The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
October 6, 2015

There’s no place like Dave’s. Yelp photo by Andy K.

By Dana Eastland. If there were any doubt that the rad dive bar was officially an endangered species in San Francisco these days, news has come that beloved dive bar and SoMa institution ~DAVE’S~ is closing at the end of the year. The bar, which has been on 3rd Street just a block off Market for 26 years, lost their lease and won’t be able to remain. SFist reports that the lease has been taken over by the Future Bars team, of Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, Local Edition, and Cask, which is just next door. In the meantime, be sure to swing by Dave’s before it’s gone forever. 29 3rd St. at Market, 415-495-6726.

If that wasn’t enough to drive you to an early happy hour, Hoodline is reporting that SoMa dive and sports bar ~ZEKE’S~ has also run into landlord trouble and is also closing. According to partner Eileen Chen, the bar lost their lease when a partner passed away unexpectedly abroad, and the lease didn’t get resigned as planned. Now, the bar’s landlord has chosen a new tenant for the space, and Zeke’s will be closing on Saturday October 10th. And let this be a reminder, friends: if you have a favorite bar, a local dive you love, go there often. Spend your money there. Support and enjoy them while you can. We can’t take our city’s gritty heart and authentic soul for granted. 600 3rd St. at Brannan, 415-392-5311.


There’s a new bar on Nob Hill for bubbly—and french fries. It’s called ~THE FINE MOUSSE~ and is from Jake Hajer of Woodhouse Fish Co. (it opened in the former Ala Romana). They are serving a selection of reasonably priced sparkling wines by the glass, Eater reports, with the intention of providing a relaxed, neighborhood experience. The french fries are fried in a variety of oils, including a duck fat option, and they are available with several different dipping sauces, inspired by Belgian fries. There are also some small plates like charcuterie and cheese, plus popcorn with porcini mushroom powder. Hours are Tue-Sun 12pm-12am. 1098 Jackson St. at Taylor, 415-908-1988.


Billecart-Salmon, all ready for you at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants. Photo from Facebook.

It’s time for some bubbly at the ~FERRY PLAZA WINE MERCHANT~. On Wednesday October 7th from 4:30pm to 7:30pm, they will be hosting a special night of bubbles from Billecart-Salmon, including the Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois and the 1999 Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Grand Cru, which will both be available by the glass (that never happens!). You can also try a flight of four Billecart-Salmon Champagnes for $48, and all bottles poured will be available at a 15 percent discount to anyone who purchases a flight. One Ferry Plaza, Shop 23, at Embarcadero, 415-391-9400.

Fans of sour beer will want to pay attention to this one. On Saturday October 10th, catch the Sour/Bitter Fest going on in the lot behind ~THE TRAPPIST~ from 2pm to 5pm. Ten breweries will be in attendance with kegs of their sour and bitter beers, and six restaurants will be serving paired bites. Breweries include Sante Adairius, Rare Barrel, Almanac, and Allagash, while restaurant participants include Ramen Shop, Tamarindo, and Homestead. Tickets start at $42 for general admission, which includes unlimited tastes of beer. Food bites are $2 each at the event, or you can purchase tickets with included bites; details and tickets here. 460 8th St. at Broadway, Oakland, 510-238-8900.

Local barman Duggan McDonnell is going to be at ~DOC’S LAB~ on Tuesday October 13th for Books and Booze. He’ll be talking about his new book Drinking the Devil’s Acre in conversation with Jordan Mackay, plus there will be live music from Duo InAuthentico. The event starts at 8pm (doors at 7pm) and tickets begin at $15 per person, which includes two drinks at the bar, or $40 for VIP tickets, which include a copy of the book—you definitely want it on your bookshelf. 124 Columbus Ave. at Pacific, 415-649-6191.

~HILLSIDE SUPPER CLUB~ is hosting another producer’s dinner with Fort Point Beer founders Justin and Tyler Catalana plus head brewer Mike Schnebeck on Wednesday October 14th at 7:30pm. The dinner will pair four courses of dinner with beer from Fort Point, including confit pork shoulder with black barley, sunchoke purée, and fall squash. With each pairing, chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton will talk about the food and beer pairings along with the special guests from Fort Point. Tickets are $100 per person including food and beer, but not tax and tip. 300 Precita Ave. at Folsom, 415-285-6005.

September 29, 2015

This is serious business. Cocktail seminar at Golden State Cocktails. Photo by Natasha Moustache (via Facebook).

By Dana Eastland: Celebrate California’s cocktail culture and history at the third annual Golden State of Cocktails party. It’s taking San Francisco by storm Sunday October 4th through Tuesday October 6th with parties, tastings, seminars, and more. The event is actually a preview for the big Los Angeles festival in January, but this preview promises to be lots of fun.

The full schedule of events is here, but highlights include Genshu: Mixing with Cask-Strength Sake, at Rickhouse on Monday October 5th from 4:30pm-5:30pm, where you’ll learn all about blending Genshu, a cask-strength sake, with cocktails. There is also the Woodford Reserve Sunday Supper at Wayfare Tavern on Sunday night from 6:30pm-9:30pm, plus plenty of evening parties like the Bottom Shelf, Top Tender party at The Hideout (at Dalva) on Monday night, where bartenders compete to make great drinks out of…less great booze.

For a full look a the schedule and all the special events, head here. Cost and location vary per event, tickets and details here. And here’s a big cheers to California cocktails!


Upcoming guests at Fine & Rare’s Thursday night dinner series.

Thirsty? Always! Here are a few wine (and cider! and mead!) dinners happening around town. On Thursday October 1st, Tilted Shed Ciderworks out of Sebastopol is going to be hosting a dinner at ~FINE & RARE~: five courses with pairings, tickets are $75. The event starts at 7pm. (Upcoming events in the Thursday night series include Banshee Wines on October 8th and Heidrun Meadery out of Pt. Reyes Station on October 15th.) 555 Golden Gate Ave. at Van Ness, 415-297-3980.

Meanwhile, on Friday October 2nd, ~THE BARREL ROOM SAN FRANCISCO~ is hosting a Marion-Bosser sparkling wine dinner with Elodie Marion. $100, five courses; or come by for a flight for $30. On Monday October 5th, experience Burgundian wines by way of Chile with winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt; $85, flight for $22. 415 Sansome St. at Sacramento, 415-956-6900.


The bar at Jardinière. Photo: © 2010.

There’s a new wine director you’ll see on the floor at ~JARDINIÈRE~: Alan Murray, who was most recently at Mourad and was previously well known for his years at Masa’s (of late, Eugenio Jardim has been consulting on the restaurant’s wine list). Murray started four weeks ago and is excited about the large cellar, which has some “real gems.” He’s also happy with the long relationships the restaurant has cultivated over the years. Murray will keep the restaurant grounded in the classics, but he also believes there’s room for some new faces from California, Oregon, Washington, and abroad—but nothing trendy, he says.

After the busy holiday season wraps up, he said we can expect more programming, and involvement with events like La Paulée. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out Jardinière’s spiffy new website.


The bar at Americano. Photo by Cesar Rubio.

After the incredibly destructive Butte and Valley fires, several local businesses are teaming up to help victims of the Valley Fire get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. Not only can you raise money for this incredibly worthy cause, but all you have to do is show up and drink delicious boozy beverages and eat. Truly, a no-brainer.

This week, until Sunday October 4th, ~AMERICANO~ will be offering special menu items from the Napa Valley to support victims of the Valley Fire in neighboring Lake County. Half of all proceeds from Cultivar Wine and the pizza funghi fontina, which features mushrooms from Wineforest Wild Foods, will be donated to the Lake County Local Assistance Center.

~THIRSTY BEAR~ is featuring their special Wet Hop Harvest Ale this month and donating 50 cents from each pint of the ale to the Lake County Local Assistance Center. The ale is made with hops from Hops-Meister Farm, which is located in Clearlake, very close to the fire’s destruction. The ale is on tap through the end of October. 661 Howard St. at Hawthorne, 415-974-0905.

On Thursday October 1st, ~GOTT’S ROADSIDE~ will be donating 50 percent of all proceeds to the Middletown Unified School District, which will then distribute donations to students and their families who are victims of the Valley Fire. They’ve got four locations throughout the Bay Area, including the Ferry Building, St. Helena, Oxbow Market in Napa, and Palo Alto.

September 22, 2015

Love sake? You’ll want to buy tickets now for the 10th Annual Sake Day, happening on Saturday October 3rd at the Armory, presented by True Sake. There will be more than 200 sakes to try from some of Japan’s best brewers, as well as American brands. Some of the offerings are not currently available in the United States, and Sake Day will also offer an opportunity to try them and order them (shipping is free too!). Plus, there are going to be lots of fun activities, like music, a dance party, a photo booth, and food trucks on hand to make sure you don’t go hungry.

It runs from 5pm-9pm, and tickets are $75 in advance or $85 at the door. tablehopper readers can take $10 their ticket with code TABLEHOPPER10. The Armory, 1800 Mission St at 14th St.


Portuguese wines, ready for your tasting pleasure. Photo from Facebook.

You know that Portuguese wines are undiscovered, value-rich, and delicious, right? If not, check out tablehopper’s piece on Lisbon from earlier this year, and be sure to check out the Perfect Portuguese Pairings event in the The Presidio on Friday October 16th. Teams of restaurant and retail professionals will be competing to achieve the very best food and wine pairing, along with food trucks Little Green Cyclo, Ceviche & Co., Curveball Slider, and Pacific Puffs. You’ll get to check out the pairings and vote on your favorite, and taste more than 80 Portuguese wines.

Tickets to the event are $60 per person and include tastings of all the wines and bites from each of the food trucks. The event runs from 6:30pm-8:30pm at The San Francisco Film Center in the Presidio. 39 Keyes Ave. at Mesa.

September 15, 2015

The new Ha-Ra. Photo by Michael David Rose Photography courtesy of UrbanDaddy.


The bar at the Ha-Ra. Photo by Michael David Rose Photography courtesy of UrbanDaddy.


The sign at the Ha-Ra (one of my faves). Photo: ©

Fellow fans of dive bars, we have a happy story for you (for once). Back in May, we reported on the ~HA-RA CLUB~ getting new owners: Scott Broccoli (Ace’s, The Pub at Ghirardelli Square, Dobbs Ferry), Tommy Whalen (Ace’s), and Wizz Wentworth (formerly Amante). Considering the sorry state the bar was in (empty taps, barely any booze on the shelves, odd hours), it was great to hear how the new ownership cared deeply about restoring the bar with some TLC while honoring its history and soul.

I have been checking in with partner Scott Broccoli over the past few months on progress, and we are happy to report the bar has reopened as of last Friday, and it’s looking fine! Broccoli says restoration was like “peeling back an onion,” as they discovered layers of the bar dating back to the 1940s. It opened in 1947 as the Ha-Ra (short for Hank and Ralph—the owners were pro wrestler Hank Hanastead and heavyweight boxer Ralph Figari), but prior to that, it was the Sarong Club (1943-1947), which was also a bordello (you’ll notice the staircase leading up to the office and storage area now, but previously that’s where the brothel was). The hooker history also ties in well with the red velvet brocade wallpaper, a replica of what the bar was originally outfitted in. Broccoli says they looked at many old pictures of the bar for design reference, and installed the pressed tin ceiling above the bar and redid the upholstery under the bar to mimic its previous style; the banquettes in the back were also inspired by the bar’s past design.

The pool table is still there (did you know Joe Lewis played pool on that very table in the 1950s?), and you’ll notice the vintage lights are still there, too, plus the brick back bar, and the original floor (dating back to 1922) got a good staining and buffing. Some updates include the old phone booth, which is now a mobile phone charging station, and the sound system is hiding inside the vintage refrigerator. There are four TVs, and there will be two keg tables installed, where you can have a five-gallon keg for you and your friends at your own table. One area has room for 10 and another for 15.

Some more fun OG facts for you: you’ll notice there’s a lot more room adjacent to the end of the bar in the back—it ends up there was a (non-original) sheetrock wall installed, creating a room used for liquor storage. Broccoli didn’t think it made much sense since there was already plenty of storage. It turns out there were a bunch of buzzers in there, and it was previously a gambling room!

Okay, one more! Behind the bar, you’ll see an old Ortgies pistol dating back to 1924 displayed on the wall—Broccoli found it (loaded!) hidden under a cabinet under the register, and now it has a safer spot on the wall.

As for what’s being served and poured, look for a good selection of beers (including a fair number of IPAs, as well as beers covering all budgets). Cocktails will be simple but not labor intensive—a cocktail list will be coming soon, and tequila will be a highlight on the shelves.

Broccoli says there’s a lot going on in the neighborhood (Huxley, Tender, the gallery scene), and they are all excited to be a part of it. Hours for now are looking like Mon-Fri 3pm-2am and Sat-Sun 10am-2pm. Hurrah for the Ha-Ra! I hope Carl is smiling, wherever he is. 875 Geary St. at Larkin, 415-673-3148.


Central Kitchen courtyard photo by Christopher Michel (photo via Facebook).

Fans of the fantastic Matthiasson Wines will want to head to ~CENTRAL KITCHEN~ for a winemaker dinner on Thursday September 17th. Jill Klein Matthiasson will offer pairing suggestions to go with the “let the kitchen decide” tasting menu ($75 per person, pairing is $55 per person), or purchase a special selection of wines by the glass at the restaurant and in Salumeria next door.

If you want to explore Italian wines from Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, and Lazio, come by ~WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS~ on Wednesday September 16th from 6pm-9pm for a tasting of six wines; check out the flight here.

SoMa’s ~BLUXOME STREET WINERY~ is expanding with a pop-up tasting room/temporary annex in Ghirardelli Square’s Pioneer Woolen Mills building in fall 2015, targeting October/November for opening. They’ll be pouring their (mostly) cool-climate sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir from Sonoma and the Russian River Valley. It will be open daily 12pm-7pm, stand by for an opening date. Second level, 851 Beach St., Suite F-201A.


Bloody Marys and garnish at The Bloody Mary Festival in 2014. Photo: © Andrea Vodickova via Facebook.

Ready for a hot, spicy, pickled day of fun? Look no further than The Bloody Mary Festival, happening on Sunday September 20th from 1pm to 4pm. More than a dozen of the Bay Area’s best Bloody Mary makers will be pouring the savory beverages, including bartenders from Foreign Cinema, The Elite Café, Picán, 1760, and Mission Bowling Club. There will be prizes for the best Bloodys, including Best Bloody Mary and People’s Choice, which attendees will get to vote on. Food trucks will be on hand, and there will also be food tasting opportunities, Bloody Mary mixing opportunities, and music.

Tickets are $45 for general admission, which includes unlimited Bloody Marys and food samples, or $75 for VIP which includes early admission at 12:15pm and lunch from a food truck. It’s all happening at the SOMArts Center. 934 Brannan St. at 8th St.

This Friday September 18th launches six weeks of autumnal Oktoberfest celebrations at ~SCHROEDER’S~. The German festivities kick off with their block party on Friday the 18th, when Front Street will close and become a beer garden from 3pm to 8:30pm. There will be hearty German fare, live music, dancing, dirndls, and lots and lots of beer. The party is free and a $5 token will be available for purchase. Each weekend until October 24th will also offer special events, live music, and beer specials; check out the schedule and details here. 240 Front St. at Sacramento, 415-421-4778.

September 9, 2015

Press Club. Photo courtesy of Press Club.

Let’s take a break from #roséallday and check out some other wine options happening this month. On Tuesday September 22nd, ~BAR AGRICOLE~ is holding a Portuguese wine dinner. Wine director Jai Wilson and Eugenio Jardim, ambassador from Wines of Portugal, will be hosting a family-style meal with five accompanying Portuguese wines. Consider it a very tasty Portuguese wine school. 6pm-9pm. Tickets are $115 (including service).

Love Chablis? Ditto. You’ll want to head to ~FOREIGN CINEMA~ on Thursday September 24th, when they will be celebrating their 16th year! Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark have created an à la carte menu inspired by the wine and region, including three-cheese gougères, fruits de mer, oysters on the half shell, coquilles St. Jacques, grilled duck, Comté, Chaource, Époisses, the first walnuts, fall escarole, tarte tatin, and oeufs à la neige.

Wine Director Shannon Tucker will showing off their favorite producers from Chablis, including older and younger wines from Dauvissat, Tribut, Raveneau, Fevre, and more. Proceeds support Mission Local. Dinner service is 5:30pm-11pm. Call 415-648-7600, ext. 0 for reservations.

Then on Sunday September 27th, ~PRESS CLUB~ is hosting their fourth annual harvest party. Enjoy a comprehensive tasting event, as head sommelier Mauro Cirilli will welcome representatives from 16 California wineries, including La Fenêtre Wines, Turnbull Wine Cellars, C. Donatiello Winery, Kunin Wines, Bravium, Arietta, Porter Creek Vineyards, Bedrock Wine Co., Caraccioli Cellars, Hendry Ranch Wines, Skylark Wine Co., Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, and Paradigm Winery. There will also be small bites served. 2pm-5pm. Tickets are $30 per person.

September 1, 2015

The bar at Lord George. Photo by Marcell Turner Photography.


Design details at Lord George. Photo by Marcell Turner Photography.


The exterior window. Photo by Marcell Turner Photography.

At last, Ezra Berman and Miles Palliser (The Corner Store, San Francisco Athletic Club) are ready to reveal their plans for the former Nova space in SoMa, because, well, their new place is open. (Well, softly open—the grand opening is this Thursday September 3rd at 7pm.) Meet ~THE LORD GEORGE~, a “cocktail house” designed to appeal to neighbors and Giants fans, both when the game is on and when it isn’t.

The name takes its inspiration from “Lord” George Gordon (i.e., not a lord, although he acted like one), who built South Park and helped create a little slice of well-to-do London in San Francisco in the 1850s.

The executive chef is Nick Adams (The Corner Store, formerly Salt House, Town Hall), who is putting together a menu of shared plates, with food designed for gathering (and drinking). Dishes include an array of tartines (whipped avocado with goat cheese, lemon, soft herbs, and blossoms; crispy duck confit with plum, five spice, and shallots; roast strawberry with ricotta, pistachio, and honey; and one with prosciutto, Gruyère, and egg), salads (a chopped salad with Green Goddess and an heirloom tomato panzanella), plus a couple of soups (seafood bisque, summer corn). Oysters will be served from the marble raw bar up front (look for three or four kinds nightly) and served late (along with some cheese and charcuterie and other bar snacks after 10pm).

Dustin Sullivan (formerly Fog City, Picco) is the cocktail and beverage director and will be offering a top-tier bar, with quite the list of cocktails, 18 in all. There are two lists: the simple and the fancy, depending on what you’re in the mood for. Maybe both. The simple side of the list includes a French 75, gin martini, and Manhattan bottle service for four to six people for $45. On the fancy side, there’s the Inside Job (rye, spicy ginger, maple, lemon, seltzer, bitters) and the Oxford Comma (Armagnac, aquavit, dry vermouth, maraschino, grenadine)—and yes, we love the name. All cocktails clock in at $10-$13. There are six wines on tap, including one sparkling, and 20 or so bottles (old and new world).

The space was designed by Clinton Miller of Parisa O’Connell. The long bar was refinished, and the back bar was built out in mahogany (the oak floors were also refinished). The banquettes were taken out, and six high-top tables built for socializing were put in. There’s a green tufted leather booth in the back, with a marble-topped table (matching the marble used for the oyster bar in the front). For a touch of glimmer, there are three Deco-looking chandeliers, but when you look more closely, you’ll see they are made of test tubes with corks inside. The interior is meant to feel classy and fun and vibrant all at once—stylish but not stuffy.

Hours are Mon-Thu 11:30am-1am, Fri 11:30am-2am, Sat 10am-2am, and Sun 10am-1am. 555 2nd St. at Bryant.


The chic cabin interior of The Lodge. Photo courtesy of Alexeis Filipello.


Wood paneling forever. Photo courtesy of Alexeis Filipello.

We are thrilled to announce that after teasing us on Instagram with sneak peeks of taxidermy, Alexeis Filipello (Bar Dogwood, Stag’s Lunchette, Darling’s Elixirs) and Matt Eiseman are ready to open ~THE LODGE ON PIEDMONT~. As we previously reported, it’s opening in the former Egbert Souse’s in North Oakland, but you will hardly recognize the place. What was a dark and rather dodgy bar has been transformed into quite the lodgelike atmosphere. It has some Tahoe cabin throwback kitsch to it, starting with the exterior, which has new framed windows to let in some light and a log cabin set on the roof. You can’t miss it.

Inside, there is a 30-foot redwood bar with room for 25 (the front of it was made to look like tooled leather); walls made of redwood, alder, and nutmeg; a paint-by-numbers mural that Filipello commissioned for the space (she collects paint-by-numbers pieces); custom lighting (yay, smoky glass); two-top and six-top tables; and of course plenty of taxidermy, plus a brown bear pelt a friend gave to them (which they installed on the ceiling). They really enjoyed working with Ecological Builders on the space and had such nice things to say about them (and their landlord, the Weinsteins).

The duo really wanted to create a neighborhood bar, so while the cocktails will feature some quality spirits and fresh ingredients, they won’t be too precious—just simple and good. Look for four or five classics, plus well drinks to fit everyone’s budget. Filipello did mention there is an adult slushie machine, which they will be making an amazing piña colada with, featuring agricole rum and no sugar—cane syrup is more their style. There will also be some local beers, and Spanish and Italian wines.

As for the menu, you’re the first to take a look. You’ll be able to snack on a house-smoked pork and cheese plate, spicy Rocky wings with habanero and aji (that you can dip into smoked blue cheese sauce), and chicken chicharrones with lime-chile dust and bird’s eye chile sauce. Yeah, good stuff.

There’s also boar sausage made with St. George Terroir gin, housemade venison and veal sausage in puff pastry with spicy mustard and caramelized onion, and a steak sandwich with cheddar beer sauce. No fear, vegetarians, there’s a vegetable sandwich on Dutch crunch, a customizable grilled cheese menu, and avocado toast. Filipello only uses quality ingredients, and everything the menu is still less than $10 (except for the steak sandwich, which is $15, and the smoked pork and cheese plate for $12). It will be a limited menu to start; look for mac and cheese soon and a full fondue spread in the winter, oh you know it.

Pssst, there’s also a small outdoor space in the back, with German hofbrau tables. Go ahead and let that be a local’s secret. Also of note: there is a TV in the back of the space, but it will only be playing big games and won’t always be on.

For the first few months, The Lodge will only be open until 12am, but hours will extend soon. For now: Mon-Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sun 12pm-12am. 3758 Piedmont Ave. at MacArthur, Oakland, 510-350-8470.


The Elbo Room. Yelp photo by Omar K.


The original interior at The Alembic. Photo by Jennifer Yin via Postcard Communications.

Hoodline reports that the Bubble Lounge, which closed in May, is now reopening as ~BARBAROSSA~. Owner Eric Benn has brought on Arash Ghanadan of Novela as a new partner and is giving the space a facelift. When they reopen, the bar will have a Barbary Coast theme, as a nod to the building’s previous incarnation as a prison (oooh) and wholesale liquor warehouse. They’ll be focusing on happy hour, with a cocktail list, good beers, and wines available by the glass. There will still be plenty of Champagne and dancing too. The plan is to open in mid-October. 714 Montgomery St. at Washington.

It sounds like the beloved ~ELBO ROOM~ might not be closing imminently, as expected. KQED reported that owner Matt Shapiro posted an announcement on his Facebook page stating that the club’s lease has been extended another year, and it will go month-to-month in 2016. They could still have to close after that, but this is certainly good news for fans of the live music (and strong drink) venue. 647 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-552-7788.

The Elbo Room is passing along good vibes to another local gem of a bar that needs it right now. As you likely know, ~THE RIPTIDE~ was badly damaged in a fire on August 18th. The bar sustained at least $600,000 in damage and is currently closed until repairs can be made. But you can help! And this is a bar, so you know the effort will be fun. Friends of the Riptide and Elbo Room are coming together on Thursday September 3rd to raise money for the rebuilding of the fabulous bar. The party is at Elbo Room starting at 8pm. There are more than six bands playing, plus DJs spinning music. There will be drink specials, a raffle, silent auction, and more to raise money. Check out all the details (and tell your friends!) on the Facebook event page. And if you can’t make it, never fear! You can also donate here. 647 Valencia St. at 17th St., 415-552-7788.

Good news: ~THE ALEMBIC~ has reopened, but the new/expanded space isn’t quite open yet. You can take a sneak peek on Hoodline (there will be more room for groups, yay), and we’ll update you on the final unveiling. We’ll also be telling you about new executive chef Dave Faro’s menu soon (Broke-Ass Stuart shared the news of Ted Fleury’s departure here).


Wine and pizza at Ragazza. Photo from Facebook.

It looks like there’s a new wine bar in the Excelsior/Mission Terrace, called ~SIP WINE BAR~. It’s above Bottoms Up and is actually owned by the same people, according to the liquor license. They are offering a changing wine list with wines from all over the world, as well as local selections. There are also four beers on tap, as well as soju and sake. The space, which has been remodeled with a sleek, modern vibe, is also available for private parties. Hours are Wed-Sat 6pm-2am. 4704 Mission St. at Persia, 415-337-1678.

Darling little pizza girl ~RAGAZZA~ is turning five this month, can you believe it? Toast to their half decade in business with half-priced glasses of wine this month. The specials are happening Monday through Friday, 5pm to 6:30pm until September 30th. Buon compleanno, Ragazza!

Catch a special winemaker dinner at ~SPRUCE~ on Tuesday September 22nd. Italian winemakers Ar.Pe.Pe. from Lombardia will be in attendance, pouring their wines to pair with the four-course dinner. Ahhhhh, Valtellina! Chefs Mark Sullivan and John Madriaga have created a menu inspired by the region and the wines, while Isabella Pelizzatti, from the fifth-generation family of winemakers, will be talking about their winery and pours. Check out the menu and get tickets here. Tickets are $190 per person and include wine, dinner, and gratuity.