March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

The patio at Ziryab, soon to become Horsefeather. Photo from Facebook.

We’re getting reports from Hoodline and Eater that Divisadero’s ~ZIRYAB~ is closing. A new bar is moving in from Justin Lew (who has been in the neighborhood for 11 years) and Ian Scalzo, who previously worked with Future Bars (the group responsible for Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, and many more). It’s going to be called ~HORSEFEATHER~ and will be a neighborhood bar with a comfortable, welcoming feel. They’re still working out the details (like late-night dining), and their liquor license is still pending. In the meantime, Salim and Sameer Nasser are keeping Ziryab open. 528 Divisadero St. at Fell, 415-522-0800.


458 Grove St. Image from Google Streetview.

Hayes Valley’s newest wine bar, ~BIRBA~, is getting ready to open on Wednesday April 1st, Hoodline reports. As reported on tablehopper last April, the new spot comes from owner Angela Valgiusti, who has worked as a sommelier at Slanted Door and wine consultant at Bar Jules. Valgiusti is most passionate about Spanish, Italian, and French wines, so those will dominate the menu. There is also a selection of snacks to pair with the wine, like sausages, pâtés, and tortilla Española. The wines will range in price from $8 to $17, with a house white and red called “hairdresser” wines in a nod to the hair salon next door that has been very supportive of the project.

The space is small, with seating for only 16. In the future, Valgiusti hopes to expand into the back garden, though neighborhood concerns about noise mean she’ll have to operate for six months before applying for that permit. The space will also function as a base for Wine Guru SF, her wine consulting business. Hours are Tue-Fri 5:30pm-10pm, Sat 3pm-10pm, and Sun 3pm-9pm, closed Mondays. 458 Grove St. at Octavia, 415-519-5099.


Cocktails and live music at the Deluxe, always a pleasure. Photo: ©

I was not happy to return home to the tragic news in Hoodline that Jay Johnson, the owner of Club Deluxe and the Orbit Room, had passed away at the young age of 61 (screw you, cancer).

The Deluxe has been such a gem for more than 25 years—I remember going there when the swing scene was running hot in the ’90s, drinking too many martinis, and have always appreciated all the quality live music. The Orbit Room was ahead of its time, back when Alberta Straub was one of the first bartenders to be using fresh ingredients in really unique ways. While I have hated the awkward cocktail tables from the beginning, the vintage vibe paid proper homage to the beautiful space.

Sincere condolences to Jay’s family, many friends, co-workers, fellow musicians, and regulars. His contribution to the San Francisco cocktail and nightlife scene was a special one. You can read his obituary here. Happy trails to you.


The Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico. Yelp photo by Loretta B.

On Thursday May 7th, chefs from nine Bay Area restaurants will be heading to the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico for a special collaborative beer dinner in the brewery’s Big Room. Chefs and bar managers will be at the brewery attending “beer camp,” where they’ll be crafting a special beer to serve in their restaurants and will then be sticking around to prepare a six-course dinner.

Participants include Jennifer Puccio (The Cavalier, Marlowe, Park Tavern), Stephen Call and Laurence Jossel (Nopa), David Bazirgan (Dirty Habit), and Staffan Terje (Perbacco). They will all work together to craft the dishes for the dinner, which will also be paired with beer, of course. Tickets are now one sale for $100 per person, and the dinner begins at 7pm. 1075 E. 20th St. at Sierra Nevada Ct., Chico.

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