Coming to the Inner Richmond: Pivot, a Retail Wine Shop and Bar from Some Industry Pros


Partner John Vuong is giving you some public notice, yo. Photo courtesy of Michael Ireland.

Last week, Eater noted the ABC license activity and players for ~PIVOT~, a project that is coming to the Inner Richmond. I reached out to Michael Ireland—a well-respected sommelier who has worked at The French Laundry, Quince, Benu, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and consults for Verbena and Gather restaurants—for some details on the project. He’s partnering with John Vuong (Ame, Gary Danko) to open a wine bar and retail shop just next door to the Bitter End, hopefully in spring of 2015.

The name is inspired by the fact that these two friends have quite the fine-dining background, but want to pivot into something more casual, creating an atmosphere that is warm, comfortable, and authentic. They are both Bay Area natives—Ireland lives within walking distance of the business and is excited to bring something new to the neighborhood.

The plan is to have an extensive selection of 30 wines by the glass, ranging from a $6 glass from a keg to more expensive and rare picks. Ireland says they’ll all have a “high yum factor” and they look forward to matching people with exactly what they like, because that’s what these two do. Look for some special wines from Ireland’s and Vuong’s personal collections, with some folks consigning some bottles too.

There will be some delicious food as well; the consulting chef is their friend Daniel Brooks, who will also be doing a bit of a pivot since his background is primarily Michelin-starred restaurants (including Quince and in Spain). He will develop the menu and help staff and train the kitchen; someone else will captain the kitchen in the future. Look forward to seeing what he puts together.

The space was previously a retail shop, and while they don’t have to do any heavy demolition, they do plan to move the facade so they can create a small patio in the front. There will be two levels, with skylights, and about 47 seats. Look for some urban street art in the space as well. They will be open early (just before lunch) and will progress into the afternoon and evening with more food and a wine bar atmosphere. We’ll keep you posted as this one shapes up in coming months. 443 Clement St. at 6th Ave.