October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017
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The bar at Charmaine’s. Photo courtesy of John Nieto (all shot on iPhone).

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An array of cocktails at Charmaine’s. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The ultimate bar hot dog. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Just one of the stunning views at Charmaine’s. Photo: John Nieto.

How did we get so lucky to have a Kelly Wearstler-designed project in San Francisco? It’s just the dose of funky LA glam and international bohemian vintage style we needed to shake up our adverse-to-design-risk city, truth.

Last week, during that last gasp of Indian summer weather and warm nights, I was lucky to get a sneak peek of the new rooftop bar ~CHARMAINE’S~ at the San Francisco Proper Hotel. (This is the second part of the project to open, first was Villon downstairs—the all-day La Bande is next and last.)

It’s pretty breathtaking—you won’t believe the unobstructed views from the outdoor tables, complete with fire pits and heaters and striped chairs. The design inside is eclectic and unique, from the seating and eye-catching tables spanning the ’50s and ’70s to the special rugs and carpets, which only add to the low-slung residential feel. There are all kinds of seating areas, with 50 inside and 75 on the patio. It’s a place where you’ll want to hang out with friends. Just pretend you’re at a party at your rich friend’s penthouse (we should all have one of those). It’s going to be the hottest private event buyout, mark my words.

The gents of BVHospitality (Josh Harris, Morgan Schick) have created a cocktail menu around “shit you want to drink on a roof” (LOL), taking some inspiration from places they have enjoyed drinking outside, like Thailand, the Mediterranean, and Paris. All the cocktail names (17 in all) refer to any albums and songs that feature a cover of “Up on the Roof.” Heh.

The cocktails are all $15, from the Proper Cup, a seasonal Pimm’s (right now with blackberry and black pepper, but will be moving to fruits like pear and pomegranate), to really playful executions, like the Express Transit (Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, Cointreau, Earl Grey, whey, lemon, soda), served with shortbread. I loved the inventiveness of the Let Me Touch Your Mind, which is basically a blended piña colada (Banks 5 rum, coconut cream, pineapple, lime) topped with a Negroni. RIDIC! And then there’s my new favorite martini, dear lord is the On the Moon amazing: Grey Goose vodka or Bombay Sapphire East gin, Jardesca white, California Aqua Vitae aquavit, and bay laurel brine, served up with a cornichon. It’s salty and so aromatic and goes down way too easy.

There are some large-format offerings (including one with a supplement of Perrier-Jouët Champagne), and there will be some group packages in the works. You can also look over the wines and California beers.

As for the food menu, look for some mighty tasty bar bites from chef Jason Franey. There’s the Charmaine’s hot dog ($14), with Bavarian mustard, fermented lettuce, and a tender milk and honey bun. We inhaled the beef slider ($12), so juicy and rich, with cheddar cheese, tomato confit, and special sauce. I’m hoping the grilled cheese with smoked sturgeon comes back, I don’t see it on the opening menu. Wah. Anyway. Churros with urfa-spiced chocolate banana dip will be a worthy distraction. And then there’s that view…

Open 5pm-2am. Proper Hotel, 1100 Market St. at Jones, 415-735-7777.

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Anchor Public Taps. Photo: Erin Conger.

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The Ernesto at Lágrimas at Over Proof. Photo: Wes Rowe.

The news that Sapporo bought Anchor Brewing Company was quite the surprise this year, and now there’s a new taproom that seemed to come out of nowhere called ~ANCHOR PUBLIC TAPS~—it just opened about a week ago. You can come to taste The Potrero Project, a collection of beers exclusively brewed in this pilot brewery and bar. The current list includes a pale ale and Berliner weisse, plus classic Anchor brews like their porter, Liberty Ale, and collaborations too (Wild Card Saison with Brewery Ommegang, Anchored at Local with Local Brewing, and Barbary Coast Red Rye Ale with ThirstyBear Brewing). Check the tap list for updates.

There’s plenty of seating, and there are also food trucks scheduled daily, like Señor Sisig and Sam’s Chowder Mobile, plus a calendar of special events, including game nights and more. Open daily 11am-9pm. 495 De Haro St. at Mariposa.

You ready for the fourth and final iteration of Over Proof at ~ABV~? It starts on November 9th and will be called Lágrimas, named after the first hundred or so drops out of a mezcal still. Yup, it’s an homage to the almighty agave, with five (or so) mezcal- and tequila-based cocktails, like clarified goat milk punch, plus some rare selections of mezcals, tequila, raicilla, bacanora, and sotol. Dishes will include mushroom huarache with grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, squash blossoms, and huitlacoche; carne adobada; and blue corn-chestnut tamales with housemade peanut mole and charred sweet potato. 

Best of all, Over Proof will be donating a portion of the first week’s profits to charities that are helping to rebuild after Mexico’s devastating earthquakes. So book now. You have until February 24th to experience it, and it’s going to be quite the finale. $75 plus tax, fees, and gratuity. Two seatings every Thu-Sat, 6:30pm and 9pm. (It’s also perfect for private events on off nights, in case you’re looking for something special.)

A new bar project is coming to the Outer Sunset, ~WHITE CAP~, due to open Friday November 10th. Partners Matt Lopez and Carlos Yturria (both surfers) teamed up to create an elevated spot to grab a drink, but it will be less of a sandy surfer hangout and more of a “grown-up” neighborhood bar with well-made cocktails—even though it will be just two blocks from the beach. There will be a regular menu plus eight specialty drinks and changing themes each quarter. Also look for sherries chosen by Yturria and a slushie machine. Shane Curnyn (who did Bar Agricole) is behind the design, which features an L-shaped bar and banquettes. Open daily 2pm-2am. 3608 Taraval St. at 46th St.