Here’s your latest restaurant news in the Northside:
Yeehaw is what you’ll be hearing at a new country music bar coming to the Marina called Westwood (2036 Lombard Street, in the former Stock in Trade space). The main highlight? A mechanical bull inside a 16-foot bull ring inside the 6,000-square-foot space. There will also be Southern food with a Californian sensibility, craft cocktails, and whiskey, according to Eater. It’s from owner Kingston Wu (an investor in Horsefeather, Last Rites, and other bars) and partner Lily Peng; they had planned to open late last month.
Another change-up: the former Don Pistos Tequila Bar is now Tropical Thunder (2030 Lombard Street, tropicalthundersf.com), a “tiki cantina.” Pete Mrabe (Don Pistos, Chubby Noodle) still owns the location, but now Ken Luciano and Elizabeth Montana (previously at Forgery) are running the pop-up bar. Look for a menu of 20 new craft cocktails (including tiki drinks with mezcal), new bites like mushu pork tacos and chicken buns, and some tropical decor. And the drinks are priced right, like the M&M Cooler (melon-infused verde Momento mezcal, pineapple, Cointreau, lime, and cucumber, shaken over ice), just $11. They’re even donating $1 from every cocktail sold to the San Francisco Clean City Coalition.
According to Eater, they plan to run the pop-up for six months or so, time will tell. And just in case you’re sad about Don Pistos truly awesome burritos going away, the delivery on Caviar is not ending, so you can still get their tacos, tortilla soup, and more. Open Thursday 4:30–11 p.m., Friday–Saturday 4:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m., to start.
Marina Times editor-in-chief Susan Dyer Reynolds heard that the nine-year-old sports bar Brick Yard (1787 Union Street) was closing, and it has been confirmed by Eater the bar will stay open as long as the Warriors continue their playoff run. It seems the inconsistency of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers has meant profits have taken a hit, and you add in the high cost of business in San Francisco right now, and the fact they have an early last call (midnight) because of neighbor complaints (about the previous bar in the location, but the Brick Yard inherited the early hours), and it’s tough to turn a profit.
And just so you know, Presidio Twilight has returned on Thursday evenings, bringing food trucks, live D.J.s, fire pits, and a full bar every Thursday from 5–9 p.m. This year includes some lawn domes to keep you even cozier.
The Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group (Trestle, Corridor, Fat Angel) has opened The Vault (555 California Street, 415-508-4675, thevault555.com), in the former bank vault space at the base of the building previously known as the Bank of America Center. Unlike their more casual establishments, this one is more about fine dining, with executive chef Robin Song at the helm.
The Cali-American menu looks appetizing, with dishes like an abundant raw platter (perfect for expense-account meals), Riverdog Gem Caesar salad with pecorino, anchovy, and sourdough crumble; beef tartare with smoked egg yolk, cornichon, and shallots; Comtè-stuffed rye tortelloni pasta with chanterelle mushrooms, and chervil pistou; and slow-cooked wagyu beef short rib with pommes raclette, Swiss chard, and cornichons. I’m also glad Song brought over his killer bread service from Gibson, this time with Parker House rolls. Pastry chef Tara Lewis is creating desserts like a chocolate lava tart with stout-marshmallow ice cream, blackberry, and tahini caramel.
There’s a bar and lounge with cocktails from bar lead Tyler Groom, some great-sounding bar snacks (kimchi-spiced almonds, or seafood fritters with gochujang and nori salt), and of course there’s a list of baller wines. The building has more than 5,000 employees at companies like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft, and tenants have exclusive access to private wine and liquor lockers to store their favorite bottles. It’s like a sequel to Bonfire of the Vanities.
The subterranean space was designed by D-Scheme Studio and has room for 215 guests, with plenty of booths and a private dining space that seats up to 25. Lunch Monday–Friday 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.; afternoon bar menu, martini happy hour 4–6 p.m., dinner Monday–Saturday 5–10 p.m.
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, Tablehopper, about the San Francisco dining and imbibing scene at tablehopper.com. Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram.