July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014
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Seating at The Tradesman. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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The Tradesman exterior. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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The walnut bar. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

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A closer look at that custom furniture. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

Due to open within the next couple of weeks is ~THE TRADESMAN~, a neighborhood bar from Zarin Gollogly and Spencer Lafrenz, both known around town for their work as a woodworking duo, Harrison Woodworking + Design (they are behind some of the custom work at Hog & Rocks and Hi Lo BBQ). The Tradesman is going into the Central Kitchen/Trick Dog building, and the casual vibe and beer-and-wine format (no hard liquor) will provide the missing piece of the building’s puzzle. This project has been six years in the making, and the gents have conceptualized, designed, and constructed the entire bar and restaurant.  

Because of their close relationship with Hog & Rocks’ Scott Youkilis on his own projects, he is working with them on crafting their menu, which Youkilis is calling California casual; Bryan Baker (previously Hog & Rocks) is the chef. The Tradesman will offer the same menu for lunch and dinner, with a brunch menu on the weekends. Since they’re a wine and beer bar, look primarily for snacks, shared plates, and a few sandwiches and full-size plates.

Some sample menu items include snacks like roasted vegetables and burrata on chickpea lavash (which is gluten-free, and the burrata is one of Bryan’s specialities—if you’ve ordered burrata at Mozzeria, Maverick, Hi Lo, or Hog & Rocks in the last three years, you’ve had his amazing burrata) and there is also a goat tartare with cured egg yolk, watercress, horseradish, and country bread (Bryan worked in the Caribbean and cooked a lot of goat—he is going to be working with Marin Sun Farms and buying whole goats). Some smaller shared plates include fried “chicken nuggets” tossed in a Thai-inspired chile fish sauce with black garlic sauce, and an inventive rutabaga ceviche with apples and plantain chips. There will also be a burger on the menu that gets a healthy dollop of peanut butter (like they say, don’t knock it until you try it—I had my first peanut butter burger in New Orleans and it was pretty rad).

I spoke with GM Curt Polikoff about his beer and wine selections, and he says there will be 30 wines by the glass, averaging $12, but ranging from $9-$15. Wines will come from around the world, and he wants each to exhibit a sense of place, as well as be balanced, integrated, and good with food. There will be eight beers on tap, and while it’s hard to pinpoint the actual selections right now (some are very limited), there will be a range of picks, from Anchor to Drake’s 1500 Pale Ale to a sour (Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge), plus they hope to get Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast on tap too. There will also be bottled beers, and you’ll find some unpretentious ones on there as well, don’t worry—they are really taking the neighborhood hangout vibe seriously.

There are 47 seats, with a large, beautifully sanded, smooth walnut bar that everything is centered around. It’s a masculine space, and as you’d expect, there’s a lot of custom woodwork, starting with the white oak doors and claro walnut inside, plus custom lights too. Everything in there was made by them or shop-made, which is really cool (it fits right in to the neighborhood, which is still manufacturing textiles, goods, and furniture). The custom tables and chairs lend an eclectic, warm feeling to the still-industrial space. There are also skylights, high ceilings (like Salumeria, it was formerly a sausage smoking factory), and there’s a massive roll-up door, which will contribute to an indoor-outdoor feeling. There are two televisions above the bar, which will be turned on only for big games or major events.

They are hoping to soft open within the next couple weeks—you can keep checking in on their Facebook page for updates. Of course we’ll let you know as well.

Hours will be Tue-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm and 4pm-12am (Fri until 1am), Sat 10am-2:30pm (brunch) and 4pm-1am, and Sun 10am-4pm (brunch and lunch). 753 Alabama St. at 20th St.

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The entrance into Natoma Cabana. Photo: Jessica Stout Paul.

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Natoma Cabana’s airy (and plant-filled) space. Photo: Jessica Stout Paul.

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The groovy exterior. Photo: Jessica Stout Paul.

The latest in Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti’s mini bar empire is opening this Thursday in SoMa, ~NATOMA CABANA~. As we mentioned before, it’s opening in the former John Colins space, which is a pretty cool building, with tall ceilings, skylights, and brick walls (they just sandblasted the brick and timber, so the look is really clean). The vibe is a bit “adult garden party” since Leary can’t seem to stop buying ferns and plants (they look great in the space) and there’s some great light, but it’s going to be too rowdy to call it a fern bar—he said it makes him think of a warehouse party from the late ’80s or early ’90s.

The front of the building features an eye-catching graffiti piece by Ian Ross, a friend of Passetti’s since kindergarten who also happened to do some commissioned artwork for Facebook. Leary notes it creates an artsy juxtaposition to all the glass towers in the area.

Per their other ventures together (Trocadero Club, Cafe Terminus), Leary and Passetti want to create a space that is meant to be fun and easygoing, with cocktails that are well crafted and delicious. But you won’t find any fussy mixology here—it’s about friendly bartenders who will remember you. You can have a look at a preview cocktail menu here—drinks will be $11, and the Natoma Paloma is now the Natoma Punch, FYI.

The official opening is this Thursday July 17th. Hours will be Mon-Sat 2pm-2am. 90 Natoma St. at 2nd St., 415-952-0481.

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The torpedo of taps at Barrel Head Brewhouse. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.

~BARTLETT HALL~ in downtown is now brewing and serving their own beer. Christopher Wike, the brewmaster, is working on beers that will appeal to both beer snobs and newbies, including the Hoppy Scotsman, a hop-driven Scotch ale, or the In the Barrel, a West Coast pilsner that’s finished Kölsch style. You can pair the beers with Emmanuel Eng’s updated pub fare, like chicken wings with fermented pepper sauce, kimchi, and bacon aioli, plus a selection of pizzas, and larger plates including a burger made with kobe beef and served with rarebit and caramelized onions (whoa Nelly). Hours are 11am-2am daily. 242 O’Farrell St. at Cyril Magnin, 415-433-4332.

In case you missed the news during the World Cup, ~BARREL HEAD BREWHOUSE~ is now pouring their house-brewed beers as well. They’ve got three new varieties of beer, in addition to guest taps. 1785 Fulton St. at Masonic, 415-416-6989.

~THE ABBOT’S CELLAR~ has been holding down Valencia Street for two years now, and they are having a beer cellar sale to celebrate! Many of the beers they’ve been tucking away are now ready to enjoy, and will be for sale on Saturday July 26th from 11am-1pm. They’ve put together boxed sets of various beers, including verticals that will allow you to try various vintages of the same beer (like the Deschutes Mirror Mirror from 2009-2014 for $50). You can also check out collaboration sets and some limited sets from Russian River Brewing, to name just a few of the choices.

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