The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
June 21, 2021
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A look at one of the bars and dramatic lighting at Persona. Photo: Chad Santo Tomas.

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Bar manager Oscar Sinisterra stirring up some magic. Photo: Chad Santo Tomas.

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The low-slung seating in fun fabrics. Photo: Chad Santo Tomas.

With the reopening of San Francisco comes the opening of some new bars! Opening this week in the former The Cellar is ~PERSONA~, a space designed for happy hour, quality cocktails, events, and good times, with sound set up in four different areas (DJs and entertainment will be coming in time).

The subterranean space has been completely redone by C Walters Design, who always adds a touch of swank and shimmer to his projects. The space is designed to be movable and convertible into different seating areas and sections, and one area will even have its own special entrance on Hobart Alley. There are custom tables and barstools, with low-slung seating in a variety of fabrics, from teal vinyl to dove grey to gold to leopard. The space is tricked out with dramatic and theatrical lighting, TV screen panels behind the bar that disappear until you turn them on, shimmery gold mesh columns, and a mural will be coming to one of the walls. It’s all just the right level of party-chic.

There are draft cocktails and six wells (!) that will be ready and waiting for the thirsty, after-work, downtown crowd. Oscar Sinisterra (Hello Stranger) is behind the creative list of craft cocktails, featuring touches like palo santo-infused gin, carbonation, and kombucha. The Welcome Cocktail with Cappelletti, wine, tangerine, and oleo-saccharum is a great place to start, while a nitro vodka and cold brew coffee number will keep the party going (you can peek at the preview menu here, names are TBD, FYI). The owners are friends with the chef at Rasa in Burlingame, who will be working on a small menu of bites, which they will prepare out of the Matador kitchen upstairs.

The partners asked me to keep their identities secret until they throw their surprise launch party for friends and employees (from their other locations) this week, so in the spirit of the bar’s name, I’m going to keep their personas on the DL. Open Thu-Sat 7pm-2am (for now). 685 Sutter St. at Taylor.

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The doors to the Bus Stop are open once again. Photo courtesy of Bus Stop.

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The future landing pad of Mothership. Instagram photo via @mothershipbar.

A couple quick updates for you about bars around town: first, the historic ~THE BUS STOP~, one of the oldest bars in the city (since 1900!) and certainly one of the oldest sports bars, is back open! The new owners are Joe Wallace (from a financial advisory firm) and Robert Lemons (director of basketball operations for the Sacramento Kings), who bought the building and the business. They’re keeping the sports bar vibe alive and well, and will just be doing a little TLC to the space (like ADA and bathroom updates)—they said previous owner Gabe Ferroni and family kept the place pretty immaculate (it was in the family for four generations). They have been loving hearing all the stories from regulars coming back into the bar, and look forward to making more memories. Open Mon-Fri 10am-2am, Sat-Sun 9am-2am. 1901 Union St. at Laguna.

Eater has news about the the new tenants of the former Virgil’s Sea Room: three local bartenders (Joanna Ricco, El Rio; Alicia Griffiths, Brass Tacks and Junior; and Sean Mabry, the Knockout) will be opening ~MOTHERSHIP~. Look for some sci-fi and funkadelic space vibes, with lots of plants on the patio. You can read their thoughtful opening announcement note here. They’re aiming for a mid-fall opening. 3152 Mission St. at Valencia.