The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
October 25, 2016

Beautiful bubbles at Quince. Photo: Paul Dryer.

Michael and Lindsay Tusk have brought sommelier Jeff Kellogg over from Union Square Hospitality Group’s Maialino in New York City, and he will now be the director of wine and beverages for ~QUINCE~ and ~COTOGNA~. Kellogg was recently voted one of the Sommeliers of the Year by Food & Wine, and he also previously worked at RN74 and Redd in Yountville. Look for upcoming wine dinners each month as well.  

October 18, 2016

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


Terroir Wine Bar, where the Califermentation event will be held. Photo via Facebook.

Some quick wine tasting notes for you. First up, ~TIBURON WINE~ is continuing their chef pop-up dinner series on 
Monday November 7th, with chef Ron Siegel (currently The Western Room at Rancho Nicasio, formerly Dining Room at SF Ritz-Carlton and Michael Mina). There will be five savory courses plus dessert, Champagne and wine pairings, and in case you love something you drink (highly possible), there will be a discount on the featured dinner wines. 7pm. $150 per person, including tax and gratuity. Details on how to reserve and more here. Tiburon Wine, 84 Main St., Historical Ark Row, Downtown Tiburon, 415-497-7693.

Califermentation 2016 is back November 12th-13th, and in case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the first natural wine fair focused exclusively on California wines. There will be morning seminars, tastings (with 48 wineries participating), and more. Most of Saturday’s producers are from Southern California, the Central Coast, and the Sierra Foothills, while those pouring on Sunday have wines from Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties. 12pm-4pm daily. Tickets are $45 per day or $80 for both days. Ten percent of the net proceeds benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. Terroir Natural Wine Merchant, 1116 Folsom St. at 7th St.

Oh, and fans of Donato Scotti’s Donato Enoteca (Redwood City) and Desco (Oakland) should get ready for the opening of ~CRU WINE BAR, MERCHANT & CAFÉ~ in Redwood City in early November, with partner Eric Lecours. Look for artisan, small-production wines (by the glass, bottle) as well as high-profile selections. A European-style café menu will include charcuterie, Roman-style pizza by the slice, and snacks (including salumi off the 1971 restored and hand-cranked Berkel slicer), as well as beers on draft and specialty coffee from Giamaica Caffè in Verona and specifically imported for Cru (so good, have you had it?). It will open for café service at 8am, lunch at 11am, and there will also be a daily aperitivo/happy hour from 3pm-6pm, sure to be popular on the enclosed patio. 900 Middlefield Road, in the Box building at Jefferson Avenue, Redwood City, 650-362-3535.

October 11, 2016

The exterior of the Lion Pub. Photo via Google Maps.

I was sorry to read in the New Fillmore that the owner of the ~LION PUB~, Kelly Ellis, has died after a long illness. And so, after 48 years of business, the formerly gay fern bar has closed (bless that spot, they served me and my friends with our jenky fake IDs when we were underage—so many whiskey sours!). Even though it was no longer a haven for sweater queens gathered around the fireplace over the years and drew much more of a young and straight crowd, it’s an important part of the city’s gay history. If anyone has any intel about the fate of the bar, I’d love to know, it was such a unique little hideaway. 2062 Divisadero St. at Sacramento.

Some good news: it sounds like the new owners of ~MR. BING’S~, the folks behind Ireland’s 32 in the Richmond, won’t be changing much of the dive bar’s beloved dingy and quirky appearance (although they will be closing for some renovations in mid-October, like replacing the floor and making it ADA compliant). The cheap drinks and character will continue! [Via Hoodline.]

Hoodline reports a new rum bar is coming to the former Castle Club in the Tenderloin, ~RUM & SUGAR~, from owners Natasha Avtonomova and Olga Zhuravskaya. They are currently revamping the space and aiming for a mid-November opening. 823 Geary St. at Hyde.

September 28, 2016

Restaurant 1833’s Josh Perry. Photo courtesy of Restaurant 1833.


Bubbly with a view at the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting in 2012. Photo from Wine & Spirits’ website.

Tequila lovers, check out this Spice Route cocktail class on Saturday October 1st at ~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ with brand ambassadors Jackie Patterson-Brenner (marketing director for Back Bar Project, a U.S. importer of spirits, including El Jolgorio y Nuestra Soledad Mezcal) and Reza Esmaili (West Coast Ambassador of tequila Casa Noble), who will be joining DOSA’s bar manager Chris Lukens. They will guide you through the evolution of tequila and talk about the art of the spice cocktail, plus there will be a tasting of various tequilas and mezcals. You will learn cocktail-making techniques and enjoy some South Indian plates. 11:30am-1pm. $65 per person (all inclusive).

Swing by ~THE SEA STAR~ on Wednesday October 5th for a guest bartending pop-up with Monterey’s Restaurant 1833; they will be previewing lead bartender Josh Perry’s new fall cocktail list. Cocktails include the Cruel Summer (Bulleit bourbon, falernum, Peychaud’s bitters, coconut water) and Lost Weekend (bottled cocktail with St. George Bruto Americano, Cointreau, lime juice, maple syrup, bitters). Be careful, because you may find yourself in need of the Mixologist’s Breakfast the next morning (banana-infused Appleton Estate rum, fleur de sel, cold brew coffee, brown butter syrup). Cocktails are $10 each, 6pm-10pm. 2289 3rd St. at 20th St.

One of my favorite events of the year, Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Tasting Event, is coming up on Monday October 10th at City View at Metreon. There will be more than 200 top-scoring wines (rated through a two-step blind process). You can see the winning wineries in their countdown here.

There will also be bites from 1760, A16, Absinthe, À Côté, Barrel Room SF, Bellota, Cotogna, Foreign Cinema, Hillside Supper Club, Miminashi, RN74, and Smokestack, plus artisan purveyors including Dandelion Chocolate, Firebrand Artisan Breads, Hog Island Oyster Co., Powder Shaved Snow, and Trou Normand. The beneficiary is San Francisco Baykeeper. Tickets are $125 (6:30pm)-$185 (5:30pm) and include all wine and food, a one-year subscription to Wine & Spirits, and a complimentary tasting glass courtesy of Stolzle-USA. 135 4th St. at Mission.

Tickets are now on sale now for the last In Pursuit of Balance, which will be Monday November 14th at ~RN74~. You will be able to taste 35 of California’s top pinot noirs and chardonnays, from Copain Wines to Hirsch Vineyards to Littorai Wines. 5pm-8pm. Light snacks will be provided by RN74.

September 20, 2016

Flickr photo from Almanac Beer.


The view from the new Cityscape. Photo courtesy of Hilton San Francisco.

Some exciting news for Almanac Beer Co. They’ve found a space for their taproom: the former Sous Beurre Kitchen on 24th Street. The SF craft brewer will be calling it ~ALMANAC SAN FRANCISCO~, which will serve all their beers (on tap, in the bottle, and in growlers). And they’re trying to convert the back area into a beer garden. Scoop reports there will be 72 seats, with a full kitchen serving “beer-friendly food” (they’re on the hunt for a chef). Stand by for updates. 2704 24th St. at Potrero. 

Also in the Mission: Lazy Bear’s David Barzelay is taking over the about-to-close The Tradesman and has plans to open a ” cocktail-focused restaurant” with bar manager Nicolas Torres. Look for a more affordable menu to go with the seasonal cocktails and a more laid-back format (read: not a formal sit-down dinner). Eater says the target is early 2017 for the opening. 753 Alabama St. at 20th St.

Next time you want to show off one of our gorg city views to Aunt Edie visiting from Missouri, or maybe you’d just like to enjoy it yourself, Hilton San Francisco Union Square has just opened ~CITYSCAPE SAN FRANCISCO LOUNGE~ on the hotel’s 46th floor, boasting 360-degree panoramic views from 14-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. There are cocktails, small plates and appetizers, wines by the glass, and a variety of beers on tap. The viewing lounge is open 5pm-12am nightly. 333 O’Farrell St. at Taylor, 415-771-1400.

Folks who enjoy grabbing a glass of wine at SoMa’s ~DISTRICT~ will now find full liquor and bar service, with a focus on whiskey (like 60 small-batch bourbons, Scotches, and ryes) and a list of whiskey cocktails to go with their small plates. 216 Townsend St. at 3rd St., 415-896-2120.