April 29, 2008

April 29, 2008

Guess what? ~JAZZ AT PEARL’S~ is NOT closing! A couple tablehopper readers told me Kim Nalley, the (now-separated) wife of the owner, got on stage a few days ago and announced she ended up getting the club in the divorce settlement, and some new backing money came through, so the club won’t be closing. Nalley then reportedly sang Tony Bennett's “The Best Is Yet To Come.” Well. The May bookings have been rebooked, including Barbara Morrison, Houston Person, and on Sunday May 18th, my personal favorite chanteuse, Veronica Klaus. 256 Columbus Ave. at Broadway, 415-291-8255.

After a ridiculous amount of phone tag and months of messages, I was finally able to get in touch with the new owners of the much loved ~C. BOBBY’S OWL TREE~ for the word on what’s going on. As I mentioned back in October, the new owners are Rick Howard and George Karas of Harry’s Bar on Fillmore and Bruno’s. Michael Brennan is behind the renovation (he also did Bruno’s), and while they will be keeping the name and some elements of the owl motif, this will not be a museum in honor of former owner Bobby and his kitschy owl-lovin’ ways (RIP, Bobby!). Sadly, when the new owners took over, the place was stripped and pretty wrecked—only a few owls remained (here’s a link again to the SF Weekly article from the fab Katy St. Clair about what went down with one of Bobby’s sons who took over the place and went kind of cuckoo).

The new Owl Tree will be more of an upscale lounge, and is bidding farewell to its dive bar status (the cocktails won’t quite be on a hot-to-trot mixologist level, nor feature scary vodkas with eagles on them either). The bar will have a portrait of Bobby, and perhaps you have noted the tiled owl mosaics on the exterior of the building. Inside will be a cozy and casual vibe, with a few snacks like cheese and salami on offer (no more snack mix and handi-wipes), the upstairs area will be open and spacious, and one throwback to Bobby will be the music: it will continue to be a loungey style, with standards by Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the like. The Owl Tree will be open nightly 4pm–close. The owners are hoping for an early to mid-May opening. I know Bobby is gone, and understand things have to change. I just wish I had taken some photos of the amazing interior before it all went away, like the incredible wallpaper. And yes, all the owls. It was an authentically magic place, full of so much character, roller chairs and all. 601 Post St. at Taylor.

For those of you celebrating ~CINCO DE MAYO~ around town, I heard Mamacita’s kitchen and bar will be open on the early side Saturday–Monday, from 2pm–close. 2317 Chestnut St. at Scott, 415-346-8494.

And ~DESTINO~ will be celebrating their eight-year anniversary on Cinco de Mayo, with two-for-one cocktails, some free passed apps, and an assuredly fun party. Happy birfday! (And you can peek at what is going on next-door, heh.) 1815 Market St. at Octavia, 415-552-4451.

Next Monday, May 5th, yes, Cinco de Mayo, those kooky boozehounds over at ~CANTINA~ are hosting Industry Jocks, an event highlighting the bonus trait of folks in the industry who DJ. This ongoing event will be on first Mondays—the timing with Cinco de Mayo is just nuts. Tequila drink specials, yes. Cover, no. DJ mayhem, guaranteed. Plus snacks from La Cocina to keep your boat steady. 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.

On another music-related note, the Temple Music Group is releasing their first album, Prana Vol.1. The party will be at ~PRANA RESTAURANT AND TEMPLE NIGHTCLUB~ this Thursday, from 9pm–1am, where there will be drink specials, artists from the album, some free downloads, appetizers, and other goodies. There is no cover, and everybody is invited. 540 Howard St. at 2nd St.

Some wino events: this Thursday, May 1st, is a five-course Zenato wine dinner at ~ACQUERELLO~, in conjunction with Jug Shop Italian wine specialist Floribeth Schumacher, and Nadia Zenato. Acquerello will be pairing the Lugana 2006, Lugana “Sergio Zenato” Riserva 2005, Valpolicella 2005, Ripassa 2005 and the award-winning Amarone 2004. 7pm, $125 per person, inclusive of tax & gratuity. RSVP directly at 415-567-5432.

~SOUTH~ is celebrating their first ever ABC (anything but chardonnay) blanc party on Sunday, May 4th, (no home game) from 3pm–6pm, $35, and they will be providing nibbles. Monday, May 5th, is a winemaker dinner with acclaimed Forrest Estate winemaker, Dr. John Forrest (the winery is not well known here, but has a cult following in New Zealand). 5:30pm, four courses for $95 per person. RSVP at events [at] southfwb [dot] com, put ABC in the subject line, or Forrest Estate, or both (you wino, you), and include a contact number. They’ll call you to get a credit card to hold your spot. 330 Townsend St., Ste. 101 at 4th St., 415-974-5599.

And then Tuesday, May 6th, ~SILKS~ is hosting an Argyle wine dinner with Argyle’s Chris Cullina. Bubbles, chard, pinot noir. And Joel Huff’s fantastic cuisine. 7pm, $150 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For further information, contact Nicole Kosta, wine director. Mandarin Oriental, 222 Sansome St. at Pine, 415-276-9787.

Women throughout the country with a passion or professional interest in wine will be descending on the Napa Valley May 2nd–4th to attend the ~WOMEN FOR WINESENSE’S 2008 GRAND EVENT, CELEBRATING WOMEN IN WINE~. There’s a wine reception at Paraduxx Winery on Friday evening, Saturday’s all-day program takes place at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, and Sunday there will be rare, behind-the-scenes winery tours and tastings. More information and tickets are available online at www.wwsgrandevent.org.

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