Maven Opens Wednesday in the Lower Haight

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The bar and living wall. Photo by Molly Coudreaux.

Opening tomorrow evening in the former RNM location is ~MAVEN~, a project from David Kurtz (Saison, COI, Michael Mina, Gary Danko, Bacar) and Jay Bordeleau (Beretta, Bacar, Mecca, Laïola). The team envisions Maven as a neighborhood hangout, whether you’re coming by for a drink and some snacks, a casual meal, or going for a full-on paired meal. Kurtz’s edited menu has 10 modern American dishes, from scallop crudo ($12) with shiso, Granny Smith apple, and hazelnut, to Chinatown duck sliders ($9), to butternut squash agnolotti ($11/$17) with Brussels sprouts, pomegranate, and Parmesan (click here for the PDF). Kurtz is also a certified sommelier, and will be incorporating drink-oriented ingredients into dishes, including juniper salts, vermouth reductions, and whiskey brines. His sous chef is Matt Brimer (Maverick, COCO500).

The menu has a strong focus on pairing with beverages, whether it’s a cocktail or a glass of wine or a pint of beer. Bordeleau is working with lead bartender Kate Bolton (Michael Mina, Wexler’s), running a bar that features 10 specialty drinks designed to be very food-friendly, plus housemade bitters, sorbets, tinctures, purées, syrups, and some serious ice (spheres and the like). The International Mistress ($11) features amaro, lemon, mezcal, orgeat, grapefruit, while New Boy Valentine ($11) has aged rum, spiced walnut liquor, orange. Interesting, very few spirits and liqueurs are name checked on the cocktail list. You can look at the cocktails, beers, and international wines by the glass here.

Gi Paoletti is behind the new interior with its urban-natural look. There’s a living wall with over 700 square feet of foliage, three tall communal redwood tables, and sculptural light fixtures from shaved wood and stained bold red. There are 60 seats total, with a 9-seat, 18-foot bar fashioned from a single slab of redwood, an 8-seat kitchen counter overlooking the open kitchen, and a fireplace-lit mezzanine with low lounge seating and cocktail tables (it looks great), plus a redwood bar rail with bar stools that overlook the room. Hours are daily 5pm-12am (they are hoping to get later hours in time), and brunch will launch in January. And for those who remember the valet parking at RNM, well, it’s now street parking, people. Am very much looking forward to checking this one out.