The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
September 27, 2022

A look at the new interior of Harlan Records. Photo courtesy of Harlan Records.

Back in July, I broke the news about ~HARLAN RECORDS~, a vinyl bar opening in the former Bar Fluxus from Eric Passetti, Will Herrera, and Katya Skye, among others. Well, it’s now open, serving cocktails and playing entire albums from start to finish—the album collection includes nearly 2,000 vinyl records, featuring artists ranging from John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Taj Mahal, and Charlie Parker to Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and Khruangbin. Here’s the part where you audiophiles can geek out: the in-house Hi-Fi system consists of a Thorens TD124, McIntosh 2210 amplifier, AdCom amplifier, NAD 1020 preamplifier, a set of Sony SA-7300’s, and a pair of JBL L100 monitors to achieve the truest sound.

No noisy shaken cocktails here: the cocktail program highlights drinks that are stirred, like Negronis and Old Fashioneds, as well as other whiskey and gin-focused drinks influenced by the songs, lyrics, and bands in the collection.

The space was designed by Marissa Jade Marsh (Macondray), with mid-century modern décor taking inspiration from recording studios, record shops, and albums. Large groups will want to take over the horseshoe-shaped booth, or the two nooks with tufted teal blue booths that sit under the record storage. Open daily 2pm to late. Hotel des Arts, 18 Harlan Place.

Whiskey lovers, get your ticket for Whisky Advocate’s WhiskyFest, coming to San Francisco on Friday October 28th at the Marriott Marquis. Sample hundreds of whiskies from around the world—including single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Japanese, Canadian, French, Australian, Indian, and craft-distilled whiskies—and learn firsthand from experts during educational seminars. Friday October 28th. VIP ($375): 5:30pm; Grand Tasting ($295): 6:30pm-9:30pm. All tickets include a commemorative Glencairn crystal nosing glass, gift bag, admission to all seminars on a first-come basis, a buffet throughout the evening, and hundreds of whiskies to sample. 780 Mission St. at 4th St.

September 13, 2022

Good times (and great Champagne) at a past Top 100 event. Photo courtesy of Wine & Spirits.

It’s time to raise your glass and taste 
the Top 100 Wineries of 2022 with Wine & Spirits! They’ll be showcasing their
wines at the 19th annual Top 100 Tasting in SF on Thursday October 13th at City View at Metreon. 

From Burgundy and Barolo to Santa Barbara and Sonoma, 
come taste hundreds of the world’s best 
wines and learn the story behind each bottle.

 Champagne Bollinger, Le Macchiole, Ridge, Diamond Creek, and Zind-Humbrecht will be among the dozens of notable wineries featured at the event. The full list of this year’s Top 100 wineries can be found here. There will also be bites from top local restaurants and purveyors.

Top 100 VIP and general admission
 tickets are limited; tablehopper readers get 20 percent off GA tickets with code TABLEHOPPER.

5:30pm-8pm: VIP Admission

6pm-8pm: General Admission

Please note they require 
proof of a COVID-19 vaccination and government-issued ID at the door for entry.

City View at Metreon: 135 Fourth Street at Mission, San Francisco

August 30, 2022

Pull up a seat at the new Bar Piccino. Photo: Matt Stewart.

Just a quick note to let you know ~BAR PICCINO~ has officially opened in Dogpatch. I originally wrote about this project back in March, you can read allllll the details here. It sure looks great!

Take a gander at bar manager Andi Miller’s cocktail menu here, with five kinds of Negronis—and I can’t wait to try that Cloudview (coconut-washed gin, apricot, lemon, honey, bergamot, bitters, Champagne float). That link also includes bar bites, like crispy maitake ‘shrooms with sweet and sour Calabrian hot sauce; whipped mortadella with pickled cherry, pistachio, and ciabatta toasties; and Margherita’s focaccia. Here’s the N/A cocktail list, with wine and beer. Look forward to checking it out soon, molto carino. Open Sun and Wed-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am. 1003 Minnesota St. at 22nd St.

August 16, 2022

Cocktails and live music at the Deluxe, always a pleasure. Photo: ©

First, the tough news: things are not looking good for ~CLUB DELUXE~, our city’s incredible Deco-style jazz club and bar in the Upper Haight (since 1989). Broke-Ass Stuart was the first to report on issues at the Deluxe, posting a letter from owner Sarah Wilde (her biz partner is Chris Pankow) about the impending closure. SF Standard followed up with a piece that included comments from landlord Veritas Investments about their lease negotiation issues. It doesn’t look good: posts on Club Deluxe’s Facebook page mention “final acts” and that there are just two weeks left. I’d swing by for a fresh-squeezed grapefruit greyhound (I will be raising my glass to you, Alberta Straub, and original owner Jay Johnson) and some jazz while you can. 1511 Haight St. at Ashbury.

While I was enjoying my alfresco dinner at 20 Spot last week, my Mission pals Ian and Alli walked by and let me know they were coming from the newly opened ~EL CHATO~, a Spanish taverna that is the latest charming addition to SF’s lineup of cool wine bars. They’re ready to pour you a three-ounce “chato” of Spanish wine or a porrón into your happy table’s mouths, whatever you’re up for.

The owners are friends Rafa Saenz (a Madrileño) and Erin Rickenbaker, who met while working at Bellota together and wanted to open a low-key and approachable neighborhood wine bar (read more in this post by Mission Local and the original post by WhatNowSF). The menu has gazpacho (such perfect weather for it), tinned fish, charcuterie, tortilla espagñola, and other snackables to go with that affordable bottle of wine you just ordered. They opened in the former Cafe Murano and are excited to see you and turn you on to some tasty wines, sherries, and vermouths—and have you come back the next day for one of their hangover cures. Look for live music, outdoor seating, and more coming soon. Hours are Mon-Sat 4pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Happy hour starts next week, Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm. 2301 Bryant St. at 21st St.

I was scrolling through ye olde Instagram and saw there’s a new live jazz bar in the Marina called ~GEELOU~ that opened in the former Reed & Greenough space. According to their ABC license, it’s from Ali Razavi and Sarah Darsie of the 500 Club. There’s live music Mon-Sat, starting at 5pm, plus cocktails and a nice lounge. 3251 Scott St. at Chestnut.