The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
September 4, 2018

Fort Point is well known (and loved) for their canned beers that are in SF refrigerators everywhere. Photo via Facebook.


Some of the latest brewing fun at Cellarmaker. Photo via Facebook.

In the last tablehopper issue, I mentioned Ballast Point was coming to SF, and this week we have news about a slew of local breweries opening taprooms around town.

First up, ~FORT POINT BEER CO.~ has scrapped their plans to share Timbuk2’s space on 20th Street in the Mission, and now they are taking over the former Abbot’s Cellar (and Brasserie Saint James) space at 742 Valencia. Owners, brothers, and brewers Justin and Tyler Catalana will not be brewing at the location like the former tenants did, but will definitely be building out a special taproom experience for guests. Creative director Dina Dobkin (formerly of Lundberg Design, the firm behind the original Abbot’s Cellar space) will be updating the space. Look for more news soon as they push for an early 2019 opening. You can read more in this SFGate piece here. 742 Valencia St. at 18th St.

I was walking past the former Sip Bar & Lounge in North Beach and noticed some activity, and it ends up ~HOLY CRAFT BREWERY~ is going to open a taproom and have room to brew as well (they currently brew on a contract basis at other breweries). They plan to have 12 beers on tap, with new experimental brews, and possibly some pop-up restaurants serving food as well, or some form of food service. The taproom should open in a couple of months. 787 Broadway at Powell. [Via Hoodline.]

The switcheroos keep coming: ~CELLARMAKER BREWING CO.~ is expanding into a second location and taking over the Old Bus Tavern brewpub in Bernal, which is closing after September 8th. Owners Connor Casey, Tim Sciascia, and Kelly Caveney will be gaining a four-barrel system with three eight-barrel fermenters—look for more experimental beers. They are also planning some fun food in the kitchen: did someone say Detroit-style square pizza? They are gunning for a November opening. 3193 Mission St. at Valencia. [Via Eater.]

And this one is a new build-out: Tim Obert and Clint Potter of Bayview’s ~SEVEN STILLS~ are expanding into an 18,000-square-foot space at 100 Hooper in Mission Bay, which will offer a production facility, restaurant, full bar, outdoor beer garden, members-only lounge, and retail space. They’ll be able to brew 30,000 barrels of beer annually and distill up to 70,000 cases of whiskey, making it the city’s largest distiller. Stand by. [Via Eater.]

And lastly, ~CITY BEER STORE~ has made their move to Charles Phan’s former Coachman in the SoMa Grand. Like the original, it’s a bottle shop, tasting room, and they have a nice outdoor patio that is pooch-friendly (if the pooch is well behaved). Food is in the works too. They’ve been doing some soft opening hours over the Labor Day holiday and are running from 12pm-12am for now. 1148 Mission St. at 7th St.


You will definitely see some umbrella drinks at the California Rum Festival. Photo via Facebook.

This year’s fourth annual California Rum Fest is coming up on Saturday September 8th, offering the opportunity to sample more than 40 premium rum brand expressions from around the world, as well as access to exclusive seminars featuring some of the rum industry’s top luminaries starting at 12pm. Take a look at the site for the full lineup. Don’t miss the outdoor Tiki Bazaar! The grand tasting is 3:30pm-6:30pm; General Admission Grand Tasting $60; VIP Grand Tasting (starts at 2:30pm), $70. SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. at 8th St.

August 21, 2018

The industrial-meets-natural style at Radhaus. Photo courtesy of Radhaus.


Enjoy the view and natural light at Radhaus. Photo courtesy of Radhaus.


What’s on tap at Hop Oast. Photo via Facebook.

A few months ago, I wrote that a modern Bavarian beer hall from the beer-lovin’ gents behind Biergarten and Suppenküche (Aaron and Matt Hulme) was coming to Fort Mason Center: ~RADHAUS~. And it’s now open. The 3,700-square-foot industrial space includes a bar, communal bench, and plenty of tables, plus some amazing wood elements (bar tops, communal seating) made from a 200-foot ponderosa pine tree sourced by Evan Shively, with quite a view of the bay; Envelope A+D is behind the design. It’s the perfect spot to visit after a visit to the weekly farmers’ market, or hanging out at Marina Green. Or in my case, a visit to FLAX.

Talented chef Timmy Malloy’s menu of Cali-Bavarian eats spans breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. He even traveled to Germany and trained at a 12th-century Bavarian castle and inn. His menu includes a chicken schnitzel sandwich with buttermilk sauce, cucumber, dill, and pickled onion; a roast half chicken with bread dumplings; and more.

As for the beers, you’ll find Bavarian Biers from some of the world’s oldest breweries, including Weltenburger Kloster, an operating monastic brewery since 1050. There’s also a wine list with selections from Germany, Austria, Italy, and West Coast wineries, plus a selection of cocktails. Radhaus will pour specialty, regional liqueurs and will be the first to import Bavarian spirits distilled from Bier into the U.S.

Open daily 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm for dinner. 2 Marina Blvd., Bldg A, Fort Mason, 415-445-4556.

A tablehopper reader let me know a new pub and brewery has opened at Cesar Chavez and Bryant in the former D&J Furniture, ~HOP OAST~. Hoodline shares details about owner Aron Deorsey’s background and what he’s brewing in the three-barrel system (currently an IPA and golden ale). They also serve some guest beers, plus sandwiches, sausages, and snacks. Open Thu-Mon 2pm-10pm, with happy hour 5pm-7pm. 2887 Bryant St. at Cesar Chavez.

I saw Ballast Point’s name hit the ABC wire and was like, wow, that’s interesting. It ends up the San Diego brewery is planning to open an “on-site R&D brewery” in Mission Bay near the Warriors stadium in San Francisco in 2019, along with a restaurant that will highlight San Diego-style food, like Baja fish tacos. Stand by for more. 705 16th St. at Owens.

One last piece of breaking news: ~OLD BUS TAVERN~ is closing on September 8th after three years in Bernal/La Lengua. They hope you’ll stop by for a last beer and bowl of chili. Eater mentions the brewpub has new owners lined up who are taking over the lease. 3193 Mission St. at Valencia.


Yes way there’s rosé at White Rabbit. Photo courtesy of White Rabbit.

The former Swank at The Laurel Inn (a Joie de Vivre property) in Pacific Heights just got a whole new look and upgrade, graduating to its latest incarnation of ~LAUREATE~. The space has a residential and midcentury modern look, courtesy of RPM Studio, complete with brass accents and the iconic fireplace has a new terrazzo exterior.

Bar manager Sam McGinnis has put together a menu of classic cocktails like Negronis, Palomas, and martinis with a seasonal and local twist ($12), along with specialty cocktails, local craft beers, wines, and there will be hot toddies in the winter (although we could totally drink them now). There are bar snacks as well, plus live music. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-12am, Fri-Sat 4pm-1am. Happy hour runs Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm and Sat 5pm-7pm. 444 Presidio Ave. at California.

The former Matrix in the Marina is now ~WHITE RABBIT~, part of The PlumpJack Group’s portfolio (along with Forgery and Wildhawk). The name pays homage to the building’s history as the location where Jefferson Airplane recorded “White Rabbit” in 1967. Like Laureate, they’re going for a residential style here with couches and low-slung tables (the space was designed by Shopworks)—it’s meant to be chic yet comfortable.

There are classic and specialty cocktails (no comment on the “Skinny Rabbit”), beer and rosé on tap, and small, shareable plates (view the full menu here). There’s also a chose-your-own vinyl record player, with a stash of records of bands who played at the Matrix in the ’60s (The Doors and Janis Joplin) to current artists, although DJs are in charge of the soundtrack Thu-Sat nights. There are also private areas you can reserve. Wed-Thu 5pm-12am, Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 2pm-2am, Sun 2pm-10pm. 3138 Fillmore St. at Greenwich, 415-993-5399.


Polk Street’s Vertigo is in the process of being sold. Yelp photo by Adam S..


The bar at Tradition. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. ©

Some big news happening over in Polk Gulch: after rumblings for the past few years that the 1145 Polk Street block was going to be razed for new housing, it’s actually happening. The classic live music venue and bar ~HEMLOCK TAVERN~ has announced it has been sold and will close on October 6th (after their 17th anniversary party)—they will continue to feature live music and bands through September 30th. They state “15,000 local/national/international bands and music acts [have] performed over 5,000 shows in our back room since October 2001.” Man. You can read more in their Facebook post and this in-depth post on KQED that shares the ownership’s take on things. 1131 Polk St. at Post.

Just across the street, ~VERTIGO~ is in the process of being sold to Anzhelika (Angela) Voloshyna of Iron Horse, Topsy’s, and Playland. (I reached out to her for comments on her plans, but haven’t heard back.) This one is particularly nostalgic for me: I used to host a happy hour here with friends called Knees Up when the bar opened 15 years ago (where does the time go?!). So many fun memories with owners Kenny Meade and Derek Burke…Bora Bora Bombs forever! 1160 Polk St. at Post.

After six years of running as ~TRADITION~, Future Bars has closed the bar to transform it into ~ZOMBIE VILLAGE~ (yes, yet another tiki bar is opening in SF). The name pays homage to the former Skipper Kent’s Zombie Village (in the ’60s, it was located where Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House is now), and there was another location also in Oakland. Eater mentions it’s going to feature some interiors as dramatic as the name, stand by for more. 441 Jones St. at O’Farrell.

Just in case you’re looking for a place to grab a cocktail after a show at Minnesota Street Projects in Dogpatch, ~BESHARAM~ is now serving cocktails featuring Indian ingredients, from curry leaves to fenugreek. (The new $59 family-style feast also looks amazing, btw.) 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St., 415-580-7662.

July 24, 2018

The interior of Fool’s Errand (formerly Mojo). Photo via Fool’s Errand on Facebook.

I was walking on Divisadero after picking up some groceries for my post-vacation empty fridge, and was happy to see signs of life back at the Mojo Bicycle Cafe location, now ~FOOL’S ERRAND~ from John Dampeer, who came down from Noe Valley (Caskhouse, Hamlet) to join us. The space looks pretty similar, with a bit of a refresh and new mural. The parklet was as busy as ever.

The wine list has some unique choices, including some natural wines and Slovenian picks (cool) and the beer list also has some quality selections, both on draft and bottled (Cellarmaker, Fieldwork, and more). Here’s the wine by the glass and beer list, plus some snacks, including a couple salads and of course charcuterie and cheese. Free popcorn during happy hour: Mon-Fri 2pm-6pm. Open Mon-Sat 2pm-12am and Sun 2pm-10pm. 639A Divisadero St. at Grove.


‘Aina Bento and Harmonic Brewing are hosting the perfect Sunday party. Photo: Yen Phan.

A couple events for you: on Sunday July 29th, ‘Aina Bento is going to be popping up at Harmonic Brewing. Take a look at their bountiful bento boxes in my Table Talk post, and you can get your ticket here, which is good for one bento of your choice (I loved the BBQ kalbi ribs) and one beverage of your choice (just $17.50, a total steal)! Food service runs 2pm-6pm. 1050 26th St. at Minnesota.

Also in Table Talk, I mentioned CUESA’s upcoming Party Under the Palms: Summer Cocktails of the Farmers Market on Wednesday August 1st at Jack London Square in Oakland. It features an all-East Bay lineup of 12-plus bartenders making original cocktails using peak-season summer produce from Jack London Square Farmers Market. Count me in! All proceeds support CUESA’s education programs and the USBG’s professional development programs.

But here’s the bonus for you: use code “tablehopperoakland” for 10% off the $45 tickets! See you there? I’m planning to check out Dyafa after the party—there’s also the new Belcampo and Farmhouse Oakland! 5:30pm-8pm. Jack London Square, Palm Plaza (Embarcadero at Webster, Oakland).