Newly open in the former The Residence is LAST RITES, a Polynesian Noir hideaway from High Proof’s Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo (Horsefeather). Interior designer James Lagoc (Nopa, Bi-Rite, Horsefeather), designer-builder Brian Sullivan, and graphic designer-owner Justin Lew went to town on transforming the location so you feel like you are marooned in a tropical jungle (the bar is set in a repurposed airplane fuselage), replete with vintage plane jump seats at the bar, nine-foot stone idols, faux boulders, parachute fabric, and lots of foliage. You can totally live out your Indiana Jones fantasy here.
Tropical-inspired cocktails from Ian Scalzo and Forbidden Island alums Susan Eggette and Sevan Araneda are served in hand-cut repurposed bottles. There are more than 150 rums, and classics like a mai tai and large-format Fogcutter. And then there’s The Legend of Xtabay (pronounced eesh-ta-bai), with buttered popcorn rum, coconut cream, lemon, apricot liqueur, cocoa nib bitters, and pepper tincture, honoring the Mayan myth of a female demon who seduces men only to devour them. Seems like a good cocktail for our current times. Open daily 6pm-2am. 718 14th St. at Church, 707-825-1100.
An even darker concept is CURIO, newly opened in the former Vestry space adjacent to The Chapel in the Mission, with designer Michael Brennan taking some inspiration from the building’s past history as a mortuary (from stopped clocks to skulls).
There are craft cocktails from Darren Crawford (Bourbon and Branch) and an extensive menu from Mario Tolentino (The Market, Betelnut), spanning a California sensibility plus Southern/Low Country cuisine. You’ll find the Shut the Front Door shellfish tower, a Holy Grail burger, and fried chicken Benedict and shrimp and grits on the weekend for brunch (plus there’s the outdoor courtyard). Dinner Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm and Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm, brunch Sat-San 10am-3pm, and a bar menu 3pm-5pm until dinner kicks in. The Courtyard is open until midnight, while the Afterlife Bar remains open later. 775 Valencia St. at 19th St., 415-551-7306.
In the coming soon department, it looks like Future Bars (Bourbon and Branch, Tradition, Rickhouse, among many other bars) is taking over the former Gitane (which is moving to a nearby location adjacent to the Galleria Park Hotel). No details on their plans just yet. 6 Claude Lane/239 Kearny St. at Bush
A reader let me know that it looks like the former TONIC (2360 Polk St.) has found a new location: the former SF Coin Laundry space at 895 Post St. (at Hyde) in Lower Nob Hill. ABC transfer documentation confirms it, and it sounds like they are targeting fall.