December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011
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This is what happens when Alex Fox is around. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

After one-and-a-half years as the GM and wine director at ~BAR TARTINE~, Alex Fox has departed to pursue and explore other options. The split was very amicable; he’s currently looking into opportunities to open his own restaurant. I know I am not the only one who will be missing his exciting pairings and passion for wine. You can keep up with him (and his cheeky observations on things) on Twitter at @wineomite.

After seven years behind the stick at ~ROSE PISTOLA~, bar manager Aurora Siegel has departed to pursue other options as well. We had a chance to catch up at Steven Oliver’s annual holiday party, and it sounds like she has a few ideas brewing. I look forward to seeing what’s next for this lovely and talented lady.

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The previous incarnation as the Argus; Yelp photo by Miika M.

The former Argus Lounge (you know, the place with the mysterious peacock feather sign) has been transformed into ~IRON & GOLD~ (site isn’t active yet, but the bar’s Facebook page is), which is softly opening this week (the official opening is Friday at 7pm). The 60-year-old bar was in need of a facelift and some cleaning, but is still going to be the same concept as it has been: a classy neighborhood dive.

New owner Andrew Marks has been bartending for 11 years, including places like Laszlo/Foreign Cinema and Madrone. (You can read more about his background, and why he took over the bar in this Mission Mission piece from October.) Iron & Gold will feature local DJs (playing music as ambiance, not dancing), no cover, good cocktails (but you’ll still be able to get Budweiser), and happy hour will remain in place until 9pm where you can enjoy $6 house cocktails and $3 drafts every day. The interior is now sporting a green hue instead of its previous red. As for the name, it comes from the motto on the San Francisco flag in 1900, which said: “Gold in peace, iron in war.” 3187 Mission St. at Valencia, 415-824-1447.

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222 Hyde; Yelp photo by Jenny D.

Looks like the fine folks at ~222 HYDE~ will be closing the bar for the rest of December for some renovations. They hope to reopen before the end of the year. 222 Hyde St. at Turk, 415-345-8222.

According to this post on Uptown Almanac, ~THE RITE SPOT CAFE~ has been (unfortunately) closed by the city for “serious or repeated violations” pertaining to a “vermin infestation.” Oy. I guess they took that dive status a little too seriously. Here’s hoping they reopen soon; calls to the bar were unanswered. 2099 Folsom St. at 17th St., 415-522-6066.

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An aperitif at AQ. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

How appropriate, ~AQ~ kicked off their new cocktail program yesterday on Repeal Day. Bartenders Tim Zohn, Brandon Josie, and Ethan Terry will be focusing on classic cocktails with the added element of AQ’s seasonal interpretations. Look for 9-12 cocktails using proprietary infusions, flavored liqueurs and bitters, with a heavy slant on domestic spirits, particularly bourbon and gin. $10-$12, well drinks $8. Check out a sneak peek of the preliminary cocktail menu here.

Up in Sausalito, ~PLATE SHOP~ is now offering a happy hour Sun-Thu 5:30pm-7pm. Get $2 off all specialty drinks at the bar, plus some appetizer specials. (FYI, they also have a late-night menu for Sat-Sun from 10pm-12am.)

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Photo by Amy Snyder. © Exploratorium.

You may finally find a cure for your hangovers at the Exploratorium’s annual ~SCIENCE OF COCKTAILS~ event. On Thursday January 26th, watch San Francisco bartenders make cocktails while you take part in scientific experiments about alcohol, inebriation (hic!), and cocktail creation. Learn the chemical difference between stirred and shaken, and find out what happens to taste at cooler temperatures—all for a good cause. Proceeds benefit museum programs.

Tickets are $120 for general admission, or $185 for VIP. Tickets include open bar, ample hors d’oeuvres, and special activities. VIP ticket holders also receive access to the Top-Shelf VIP Lounge with top-shelf spirits, special molecular mixology demonstrations, and a few surprises. 7:30pm-11pm. 3601 Lyon St. at Yacht, 415-561-0399.