August 6, 2013

August 6, 2013
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The shiny gold mirror behind the dark bar. Photo courtesy Eve Torres.

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The front seating area (with window seats). Photo courtesy Eve Torres.

Russian Hill now has an inviting place to hang out and drink quality wine and beer: ~ROBBERBARON~ is now open in the former Black Sheep space on Polk. The owners are Lucrecia Torres and Annie Flores—the two ladies have been working together at Marcello’s Pizza for 23 years (Annie is the owner, Lucrecia is the GM). For their latest venture, they wanted to create a space that feels like a bar, but serves wine and beer. It has a masculine look with a feminine touch, with dark tones of navy blue and gray, and touches of gold (a tip of the cap to the RobberBaron name). They were inspired by Leland Stanford (who lived on the nearby Nob Hill), and wanted to celebrate self-made individuals and San Francisco’s history as a place built by entrepreneurs.

There is a tufted banquette, with window seats (and tall windows), three tables, a communal table, and 12 seats at the bar (40 seats in all), plus vintage-looking art and unique light fixtures. (And we have to call out what is one of the coolest toilets in the city, truly.) There is also a TV for games (the ladies are big Giants fans) but it’s tucked above the doorway.

You can take a look at the wine and beer list here: there are 10 wines by the glass, including local selections (like chardonnay from Matthiasson) to French picks (Beaujolais from Marcel Lapierre). There are 10 beers as well, like Czechvar, Old Speckled Hen from England, and locals like Lagunitas IPA and Big Daddy IPA.

The menu of bites (bruschetta, edamame schmear) also has a bit of Latin flair, like the hummus tostada and black bean-chorizo dip. You can “make your own bar picnic” with choices like jamón serrano, Drunken Goat cheese, and Humboldt Fog ($7 each), served with some fixings. There are also the Baron Bars, described as peanutbutterymarshmelloychocolatechippykrispyness ($4).

Hours for now are Sun-Thu 3pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 2pm-12:30am, and potentially extending hours as they get used to what the neighborhood needs. 2032 Polk St. at Pacific, 415-516-6945.

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The Beer Hall. Photo by Jessica Stout via Facebook.

~THE BEER HALL~, a project from husband-and-wife team Andrew and Jennifer Hall, has opened softly in the Argenta complex at 1 Polk. There is a beer tasting bar, with a variety of craft brews from more than 15 taps and more by the bottle, and then a retail operation that sells unusual beers to take home. Look for offerings from Ommegang, Stone, Magnolia, and Bear Republic, to name a few. There are also a few wines on tap, if beer isn’t your style.

Gi Paoletti was the architect for the space, which seats 39, including 12 seats at the bar. The modern tavern vibe should appeal to the after-work crowd (read: folks who work at Twitter, which is right there). There will be some small bites too. For this week, it’s open Mon-Fri 6pm-10pm, but hours should expand soon. 1 Polk St. at Fell, 415-800-7416.

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Cocktails at Zaré at Fly Trap. Yelp photo by Janice C.

Congrats to Tenderloin hangout ~CAFE ROYALE~, which successfully acquired a full liquor license. While the place did a great job with beer and wine (and spelling bees and great live music), the addition of cocktails should completely rock. The building just got all that scaffolding taken off, so that’s a bonus. 800 Post. St. at Leavenworth, 415-441-4099.

And in case you’re cruising around SoMa on the weekend, pay a visit to ~ZARÉ AT FLY TRAP~ for a spiffy Saturday happy hour, with $4 draft beers, $5 wines, and $5 well cocktails (all night, at the bar only).

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Mixing it up at last year’s Yacht Rock. Photo from Facebook.

It’s time for CUESA’s Yacht Rock II, the nautically themed summer installment of Cocktails at the Farmers Market at the ~FERRY BUILDING~. On Wednesday August 28th from 5:30pm-8pm, CUESA and the Northern California chapter of the United States Bartending Guild will pair up and host more than 10 local bartenders (including David Ruiz of Padrecito and Kim Roselle of Trick Dog). There will be two full-size cocktails made with Drambuie and highlighting local, seasonal produce, plus 11 sample-size cocktails to try. There will also be snacks from eight local chefs, including Tango & Stache and Alexander’s Steakhouse. Be sure to dress up (think “Good Ship Lollipop”), too, because the winner of the costume contest gets a take-home basket of cocktail ingredients. Tickets are $40 per person.

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Wine o’clock. Photo via Mezés/Facebook.

~COI~ is running a monthly wine dinner series, and coming up is a special Arnot-Roberts dinner with Duncan Roberts on Thursday August 15th. The dinner will feature five courses, each paired with one of Arnot-Roberts’ wines, though the menu will not be available for viewing until the day of the event. Seatings begin at 5:30pm and cost $150 per person including food and wine; reservations can be made by calling 415-393-9000.

Join Charlotte Chipperfield of The Wine Key at ~MEZÉS~ on Monday August 19th for an evening of the wines of Santorini, Greece. The event includes tastes of three whites along with instruction on the region and its wines, plus small bites from the restaurant. Tickets are $35 per person, and the event runs from 7pm-8pm. 2373 Chestnut St. at Divisadero, 415-409-7111.

~CAFÉ ROUGE~ is throwing their 12th annual Think Pink party Wednesday August 21st. They’ll be pouring lots of special rosés from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, along with a special à la carte menu designed to pair well with the pink wines (think bouillabaisse, oysters, and charcuterie). Prices vary per glass and dish; more details here. 5:30pm-9:30pm. 1782 Fourth St. at Delaware, Berkeley, 510-525-1440.