The tradition of Mo Hodges and Brian Felley (Benjamin Cooper, Big) opening bars in old hotels runs deep, and here’s their third project to follow that path: THE DOUGLAS ROOM. It’s opening in the former Fish & Farm/Mark Twain Hotel in Union Square, which has been transformed/”reboutiqued” into the chic and stylish Tilden Hotel. There are 45 seats total, including the bar, and it has a spiffy look. They are planning to open by the end of the week.
The duo are working with two ex-Rx bartenders, Michael Carlisi and Keith Bracewell, who will be the managing staff. While the craft cocktails at Benjamin Cooper are known for changing up a fair amount, the ones at The Douglas Room will be holding steady. You can take a look at the preview menu of original cocktails here. They’re as clever as always, like the Tele Novela (Partida tequila, celery, strawberry, Chareau, aquavit, kümmel, verjus, lemon) and the Tennessee Pillow (Jack Daniels No. 7, Lo-Fi sweet vermouth, lemon, egg white, dill). Wine, beer, sherry, and more will also be available.
There’s not only a bar but a full kitchen as well, so Hodges and Felley are working with chefs Glen Schwartz (398 Brasserie) and Tim Malloy (who is back from Seattle, previously at Local’s Corner) on a cheeky menu that pays homage to some East Coast favorites, including an Italian hoagie (ham, capicola, mortadella, Genoa salami, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise) on an Amoroso roll that’s flown in from Phildelphia; ditto the Philly cheesesteak Whiz Wit, with rib-eye, caramelized onions, and Cheese Whiz on an Amoroso roll.
You’ll find some Cali seasonality in the Dougie Fresh Salad, and the tagliatelle with green garlic, fava greens and beans, and a farm egg. Even the bar snacks are a touch upscale (and truly reflect the bar provenance), with sweetbread nuggets made with Ancho Reyes BBQ sauce (that sounds hella genius) and Hudson Valley duck wings with Cointreau and Calabrian chile. Burger, check. Baked oysters too. You can take a peek at a preview of the food menu here.
Good news: the kitchen will be open until 1am nightly, with bar hours from 5pm-2am. Hours will eventually be expanded to include lunch and weekend brunch as well. 345 Taylor St. at O’Farrell.