August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015

Black Hammer Brewing, with an excited bartender. Photo from Facebook.

A report by Dana Eastland. The latest brewery to hit the scene is ~BLACK HAMMER BREWING~, which is now softly open in SoMa. It is owned by Jim Furman, and head brewer Bryan Hermannsson is brewing German-inspired beers like a kölsch and Oktoberfest, as well as a squid ink IPA, an English ale, and their very own Nautilus hibiscus saison. They aren’t serving food, but takeout from nearby restaurants is encouraged, and they’re working on getting together a lineup of beer-friendly food trucks to pull up in front. The look is rather industrial, with handmade wooden tables and a bar, and garage doors that roll up for ventilation and sunshine on nice days. They are still working out the hours but will be closed Tuesdays; call before heading in. 544 Bryant St. at Zoe, 415-997-9253.

North Beach has an Irish pub called ~BAR NUA~ that just opened in the former Trattoria Volare. The space, right across from Washington Square, has great views and people watching, and comes from Vivian Michael Walsh, who also owns Durty Nelly’s and Martin Mack’s. There are cocktails, including a “Best Damn Bloody Mary,” as well as beer and wine. 561 Columbus Ave. at Union.


The original interior at The Alembic. Photo by Jennifer Yin via Postcard Communications.


The original vintage vibe at The Riptide. Yelp photo by Jim M.


Things are getting close with ~THE ALEMBIC~’s expansion and new dining room (yay, there will be even more room to enjoy chef Ted Fleury’s awesome cooking). They are looking at temporarily closing for some final construction from Sunday August 23rd through Thursday August 27th (subject to change). When they reopen, the team will still be putting finishing touches on the space, but it’ll be pretty close to finished. I’ll keep you posted with a peek at the expanded space and renovations in early September. As for the temporary closure, call 415-666-0822 or check The Alembic’s social media before heading over.

Really sad news: SFist reports there was a fire at ~THE RIPTIDE~ this morning (ugh). It looks like the quirky little beach bar will be closed for a while (a post by the bar on their Facebook page says it is “completely devastated”). Such a shame, hopefully some of the knotty pine will survive? 3639 Taraval St. at 47th Ave., 415-681-8433.

There’s an ownership change at Lower Nob Hill/Union Square’s ~CANTINA~: Andrew Chun (Press Club, Schroeder’s) has taken over from former owners Duggan McDonnell, Aaron Prentice, and Christine Larsen (it opened in 2007). In an email, Chun says, “We love the bar and are big fans of Cantina. We are keeping the staff, concept, and name. We may do some minor touch-ups over the next few months, but most of the changes will be to the back of house.” So for now, the pisco punch by the pitcher continues! 580 Sutter St. at Mason, 415-398-0195.

As for Mr. Duggan McDonnell, I am happy to report I am looking at a preview copy of his new book, Drinking the Devil’s Acre: A Love Letter from San Francisco and Her Cocktails, which is coming out on September 15th (you can pre-order it at Green Apple Books here)! So excited to crack this one open and start reading it. Here’s what Duggan has to say about it: “I was certain the world didn’t need another cocktail book chockablock with recipes and pretty photos. I was also certain that there has not been enough narratives published on the subject of the bartender’s life. Inside its pages are many amazing recipes, with archived photos sourced by yours truly and beautiful photos shot by Luke Abiol—but it isn’t a book that belongs strictly on the coffee table or in the liquor cabinet.

“All of the prose in this book is autobiographical; every word is my experience of history, of shaking, serving and sipping the most significant cocktails to the city of San Francisco. Perhaps Drinking the Devil’s Acre will also thrive on the nightstand.

“Whether you’re a native, a current resident, or someone who has only visited San Francisco but once, remember the subtitle: A Love Letter from San Francisco and Her Cocktails. This book was written for you.” Sweet. And look for a lot more about this book release in coming weeks—you know there will be parties, and drinks.


On Wednesday August 26th, Oregon wines will be taking over the Presidio’s Golden Gate Club at Pinot in the City. The event is put on by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and will feature more than 65 wineries from Oregon’s wine country. Many of the winemakers will be in attendance, so you’ll have the chance to chat with them about their pours. The event will be focused on pinot noir, the region’s best-known grape, but there will be wines made from other varieties, too, like pinot gris, pinot blanc, and chardonnay. For a full list of participating wineries, head right this way.

From 12pm-4pm the event is trade only, and those of you in the trade can register for that portion here. The event will be open to the public from 6pm-9pm, and tickets are $75 in advance, or $80 at the door. The Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop at Sheridan.