The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
July 28, 2015

The interior of Scotland Yard. Photo courtesy of Scotland Yard.


The bar at Scotland Yard. Photo courtesy of Scotland Yard.

The former Bin 38 space in the Marina was taken over earlier this year by Brian Cassanego and Jeff Gabrielson of Hayes Valley’s Noir Lounge, with a project called ~SCOTLAND YARD~. The Victorian-themed bar is opening its doors on Thursday July 30th, serving craft beer, wine, and food from Bin 38 chef Jason Raffin, with a menu of seasonal, California-style bites.

Menu items include baby Yorkshire puddings with aerated cheese and leek powder ($7); bone marrow with parsley, fennel, and toast points ($14); kale Caesar with poached egg, cherry tomatoes, and fried shallots ($7/12); clam chowder puff pie ($14); and a yard burger with bone marrow aioli, aged English cheddar, and cornichon remoulade ($13). The beers are generally local, craft brews, and wines are sourced from smaller/low-production wineries.

Gi Paoletti designed the new space, which is heavily influenced by the opulence and indiustrialization of the Victorian era. A wall in the dining room was removed to create a more open space, and a zinc-topped standing bar has been positioned in the front of the room. Toward the back is the main bar, made with dark wood and accented with iron straps, while metal and glass pendants are intended to evoke the classic London streetlamp. There is also flocked wallpaper, lots of metallic touches, and gold chandeliers to keep the whole thing feeling “phancy.” They’ll officially open on Thursday July 30th. Open Sun-Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1:30am. 3232 Scott St. at Chestnut, 415-872—6853.


Belle Cora. Photo by Michael David Rose Photography courtesy of UrbanDaddy.

We broke the story in April that Teague Kernan of Tupelo has a new project in North Beach called ~BELLE CORA~. Now Hoodline reports it officially opened its doors yesterday, Monday July 27th, in the former Dell’Uva space. The interior has gotten a refresh with help from Julie Brown of Re:Design, with lots of wood, red paint, and leather, evocative of North Beach’s history and old-world style. There is also lots of outdoor seating on the front patio, with room for 32, along with the 34 interior seats.

For Kernan, it’s all about providing an inviting, comfortable atmosphere for the neighborhood. There are 30 wines available by the glass (prices range from $8-$12) from wine consultant Paulina Krol, who has made sure there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are lots of European selections, as well as some more unusual choices from other parts of the world. There are also 7 beers on draft and an additional 30 available by the bottle. The menu comes from chef John Kenner and is designed with sharing in mind. They don’t have a full kitchen, so they’ve been creative with crafting dishes that don’t require a gas oven, grill, or fryer. They’ve got a German pretzel, cheese and charcuterie plates, and some seafood options like ceviche. They are doing weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays 10am-3pm, with Benedicts, French toast, and bottomless mimosas. 565 Green St. at Columbus, 415-872-5451.


Tasting at the Craft Spirits Carnival 2014. Photo by Drink Me Magazine via Facebook.

On Tuesday August 4th, ~LOCANDA~ is hosting Alberto Aiello Graci from Graci winery in Sicily for a special winemaker dinner. There will be a special menu inspired by Sicily, with dishes like a gypsy pepper and tuna conserva, housemade busiate pasta with Trapani pesto, and coniglio alla Siciliana. The dishes will all be available à la carte, so you can choose which dishes to pair with your wine selection. Reservations are available for 5:30pm, 7:30pm, and 9:30pm.

For a major tasting of booze, don’t miss the Craft Spirits Carnival on Saturday and Sunday August 15th and 16th at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion. The weekend includes 200 different spirits from more than 80 different distilleries, plus beer and wine. Fortunately, there will be food vendors on-site to keep you going, and you can check out the full list of participants here. You’ll also be able to purchase bottles of spirits you like. The tasting runs from 2pm-5pm both days, and tickets start at $80 for general admission and $150 for VIP, which gives you access to the wine lounge and 1pm entry. There are also trade tickets available for $25. Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, 2 Marina Blvd. at Laguna.

July 21, 2015

Isaac Shumway. Photo by Noelle Chun & Josh Urich/The Joy of Drinking, courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse.

All the way back in 2012, we told you about the ~ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA~ project moving into the New Mission Theater space on Mission Street. The project has been chugging along since then, and plans are to open in the fall of this year.

Now, they’ve announced some exciting news for the bar that will be inside the theater space. The bar will be called ~BEAR VS BULL~, and owner Tim League has hired Isaac Shumway as the bar director. Shumway graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and has worked in San Francisco bars like Alembic, Bourbon & Branch, and Heaven’s Dog. His most recent position was as the bar director at Tosca Cafe, where he was on the opening team.

Shumway will be creating an extensive list of drinks for the bar, but his focus will be on hospitality. Shumway says, “This bar is not about what we serve. I want this bar to be about the great feeling and experience you get while hanging out with us.” As such, there will be a focus on classic cocktails and helping customers find the drink they will most enjoy. “Bear vs. Bull will have some of the best bartenders in San Francisco on staff to serve guests a favorite drink or guide them in trying something new from our extensive lineup,” Shumway says.

In addition to cocktails, there will be 28 local beers on tap, as well as a changing selection of wines from California. There are also plans for cold nitro De La Paz coffee on tap, blended drinks, and even some spiked milk shakes. All of that should go nicely with the five screens for films that League is planning for the space. Look for an opening in the fall of 2015. 2550 Mission St. at 22nd St.


Well look at that, we’re already thinking of the weekend for you. On Friday July 24th, there is a rum tasting event at the ~CLIFT HOTEL~ called Parasol: An Exotic Rum Journey. Some quality rums—like Brugal, Denizen, Don Q. Flor de Caña, Mount Gay, Plantation, Papa’s Pilar, and more—will be available to sample (and you can learn about them too). Local bartenders will be doing some classic cocktail demonstrations and offering drink samples; be sure to check out the moves of Puerto Rican Flair Bartender Champion Luis Ortiz. There will even be some calypso sounds from the steel drums and two rum-influenced appetizers available for purchase, plus cocktail specials on the à la carte happy hour menu. Discounted tickets on Living Social are $29. 6pm-9pm. Pssst, follow tablehopper on Twitter and watch for a chance to win a pair of tickets on Wednesday. 495 Geary St. at Taylor, 415-775-4700.

On Saturday July 25th, head on over to ~BAY GRAPE~ in Oakland for their all-day cider tasting. The preliminary round of tasting will run 1pm-5pm, when they will be pouring three special ciders for $15. Then the Cider Die party and walk-around tasting will run 6pm-9pm, with six cider makers pouring their ciders for $20 (you can pay at the door). And you can shop, too: more than 20 ciders will be on the shelves, from the dry to the fruity. 376 Grand Ave. at Ellita, Oakland, 510-686-3615.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! ~BURRITT ROOM + TAVERN~ is hosting an Aperitif Cocktail Competition on Sunday July 26th, with some great local bartenders. Burritt Room bar manager Josh Trabulsi is welcoming Mo Hodges of Benjamin Cooper, Kinson Lau of Alchemist, Carlo Splendorini of Pabu, Eric Giardina of Devil’s Acre, and Summer Jane Bell of Suerte Tequila for a friendly face-off with Carpano vermouths.

Burritt Tavern chef Luke Knox and guest chef James Wong will offer a selection of bites and housemade pizzas for you to nosh on while tasting the cocktail flights prepared by the guest bartenders, because you are going to vote on your favorite of the evening. 5pm-8pm. $35 per person, purchase here. 417 Stockton St. at Sutter, 415-400-0561.

July 17, 2015

The Beet Down at Tsk/Tsk. Photo via Facebook.


The Bacon Bacon double cheeseburger. Photo via Facebook.

Last month we mentioned the news about Tsk/Tsk, a temporary pop-up opening in the former Ziryab on Divisadero before the actual bar, ~HORSEFEATHER~, opens in the space this fall. The project is from owners Justin Lew (creative director and director of operations for Future Bars Co.) and Ian Scalzo (beverage director of Future Bars Co.).

After a few delays, we’re happy to announce Tsk/Tsk is opening tonight (Friday July 17th), and there’s one more cool thing to know: Bacon Bacon is doing the food menu. Ruh-roh! There are deviled eggs à la bacon, triple b tacos (with bacon, pork shoulder, crispy belly, queso fresco), porky fries, grilled cheese (with cheddar, bacon, bacon jam), their bacon cheeseburger, a bacon-fried chicken sandwich, and some salads, too, from a bacon corn salad to a Cobb. Plus dessert, like chocolate-covered bacon and candied bacon cookies. Pace yourself, please.

As for the drinks, doesn’t an Electric Margarita, banana orgeat piña colada, or sweet tea mint julep from the slushie machine sound good right about now? There will also be the Beet Down (gin, strawberry-beet purée, lemon, rosemary, absinthe, whipped cream), boilermakers, classic cocktails, highballs (like the McBain
, a Stiegl Radler with Campari and salted grapefruit, or the Xpresso, with Mosswood’s espresso whiskey and cream soda), beers, and more.

Hours are nightly 6pm-2am. 528 Divisadero St. at Fell.


July 14, 2015

The Crafty Fox. Photo by Michael David Rose Photography, courtesy of UrbanDaddy.

Back in October, we noted that Jason Perkins—managing partner of Parish Entertainment Group, which operated Place Pigalle in Hayes Valley (with Michael O’Connor), Brick & Mortar Music Hall, and the new Big Rec Taproom (previously La Movida) in the Mission, plus a couple of Oakland spots—was planning something for the former Woodward’s Garden space. Meet ~THE CRAFTY FOX ALE HOUSE~, which Hoodline reports is a partnership between Parish Entertainment Group (Perkins and O’Connor), former Place Pigalle bar manager Barry Smyth, and barkeep Micheal McCloskey.

There are 36 local (and national) beers and 4 Cali wines on tap, plus a bar menu from chef Pedro Villegas (previously Park Tavern), with dishes like lamb tartare, fried pig’s tails, and grilled avocados, plus larger dishes like sausages, a burger, a whole rabbit, and fish and chips. Based on a pic from Urban Daddy, you can see the back room is kind of an alfresco space now, with an open wall facing the street and picnic tables. Open at 4pm for beers, with the kitchen opening at 5pm, until 12am nightly; look for extended hours (weekend brunch and lunch) soon. 1700 Mission St. at Division, 888-477-9288.

We’re still waiting to hear back from the owner with details on the “why,” but Broke-Ass Stuart released the news that quirky-beloved Mission entertainment space ~VIRACOCHA~ is closing, and according to a Facebook post, it’s going to be at the end of July—so catch one of their last performances while you can. 998 Valencia St. at 21st St., 415-374-7048.


From CUESA’s SF Jazz Cocktail Night. Photo: Amanda Lynn.


Trick Dog’s new cocktail menu, Trick Dogs!

Hey, liver, you ready to party? Because there are some occasions for you to do so! First up, CUESA is throwing another one of their fun cocktail parties with the United States Bartenders’ Guild on Wednesday August 5th, Getaway in a Glass: Summer Cocktails of the Farmers Market. Thirteen bartenders (including Nora Furst, Lolinda; Max Gerasimenko, Rye; Jessica Maria, Hotsy Totsy Club) and local chefs (David Bazirgan, Dirty Habit; Tony Gemignani, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana; Chris Jones, Gaspar Brasserie) will be serving up some summery goodness evocative of faraway lands from 5:30pm-8pm. Guests receive three full-sized signature cocktails featuring Herradura Silver, Ketel One, and Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, along with unlimited sample-size drinks and tickets for hors d’oeuvres in this walk-around tasting. Tickets are $50. NEWSFLASH! TABLEHOPPER READERS GET GET 15% OFF WITH THIS LINK! The Ferry Building Grand Hall (second floor), 1 Ferry Building.

This Saturday July 18th is National Caviar Day, and ~OSSO STEAKHOUSE~ is celebrating with classic cocktails (a martini, Ossogoodhattan, and Negroni, all inspired by Scott Beattie) and, yes, you guessed it, caviar. You can choose golden Russian osetra ($100), Royale Italy ($50), or Baerii Siberian sturgeon ($40), and each price includes a 1/2 ounce of caviar, 12 blini, crème fraîche, chopped onions, and diced egg, plus two cocktails. 5pm-10pm. Free valet parking. 1177 California St. at Jones, 415-771-6776.

Woof. You’ll get a kick out of the latest cocktail menu at ~TRICK DOG~, a 2016 calendar called Trick Dogs, starring a dog and a cocktail for each month. Not only can you try to spot local pooches (including Bon Vivants’ Josh Harris’s bulldog, Stephen), but 100 percent of proceeds from calendar sales ($20 each) will be split between two local charities, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and Northern California Family Dog Rescue.


Broc wines. Photo from Facebook.

Winos, we have some events for your radar. Coming up on Saturday July 18th is the first Oakland Wine Festival, featuring more than 100 winemakers from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and beyond, with creative pairings from 10 Oakland chefs. The all-day schedule includes winemaker panels, seminars, master classes, a luncheon, and grand tasting, plus a reception and dinners. Full-day packages and half-day packages are available, as well as à la carte tickets. Starts at 10am. Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland.

Then on Sunday July 19th, Broc Cellars is hosting their annual Broctacular summer party, with a live band (Marco Peris and His Brass Band), Broc’s sparkling cabernet franc, and food by Naked Lunch. $30 at the door. 1pm-5pm. 1310 5th St. at Gilman, Berkeley.

If you head on over to ~ONE MARKET~ during the month of July, you’ll discover every bottle is half off, whether you come in for lunch or dinner. We’re talking more than 500 bottles, people. Cin cin!

June 30, 2015

The Sea Star in Dogpatch. Yelp photo by Dan B.

Dogpatch bar ~THE SEA STAR~ has been sold to new owners. The bar, which was purchased by the Southern Pacific Brewing team in 2014, is now owned by Ryan Gilbert, Alicia Walton, and Tommy Shaw, who have worked at various places around town including Elixir, Bloodhound, Brass Tacks, Comstock Saloon, and Martuni’s. In addition to 12 rotating taps of beer and cider, there is a boilermaker menu, as well as approachable cocktails from Walton. The new owners will take over as of Thursday July 2nd, and then plan to do some light remodeling in the coming months. Oh, and the space is now pet-friendly. Woof. Hours are daily 4pm-2am, with happy hours from 4pm-7pm. 2289 3rd St. at 20th St., 510-552-5330.


Clock Bar. Photo from Facebook.

Explore the wines of Sicily’s Mount Etna at ~WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS~ on Wednesday July 1st from 6pm to 9pm. You’ll try six wines from the volcanic region, from producers like Cottanera, Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Planeta, and Graci. The flight is $15 for all six tastes.

Want to explore food and beer pairings? Check out a European-inspired pairing with master cicerone Rich Higgins and chef Matt Sieger, both of the upcoming Bon Marchè. The tasting takes place on Saturday July 11th in ~THE HALL~, from 4pm to 6pm. You’ll learn about the basic tenets of beer tasting, classic styles of European beers, and how to pair beer with food. Check out the beers and the menu right here. Tickets are $48 per person and include five beer tastes and food pairings. 1028 Market St. at Golden Gate, 415-231-6267.

Michael Mina’s ~CLOCK BAR~ at the Westin St. Francis is launching a new bar menu from lead bartender Abby Martinie. From now on, the bar’s menu will change every season, with eight different cocktails, eight different wines, and six beers, all inspired by a theme (even the glassware will change). To kick the series off, the theme is San Francisco 1904, the year the St. Francis opened. This is the era when egg whites and bitters became common, and of course was a time of great prosperity for San Francisco—what goes around, comes around? Check out the drink list right here. 335 Powell St. at Geary, 415-397-3003.

June 23, 2015

Painting and testing piña coladas at Tsk Tsk. Photo via Facebook.

While we wait for ~HORSEFEATHER~ to open in the former Ziryab this fall, owners Justin Lew (creative director and director of operations for Future Bars Co.) and Ian Scalzo (beverage director of Future Bars Co.) have decided to open a temporary pop-up in its place called Tsk/Tsk (not unlike Mr. Lew’s Win Win Bar and Grand Sazerac Emporium, the temporary Tenderloin bar between the transition from Club 441 to Tradition). Hoodline originally spoke with the duo, who want to offer up a casual/lowbrow interim spot to hang out until they get approval and permits from the city on upcoming changes to the space.

And now some additional details have been released: Tsk/Tsk will open on Monday June 29th (UPDATE: OPENING DATE IS CURRENTLY TBD!), and the menu will feature some fun adult beverage options, from the Electric Margarita to a banana orgeat piña colada or sweet tea mint julep from the slushie machine (we can pretend it’s hot out, we’re good at that). There will also be boilermakers, beers, and more.

Rounding out the offerings will be some bar vittles that look like The Dude invented them in a dream, including a burger (or cheeseburger) on King’s Hawaiian bread with grilled pineapple, pickled jalapeño, and teriyaki sauce; waffle fries with smoked nacho dust (ground-up nacho-flavored Doritos with chipotle powder); and wings (buffalo, Korean/Gangnam, and Chinese salt-and-pepper style). Hours will be nightly 6pm-2am; some earlier, end-of-week happy hours may kick in soon. 528 Divisadero St. at Fell.

After Mission dive bar The Attic closed last year, it was taken over by new owner Caroline Brown. Uptown Almanac now reports that it has reopened as the blandly named ~24TH STREET BAR~. The new space is complete with Mason jars, exposed Edison bulbs, reclaimed wood, and uncomfortable metal stools. Sigh. At least the drink prices sound really approachable. 3336 24th St. at Osage, 415-282-2440.


Mezcal ready for tasting at Bartlett Hall. Photo from Facebook.

Union Square’s ~BARTLETT HALL~ is getting ready for a spiritous good time with their Mezcal y Tradición tasting on Sunday June 28th. From 2pm until 6pm there will be 20 different mezcals to taste and learn about, from Wahaka’s well-known, award-winning selections to smaller producers like Mezcal Vago. There will also be plenty of bites to keep you going, from places like Colibri, Mosto, and Uno Dos Tacos. 242 O’Farrell St. at Cyril Magnin, 415-433-4332.


The patio at Tiburon Wines, with a view of the wine wall inside. Photo from Facebook.

Anyone who knows Dr. Champagne, aka Jerry Horn, will be happy to hear he now has a place to call his own: Tiburon Wine. His new wine store and tasting room has room for 22 inside and 8 outside on their patio. Come by for a glass, a bottle, and bring some home too. You’ll find one of the best selections of French Champagne in Marin County, plus local wines too (and it’s not all fancy—you’ll find a bunch of easy-on-the-wallet wines to enjoy, from $10-$30). There will be special guests as well: look for an upcoming four-course pop-up in August, with Gordon Drysdale. Open daily 12pm-8pm. 84 Main St., Tiburon, 415-435-FIZZ.