Bar News and Openings: Novela Opens Friday, Virgil's Sea Room Coming Soon


The lounge area at Novela. Photo by Lance Skundrich.


Books lining the walls at Novela. Photo by Lance Skundrich.

As previously reported on tablehopper, there’s a new literary bar in town. The soon-to-open watering hole, ~NOVELA~ has a “novel” theme (ha-ha), complete with vintage books organized by color, cocktails named after authors and literary characters, and furnishings evocative of a library.

The cocktail program comes from bar veterans Kate Bolton of Maven and Michael Mina, and Alex Smith of Gitane and Honor Bar. You’ll find historically inspired punch on tap, available by the pitcher, glass, or flight; take a look at all the options here. There are also cocktails like the Sherlock Holmes (pisco, apple brandy, zucca amaro, birch beer, and lime) or the Holden Caulfield (rock and rye, oloroso, and angelica bitters); here’s the full list for your perusing pleasure. There is also space for private groups in the Hemingway Room, which is probably the perfect place to enjoy a few of those punch pitchers with some of your rowdiest (and most literary) friends. Opening this Friday May 31st. Hours are Mon-Fri 4pm-2am and Sat-Sun 6pm-2am. 662 Mission St. at Annie.

Also opening soon, this time on the Mission/Bernal border, is ~VIRGIL’S SEA ROOM~. The new bar takes over the former ~NAPS III~ space on Mission and comes from Lila Thirkield (owner of the Lexington Club), Gillian Fitzgerald (Nickie’s), and Tom Temprano (founder and DJ of the soul party Hard French and President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club). The goal is to create a neighborhood bar where all the many (and diverse) Mission residents can come together for a drink ranging from a beer to a vodka soda to an expertly mixed Sazerac. The space was designed by David Marks of Room 4 (they used to have a storefront on Valencia) and features the space’s original wallpaper and vintage furniture and light fixtures. They’re hoping to open in the next two weeks; stay tuned for an exact date. Hours will be Mon-Thu 4pm-2am and Fri-Sun 1pm-2am. 3152 Mission St. at Precita, 415-829-2233.