Okay, not only is Duggan McDonnell one of the most badass chef mixologists in town, but he's also opening his bar concept, ~CANTINA~, into one of my favorite spaces in town, the former Johnny Wok's on Polk Street, right next to O'Reilly's Holy Grail. Johnny Wok's has one of the best neon signs in the city (right up there with Werner's and the 500 Club), and used to have this crazy waiter who looked like a Chinese Elvis. Brill.
So, Cantina. By early spring, McDonnell will be mixing up culinary cocktails with Latin flair for a creative clientele that doesn't shy away from being funky and fun. (Where do I sign?) The vibe will be kickback, and they're keeping the old booths, so it'll be a sweet spot for hanging out and hocializing. The tunes will be globally Latin and offer an eclectic homage to Latin culture—think Mexican punk rock, Moroccan hip-hop, and old time honky-tonk, with some Spanish, Caribbean, Texan, and Brazilian touches. Arriba.
McDonnell is 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.
And can you believe that bodacious logo? McDonnell commissioned the illustrious Jeremy Fish (of bunnies and skulls and skateboard fame) to illustrate it. (I can't wait for a Cantina t-shirt.)
1237 Polk St.
Cross: Bush St.
San Francisco, CA 94109