January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012
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Speed Rack LA competitor Mia Sarazen; photo from Facebook.

Ready, set, go! ~SPEED RACK SAN FRANCISCO~ is looking for the fastest female bartender in the city on Sunday January 8th—be there to see who takes home the title of Miss Speed Rack San Francisco. A national cocktail competition with stops in 10 cities, Speed Rack promotes women in the spirits industry while raising funds for breast cancer research and prevention. Boozin’ it up for boobs? Anytime.

Competitors will each make a round of cocktails from a list of 50 accepted industry standard recipes, and judges will rate each drink based on prep time and accuracy. The lovely ladies repping our fair city are Victoria Damato-Moran, Belden Taverna; Rhachel Shaw, Rye; Brooke Arthur, Wo Hing General Store; Tina Ross, Rickhouse; Jennifer Colliau, Slanted Door/Small Hands Foods; Gabrielle Barnes, Cantina; Jennifer Embleton, Rye; Yael Amyra, The New Easy; Jessica Maria, Hotsy Totsy Club (Albany); Claire Sprouse, Rickhouse; Jill Webster, Laszlo; Lauren Steele, Rickhouse/Bourbon & Branch; Melissa Boyd, Beretta; Lucia Creed Gonzales, Prizefighter (Emeryville); Keli Rivers, Hotsy Totsy; Kim Rosselle, Flora/Doña Tomas; Gail Izaguirre, Laszlo; and Danielle Marchant, 222 Hyde. Good luck to all!

The lucky judges include Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club, Monkey Bar), Charlotte Voisey (William Grant & Sons), Camper English (Alcademics.com), and Josh Thomsen (executive chef, Meritage at The Claremont). They’ll choose the local winner, who’ll receive $500 and compete in the May 2012 finals in New York.

Get your ticket to witness this fun and unique competition, and you get complimentary punches, cocktails, Trumer Pils beer, and food from Beretta too, plus a chance to win raffle prizes. Tickets are $25-$35 online, or $25 at the door (cash only). 21+ only, don’t forget your ID. 3pm-7pm. Brick & Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St. at Duboce.

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Photo from Honor Bar.

Due to open tonight (maybe?) in Emeryville is ~HONOR BAR, GRILL & COCKTAILS~, with bar manager Alex Smith (Gitane) and chef Jordan Grosser (Stag Dining Group). The press release mentions cocktails like the Guy Fawkes (gin, PX sherry, Amaro Montenegro, maraschino, acid phosphate, and absinthe), Porfiriato (tequila, guajillo-infused mezcal, Cocchi di Torino, Licor 43, and cinnamon bitters), Bleeding Monarch (bourbon, passion fruit, orgeat, Campari, and balsamico amaro), and The Von Teese (vodka, St-Germain, Mathilde Poire, absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, and lemon).

Grosser’s menu includes barbecued Texas mop pork ribs, housemade merguez sausage, short rib sliders, and fried chicken (Grub Street posted a copy of the entire menu here). There’s a communal table, pinball machines, vintage art, antique ice boxes, and a red granite bar top. Kitchen hours Tue-Thu 4:30pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-1am. The bar will be open until 12:30am Tue-Thu and 1:30am Fri-Sat. 1411 Powell St. at Hollis, Emeryville, 510-653-8667 (currently inactive).

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Upcoming flocked wallpaper and chandelier action at The Night Light. Photo from Facebook.

Two new Oakland projects to watch: opening in the former Sweet Jimmie’s on Broadway is ~THE NIGHT LIGHT~, from owners Douglas Kinsey and John Nackley (they both worked at Radio and Ruby Room, and have known each other for more than 20 years). The lounge is going to have an eclectic look spanning the turn of the century to the 1940s, with flocked wallpaper, French empire chandeliers, low lighting, and lots of wood. There will be a cabaret vibe, with DJs, dancing, and bands playing indie rock and Americana. Kinsey said to me, “It’s going to be relaxed, fun, and safe” (as in no more shootings, which is what closed Sweet Jimmie’s). The cocktails will feature new takes on classics, without being too heavy on technique. The lounge will start on the ground floor of the two-story space for now; look for an opening at the end of February. Hours will be daily 4pm-2am. 311 Broadway at 3rd St., Oakland.

According to the East Bay Express, ~THE PARKWAY~ theater-pub will be reopening in Oakland’s Uptown Art Murmur district. The location is “a 7,800-square-foot former sheet-glass factory currently used for special events.” There are many more details in the article, but highlights include plans for two screening rooms, a café and bar area, and hopes to open by the summer/fall. 474 24th St. at Valley, Oakland.