March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014
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The back room, home to SRO. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The intimate bar area. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The back bar at SRO. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Last week I swung by ~ODDJOB~ in SoMa for a sneak peek of the new cocktail-centric bar that I mentioned awhile back was going to be opening in the back area. It’s called SRO, a play on the fact the room is (mostly) standing room only, although there are also some SROs not too far away on 9th Street. Anyway.

The intimate back bar has a swanky look, with a vintage chandelier, dim lighting, a draped velvet ceiling, and diamond-shaped wall panels with burgundy bison leather in the middle. There are some seats at the small bar, but like its name hints, there isn’t a whole lot of seating. (It would be a great spot for a cocktail party—you can rent it out.) If you take a look at the front corner of the bar, you’ll see a rotating case all tricked out in velvet (previously at a pawn shop) that is now showcasing 32 bottles of high-end spirits.

Running the show is Joey Picchi, previously at Martins West. He comes from the local restaurant biz—his family owned Paul Joe’s in San Carlos. This is his first gig in SF, and he’s fired up. There is no cocktail menu—all the drinks are custom made and on the fly (you thought I was going to say bespoke, but no!). Picchi is making all his own syrups, bitters, and purées, and said he likes to feature adventurous ingredients. Since there is limited space, the spirits will veer toward the higher end. The cocktails will range from $14-$16, so don’t let that SRO name fool you.

SRO should be all dialed in on Wednesday, and the grand opening is this Friday March 21st. Hours will be Tue-Sat 5pm-2am. 1337 Mission St. at Washburn (near 9th St).

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A rendering of the patio at Dirty Habit. Rendering courtesy Dawson Design via Dirty Habit.

As reported in tablehopper in December, Fifth Floor in the Palomar Hotel has closed for a remodel and rebranding. The announcement has been made, and the new name is, er, ~DIRTY HABIT~, perhaps with the intent of getting the Health Department’s attention right away? Or to make people think you’re meeting up at a strip club? Anyway, the new space is supposed to be “a mysterious and sultry space” with an edgy, urban vibe. Well then. The focus has shifted decisively to the bar area, where cocktails from bar manager Brian Means will be poured, with a full menu by chef David Bazirgan. There will also be a heated patio (featuring a fireplace, fancy!), where the full menu will be available. The opening is currently set for May. 12 4th St. at Market, 415-348-1555.

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On Thursday March 20th, head to ~ELIXIR~ at 7pm for their Cocktail Club weekly meeting. This time around, author Fred Minnick will be there, discussing his new book, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey. Books will be available for purchase, as well as tastings of SIA Scotch, from local entrepreneur Carin Luna-Ostaseski. The event is free, with books and drinks available for purchase. 3200 16th St. at Guererro, 415-552-1633.

Here’s a chance to taste lots of mezcal from lots of brands, all in one place. On Sunday March 23rd, ~TRES~ is hosting a mezcal tasting party called La Ruta del Mezcal, from 2pm-6pm. Twelve mezcal brands will be in attendance, including Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal and Mezcal Tosba. In addition to the mezcal tasting, they’ll be roasting a whole pig for street-style tacos, and you can order food off the menu too. Tickets are $35 and include mezcal tasting; all food will be available for additional purchase. 130 Townsend St. at 2nd St., 415-227-0500.

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Baker & Banker. Photo via B&B’s Facebook page.

~BAKER & BANKER~ has brought on sommelier Mark Thompson (Saison, Masa’s, A16, Rubicon). Look for him to be making some updates to the list, and on Monday March 31st, he will be hosting Sonoma Coast’s Freeman Vineyard & Winery for a winemaker dinner. The five-course dinner is $65 for food and an additional $55 for wine pairings (exclusive of tax and gratuity). There will be sea urchin panna cotta with Monterey abalone paired with the 2012 Ryo-Fu chardonnay, and look for a variety of pinots with quail and Devil’s Gulch rabbit. Seatings at 6pm and 8pm. Reservations: on OpenTable or call 415-351-2500.