The upcoming opening of a restaurant/bar/lounge/amazing rooftop hangout at 620 Jones has been getting a lot of press in the SF blog scene (here and elsewhere). Some even went as far as to say that they’re one of the Top Neighborhood Game Changers in San Francisco.
Hiphapa took a peek when they were still under construction but showing the space to the neighbors, and was skeptical about the kind of crowd that will frequent the place. Humin and I were very intrigued by the concept and potential crowd as well, so we had to go check it out during their soft opening tonight (their grand opening is on the 15th), we assume once the concrete has fully dried.
The night was warm and their outdoor terrace is gorgeous (if lacking in any kind of seating), so we quite enjoyed our visit and the fact that someone got a very smart idea to take advantage of the quite mild weather San Francisco has, even if it is generally a bit cooler overall. Also, the architectural design of the space is simply impressive and probably one of the best designs we’ve ever seen in SF for such an establishment. There are four or five different bars all over the place, some completely indoors and some in the outdoor area (but with the ability to become indoors as well).
Personally, I like the use of concrete blocks and raw materials, but I’m wondering if the industrial style is going to remain as it is or if that was just unfinished construction. Also out for the jury to decide is whether the noise of the outdoor area is going to drive the neighbors in the area insane who aren’t hotel guests, although they might not be so happy either.
The biggest objection that Hiphapa had, and that we can subscribe, is not about the place but about the people who’ll go to the place. Let’s not forget that Swig (which started out with a cool crowd, but then went completely striped shirt-ward) is just across the street and that yuppies love places that can be described as ‘lounges’ that have good iPhone reception.
Tonight however, we saw a crowd that was a bit more diverse than we expected (including one of the owners, who was riding a bicycle and carrying a messenger bag). Hell, we even bumped into a couple of Tenderblog readers and fans. A place where you can find such people can’t be that bad. Oh and despite all the outdoor space, smoking will apparently not be permitted there.
Take a look at some snapshots we took tonight and decide for yourselves.