Details on What's Going Into the Former Bambuddha Lounge

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The back patio at the Phoenix.

Back in November 2010, Grub Street noted Sean and Isabel Manchester (the owners of Mighty, and previously of Wish in SoMa) were the new “principal operators for a new, as yet unnamed concept in the former Bambuddha Lounge space at the Phoenix Hotel.” The Manchesters will be working symbiotically with the hotel.

I have been waiting for them to finalize their chef before writing about the restaurant project, so hot off the news tree, here’s the chef announcement: it’s Trevor Ogden, currently the executive chef at Mission Beach Cafe (his last day will be February 12th, and his chef de cuisine, Ron Silverberg, will be taking over).

Since the space will be a hybrid of a lounge and restaurant, the menu will be flexible for folks who just want a cocktail and a few small plates, while those who would like a full meal in the dining room can do so. Ogden tells me the menu will have some New American flexibility, with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients, but not exclusively so. He also mentioned plating will be artistic and refined. He’s excited to work on such a unique project where he can start fresh and create something new.

So, let’s talk about the concept. Sean Manchester tells me they want to revive the location’s original roots as a rock ‘n’ roll destination (the Phoenix Hotel was hotelier Chip Conley/Joie de Vivre’s first property). They want the vibe to be irreverent and iconoclastic, with an eclectic style that’s a bit “stately rocker” (Sean said, “Imagine if Steven Tyler bought a historical mansion and moved in”). They are working with designer Charles Doell of Mister Important Design, known locally for his swank Gitane design, and who was part of the original Backflip design team. But don’t expect the back room’s round bar to be in there, ‘cause that baby is gone baby gone (the main room’s bar has also been moved)—and the concrete floors have also been ripped up (hello, new plumbing).

The new look will be eclectic, with 1970s contemporary barstools upholstered in a reptile fabric, Louis XIV-period reproduction settees with black-on-black cowhide, and a Jacobsen swan chair-inspired loveseat outfitted in plaid all mingling together. There will be lots of leather, and wood (including dark wood flooring), and a Carrara marble bar. One big showpiece in the back “party” room is the large wraparound banquette that’s like a huge 15’ x 15’ booth in rich chocolate leather and button-back tufting in a Chesterfield pattern, with room for 30-40 people. The entire outdoor pool area and patio are also being renovated (as you can see in the pic). Concreteworks will be doing a fire and water feature, and there will be all new furniture, making the place a perfect location for weddings and fashion shows.

They will start with dinner nightly, closed Mondays. There’s discussion of an eventual poolside brunch on Sundays, with live music and/or gospel. The music format during the week will focus on rock, from classic, to current, to indie, so DJs will need to dig a little deeper in their crates if they’re going to be spinning there. While the name is still being finalized, they are aiming for an April 15th soft opening. Get ready to rock. 601 Eddy St. at Larkin.