San Francisco

Preview Alembic's New Expansion, Opening This Month

You may have noticed that Alembic was closed last weekend. The brief shutter was in preparation for the final steps of the bar's remodel, which is happening right now. 

Back in July, we got a peek at the new area, which was still getting framed out; after last weekend's closure, it's looking almost entirely finished. The new space will house an additional 35 people, for a total of 75 seated diners in the space at once.

"It's been a constant evolution," said Dave McLean, owner of Alembic and neighboring Magnolia. [Full disclosure: Both bars are Hoodline advertisers.] "Magnolia started as my vision as a 26-year-old Deadhead, and at the time, I thought it was perfect. Then I opened Alembic, and realized that Magnolia needed some updates. Then [Magnolia's location in the] Dogpatch happened, and now I'm back tinkering with Alembic," McLean told Hoodline. "It's all about the details."

Photos: Amy Stephenson / Hoodline

Indeed, from the white tile floors with dark wood inlay to the walls that look like stamped tin (but aren't!), to the frosted cut glass between the booths, every surface is designed to provide some unexpected detail. 

"The major elements are in place, but we'll be tinkering for a while," McLean said, pointing out a light fixture that had two different-sized bulbs to create just the right mood. 

In addition to the new dining area, there have also been some upgrades to the main space. New bench seats, which match the new dining room's, have been added in the old dining area, with more being installed in the coming weeks. There have also been a few changes behind the bar.

McLean tells us Alembic is within two weeks of opening its new space. He says he's most looking forward to not having to turn away large parties. "There's only so much you can accomplish by pushing two-tops together."  

In addition to the wraparound bench seen above, the space by the window will have a long table which will function communally most of the time, but which can be used for larger parties when needed. 

McLean promises to let us know when it's all finished, so stay tuned.


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