Given the 2-3 year “residence cycle” in San Francisco, I don’t how many people remember the old-old Hidden Vine in the bottom of the Fitzgerald Hotel on Post (or down the steps off Cosmo). I’ll pull out my pipe and tell all you young whipper snappers that it was a nice, cozy place with a couple of owners who really knew wine and how to make you discover new ones. I know I learned a lot from them. Well, the ownership changed back in 2008 and I stopped going. The new staff were rude, thoroughly dislikable, and often overly in love with how they looked in a mirror. Oh, the wine selection also became turd. Not surprisingly, they closed to move out of the hood. It was just amazing that it took so long.
Now, it appears that Nikki Goddard and Sarah Trubnick have taken all my sour grapes and made something tasty out of them as today they officially open, The Barrel Room. They’ve massively updated the interior so that your ass doesn’t fall asleep while you’re on a crappy first date, but at the same time, it’s still very familiar. In other words, it’s cozy and comfortable. If you want modern, glowing neon and sleek lounge shit, this ain’t it. Also, if you want dive bar with splinters and rusty nails, this also ain’t it. It’s a nice touch of good old-fashioned, comfy, class in an out of the way and quiet space.
In regards to their offerings, Nikki and Sarah have gone a long way to having a long list of wines (like 120 of them) that are interesting and affordable. And despite being all wine geeky, they’re still happy to talk with people about wine as opposed to at/down to people. They’re bringing back the rotating region focuses and this first month, they bust out some France. This will be especially interesting for me as I generally know next to nothing about French wine and make fun of France due to my amazingly huge inferiority complex tinged with jealously which is basically being an American about France. Other regions will come along and they’re going to always give the shout out on their Facebook and Twitter.
Now go and enjoy as they also have 12 different beers to choose from if you think that wine is for assholes but your date really wants to go to a wine bar. They’ll be open everyday from 5PM ’til Late unless you get super drunk and douchey in which they’ll be open ’til Cab Picks You Up.