new project, called ~CORNER STORE~, from partners Ezra Berman and Miles Palliser, formerly of 330 Ritch. The new spot will be a “loving homage to the classic corner store,” says Palliser. There will be comfortable spaces, unpretentious food, a full bar, and a soda fountain. The space has room for 36 diners, plus an extra 13 seats at the bar. On sunny days, the front patio can hold an additional 40 diners. The neighborhood spot is housed in a sunny yellow building and is set to open in the next couple of weeks. The space is cozy and warm, with a compact open kitchen in the middle of the action. There are high windows, communal tables, and some counter seating. The barstool seats are salvaged from a tree that was struck by lightning at an investor’s home in Kenwood. Talk about a hot seat!

In keeping with the corner store idea, there will be some retail offerings to take home, which should expand to include some of their own jarred products. For the time being, look for unusual sodas, coffee beans, and other smaller dry goods. The location has an off-premise liquor license, so they’ll be selling some of their wine and beer to take home.

For now, they will be open for lunch and dinner, with brunch on weekends. Breakfast should be coming soon too. The menu will be from chef Nick Adams, formerly of Salt House, with a focus on expertly executed American classics. Adams promises “one of the best burgers in town” and a small menu that will change seasonally, plus daily and weekly specials to keep it lively.

Desserts will be limited for now, though the full soda fountain should satisfy most sweet-toothed visitors. The soda fountain will feature housemade syrups and tonics for blending custom sodas, and will also provide the backbone for the cocktail program, which is being developed by Hans Hinrichs of Twenty-Five Lusk. There will also be old-fashioned milk shakes and cream sodas, some with a boozy bent. In the cocktail department, look for creative cocktails with a retro bent, like the “Noble Buck,” a drink of locally-aged Cyrus Noble Bourbon with lime, pineapple-ancho chile syrup, and housemade ginger beer. The wine and beer offerings will mostly be from Northern California, and many of the wines will be on tap and available by the glass, carafe, and half carafe.

No word yet on a concrete opening date, but preview receptions are beginning next week, so it’s definitely close. They haven’t worked out their exact closing time yet, but they have the option of keeping the bar open until 2am, depending on demand. Until those details are worked out, hours will be lunch Tue-Fri from 11am-2:30pm and dinner from 5:30pm-late. Sat-Sun brunch from 9am-2:30pm, then dinner from 5:30pm-late. Between lunch and dinner, the bar will remain open with snacks for afternoon munchers.