Sneak Peak! New San Francisco Whisky Bar

Come Summer, San Franciscans, especially those in the Dogpatch neighborhood, will have a new high concept whisky bar to call their own. Housed in an old brick building that in past incarnations has been a Pony Express stable, a brothel, a customs house, a brothel, and most recently, an old brick building in need of seismic retro-fitting, The Stave looks like it will be combining old-world whisky tradition and contemporary SF locavore sensibilities. Being brought to life by the same team that opened the Rusty Bung in Brooklyn, the interior and some of the exterior will make extensive use of recycled and reclaimed materials (honestly, would this town have it any other way?). As you might guess by the name, bits and pieces of old casks are everywhere, the flooring, the bar stools, the trim on the back bar, the trim on the booths, even the toilet paper holders will be made from recycled barrel staves. The most striking element will be the bar itself, a solid block of Scottish peat, 30′ long, shipped in two pieces and made furniture worthy by a special resin-immersion process which hardens the stuff while still allowing it to retain its earthy character (and some of the aroma, one would think). Pending permission from the city, a curbside parklet will also be constructed from old staves and barrel heads and have several tables for outdoor tippling.

On to the whisky: The Stave promises to have the largest whisk(e)y selection in the city, with over 450 selections from all over the world. The menu will favor Scotch, and promises to have not just the usual suspects on hand but a good variety of independents, including…get this, up to 9 on tap. Believe it, The Stave will source a couple of casks a month and make them available on tap, unfiltered, and cask strength.  The menu will also have a deep selection of craft distillery efforts and an ever-changing list of house-infused whiskies such as locally-sourced coriander infused Sazerac Rye and toasted, locally-sourced kelp infused Laphroig 10yo. Cocktails will be given the royal treatment with an equal amount of attention paid to pre-prohibition classics and exciting new concoctions. Indeed, in the back of the bar, near the restrooms, there will be a first edition copy of the Savoy Cocktail Manual in an archival case. Before opening each day, a white-gloved employee will turn a single page of the book so fans can eventually catch a glimpse of the whole thing. Needless to say, the classic cocktails will be expertly made and delicious, but it’s the unique house cocktails that are going to garner the most attention. For example there’s the Hirohito, ginger-infused Yamazaki 12yo with futsuu-shu sake, house-made, locally-sourced blood orange syrup and a garnish of salmon roe. Then there’s the Pickled Liver, foie gras infused Famous Grouse, Elderflower liquor, house-made, locally-sourced black truffle bitters, and a Sauternes rinse. Or there’s the Hunt-the-Gowk, Talisker 10yo, Anchor Porter, house-made, locally-sourced maple syrup, and a poached egg…


7 thoughts on “Sneak Peak! New San Francisco Whisky Bar

  1. Sounds awesome. Love that they’ll be bringing in full casks. Any idea when expected opening date is? I’ll be making a short trip out early June.

    1. I have no idea when the opening date is…the date of the post gives a better clue. I guess I was too subtle…sorry.

      That said, there are several great whisky-centric bars in SF: Broken Record, Whisky Thieves, Bourbon & Branch, Alembic, and Nihon just to name a few.

      1. Guess i should have read the post closer 🙂 – though, aside from the infused drinks and a few other details (which I obviously missed in the first read), it didn’t sound too far fetched for SF. peat in resin to form the bar. That would be awesome. and, honestly, my office has antler TP holders, so why not make ’em out of barrel staves?? haha. I’ll have to check out the real bars you listed in the comments. thanks.

    1. I guess I made it sound too amazing and not quite silly enough…check that last link for Hunt-the-Gowk.

      There are great whisky bars here, tho’, I listed a few in the comment above.

      1. Hahaha, ok – good job, you got me! I agree with Terry – it didn’t sound TOO far fetched for SF! Well done! (And yes, I’ll certainly check out the actual whisky bars you mentioned above when I’m out there next) 🙂

      2. You’re right, it didn’t sound too far-fetched for SF…which is nuts, because some of that shit was pretty far-fetched. I was trying to get in a loving dig at the wonderful cartoon of a city that I’ve lived in way too long…

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