December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011

The brew tanks. Photo by Blair Sneddon Photography.

After many months of permits, construction, and all kinds of headaches, ~SOUTHERN PACIFIC BREWING~ is opening for a private preview party of sorts on New Year’s Eve. The Facebook post announces: “New Years Eve @ Southern Pacific Brewing 8pm-2am. Be the first to see the space and taste the beer, Champagne toast at midnight, $3 house drafts all night long! $20 private party get on the list now!” (For those who want to attend, the link on their main website seems to work.) You will be able to taste the brewery’s IPA and pale ale that evening.

I caught up with one of the partners, Anthony LaVia, who tells me the official opening will probably be in mid- to late January—there are still some inspections and paperwork that need to be complete before they can officially open. One piece of news: the team has hired Tyler Moorish (Osteria Coppa, Social Kitchen Brewery) as chef—I should be able to share his gastropub-influenced menu in a few weeks. The tablehopper hardhat piece from July will have to suffice for now.


The Grand. Image from The Grand’s Facebook page.

Down in SoMa, I heard word about ~SOFA~, a new underground bar with a speakeasy style from Franky Boissy and John Michaud that opened in the downstairs space of Bossa Nova. Funnily enough, the space used to be a speakeasy, and the bar dates back to the 1920s. You can swing by for a bite, a drink, and there will also be some entertainment elements, from live music to film screenings. The space is cozy, with rich print walls, amber-hued lighting, and a back bar made of antique radiator pieces. There are also some video visuals being created by artist Stephen King, to create the illusion of looking through windows into another world. Open nightly 5pm until late (could be 1am, or later on Fri-Sat, or earlier). 139 8th St. (speakeasy side street entrance is on Minna), 415-558-8004.

A friend who lives in SoMa told me ~THE GRAND~, the new nightclub opening next door to Orson, was looking close to opening. A peek at their Facebook page reveals the club is opening its doors on New Year’s Eve. Some club info mentions a Funktion One system, lots of VIP amenities (because you are SUCH a baller), “mind-blowing lighting visuals” (is that before or after the drugs kick in?), “club blackouts” (does that mean I will get roofied?), “cryogenics” (is that to help preserve my body before the paramedics come?), and a “magnificent Grand LED Ball consisting of 30,000 individual LED lights will leave you jaw dropped” (so you’re saying I should get dental insurance before coming to the club?). 520 4th St. at Bryant, 415-814-3008.


Press Club. Photo courtesy of Press Club.

This month, you have two more chances to swing by ~PRESS CLUB~ for their Visiting Vintner Series, featuring wine tastings from The Scholium Project and Iron Horse Winery. Swing by Thursday December 22nd or 29th from 6pm-9pm, meet winery representatives, and taste their wines. Typically, the wines served during these evenings are only available to taste and buy at the winery locations, so now is the time to enjoy them in the city. 20 Yerba Buena Ln., between Market and Mission.

Over in Berkeley, ~PREMIER CRU~ has opened its new retail store, clocking in at 8,000 square feet. Even though the importer and retailer is known for their hard-to-find and rare wines, they also carry value wines, wines from small producers, and more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm. 1011 University Ave. at 10th St., Berkeley, 510-644-9463.


This is what happens after making Tequila Christmas Cake. Photo: ©

I have the honor of being included on my dad’s Vietnam War buddy’s email list, which is a good thing because he’s a hilarious human being, and often includes gems like this one below. We have all seen variations on the Holiday Fruit Cake Recipe, but I don’t think I had ever seen the Tequila Christmas Cake. Thanks, Bob! Merry Christmas to you, and anyone else who attempts holiday baking while intoxicated!

Once again, I’ve had requests for my Tequila Christmas Cake recipe.

Please keep this in your files as I am beginning to get tired of typing this up every year!  (Maded mine thish morning!!!!)   1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 cup water, 1 tsp. salt , 1 cup brown sugar, Lemon juice, 4 large eggs, Nuts, 1 bottle tequila, 2 cups dried fruit.   Sample the tequila to check quality. Take………………… a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality….. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point, it is best to make sure the tequila is still OK. Try another cup just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eegs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the fruit up off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a drewscriver Sample the tequila to test for tonsisticity.

Next, sift 2 cups of salt, or something. Check the tequila. Now, shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the tequila and wipe the counter with the cat.