Mr. Lew’s in the new

Last night we stumbled upon not only the newly renovated and fully finished Brenda’s, but also the new half of Mister Lew’s Win Win Bar & Sazerac Emporium. As we mentioned when they first opened back in March, the bar was a temporary incarnation until they renovated the space next door and decided on a concept for the two spaces that they planned to fully link together.

On November 5th they closed down the space at 441 Jones that we all knew, and a few days later opened the space next door that they had been renovating for the last few months and you can see below. Meanwhile the work is continuing in the original space, which is now closed, and hopefully at the beginning of the next year both spaces will be finished and ready to be fully enjoyed.

So the new Mister Lew’s looks much like the old one, with the same red walls and paintings, but without the pool table, jukebox, or the TV for the Wednesday movie nights. You’ll also note that there are a lot of blank spots for fixtures as the space is still quite stripped down. According to the bartender last night, they haven’t decided on the final concept yet, but it will definitely have a different name and a different look. As to there being a wealth of Sazeracs on the menu? That remains to be seen as well.

Yet no Tenderloin cocktail

The call went out for neighborhood-themed cocktails and I had some hopes for a Tenderloin as, that would have been awesome. Well, the results came in and there’s still no Tenderloin drink except for your typical, overdone joke in the comments of “I’m partial to the Loin, with it’s used syringe garnish.” That’s about as funny as running over a family pet at this point.

I guess that there’s some solace in a TenderNob actually being created:


  • 1 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1/4 ounce Passoa passionfruit liqueur (see Note)
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
  • 1 lemon twist, as garnish

Instructions: Place all ingredients, except garnish, into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20-25 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add garnish.

Note: Nakasone used La Grande Passion liqueur in the original drink, but it’s now nigh-on impossible to find. We substituted Passoa.

I’m no bartender (pardon, mixologist) so I have no idea what it would take to actually make this cocktail happen. In the meantime I’ll just sit here making Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and fucking up Vieux Carres at home since I have no more Koko’s anymore and even Mr. Lew’s is offline for remodeling 🙁

Hookah apparently a fightin’ word

In a testament to all that is shitty at Cairo Nights, a TenderReader sent in this photo taken last night of a fight breaking out in front of the place. We’re really amazed that it’s still open as hookah ain’t legal no more and I can’t see what the appeal of this dank hole is beyond that. Anyways, the bouncer apparently kept threatening the photographer despite this shot being out on the sidewalk, which is where most all of the Cairo Nights problems happen and why they’re so detested by those who live on this block.

Mark’s Bar opens on Polk

What has been a papered-up space at the corner of Post & Polk for… shit, I don’t even know how long now, is finally open and it is now Mark’s Bar. I popped in tonight to check it out and take the incredibly crappy picture you see above. They apparently did a soft opening on Wednesday and are operating on a temporary alcohol license given that the sloth junta at the ABC still hasn’t approved their permanent license despite this space having previously been the Lush Lounge (also a bar!) before it moved further up Polk street.

I’m not sure if this is officially a gay bar or not as I only saw clean, well-dressed dudes in the place. Of course, if a pile of dudes lookin’ sharp is any reason to assume that a place is strictly gay, then the front of Ruby Skye about an hour before they close would be the gayest place in town this side of Pride Week.

Anyways, we now have one less vacant storefront in the hood and one more business up and running. And that, dear TenderFriends, is always a good thing.

The Barrel Room starts pouring tonight

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.

The Tender Tonight: 200 Yards + TenderNights!

Yes, the day has arrived! The 200 Yards folks had a record amount of photo submissions of the area surrounding Cafe Royale, the selection is made (it was real hard, they tell us), the show is hung and the reception is indeed happening tonight from 8PM onward at, yes, Cafe Royale (800 Post, at Leavenworth). This even got a small mention on the Chron, so it’s bound to be a great event and you’ll feel like you’re missing out if you don’t come to check it out (we’re talking to you, Scurvy, Nutjob, and all of our other regular Tender lurkers.)

We’ll also be there, of course, giving the event a TenderNight added bonus with our mere presence. Our friends from Soapy Soaps — handmade in the Tenderloin– will provide your (let’s face it, much needed) fix of soap.

Despite this being in the Post Up mini-tender, feel free to chat us up about all things Loin –except for the explosions at night (they’re fucking fireworks, just call the non-emergency number when they happen 415-553-0123).

Hope to see you all tonight!

Doggie of the week: Doogie Stogey

Seeing as how Koko is no longer with us we thought it was only fitting to feature Doogie as our Doggie of the week. We saw him excitedly getting a happy hour drink last Tuesday, and then he stopped in for a quick check of Friday’s last Bourbon & Bacon. After all the insane wafts of bacon filled his little snout, we can only hope that he’s had some time to chill.

If you, too, want your own little doggie to show off on Facebook and invading your sofa, these little adoptable fellas at the SPCA website.

The Tender this weekend: Bye Bye Koko’s, Happy Birthday Hooker’s

  • As announced two weeks ago, tomorrow is Koko Cocktails last business day. So you only have two nights to still enjoy your favorite neighborhood bar, or if for some inexplicable reason you’ve never been there, well, now’s the time before it’s too late and Koko goes Hi Lo (hopefully)!

    Tonight is their last super-popular Bourbon & Bacon from 5 to 9pm. From their Facebook event page:

    It’s been a great ride, but the rollercoaster is coming to an end!
    This Friday, July 29th we invite you to kick off the weekend one last time with some bourbon and bacon!

    …Here’s how it works:
    Order any bourbon (or any other american whiskey) from the Koko’s extensive list and you’ll receive a side of thick sliced applewood smoked bacon cooked that morning!
    So whether you are sticking with the $6 Maker’s Mark, trying out an $8 Four Roses Small Batch or splurging for the $18 Pappy Van Winkle 20yr, you’ll be pairing it with a delicious slice of perfection. Taste all the familiar nuances separately, or drop it in and make a southern soup on the spot!

    Resident DJ KEYBUMPS will be serving up blues, funk & punk from 6 – 9 as well….
    Come and get it, and get there early…..first come first serve til the last piece is gone!
    and don’t forget about our other happy hour specials like:
    $2 PBR & Modelo
    $3 Draft Beers
    $4 Well Drinks

    So go there early, as it’s a first come first served baconfest!

  • Then tomorrow, before Koko’s big farewell party, they’ll be hosting their last Tenderloin Reading Series event from 6 to 8pm. And in between the readings by a great line-up of contributors, they’re asking people (you!) to come up and share stories about Koko’s:

    If you’ve been a regular, a friend, a weekend warrior, an occasional commiserater, or had any kind of meaningful experience at Koko’s in it’s 3 plus years, we want you to share it. It could be a poem, a story, a song, a two sentence recollection, a passing thought, something that moved you about Koko or the people who have kept it afloat, WE WANT YOU TO SHARE IT.

  • Tomorrow’s also Hooker’s Sweet Treats first anniversary party (yes, it’s been already a year since they opened), from 6 to 9pm. They’ll be celebrating with their first art exhibition, featuring Tenderloin-based artist Hollis Rhodes.

Get drunk with inspiration with Jasper’s coaster quotes

If you’re lacking in conversation because your date and/or business traveling companion you’re with at the new Jasper’s Corner Tap is a complete sock full of boredom, then you can flip over your beer coasters and discover enjoyable quotes about drinking that will at least give you a chuckle before returning to your social somnambulism.

Take Dean Martin’s:

You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

You could both talk about how much of a drunk Ricky Martin’s brother was before he became a born again Christian since you probably don’t know who the fuck Dean Martin was.

Or Plato with this one:

He was a wise man who invented beer

Which you’ll both agree with since the Irish are going through such tough times now and you wouldn’t want to disagree with them, even if this wasn’t true and Plato wasn’t Irish.

There are others, of course, by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson (whom of course you’ll both claim to have read and then only quote bits from the films) or Jerry Garcia who one of you will know was more than just the inspiration for an ice cream.

Needless to say, you’re better off chatting about the explosive amazement of the cocktail menu at Jasper’s if you really want to seem cool and leave the coasters to the ha ha that they were meant to be.

Jasper’s Corner is now tapped

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.