This Friday January 29th is going to be a dark day in SF: after 14 years with the Absinthe Group (currently celebrating 18 years), which includes more than five years at ~COMSTOCK SALOON~, Jeff Hollinger (aka Jefe) is leaving his post as saloonkeeper. Sadly a barman’s late hours don’t coincide well with a busy family life, and he has decided—after at least a year of mulling it over—that he needs to move on. Hollinger started as a bartender at Absinthe and will be wrapping things up as a bartender this Friday, when he’ll be behind the stick starting at 12pm—we’ll have to see how long he lasts. There will be boots.
I’m sorry I won’t be there to raise a glass in person to one of my favorite and most talented people in the industry. Thank you, Jeff, for everything you have contributed to the SF cocktail legacy and craft. You have always been a font of information about cocktail history, a keeper of the flame of SF bar history, and you make a mean Martinez (and Cherry Bounce!). You have always been so hospitable, ever-ready with a big guffaw, and a mentor to many—we all learned from you in many ways. The ultimate barkeep. We’ll miss you, but now we hope to see you on the other side of the bar.
Meanwhile, THE LARK BAR has opened in the former Dave’s. To recap, Future Bars (Bourbon & Branch, and Cask, which is next door) took over the beloved downtown dive bar and are keeping things pretty simple. Look for a sports bar vibe (TVs still in effect), with affordable cocktails, shots, and beers. They have a an updated food menu, including chili (a Dave’s tradition, $4), hot dogs ($5-$6), a variety of panini (ham and cheese, cheese and bacon, and mozzarella and tomato, all $6), and a few snacky items. Hours are Mon-Sun 11am-2am. 29 3rd St. at Market, 415-952-7504.