August 10, 2021

August 10, 2021
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The stylish new interior of The Sherwood in West Portal. Photo courtesy of The Sherwood.

The former Portal’s Tavern in West Portal has been transformed into ~THE SHERWOOD~, sloughing off its dive bar patina and now restored to highlight its 1939 bone structure, the oldest bar space in the West Portal area. The owners (Foli Media) utilized local craftspeople for every aspect of the buildout, from the custom walnut cabinetry to the built-in leather booth seating, and managed to prevail after numerous pandemic-related setbacks. There’s also a grand crystal chandelier, whimsical art, and a cozy fireside lounge (the historic fireplace is the bar’s centerpiece). The color palette of deep greens and dusty blues are evocative of Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest (there’s also the nearby Sherwood Forest neighborhood, SF’s smallest), while the antimicrobial copper bar tops, hand sanitizing stations, distanced seating, and a large parklet reflect our current pandemic reality.

Bar manager Jeff Hanford (most recently at Urban Putt for five years) has assembled a seasonal craft cocktail list with fun twists on some classics, like a sherry Negroni, and the Bee’s Hips features chamomile flower-and-rosehip-infused vodka. You’ll also find local beers, wines by the glass or bottle, and zero-proof options. To show support to local restaurants heavily affected by the pandemic, The Sherwood will be rotating select food menus from neighboring restaurants. Open Mon-Wed 5pm-12am, Thu-Fri 5pm-1am, Sat 12pm-1am, and Sun 12pm-12am. 179 W. Portal Ave. at Vicente.

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The updated decor of the Redwood Room at The Clift. Photo courtesy of The Clift Royal Sonesta.

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The new Trade Routes bar on Polk St. Photo: Trade Routes Bar.

The ~REDWOOD ROOM~ reopened at The Clift Royal Sonesta, with a revitalized look (new Art Deco-inspired furniture, flooring, lighting, and wall art). Fun tidbit: the original Gustav Klimt paintings (reproductions created by students of Klimt, under his direction) were uncovered onsite during the hotel renovations and have been painstakingly restored and re-hung. There’s a new menu from chef Daniel Corey (formerly of LUCE at the InterContinental), featuring oysters, warm orange pull-apart buns with honey butter made with honey from The Clift’s own rooftop beehives, and waygu beef “double double” sliders with white cheddar and onion jam on a brioche bun, along with new cocktails, too. Open Thu-Sat 6pm-12am. (There’s also the new Fredericks, serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week.) 495 Geary at Taylor.

Also in the neighborhood: Kevin Diedrich of ~PCH~, which recently suffered a terrible fire, is moving the bar a few doors down to 550 Sutter, targeting a reopening at the end of the year.

In Hayes Valley, Adriano Paganini’s Back of the House has opened ~AFTERWORK BAR~ in the former Dobb’s Ferry, a casual, neighborhood bar. It’s connected to The Bird (at 406 Hayes Street), so you can enjoy wings, along with Super Duper burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and sides with your cocktail. The weekday happy hour from 4pm-6pm features $1 wings and $20 pitchers of beer. Triva night is Wed 6pm-7pm. Open Wed-Thu and Sun 4pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am. 409 Gough St. at Hayes.

SFGATE covers the opening of the new ~TRADE ROUTES~ bar in the former Cabin in Polk Gulch from first-time bar owners Chen-Chen Huo and Jay Ryoo. They brought on bar manager Ilya Romanov (Niku, The Dorian) to consult on their menu, featuring international flavors and ingredients, like “the bar’s version of a tequila Negroni, which is infused with pandan leaves, pineapple-infused Campari and a splash of coconut water.” Happy hour is all day on Thursday. Open Wed-Thu 5pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-2am, Sun 4pm-10pm. 1750 Polk St. at Washington.