The Sunset’s biggest project of late is about to open, ~SOCIAL KITCHEN & BREWERY~. Yup, they got their brewer’s permit. At the end of last year, I mentioned this new project moving into the former location for the Golden Gate Brewery, Eldo’s Grill and Brewery, and Wunder Brewing Company. The team knows what they’re doing: Rex Tabora (Zebulon) is one of the partners, Rob Lam of Butterfly is consulting on the menu and setting up the kitchen team, and there’s talented brew master-partner Rich Higgins, a consultant and cicerone-about-town, who was formerly at Thirsty Bear (six years), plus Gordon Biersch, and the San Francisco Brewing Company.
Higgins mentioned there will be five flagship beers to start, featuring rare beers for our local scene, like a strong golden Belgian, a table-strength Belgian dark (about four-and-a-half percent), a Kölsch (Cologne-style beer), an Alt beer, and an IPA that isn’t super bitter, using American whole hops. (Higgins also mentioned the beers are made with organic ingredients—he’s primed and ready for when they want to undergo the official organic certification.) The beers will come in both small or large sizes, maxing out at $5. There will be open brew days for people to come in and check it out, special beer dinners, and seminars.
Just in case you’re expecting another pub-grub, meat-heavy menu, you’re in for a surprise: the menu will be 1/3 omnivore, 1/3 vegetarian, and 1/3 vegan. Apps will be under $10, and mains under $16. And a number of the dishes contain beer ingredients, for maximum suds saturation! Dishes on the preliminary opening menu may include apps like the Kolsch Mussels (with grilled bread, pimentón aioli, toasted malt), Beer Battered Sweet Potato Tempura (sweet and spicy malt vinegar), and Celery Root and Fennel Chowder (with toasted malt, chive blossom, hop oil); a variety of salads, including the Beer Lover’s Salad (apples and jicama, Cowgirl Creamery goat cheese, beer nuts, toasted malt, hop essence); sandwiches like the Vietnamese Fried Rock Cod Sandwich (cilantro mayo, pickled onion-carrot slaw, French roll), a Beet Steak Sandwich (arugula, smoked mozzarella, tomato-golden Belgian ale jam, multi-grain bread), and for the naughty ones, a Loco Moco Burger (Spam, pineapple and tomato relish, mushrooms, two fried eggs, onion ring). There are also larger plates, like Liberty Farms duck breast, Prather Ranch short ribs, and a Mushroom and Rye Bread Pudding (tarragon cream, grilled asparagus, little gem salad). Ingredients will be local as possible, including breads from Arizmendi Bakery, produce from the Sunday Inner Sunset Farmers Market, wild-caught Pacific fish, and sustainably-raised meats.
The 120-seat space has a casual and contemporary look, with a wavy bar with room for 24, Edison lamps made from bottles left by the previous owner, communal seating (hey, it’s a beer hall), and a wood ceiling. They will focus on dinner over the first three months, and then lunch and weekend brunch will come later. They’re also trying to get their hours extended past 10pm Thursday through Saturday nights. The soft opening is slated for April 20th for the San Francisco Brewers Guild gathering. Prost!