August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014
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The future home of West Coast Wine-Cheese (in the La Belle Crêpe space). Photo provided by Chris Wanner.

A duo of soon-to-be-married wine professionals, Chris Wanner and Lindsey Repose, are going to be opening a wine and small plates bistro on Union Street in Cow Hollow, ~WEST COAST WINE-CHEESE~. The vibe will be upscale but unpretentious, and since they both live in the neighborhood, they have a sense of what will resonate. Both Wanner and Repose are certified as California Wine Appellation Specialists through the San Francisco Wine School, and Wanner has 15 years sales experience in the wine and spirits industry. They have traveled all over the West Coast and are excited to share their regional discoveries.

They just started construction (the space was previously La Belle Crêpe) and plan to open in October, after they get married. We’ll have more details to share in about a month. 2165 Union St. at Fillmore.

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The spacious and welcoming Bay Grape. Photo via Bay Grape’s Facebook page.

Back in the beginning of the year, we announced the news about ~BAY GRAPE~, the Oakland wine shop from Josiah Baldivino (previously head sommelier of Michael Mina restaurant) and Stevie Stacionis (a wine writer who has also worked seven years in the front of the house at restaurants in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and New York).

Great news: they just opened! The shop is right on Grand Avenue on the northern edge of Lake Merritt in the Adams Point neighborhood of Oakland (in between Uptown and Grand Lake). The 1,800-square-foot retail space is full of light, with wide plank wood floors, high ceilings, and hand-built wood wine cubbies (Sarah E. Owen designed the space).

You’ll find plenty of quality (and affordable!) wine, craft beer, sodas, and a selection of local and artisanal charcuterie, cheese, nuts, pickles, and bread. You can take things to go, or open up a bottle and create your own little picnic at the communal table or the counter. Baldivino and Stacionis have a personable and unpretentious approach to wine, and with bottles averaging $20-$25, you won’t go broke exploring the shelves (you’ll even find some good bottles for $15, trust). There will be global choices, but Cali will definitely be representing. Wine is sold to go, or you can enjoy the bottle on-site for retail price plus just $5 corkage.

Classes and special tastings start in September, and the grand opening party goes down on Saturday September 6th from 5pm-9pm! Neighbors: they also have a CSA pickup with Capay Valley Farm Shop (plus you get recipes from Stevie, suggested pairings to go with the recipes, and a free taste of wine when you come in, score). Hours are Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm. 376 Grand Ave. at Elita, Oakland, 510-686-3615.

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The exterior of Romper Room on Maiden Lane. Photo from Yelp.

There is a new place to get a little cray-cray in Union Square: ~ROMPER ROOM~, from scavenger hunt entertainment entrepreneur Joe Garvey. The space (by Craige C. Walters) is very, well, pink, with neon bar seating, an upstairs leopard print room, and bright stained glass windows. There’s a definite retro, femme fatale thing going on, too, with pinup photos on the walls and an exterior evocative of The Birdcage. UrbanDaddy caught the opening first, and shares that all the music will have lyrics and all the drinks will be made in 90 seconds or less. Apparently, themed party nights are also in the works. Current hours are Mon-Wed 5pm-10pm, Thu-Sat, 5pm-2am, closed Sun. 25 Maiden Ln. at Kearny, 415-275-3418.

Curbed reports that after-hours club ~THE ENDUP~ is on the market. Well, not the club itself, but the building it’s housed in (along with its liquor license). This could be trouble for the club, which has been making memories (some, er, hazier than others) since 1973. Since there isn’t a buyer yet, it remains to be seen what will happen if and when the building is purchased. If you’ve ever been curious about the upstairs, with its covered-over windows (what goes ON up there?), you can take a peek at some pics. 401 6th St. at Harrison, 415-646-0999.

Following up on a tip we received, it looks like ~SLOANE~ in SoMa has something going on. Yelpers report its closure, the website is expired, and no one is answering the phone. But the liquor license is still active, albeit with a tax hold. Not sure what’s going on over there, but it looks like something’s up—we’ll let you know when we hear back from one of the partners. 1525 Mission St. at 11th St., 415-621-2085.