Some quick updates on new bars that are coming soon. First up, Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo, the team behind Horsefeather, are getting closer on opening LAST RITES, their new tropical bar that is taking over the former The Residence. They are taking their inspiration from the pulp literature of Polynesian noir, and with local designer and fabricator Brian Sullivan and interior designer James Lagoc (Nopa, Bi-Rite, Horsefeather), they are re-creating the feeling of being marooned in a tropical jungle, complete with a real airplane fuselage turned into a bar, seating enveloped by enormous banyan tree roots, stacked stone booths in a dense jungle canopy, and nine-foot-tall stone skull idols. There will be more than 150 rums on the back bar, and the menu will feature twists on Polynesian-style cocktails using some local spirits and ingredients. They are currently looking at May for the opening, so stand by. 718 14th St. at Church.
Some big news over at the 12-year-old THE ALEMBIC: it ends up it has been sold to Mikha Diaz (Two Sisters Bar and Books) and Christin Evans (Booksmith, The Bindery) and has suddenly closed while they overhaul the concept and space over the next two months. It also means the entire team (including talented chef Rachel Aronow—someone snap her up!) has been let go while they install their own people. Eater reports that will be chef Dylan Barry (Johnston’s Saltbox in San Carlos), bar manager Katheryn Kulczyk (Two Sisters), and Brandon Cardelli (Two Sisters). They are reportedly going to bring the menu back to being more casual and neighborhood-friendly (think sliders and wings), but the classic and seasonal classic cocktail menu format will remain. And…there will be books in the house (when the owners are from the Booksmith and the former Two Sisters Bar and Books, this shouldn’t be a surprise).
Some Aussie bar and restaurant owners (behind The Winery, Gazebo, Cargo, and The Stables in Sydney) have taken over the former Mercedes Restaurant in the Financial District (which was squeezed out after decades) and are opening HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO. They will be creating a 75-seat bar with a “glam rock setting,” offering cocktails (including barrel-aged house cocktails served in custom-etched glass bottles), 25 wines by the glass, bar bites (duck confit crostini), and a strong focus on the music (courtesy of Mustard, an Australian music branding company). L.A.-based branding firm The Imagists is behind the design, which will be assuredly Instagram-ready with a palm-leaf mural on the brick back bar by Serge Gay Jr., stools upholstered in pink leather, teal glass tables and velvet chairs with brass frames, tassel chandeliers, and yes, neon. There’s also a basement lounge coming soon.
Lunch will also be available, led by chef Keven Wilson (RN74, Perbacco, Volta)—there will be a fried chicken sandwich, grain bowl with seasonal vegetables, and a pork sandwich with cracklings. Opening in April, hours will be Mon-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Fri 11am-1am, Sat 4pm-1am, closed Sun. Happy hour Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm. 653 Commercial St. at Kearny.
Quick update that SAN FRANCISCO BREWING CO. is getting ready to open its doors in Ghirardelli Square the last week of April. It’s going to be home of the city’s first self-serve beer wall (the WallTender from Table Tap)—you can use prepaid RFID cards and sample beer by the ounce until you find your perfect pint. There will also be a full bar, pub fare (bacon-wrapped dates, pizzas), and an outdoor beer garden complete with fire pits. It will open for dinner to start, followed by lunch, brunch, and brewery tours shortly thereafter. 3150 Polk St. at Beach.