The Lush

Bar News & Reviews (put it on my tab)
December 11, 2018
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Jolene’s Bar is creating a safe, queer, and fun space in the Mission. Instagram photo via @jolenessf.

We have sadly been losing many queer bars and spaces in San Francisco over the years, which is why I’m so happy when we see a new queer bar open! I’ve been tracking the progress of ~JOLENE’S BAR~ on Instagram the past few months, and hot damn, they are grand opening this Saturday December 15th (at 4pm!) in the former Dear Mom space in the Mission.

The project is from Jolene Linsangan, Ashleigh Wilson, and Shannon Amitin, and is going to feature nightly entertainment (look for upcoming parties with Swagger Like Us, and the relaunch of UHAUL this Friday the 14th as a sneak peek party!), craft cocktails, and NorCal bar food. And brunch (launching on the 22nd)! Woot woot. Come by this weekend (Sat-Sun) from 4pm-2am for the grand opening. Check the website calendar for hours and events as they ramp up. 2700 16th St. at Harrison.

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All the bubbles! The scene at Arlequin’s Champagne tasting 2012. Photo from Facebook.

One of my favorite annual events, ~ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT~’s Champagne Tasting is happening this Thursday December 13th. You’ll find over 50 pours from grower-producers to grandes marques (Krug, Pol Roger, etc.), and the best part is you get a special discount on any of the featured Champagnes you fall in love with (while supplies last!). It’s three hours of pure Champagne bliss, let me tell you.

Tickets are $75, $80 at the door. 5pm-8pm.

November 27, 2018
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Gemini Bottle Co., opening this weekend! Photo courtesy of Dominique Henderson.

Winos, there are a couple new shops where you can cozy up with some bottles of good juice. Due to open this Saturday December 1st is ~GEMINI BOTTLE CO.~, opening in the former Local Cellar in the Mission. I spoke with managing consultant Dominique Henderson, who has worked wine service at many top SF restaurants (Gary Danko, Quince, A16, and was most recently the wine director at Rich Table).

The focus will be on natural wines from organic vineyards, with a dedication to hand harvesting. You could also find some old Napa gems in there too—since the shop is full of Geminis, they’ll always be changing the selection (inside horoscope humor). They will collectively be selecting wines for the shop, and there’s quite the fab staff to do so, including shop manager Leslie Miller-Dancy, and they are retaining Local Cellar’s Ben Tinker for client relations, who is known by many in the neighborhood. They also had barman Drew Majoulet (Comstock, Rich Table, Linden Room) consult on their liquor selection. Cider and beer will also be in the house.

Weekly tastings on Saturdays will be a thing (free!), a wine club is in the works, and they’re talking about possibly getting a barista in there for espresso service too. Follow @geminibottle for updates! Hours will be Mon-Thu 2pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, and Sun 12pm-8pm—you can see they want you to be able to swing by later for a bottle or two. 2801 22nd St. at Florida.

Meanwhile, over in the Castro, Angela Davis and Nguey Lay’s ~FIG & THISTLE MARKET~ is now pouring wine by the glass! Pop by for a glass of something off their list (full of natural, biodynamic, orange, and organic wines), or open one of their bottles for $10 corkage. You’ll find some new tables and bar seats where you can perch. You’ll also find sake…and succulents. Open Mon-Thu 1pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 1pm-12am. 691 14th St. at Market. [Via Eater.]