May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

The bar at Comstock Saloon. Photo: © 2010 Liza Gershman.

The wait is over: Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar open their pet project, ~COMSTOCK SALOON~, this Thursday at the corner of Columbus and Pacific Avenues. The historic space dates back to 1907, and the menus of refined, turn-of-the-century saloon fare and classic cocktails (think Negronis, Manhattans) will match the spiff Barbary Coast interior. Details include the 20-foot-long original mahogany bar (constructed in 1907), five hardwood booths that each fit six people, gilded silver ball-and-claw barstools, charred hardwood floors, and a vintage ceramic absinthe fountain. And yes, above the bar, that is in fact a bronze statue of Emperor Norton, originally cast by the late local artist Peter Macchiarini in 1936—and the vintage 1916 Pukka Walla fan, made of brass and palm fronds, will continue to slowly fan the room. I’m looking forward to hearing some live music from the small mezzanine level.

The main dining room has banquettes and tables, with the original blue-and-white ceramic-tile flooring, and a restored original tin ceiling. Chef Carlo Espinas (Camino, Piccino) has put together a menu with dishes such as potted pork ($12); grilled game hen with oyster stuffing and greens ($17); and wild mushrooms with peas and griddled rice cakes ($15). A variety of pickled bar bites, along with fried beans, and an oyster cocktail will also be available. Oh yes, and salted caramel pudding for dessert (a bit more 2010 than 1910, but no matter). Open Tue-Sun 2pm-2am (dinner until 1am). Cheers!


The Burritt Room. Photo from

Camper at brings word of a new bar opening in Union Square, the ~BURRITT ROOM~. According to his piece, it’s opening on the second floor of the new Crescent Hotel, just by the Stockton Tunnel at 417 Stockton St. (Burritt is the alley where pranksters are always adding an “o” to the street sign). You can take a look at pics of the space’s progress here.

Here’s more from Alcademics on what you’ll be drinking: “The cocktail program is in the care of beverage director (and bartender) Kevin Diedrich who worked at Bourbon & Branch and Clock Bar but in the last 16 months has been working in bars in DC and New York including PDT and the Clover Club. Diedrich says his goal is to keep the bar program in line with the hotel’s pricing and clientele; an accessible program at reasonable prices and with cocktails between $8-$10. The menu will have 18 cocktails that will be a combination of classic, contemporary, and seasonal drinks. He’ll try to hit at least one with each base spirit—pisco, rum, gin, etc.—plus one made with each of beer, wine, and Champagne. Speaking of beer, just three will be on tap, probably all local, and one seasonal. The Burritt Room will also have a canned beer program.” It’s scheduled to open on Thursday May 27th. (No number yet, but the hotel is 415-400-0500.)

A little Tenderloin bar activity for you: the Bang San Thai location at 505 Jones Street has closed (FYI, their other location at 791 O’Farrell Street remains open), and I learned that their neighbor, ~BOURBON & BRANCH~, may be expanding into the space. Please note this is all very TBD—they have just started talks with their landlord about the expansion.

Brian Sheehy and Doug Dalton, operating as Destination Bars LLC, are also in escrow right now for the divey ~CLUB 441~. The space is just half a block down the street from Bourbon & Branch, at 441 Jones. Again, this is a very TBD project. Since the liquor license transfer is a very slooooow process, especially these days, there are no immediate plans for the space—but I will (of course) keep you posted on future developments.

Chef/owner Hoss Zaré of ~ZARÉ AT FLY TRAP~ is having some fun with Syre Piotrkowski (a cicerone) and Ryan Corbett from The Monk’s Kettle: they’re pairing up for an evening exploring beer and wine pairings, featuring classic bar snacks reinvented with Persian flavors. Chef Zaré is re-envisioning Persian cuisine as would befit a hypothetical Iranian gastropub. Working with typical Persian ingredients and flavors, the menu will include dishes like Caspian seafood stew with mussels, cod, sturgeon and black garlic aioli, and chicken wings “fessenjoon” with pomegranate walnut sauce. There will be both beer and wine pairings for each course.

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