July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013
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The bar and many, many taps. Photo courtesy of Craige Walters.

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Hello, shuffleboard tables. Photo courtesy of Craige Walters.

Now open in the heart of Union Square is the ~GOLDEN GATE TAP ROOM~ that is one part beer hall and one part game room on the second floor of the historic Press Club building (it dates back to 1913, and used to be a clubhouse for newspaper and literary types). The 8,000-square-foot space will have both the Tap Room (with more than 100 beers) and eventually the Golden Gate Grill (which is also being remodeled—when completed in about three months, it will bring the entire project to a whopping 16,000 square feet). The Lori’s Diner Group—headed by Mr. Man J. Kim—is behind the project (he also owns Sears Fine Food and Lori’s Diners, so you already know he has a thing for Americana). In addition to the 100 beers (50 on draft and 50 bottled, from the Bay Area and all over the world), there is a menu of pub fare as well. Look for upcoming monthly beer tastings too.

C Walters Design (Hi Tops, Fable) worked with the Lori’s Diner team to construct a “reimagining of a classic American tavern and game hall,” with an eclectic mix of 1950s beer ads, a 40-foot wall of West Coast punk art, and barstools that evoke the 1940s Press Club bar. As for the gaming portion, there are two regulation shuffleboard tables, three Skee-Ball games, two foosball tables, new and vintage arcade games, and pool tables. There are also more than 20 screens to watch live sporting events. It’s meant to be a casual, fun space—and built for private events as well. Open 12pm-12am daily. There are two entrances: 449 Powell St. at Sutter and 525 Sutter St. at Powell, 415-677-9999.

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The bar at Driftwood. Yelp photo by Chris M.

Now open in SoMa is ~DRIFTWOOD~ (as we mentioned earlier, the bar was opening in the former Kok Bar/My Place). To recap, the project is from surfer friends Shawn Magee (owner of Amnesia) and Chris Milstead (who has been behind the bar at Bistro Aix for the past 20 years). The laid-back but stylish space has a lot of nautical and handcrafted touches, from the custom benches with under-seat storage to hand-sewn barstools, plus a marine-grade bronze bar top and custom wall sconces (by Lawrence LaBianca). There is also a piano, record player, and fireplace for additional ambience and entertainment.

Nick Bray (83 Proof) designed the cocktail list (check it out here) and all the cocktails clock in at $9. And coming soon: Josey Baker (who is a good friend of Shawn’s) is helping to set up a toast bar! They are still working out the details and getting the right equipment, but it could be up and running very soon (maybe even this weekend). The owners have also been doing some pickling, which will be appearing in bar snacks and some drink concoctions. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun 2pm-2am. 1225 Folsom St. at 8th St., 415-255-9903.

Before I left for my trip to Rio, we followed up with club owner Peter Glikshtern on some ABC license activity we saw for the former Shine. He is partnering with Jordan Langer (Big) and Jeff Whitmore (Public Works) on ~ODD JOB~, which is targeted to open in late July. (So does this mean the Odd Job loft at Public Works will be getting a new name?) Scoop picked up the additional news that Big’s bar manager Brian Felley is not involved with this project and there will be a new hire. Stand by for more in coming weeks. 1337 Mission St. at 9th St.

And coming late this July in the former Mist will be ~BERGERAC~ from Bruce McDonald (Foreign Cinema), Anderson Pugash (Crossroads Nightlife Group), and David Brinkley (Vessel). Bar director Russell Davis will be crafting the cocktail list—look for some soda fountain-era drinks, punches, and table-shaken cocktails, plus house-blended spirits and vermouths, and a bourbon aged in a cocktail-infused barrel (in collaboration with St. George Spirits). Chef Randy Lewis is making an appearance—his cocktail-friendly menu includes a crudo of McFarland Springs trout, cucumber “gravlax,” and rye crackers designed to pair with a gin cocktail. Josh Rowland is behind the eclectic design inspired by the Villa Nellcôte, a French mansion where the Rolling Stones composed Exile on Main Street. There will be a 25-seat bar, two communal tables, and high tables for two or four, plus more living room-style seating, with velvet and leather tufted couches, chairs and coffee tables, and a fireplace with recliner chairs and love seats (also in Scoop). Stand by for pics soon. 316 11th St. at Folsom.

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Bottles of La Clarine Farm wines. Photo from Facebook.

On Monday July 22nd, join ~BAR AGRICOLE~ for a winemaker dinner with Hank Beckmeyer, winemaker at La Clarine Farm. The farm is located in the Sierra Foothills, and Beckmeyer and his wife, Caroline Hoel, farm according to the principles of Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka. The technique involves minimal messing with the grapes and the earth, and yields wild, fresh wines that recently garnered raves from Eric Asimov. The four-course dinner includes six wine pairings (some of which are unavailable for purchase) and begins at 7pm. Cost is $85, not including tax or tip, and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant.

On Saturday July 27th, head to the Jack London Square Pavilion in Oakland for the East Bay Vintners Alliance eighth annual Urban Wine eXperience. More than 15 urban wineries will be in attendance, pouring a variety of whites, rosés, reds, and dessert wines. There will also be food from local purveyors including Brown Sugar Kitchen and Picán, plus dancing and live music. The event runs from 1pm-5pm, and tickets are $45 in advance and $60 at the door. Oh, and designated driver tickets are only $15, so you should buy one for a friend with a nice car. Just sayin’. Jack London Square Pavilion, 98 Broadway at Embarcadero, Oakland.

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