The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
September 28, 2016

Restaurant 1833’s Josh Perry. Photo courtesy of Restaurant 1833.


Bubbly with a view at the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting in 2012. Photo from Wine & Spirits’ website.

Tequila lovers, check out this Spice Route cocktail class on Saturday October 1st at ~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ with brand ambassadors Jackie Patterson-Brenner (marketing director for Back Bar Project, a U.S. importer of spirits, including El Jolgorio y Nuestra Soledad Mezcal) and Reza Esmaili (West Coast Ambassador of tequila Casa Noble), who will be joining DOSA’s bar manager Chris Lukens. They will guide you through the evolution of tequila and talk about the art of the spice cocktail, plus there will be a tasting of various tequilas and mezcals. You will learn cocktail-making techniques and enjoy some South Indian plates. 11:30am-1pm. $65 per person (all inclusive).

Swing by ~THE SEA STAR~ on Wednesday October 5th for a guest bartending pop-up with Monterey’s Restaurant 1833; they will be previewing lead bartender Josh Perry’s new fall cocktail list. Cocktails include the Cruel Summer (Bulleit bourbon, falernum, Peychaud’s bitters, coconut water) and Lost Weekend (bottled cocktail with St. George Bruto Americano, Cointreau, lime juice, maple syrup, bitters). Be careful, because you may find yourself in need of the Mixologist’s Breakfast the next morning (banana-infused Appleton Estate rum, fleur de sel, cold brew coffee, brown butter syrup). Cocktails are $10 each, 6pm-10pm. 2289 3rd St. at 20th St.

One of my favorite events of the year, Wine & Spirits Magazine’s Top 100 Tasting Event, is coming up on Monday October 10th at City View at Metreon. There will be more than 200 top-scoring wines (rated through a two-step blind process). You can see the winning wineries in their countdown here.

There will also be bites from 1760, A16, Absinthe, À Côté, Barrel Room SF, Bellota, Cotogna, Foreign Cinema, Hillside Supper Club, Miminashi, RN74, and Smokestack, plus artisan purveyors including Dandelion Chocolate, Firebrand Artisan Breads, Hog Island Oyster Co., Powder Shaved Snow, and Trou Normand. The beneficiary is San Francisco Baykeeper. Tickets are $125 (6:30pm)-$185 (5:30pm) and include all wine and food, a one-year subscription to Wine & Spirits, and a complimentary tasting glass courtesy of Stolzle-USA. 135 4th St. at Mission.

Tickets are now on sale now for the last In Pursuit of Balance, which will be Monday November 14th at ~RN74~. You will be able to taste 35 of California’s top pinot noirs and chardonnays, from Copain Wines to Hirsch Vineyards to Littorai Wines. 5pm-8pm. Light snacks will be provided by RN74.

September 20, 2016

Flickr photo from Almanac Beer.


The view from the new Cityscape. Photo courtesy of Hilton San Francisco.

Some exciting news for Almanac Beer Co. They’ve found a space for their taproom: the former Sous Beurre Kitchen on 24th Street. The SF craft brewer will be calling it ~ALMANAC SAN FRANCISCO~, which will serve all their beers (on tap, in the bottle, and in growlers). And they’re trying to convert the back area into a beer garden. Scoop reports there will be 72 seats, with a full kitchen serving “beer-friendly food” (they’re on the hunt for a chef). Stand by for updates. 2704 24th St. at Potrero. 

Also in the Mission: Lazy Bear’s David Barzelay is taking over the about-to-close The Tradesman and has plans to open a ” cocktail-focused restaurant” with bar manager Nicolas Torres. Look for a more affordable menu to go with the seasonal cocktails and a more laid-back format (read: not a formal sit-down dinner). Eater says the target is early 2017 for the opening. 753 Alabama St. at 20th St.

Next time you want to show off one of our gorg city views to Aunt Edie visiting from Missouri, or maybe you’d just like to enjoy it yourself, Hilton San Francisco Union Square has just opened ~CITYSCAPE SAN FRANCISCO LOUNGE~ on the hotel’s 46th floor, boasting 360-degree panoramic views from 14-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. There are cocktails, small plates and appetizers, wines by the glass, and a variety of beers on tap. The viewing lounge is open 5pm-12am nightly. 333 O’Farrell St. at Taylor, 415-771-1400.

Folks who enjoy grabbing a glass of wine at SoMa’s ~DISTRICT~ will now find full liquor and bar service, with a focus on whiskey (like 60 small-batch bourbons, Scotches, and ryes) and a list of whiskey cocktails to go with their small plates. 216 Townsend St. at 3rd St., 415-896-2120.  

September 13, 2016

Bloooooody Marrrrrrry. Photo courtesy of The Bloody Mary Liberation Party.


The Bloody Mary Festival is back for its third year in San Francisco and the East Bay, this Sunday September 18th. More than 15 bars and restaurants will be offering their variations. Participants include Finnegan’s Wake, The Front Porch, Penrose, Nido, 54 Mint, Plum Bar & Restaurant, 1760, The Dorian SF, and Palm House. There will also be food and drink samples by Cypress Grove chèvre, San Francisco Pickle Company, Kind Bars, Top Hat Provisions, Fusion Jerky, Bandar Foods, and Vampire Vineyards. (But don’t show up expecting a full meal; but there will be drunk people, I imagine, aplenty.) There will also be music. 1pm-4pm. Tickets are $45.The Midway, 900 Marin St. (at Cesar Chavez).

Save the date and get your ticket to schmooze with New York Times writer Robert Simonson, who is in town to host a party for his new book, A Proper Drink, “the first-ever book to tell the full, behind-the-scenes story of the contemporary craft cocktail revival both here and abroad.” ~BAR AGRICOLE~ will be hosting the party on their patio, offering unlimited Mediterranean snacks and classic cocktails for $50 (tickets here). Bay Area bartenders featured in the book will also be present. 6pm-9pm. The book will be for sale for an additional cost.  


September 6, 2016

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


The iconic sign at Doc’s Clock. Photo via Facebook.

Great news: after suffering a tragic fire last summer, word is out that a rebuilt ~THE RIPTIDE~ is currently holding some soft-opening nights! Even though the bar’s precious antiques and memorabilia were lost in the fire, it’s nice to see they found some new taxidermy to replace the previous caribou. Music will also be back (they received their entertainment permit for music seven nights a week). The cozy fireplace is still there to welcome everyone home. Unfortunately no one picks up the phone, but maybe more people will post on Facebook about nights they are open. Hours used to be Mon-Sat 4pm-2am and Sun 2pm-2am. 3639 Taraval St. at 47th Ave., 415-681-8433.

Mission classic dive bar ~DOC’S CLOCK~ was tragically losing its lease in July 2017 but great news: owner Carey Suckow will be moving the beloved bar into a nearby vacant space. Mission Local reports the new location is 2417 Mission Street, near 20th Street, and will reportedly have the same staff, bar, stools, and shuffleboard. Here’s hoping they are able to successfully move that incredible sign as well. The bar recently became a Legacy Business, which means they will have access to some funds to help out. 2575 Mission St. at 22nd St.

August 30, 2016

Pouring some Almanac Pilsner at Old Devil Moon’s beautiful new bar. Photo via Facebook.


The draft board at Old Devil Moon. Photo courtesy of Old Devil Moon.


Custom ODM glassware. Photo via Facebook.

A couple of years ago, we ran a post about three self-identified “beer geeks” who were opening a bar in Bernal, called ~OLD DEVIL MOON~. And whaddya know, tonight is opening night! The project is now a quintet of folks, and three are certified cicerones—Chris Cohen (founder of the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild), Andrew Kelley, and Ericka Schell—plus Will Marshall and Carson Beker are also involved.

They have quite the wall of taps, with 20 tap handles made from different types of wood and a beautiful custom tile backsplash. The 19 Perlick flow-control faucets are drilled through the wall of the walk-in cooler (take a peek here) for the perfect temperature control, plus there’s a cask ale tap. Look for a range of craft beers, highlighting direct-from-brewery selections, both local and international, with many beers that are rarely found in San Francisco.

Their opening tap list includes beers from Almanac Beer, Alpine Beer, Barebottle Brew, Boulevard Brewing, Bruery Terreux, Craftsman Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, Ferment Drink Repeat, Fieldwork Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing, Freewheel Brewing, Het Anker, HenHouse Brewing, Ol’ Republic Brewery, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Schloss Eggenberg, Rodenbach, Stone Brewing, and Tag + Jug Cider. Expect plenty of meet-the-brewer and other beer events.

There are also bottled beers, and there’s a full bar for craft cocktails. They’re doing some fun stuff, like infusing a barrel of Balcones Distillery whiskey with housemade Louisiana-style hot sauce (you’ll note a Southern accent with a lot of things they’re doing here). They have three liquors on draft: Fernet Francisco, Sutton Cellars vermouth, and Old Grand-Dad bonded rye whiskey, along with two premixed cocktails (a mint julep and an El Presidente). Take a look at the cocktail menu here. Oh, and if you’re a little sleepy, they have Stumptown Coffee nitro on draft. Whoosh.

There is some food available too (menu here), and they brought on chef Charlie Kleinman to consult (previously Wexler’s). There are some fantastic-sounding po’boys, including a fried oyster Rockefeller po’boy, a Gulf oyster and shrimp combo (via Jimmy at Gulfish, who sources such fresh seafood from individual fishing boats), plus a housemade bologna and mustard slaw po’boy. And it’s a neighborhood affair: the po’boys feature bread made by Pinkie’s Bakery on Cortland, with Avedano’s Butcher Shop making the tasso, and Paulie’s Pickling making special pickles for them. As a bar snack, they’re featuring some chicharrones from a nearby Mexican grocer, and you can get hush puppies too. And warm griddled bread pudding.

Fun design touches include murals with a ouija board, plenty of candles and occult imagery, and of course there’s a devil in the mix too. Pssst: even the tap board has a trick to it (you’ll have to come by to figure it out). Just wait for their Halloween party. Oh yeah, and there’s a sunny patio!

Doors open tonight at 5pm. Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-12pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-2am. The kitchen is open from 6pm-10pm on weeknights and 6pm-12am on weekends (yay). 3472 Mission St. at Cortland.

August 23, 2016

The Speakeasy, with Jessica Waldman and Rick Roiting as the bartender. Photo by Peter Liu.


The Speakeasy, with Freddie Larson as Vinnie. Photo by Peter Liu.


A look at the redesigned Marianne’s, with its new royal purple walls. Photo: Seema Hamid.

Did you ever have a chance to experience ~THE SPEAKEASY~, a combination performance (in the spirit of New York’s Sleep No More) and cocktail bar that was styled like a Prohibition-era nightclub? Well, the Boxcar Theatre team has moved from their Tenderloin location (the building they were in has been sold) and just finished a very successful crowdfunding campaign for their new location on Broadway in North Beach. It’s moving into the former Gold Mountain building (where China Live will be), in the theater that was in the basement (but has been empty for 12 years). The new theater is three times the size of the previous Speakeasy location, with a two-story circular cabaret, secret passageways, disguised entrances, and more. So hush-hush!

Pssst, tickets are on sale now through October 30th: previews will run Friday and Saturday nights and select Thursdays. Beginning in October, performances will take place Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and alternate Sundays at 5pm. Tickets are $85-$130. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here. 644 Broadway at Stockton.

Some changes at the (formerly private) club ~MARIANNE’S~ that is tucked behind The Cavalier: the Big Night Restaurant Group crew decided to open it up to the public and just finished a redesign (complete with royal purple walls and built-in leather and zebra banquettes), with new vintage glassware to go with the new cocktail menu too. Guests can order off Jennifer Puccio’s new small plates menu until 9:30pm, which includes crispy stuffed squash blossoms, oysters, and more.

Both walk-ins and reservations are accepted, and previous members still get to enjoy preferential reservations (plus some fun members-only events too). Open Tue-Wed 5:30pm-12am and Thu-Sat 5:30pm-1:30am. Reservations can be made for parties of 2-8 guests. 360 Jessie St. at 5th St.

Rumrunners will want to, er, run to the second annual California Rum Festival this Friday August 26th and Saturday the 27th at SOMArts Cultural Center. You’ll find events, seminars, and tasting rooms featuring “ruminaries” from around the world. 934 Brannan St. at 8th St.