I was reading some Facebook news this weekend and was so sorry to learn that Isaac Shumway is no longer the lead bartender at ~TOSCA CAFE~. Taking over his position is Joe Cleveland (formerly head barman at Coqueta and for Michael Chiarello’s restaurant group). Previously, he worked with José Andrés for Oyamel and Minibar in Washington, D.C.
A connection in our local real estate scene tipped me off that the pocket-sized bar BIG, known for its fantastic craft cocktails during its run under bartenders Brian Felley and Mo Hodges, would be opening once again, in the 21 Club in the Tenderloin (just across from Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi’s upcoming Loco’l). While Felley and Hodges are busy with their own soon-to-open bar, Benjamin Cooper, which we reported on a couple weeks ago, Scoop confirms this new Big is from Jordan Langer (Big, Oddjob), Pete Glickshtern (Jones, Oddjob), Ryan Melchiano, and Ryan Hisamune.
They will reportedly continue Big’s bespoke format: no cocktail list, just talk with the bartender and tell them what you like. The 21 Club will stay open until the license transfer is complete (you can read an homage to the dive bar here); look for a summer opening. I also learned this will be just the beginning of changes to the building, which is going to be revitalized. 98 Turk St. at Taylor.
Over on Divisadero, Dajani Group’s BAR 821 just reopened after a monthlong remodel. Changes include more seating at the extended bar and a bigger back bar, highlighting a large selection of amari and a new amaro-themed cocktail list. 821 Divisadero St. at McAllister.