April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015

The interior at Orbit Room. Yelp photo by Bern S.

Last week’s news about the tragic passing of Club Deluxe and Orbit Room owner Jay Johnson was quite sad enough, and now comes even more sadness: ~THE ORBIT ROOM~ has closed its doors after 20-plus years of brightly holding down the corner of Market, Laguna, and Hermann. Hoodline says it has been sold to a new owner (no word who that is).

That bar has been like a clubhouse for so many people, especially folks in the neighborhood. I always enjoyed its eclectic crowd, Deco styling, Jay’s music playing, and I have many fond memories of craft cocktail exploration when the trailblazing Alberta Straub was there. I used to sit at the counter—witnessing a veritable thicket of fresh ingredients at the bar—and ask her all kinds of questions about booze and muddling and syrups. The pizzas were good. The cocktails were inventive and well made. Damn it, that bar rocked. (You can read this piece in The Bold Italic by another lover of the bar.) 1900 Market St. at Laguna St.

But here’s one piece of good news: that Bold Italic piece mentions that Johnson’s friends Sarah Wilde and her husband Chris Pankow are taking over the ~CLUB DELUXE~, so the bar will live on as it was supposed to.

News of another closure via Hoodline: ~BARRIQUE~, the Jackson Square wine bar that served wine directly out of barrique, is closing on Friday April 10th after an unmanageable rent increase (their five-year lease was up). 461 Pacific Ave. at Montgomery, 415-421-9200.

But hey, an ice bar is coming.


The crowd at the 2012 San Francisco Vintners Market. Photo courtesy SF Vintners.

If you’re looking to get your wine on this weekend, check out the 11th San Francisco Vintners Market, a two-day tasting event with a range of winemakers, domestic and imported, up to 150 in all (organized by viticultural area). The hallmark of this event is that if you taste something you like, you can buy it on-site.

Buy tickets here. Use code Tablehopper for 50 percent off general admission, the Reserve Room on Saturday and Sunday, and the Cult Room on Sunday. Saturday April 11th and Sunday April 12th, 12pm-4pm. Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion.

Next Thursday April 16th, owner Stephen Singer of Baker Lane Vineyards will be guest sommelier at ~FOREIGN CINEMA~. The following wines will be offered at special prices by the flight or bottle during dinner service: 2007 Estate syrah, 2010 Estate syrah, 2012 Reserve pinot noir, 2012 Sonoma Coast Cuvée syrah, 2014 Estate viognier, and 2014 rosé. All the wines are made from grapes grown on Road’s End Farm in Sebastopol, located in West Sonoma County. 


A cocktail at Dosa. Photo by Beth Raper, courtesy Dosa.

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of ~DOSA ON VALENCIA~ this spring, beginning Tuesday April 7th (that’s today!), with special guest bartenders. Every week, a different bartender will be in attendance, shaking up their own version of spice-driven cocktails, and toasting to Dosa’s decade in business. The bartenders and their drinks will be available as follows:

Tuesday April 7th-Saturday April 11th: Trent Simpson of La Urbana. Sunset Ashram: Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca Espadin, lemon juice, ginger, celery bitters, Sunset Ashram cordial.

Tuesday April 14th-Saturday April 18th: Jonny Raglin of Comstock Saloon. Bowler: pisco, mango gastrique, Hellfire bitters.

Tuesday April 21st-Saturday April 25th: Danny Louie, Chino. Mums the Word: Bombay East gin, cantaloupe, Dosa spice mix, lemon, Lipton tea, togarashi, toasted nori.

Tuesday April 28th-Thursday May 30th: Josh Harris, The Bon Vivants/Trick Dog. Tinsmith Punch: Don Q añejo rum, Ancho Reyes, Luxardo apricot liqueur, lime, Angostura bitters.

Tuesday May 5th-Saturday May 9th: Duggan McDonnell, Cantina. East India Cocktail: Encanto pisco, pineapple cordial, lime juice, aged rum, orange juice, dash of housemade bitters.

Not only is this a great way to toast Dosa and celebrate local bartenders, but $2 from every cocktail will be donated to charity. Half of the proceeds from each Tinsmith Punch will go to the Bon Vivants Charitable Event Series, which donates money to youth organizations and charter schools around the country. So you can feel good about all that fun you’re having.

It’s well established that the tablehopper is a sherry fan, and here’s another chance to try some out. ~GITANE~ will be celebrating the delicious beverage all month, with sherry punch, sherry flights, and a special cocktails for your imbibing pleasure. The sherry flight includes Hidalgo Pastrana manzanilla pasada, Elcano fino, Grant amontillado, and César Florido oloroso ($22), or try the Innkeeper’s Cup, with amontillado sherry, gin, cucumber, lemon, Bonal, and ginger beer ($10). All sherry specials will be available during evening hours during the month of April.

To dive even deeper into sherry, you can attend Gitane’s Sherry Secrets class on Saturday April 25th at 3:30pm. Wine director Sarah Knoefler will teach you all about the different kinds of sherry, and you’ll sample different varieties, along with a sherry punch. Tickets are $55 per person.

Then, on Tuesday April 28th, catch a four-course sherry dinner with Lustau. Each of the courses will be paired with a different sherry, and tickets are $95 per person. Reservations begin at 6pm.