The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
July 12, 2016

The Stud bar exterior. May those lights stay on for another 50 years. Photo by David White via The Stud’s Facebook page.

Ugh, I don’t even know where to begin, but when I heard the owner of ~THE STUD~, Michael McElhaney, was calling an emergency meeting just after the bar celebrated 50 years of gloriously letting its freak flag fly, my heart dropped. These are the moments when it’s hard to be so far away. Fortunately the city has its lifeline, Marke Bieschke, reporting on all the action for 48 Hills.

The bad news: the rent has tripled, and McElhaney, who purchased the bar in 1996, needs to sell the bar and wants to return to Hawaii to take care of his aging mother. At the meeting, McElhaney shared: “I found out a couple weeks ago that the building had been put in escrow to be sold. That comes just as our lease is up for negotiation, now with the new owners. In two months, our rent will be almost tripled, to $9,500. For us as a small cabaret-type club, that is inconceivable. We just can’t do it with the way things are now.” So, yeah, we have two months to figure it out.

The good news: there is currently a co-op forming (spearheaded by Mica Sigourney aka VivvyAnne ForeverMore!) of friends of the bar, promoters, and performers who want to buy it (and its valuable liquor license). Here’s hoping it doesn’t need to move locations, because the patina of that bar is a big part of its voodoo. (The Stud has been in its current location since 1987 and was previously where the Holy Cow is now.) City supes are talking about how to help save the business, and there’s also discussion about adding it as a Legacy Business. In the meantime, if you are wondering what you can do to help, please join the Facebook group, Save Our Stud, for updates. There will be images and T-shirts to buy and other fundraising efforts posted soon. Please go to the bar, go dance, buy drinks, and show it support in these next couple of months.

The Stud is an integral part of San Francisco’s crazy quilt, a place where you could always come as you are and meet kind people, fun people, and unforgettable people, and have a strong drink. So many people have so many memories there—and there is such deep history for the queer community. I have been tearing it up on that dance floor from when I first moved to SF in 1994, from Sugar to Trannyshack to Go Bang (it’s on first Saturdays, just so you know), and even co-hosted a New Year’s Eve night there in 2004. It is one of my favorite places in the city, one that is undeniably San Franciscan, and where I always send visitors to the city (well, except my older Italian relatives). It’s an irreplaceable queer space, performance space, and gathering space. I really can’t imagine SF without it. The city might implode, so don’t risk it. Let’s see this one through, okay? See you there. 399 9th St. at Harrison.

Dive bar fans will not be happy with the news that ~MR. BING’S~ on the border of North Beach and Chinatown has been sold and is closing as we know it. The new owners are reportedly behind Ireland’s 32 in the Inner Richmond. A bartender reported that it looks like it will be closed for renovations and will possibly be reopening as an Irish bar. It sounds like Mr. Bing’s will be closing in a week or so, so go get your last beer and a shot while you can and soak in the deep dive bar-ness. (Via Hoodline.) 201 Columbus Ave. at Pacific.

And one more update for my fellow dance floor denizens: we posted awhile ago that it looked like the owners of Monarch were taking over ~MIGHTY~, and it ends up they quietly took over on May 1st and have been running it as Mighty since. The new name is going to be ~GREAT NORTHERN~, and according to a club flyer, the last party at Mighty will be Saturday July 30th before it closes for an impending remodel. We’ll keep you updated on anything we hear about Great Northern. Thanks for all the great nights and bumping tunes, Sean Manchester and Mighty crew! You always had such a nice staff too. Cheers. 119 Utah St. at 15th St., 415-626-7001.


It’s time to picnic at the Ferry Building! Photo courtesy of CUESA.

Coming up on Wednesday July 27th will be an especially fun Cocktails of the Farmers Market: Picnic on the Plaza. That’s right, the party is going to be outside, with 20-plus bartenders from places like Comstock Saloon, Whitechapel, and Dirty Habit, along with chefs creating picnic-inspired drinks and bites. Bring on the barbecue and watermelon! Guests receive three full-size signature cocktails featuring Disaronno, Larceny Bourbon, and Remy Cointreau, along with unlimited sample-size drinks. Tickets are $55, ending July 23rd, and then $60, but you, dear tablehopper readers, get 15 percent off with discount code: tablehopperfriend. 5:30pm-8pm. In front of the Ferry Building.

June 21, 2016

Ferment.Drink.Repeat. is now open in Portola. Photo via FDR.


Barebottle in Bernal (check out the groovy hop pendant lights!). Photo via Facebook.

Do you smell something brewing in Bernal? That would be ~BAREBOTTLE BREW CO.~, newly opened on Cortland. The taproom features test beers on tap that were voted the best in homebrew competitions that the brewery hosts (like what would a Russian Hill imperial stout or Muir Woods-inspired IPA taste like?), and there are production beers available as well. Eater mentions there is a rotating number of food trucks visiting the brewery, plus homebrewing classes, lectures, and more. Open Wed-Fri 3pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-7pm. 1525 Cortland Ave. at Bradford, 415-926-8617.

We broke the news back in 2014 about ~FERMENT.DRINK.REPEAT~, a nano-brewery, homebrew supply shop, taproom, and brewery incubator that was coming to the Portola neighborhood from Kevin and Shae Inglin (a husband-and-wife team). After two years of getting things permitted and built out and squared away, their grand opening is this Saturday June 25th. They will be brewing all beers on-site, with a seven-barrel brew system. The grand opening is 10am-10pm, and they will have food for sale, music, a brewery tour, and more. Moving forward, visitors can bring their own food, as well as well-behaved kids and dogs. It’s a party. Follow their Facebook page for updates. Hours are Tue-Wed 3pm-9pm, Thu 3pm-10pm, Fri 1pm-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun noon to TBD; the homebrew shop closes at 7pm on most days. 2636 San Bruno Ave. at Burrows.


What’s on tap at Wine Down. Yelp photo by Kasey M.

Remember when I told you about ~WINE DOWN~, the laid-back wine bar coming to SoMa? Well, Sarah Garand and Jaime Hiraishi got the place open and are ready to greet you after work with an affordable but quality glass of local wine (think $10 and thereabouts), craft beer, and bites too. Look for eight whites and reds each on tap, two sparkling wines, and four beers. Hours are Mon-Wed 4pm-10 pm, Thu-Sat 4pm-11pm. There are also “happiest hours” from 4pm-6:30pm daily, with $1 off glasses/$5 off carafes and pitchers. 685 Folsom St. at 3rd St., 415-829-7005.

If you haven’t been able to head up to Mendocino to explore their many wineries, check out Taste of Mendocino 2016, coming to the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture on Saturday June 25th. There will be more than 30 wineries, plus artisanal food producers, from Mendocino County serving samples. Gallery 308, 1pm-5pm. Tickets are $60.

June 14, 2016

The new basement bar at LihoLiho Yacht Club, Louie’s Gen-Gen Room. Photo: Medium Raw Arts.


The beautiful bar. Photo: Medium Raw Arts.

And now the folks at ~LIHOLIHO YACHT CLUB~ are giving us yet another reason to come by their ever-hot and packed place: they have opened a bar in the basement called ~LOUIE’S GEN-GEN ROOM~. But it won’t get too crazy down there: the space is reservation only, with a completely different cocktail and food menu than upstairs.

Take a look at the menu here, which has snacks from chef Ravi Kapur like potato chips with French onion, egg, chives, and hello smoked trout caviar ($12.50); furikake waffle with uni, avocado, toasted walnuts ($18.50); and grilled cheese with Nicasio Square, black truffle, and maple butter ($12.50). Cocktails from Yanni Kehagiaras range from $12-$15, and include The Last Mango in Paris (LOL).

The 24-seat space got its name from the space’s former incarnation as Louie’s Market (as for Gen-Gen, it’s a made-up word because they liked the name The Genuine but wanted something more fun). Cheers! Specials are updated on Gen-Gen’s Instagram: @louiesgengenroom. 871 Sutter St. at Leavenworth.


A selection of cocktails at P.C.H. Photo via Facebook.

The changes to the former Cantina on Sutter have been unveiled with the opening of ~P.C.H.~ (Pacific Cocktail Haven) from bar director-partner Kevin Diedrich and managing partners Andy Chun and Jan Wiginton (Sidecar Hospitality: Press Club, Schroeder’s). Opening on June 16th, the new name and concept is all about being a neighborhood bar, with good service (which ties in to the pineapple logo, a symbol of hospitality and a reference to the space’s history as Williams-Sonoma’s first San Francisco retail store).

The menu features cocktails that start at $11, and each has their own glass (and custom ice—there are four types the team uses, carving more than 300 pounds per month). There’s The Saffron ($13), with grilled pineapple, saffron, and mezcal, and you’ll find sugar snap peas in the Oh Snap! ($12), made with Aviation Gin, sugar snap peas, manzanilla sherry, absinthe, citrus, and tonic. There are also some large-format punches and a wine and beer list.

The space got an overhaul, with a brick wall that was revealed, new bar tops, wallpaper, and more. Open Mon-Sat 5pm to close. 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.