February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015

So while cocktail meisters Brian Felley and Mo Hodges (previously at Big) have been busy working with the R&B Lab group—who own and operate all the restaurants inside the Hotel G, including the recently opened Klyde Café & Wine Bar and 398 Restaurant & Bar—it ends up there’s one more exciting project that’s going to be under that umbrella as well. Brian and Mo will also be co-owners of the new ~BENJAMIN COOPER~, a cocktail and oyster bar they are opening at 398 Geary! There will be around 50 seats, and they hope to open around the end of February or early March. The name is an amalgam of their parents’ surnames and is also a fictional character (more on this mysterious man soon).

We’ll also have details on the cocktails, oysters, bar team, décor, and more in coming weeks. Just know there’s going to be another fantastic watering hole coming to Union Square soon! And it’s worth noting, the duo will still be leading the bar at 398 as well. 398 Geary St. at Mason.


The exterior of Georges, which will become The Barrel Room in April. Yelp photo by Zoey W.

~THE BARREL ROOM~ is moving their San Francisco location in the Tenderloin to the Financial District in mid-April. Owners Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson have partnered with Stephen Deyton (Park Tavern) and Jay Marx (Georges) on the project, which will function as a retail shop and tasting room during the day, and then transition into a wine bar in the evenings. In addition, there will be a restaurant next door (in the former Georges location) serving lunch and dinner.

The wine list will offer at least 50 selections by the glass, available as flights. On the beer list you’ll find craft beers, and they’ve also added a full liquor license. Cocktails will also be available in flights, which should be fun. Executive chef Manuel Hewitt of Barrel Room Rockridge will be responsible for the menu, which will rotate through different regions on a quarterly basis. There will be in-house charcuterie, along with oysters, caviar, and daily seafood specials.

There will be happy hour Monday through Friday from 4pm until 5:30pm, with $5 beer and $6 wine and cocktails. The wine bar and shop will be open daily 10am-12:30am, and the restaurant will be open 11am-12:30am. 415 Sansome St. at Commercial.


The San Francisco Belle; photo from Whiskies of the World.

I was watching the news on Friday night and was sorry to see Martin Cate of ~SMUGGLER’S COVE~ talking to a reporter on ABC about how someone (er, a drunken douche) stole a Fijian war club off the bar’s wall, one that was especially made for the bar. If you see someone with a new tiki club in their apartment or dorm room, please whack them with it and then call Cate.

Scotch lovers will be able to get their heat on at this upcoming Scotch party hosted by Nell Waters of SOAK fame, an upcoming urban bathhouse project in SF and advocate of Healthy Hedonism (it’s a lifestyle). There will be Scotches, ryes, Japanese whiskies, and single malts, plus some bites like oysters, Tartine bread with blue cheese, and Negroni popcorn…and music by Brightline. It all goes down on Saturday February 21st. Tickets are $55. 8:30pm-12am. The Barrelhouse, 80 Tehama Alley (between 1st and 2nd streets).

Get your tickets now for the annual Whiskies of the World, coming to the (docked) SF Belle Hornblower Yacht on Saturday March 28th. You’ll meet whisky makers, distillery owners, and brand ambassadors from big brands and boutique distilleries, and sample more than 200 whiskies from all over the world. The show will feature educational master classes, mixology booths, and a full dinner. Tickets are $125. 6pm-9pm. Pier 3, Embarcadero.

Good news: ~WING WINGS~ in the Lower Haight is now serving beer and wine (and sake too), from Almanac IPA to wine from E40, plus you can order beer with your delivery order. Sweet. So the next time you are burning your mouth off with too much Hella Hot sauce, a swig of Golden Gate Gose can help extinguish the fuego.

Just a reminder: last month we broke the news ~BOXING ROOM~ was going to launch a full bar (yay), featuring classic and straightforward New Orleans cocktails from Jonny Raglin (director of bar operations for The Absinthe Group). You can now get your Hurricane and Sazerac on, just in time for Mardi Gras. There are some new menu items, too, including an expanded seafood bar (raw littleneck clams, marinated mussels, a Gulf shrimp cocktail, New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, a boozy oyster shooter) and Taste of the Swamp (turtle soup, fried frog legs, alligator sauce piquante).