September 18, 2012

September 18, 2012

Cozy seating for groups and pairs alike. Photo by Michael Mason for Grub Street.

If you’ve been very naughty and need a spot to let loose and adjust your corset laces, is opening the bar for you in the former Ace Cafe, just across the street from their notorious Armory building. ~THE ARMORY CLUB~,’s first venture into hospitality, is opening tonight (Tuesday September 18th). While the ambiance is a little on the, ahem, saucy side, there’s nothing tooooo edgy. There’s a Victorian-industrial boudoir thing going on, with a pressed tin ceiling, red velvet and rich peacock-print wallpaper, and cast-iron light fixtures, which shed just a little light on your clandestine behavior. Erotic art adorns the walls, and there’s lots of luxurious tufted brown leather furniture for sinking into as well as an underlit onyx bar to accommodate all you sexy folks and your boozing needs.

Speaking of drinks, bar manager Kris Ramirez will be changing the cocktail menu weekly, with an emphasis on small-batch spirits, housemade bitters, and freshly squeezed juices. There will also be punches and bottled cocktails for groups in search of a good time. An extensive beer menu includes Allagash White and Lagunitas’ Lil’ Sumpin’ on tap, as well as bottles ranging from the cheap Modelo to Rodenbach’s Red Flemish Ale. In the wine department you’ll find some French reds and whites, as well as more local options, and at least five bubbly choices. You can check out the full beer and wine list here.

A back room will be available for groups and will also serve as the starting point for Armory tours in the future. The bar will be open seven days a week, from 2pm until close on Saturdays and Sundays, and from 4pm to close weekdays. 1799 Mission St. at 14th St. (There’s no phone yet, but questions and reservations will be responded to via email for now.)


The sign at Rite Spot. Photo from Mission Mission.

Here’s some good news: excellent dive bar ~RITE SPOT CAFE~ closed down last year after some health code troubles, but it looks like the owners (some are the same stakeholders, some are new) have picked it up and are bringing it back, with food, live music, and drinks.

I talked to Annie Southworth, the new general manager, and she said they will be opening at 5pm tonight (Tuesday September 18th), with a happy hour from 5pm-7pm. As of 6pm, you’ll be able get dinner along with your drinks, from a menu of comfortable pub classics. Then, at 9pm, there will be a band playing live music. She said they will be doing a lot of the same things as the old Rite Spot, but she said aims to “run a tighter ship” than previously, so hopefully this time they’ll be able to stay open without any health code troubles! The kitchen will be open Mon-Fri 6pm-11pm and Saturday 7pm-11pm, and the bar itself will be open seven days a week, though they are still working out the exact hours. 2099 Folsom at 17th St., 415-552-6066.


The dining room at Bocanova. Photo from Facebook.

Plenty of upcoming wine dinners for your imbibing pleasure. First, Scribe Winery is hosting a series of harvest dinners. On Thursday September 27th, there will be a dinner at ~FIFTH FLOOR~: winemakers (and brothers) Andrew and Adam Mariani will be pouring five wines and a special dessert wine with chef David Bazirgan’s six-course tasting menu; $170. For reservations, call 415-348-1555. And on Monday October 8th, Scribe will be at ~BAR TARTINE~: one seating at 7pm, $95 per person. Tickets here.

Over in Oakland, Jack London Square’s ~BOCANOVA~ is hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday September 25th with brothers Luis and Pepe Reginato of CJR Reginato winery in Argentina (the family has been crafting limited-production bubbly since 1986). There will be five courses (served family style) paired with wines, $68 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity), 7pm. Call to reserve, space is limited. 55 Webster St. (in Jack London Square), Oakland, 510-444-1233.


Say kanpai! to the Japanese celebration of Nihonshu No Hi, or Day of the Sake, which will be celebrated in San Francisco on Saturday October 6th. This will be the ~7TH ANNUAL SAKE DAY~ to come to our fair city, and the celebration will feature more than 100 sake tastings, as well as food and sake pairings. The event is organized by True Sake, the super sake shop here in the city, and Nombe. Some of the sakes will be quite rare, and the izakaya-style food will be provided by Nombe and Mari Takahashi of Sozai. Live Okinawan music by Sushi Cal Band will provide your sake soundtrack, and be sure to check out the silent auction.

The event will be held at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in Japantown, and all proceeds will benefit the center’s programs. The festivities go from 5pm-8pm, and tickets are $65 until September 30th. After that they will cost $75 online, or $80 at the door (and bring your ID!). 1840 Sutter St. at Webster. For questions, contact True Sake at 415-355-9555.


The interior at Elixir. Photo from Facebook.

If you like a good old-fashioned tailgate, along with a good beer and a side of charity, head to ~ELIXIR~ for all your football watching needs. All season long, during all televised NFL and NCAA games, they’ll be serving a free buffet of hot dogs, chili, tortilla chips, and rotating grilled meats like hamburgers or chicken. A suggested $5 donation will go to Share Our Strength, an organization committed to battling childhood hunger in America. (For the record, I love this idea and promo.)

Newcastle beers will be on sale for $4 (they’re normally $6), and those of you who prefer a strong, well-mixed drink can get that too. Folks not interested in the tailgate fare are encouraged to order takeout at one of the many local spots, so there’s really something for everyone. Elixir opens up at 9am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays if there’s an East Coast kickoff, so don’t worry about missing even a moment of the action. Here’s their sports TV schedule, so you know what’s happening when. 3200 16th St. at Guerrero, 415-552-1633.