The new business—Hazel Southern Bar & Kitchen—is the brainchild of Jamie Boatner, formerly a partial owner of Sugar Cafe & Lounge, a Sutter Street location that was sold last year and turned into taco bar Matador.
Hazel, a concept Boatner has been working on for several years, earns its name from his mother Hazel, who ran a bar in Cheyenne, Wyoming, throughout most of his life. The forthcoming menu offers traditional southern food “with a twist,” he said.
“We’re essentially taking my mother’s recipes and making some of the items a bit healthier and more sharable,” Boatner said.
Plates will include a basket of fried chicken, a sweet tea-brined baked chicken, and southern staples such as collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and hush puppies. Drinks will include “a very large whiskey and bourbon selection,” several punches, nine beers on tap, and a full cocktail list.
Boatner plans to offer a “very casual communal” atmosphere in the large space, with 16 televisions and two pool tables.
“I do think what we will be offering will be what the neighborhood needs,” he said.
The Mid-Market neighborhood has been undergoing a tough transition from a downtrodden district to the home of Twitter and other tech companies. A number of upscale restaurants that followed to cater to the growing tech sector—like Bon Marche, Volta and Oro, as well as Cadence—quickly proved unsuccessful.
“Cadence didn't last very long. They were kinda in the weeds before they opened though, and I don't think the offering was ever really welcomed by the neighborhood,” Boatner said.
He believes collaborating with the connected jazz club, Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, will help integrate Hazel into the neighborhood. This week, Boatner will begin serving a smaller menu of Hazel offerings there, including fried chicken and sweet potato waffles, and pulled pork beignets.
Hazel's own doors are set to open in the middle of February.
"Fingers crossed," Boatner said of the timeline. “The permit process has been, well, San Francisco is interesting to say the least. We are getting through it, though.”
Never miss a story.
Subscribe today to get Hoodline delivered straight to your inbox.