July 31, 2007

July 31, 2007

The saga of ~TEMPLE~ was more like something out of “Tales from the Crypt,” but let’s hear if for persistence! It’s alive! In early 2006, we all heard about this multi-level mega-club and restaurant from Paul Hemming that was taking over Dr. Winkie’s legendary Club DV8 (and later Mercury) location. After lots of legal research and resolving the dispute over the back lot that is owned by CalTrans (it was crucial for the sizable club to have an exit with access to the lot—otherwise they would be stuck with a 49-person occupancy), Temple can finally proceed.

For now, the downstairs “Destiny Lounge” and “Catacombs” dance area are open Friday and Saturday nights (check the site for the DJ line-up). The restaurant, Prana, will open during the grand opening on September 8. Jamie Lauren, currently the executive chef of Absinthe, was originally slated to be the executive chef, but when the project was massively delayed, she had to skedaddle. The new chef is Jim Jardine, who was with Joie de Vivre Hospitality for the past three years, including some time at Café Andree and consulting for JDV in Los Angeles.

The Pan-Asian and Indian menu will have a variety of shared plates, from large to small, and will be casual in style. Sample dishes include Peruvian potato samosas with cumin-yogurt pastry and cilantro-mint chutney ($10); a Peking duck salad, with shaved jicama, smoked cashews, and citrus vinaigrette ($10); and a grilled sweet and sour pork chop, with shaved Jerusalem artichoke and herb salad ($18). Dinner will be served Tue–Sat from 6pm–10pm, and then the restaurant will transform into more of a nightclub vibe, with visuals, dancers, and DJs who will be playing from the newly installed booth and stage. Oh, and there’s a state-of-the-art Martin Audio sound system. Tables will clear around 10pm, but some will remain along the perimeter for bottle service, and a bar apps menu will be available for the later hours.

The overall look is lots of white, from the marble floors to the leather banquettes, tons of plants, and antiquities (many gilded) placed throughout. Adjacent to the restaurant/club space is the former Mercury Bar, which is being transformed into a lounge for the restaurant, and there is also a mezzanine that overlooks the restaurant space.

Club-land veteran Pete Glikshtern, former owner of Club Six and Mighty (and let’s not forget the good ole days at Liquid!), is the GM of the club, while Alison Harper is the Food and Beverage Manager for Prana and the club.

A completely new-to-me innovation will be a “drinks ATM” for members during the nightclub hours—you will be able to order your drinks from a touch-screen menu, get a number, and then pick up your drinks at a service line.

540 Howard St.
Cross: 1st St.
San Francisco, CA 94105