Did you know that O’Farrell street is named after Jasper O’Farrell, an Irish fellow who was San Francisco’s first surveyor in 1847. He also designed the “grand promenade” that became today’s Market Street, and was much hated for that because of the houses that had to be demolished to make way for it. He’s probably pissed about what happened to Mid-Market since then…
Now, much as Norton’s Vault did, a new bar is paying tribute to this early San Franciscan. It’s called, Jasper’s Corner Tap and is at the corner of O’Farrell and Taylor streets (which is named after the 12th and third shortest-termed President of the US, in case you were curious). In their website they that state that Jasper O’Farrell was known to have gathered in local watering holes, and enjoyed spending time “socializing with his peers and neighbors in the local bars and restaurants”. Much like “gay” used to just mean “happy”, that’s a fancy ass, 19th century way of saying, “the dude liked his booze”. They even have a portrait by Tender friend Hugh Leeman decorating the place (you can see a better picture of it here).
Jasper’s Corner Tap officially opens
tonight tomorrow (with much anticipation, we might add), but they were open for test meals on Sunday and yesterday — which is when we dropped by to check it out. They are in the former space of Ponzu restaurant that closed a few months ago and was undergoing renovations for a couple of months (you might remember the scaffolding at that corner). We never ate at Ponzu (that blue swoosh thing out front was weird) so we had no idea how incredibly big that space is (137 seats). The interior design is apparently the work of the Puccini Group, who have decorated it tastefully with works by local artists (in addition to Hugh Leeman’s, we also spotted a mural by another Tenderloin resident and friend D Young V done in collaboration with Aaron Lawrence, and one by Kristin Kyono). Thrillist calls it a “mega-tavern with polished concrete floors, avant-garde 7X7-themed artwork, and a black leather booth-outfitted dining area equipped with a back room that’s semi-private, which is the way you should keep most of your semi’s”.
Their drinks menu is, of course, impressive. There are over a dozen draught beers and another 20 or so bottled or canned. Their cocktail menu (book, actually) is even more impressive though, which should come as no surprise as it’s designed by former Burritt Room experts — such as recently crowned Chronicle bar star Kevin Diedrich, and manager Matthew Meidinger. Several of the cocktails are beer-based and sound delicious, such as the Wiessen Sour 11 (bourbon and beer! with orange marmalade, yum!). And, according to Thrillist, in the next week or so they’ll be serving SF’s first on-tap Bols Genever behind the bar (why is Bols Genever suddenly so popular?). (For mixed drink geeks, some of the cocktails have already been reviewed here by the Alcademics blog.)
As for the food, we didn’t get the chance to try anything yesterday but everything looked great and was inhaled quite quickly by the hungry masses. Many said masses showed up at the door, only to be turned away as they’re not officially open. Needless to say, the location will make them quite popular with tourists.
Their menu obviously features pub classics (hello fried deliciousness), as well as a few interesting things such as padron peppers. There are crowd-pleaser sandwiches like the one with kurobuta pork roast and spicy coppa, the grilled cheese with tomato and onion relish (with the option of adding pork belly) and, of course, burgers. They also have salads, deviled eggs, marinated calamari and Washington mussels, and for those in need of a proper meal, they have things like shepherd’s pie, steak, grilled salmon and bangers n’ mash done with a housemade spicy Anchor Steam beer sausage.
You can find pdfs of the whole menu over at Eater, including the dinner and dessert, beer and the full beverage menu. In the meantime, enjoy the photos. And if you go there, don’t forget to let us know how it was.
Also, you can follow them on Facebook for their latest updates.