Last year I reported on the funk-a-riffic ~CANTINA~ opening in the former Johnny Wok’s space on Polk Street. Well, after permit issues and typical bureaucratic delays, partners Duggan McDonnell and his wife Kristina, along with friends Aaron Prentice and Christene Larsen, decided to steer the ship to a new location, the former Lucid Gallery near Union Square (just next door to the Hotel Rex). The space is currently being completely transformed, including the installation of brightly colored walls of tropical sky blue and evening green accented with rusted cork, plus wallpaper and some funky vegetation. Think rustic salon on the bordello tip. The space is being designed and furnished by Shawn Ball—I personally can’t wait for the longhair cowhide chairs to come in from Texas. Yee haw.
The concept is a Latin art bar, and get ready for some sick talent behind the bar. All four partners have some serious wine and beverage experience, and Christine is actually going for her Masters of Wine right now, so it seems Cantina just might be the first bar in SF with a sommelier. I said this in the previous posting about Cantina, but to repeat: they will be putting together some totally fab and fresh wine-based drinks, like the Alsatian Daiquiri (La Favorite cane rum, Trimbach Gewürztraminer, lime, peach bitters, turbinado nectar), the Five-Spice Margarita (Don Eduardo Reposado Tequila, Qi white tea liqueur, lemon, lime, five-spice-infused agave nectar) and the Duende (Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal, Benedictine, Badia di Morrona Vin Santo, served up in a classic cocktail presentation). Here's the best part: these dranks will be available in pitchers. Yeah, hello. There will also be a bunch of wines available by the glass, and well-priced numbers by the bottle too.
Cantina will be quietly opening in the coming weeks—just watch for a light on.
580 Sutter St.
Cross: Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94102