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The interior of 20 Spot.
The Noir Lounge is inspired by film noir.
Squash fritters at 1601 Bar & Kitchen.
The Opening Wire
The latest food and wine openings: from wine to sandwiches to Sri Lankan fare, and beyond.
Carolyn Alburger | Photo: Courtesy 20 Spot, Noir Lounge, and 1601 Bar & Kitchen | April 8, 2013
1) Hayes Valley’s former Fritz has been transformed into the movie- and jazz-inspired Noir Lounge. The space’s most unusual draw is a screening room in back with a 104-inch projection wall constantly flickering with film-noir classics. (Owner Brian Cassanego will make an exception on big game days for sports.) The front of Noir is divided into two bars, prime for sipping and chugging from this list of beers and wines curated by sommelier Gianna Gaudini. There are twenty wines available by the glass, six on tap, and twenty craft beers from all over the world. Just weeks before opening, Noir’s expected chef, Adam Hinojosa, backed out. Chef Joanna Karlinsky, of Sweet Jo’s and Meetinghouse biscuit fame, stepped in to save the day. Her signature chili and fluffy biscuits will be offered along with popcorn and cotton candy. More dishes like mac n’ cheese, rosemary tater tots, and pulled pork biscuits will be added in the coming weeks. For a look at the finished product, check out Eater’s slideshow of the interior, designed by Gi Paoletti. You can see the noir theme, evident in the moody blueberry- and plum-toned lounge, a lit dome fashioned from a repurposed satellite disk, and very heavy looking industrial piping as the backbone for the extensive tap system.
2) San Francisco can officially lay claim to its first Sri Lankan restaurant following the Saturday arrival of 1601 Bar + Kitchen. Sporting a stream-lined design a la Brent Kanbayashi and chef-owner Brian Fernando’s heavy reliance on seasonal ingredients, the restaurant pays homage to California values as well. We teased the style of food and renderings of the decor back in January, but now you can check out the full opening menu online. Prices range from $8 to $19, fitting the team’s desire for a restaurant that neighbors can frequent several times a week. Fernando is joined in the project by wine director Cameron Masheayekh, whom he worked with at his prior job at Le Papillon in the South Bay. Take a look around inside on GrubStreet, and have another preview of some dishes via Serious Eats.
3) The Mission’s newest wine bar is the design-minded 20 Spot, which opened last week in a former record store on 20th Street. We shared most of the important details earlier here, but you should know that the wine list will focus on Old World varietals. In keeping with the history of his property, owner Bodhi Freedom plans to keep your ear drums filled with tunes from his vinyl collection. And remember there is food to be had from chef Anthony Paone as well.
4) Close your eyes and imagine a place where you can get steel-cut oatmeal with Straus yogurt for breakfast, raw kale salad for lunch, and a roasted Mary’s air-chilled organic chicken for dinner. It's for real at Heyday, a new Financial District quick-service spot that just opened with Jeremy Sheiblauer, a former cook from Chez Panisse Café at the helm. Naturally, his menu will be devoted to all-organic seasonal soups, salads, and sandwiches with support from friends at Acme Bread, Starter Bakery, and several other highly regarded local vendors. According to GrubStreet, take-out dinner will be added shortly. Check out the full menu here on the website.
5) In other lunchtime news, Mission Picnic is up and running at 3275 22nd Street (where Corazon Juice Bar recently dried up), serving a bunch of hearty sounding sandwiches (menu here) like the SGT Slawter with roast beef, melted swiss, teriyaki slaw, garlic spread, and mayo on Semifreddi’s Dutch crunch. According to Eater, they also offer soups, salads, desserts, and fruit shakes. All of the sandwiches are $8 and under. It’s open every day for lunch and dinner, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. You can also call ahead for a Dolores Park picnic box.