We found out earlier this month that Zeke's, a beloved local watering hole at Third and Brannan, was closing. Now we've got new details on what's replacing it.
Paul Cardinale, the former director of operations for Golden Bear Restaurant Corporation, (MoMo's, Pete’s Tavern, Pedro's Cantina), confirmed today that he's giving the place a gentle update and reopening in the next couple of months. The new name will be Local Tap.
Cardinale got the keys to the space about a week ago and is just beginning renovations. But don't expect a major overhaul.
"It's kind of like a classic car," he said. "It just needs a tune up and good wax job."
He's aware of rumors that a mixology bar is coming to the space, but "that's not us," he said. Local Tap will have about 20 beers on tap and a completely different menu, but they're "keeping it your neighborhood bar" by preserving the local vibe and affordable prices people loved about Zeke's.
When we asked about the former tenant's claims that she was pushed out following the sudden death of her business partner, Cardinale said he was not privy to the conversations between the landlord and former tenant, but added that both parties have been nothing but nice.
Having worked through the ranks at Golden Bear restaurants over the past 16 years, starting as a bartender at MoMo's and working his way into management, Cardinale also assures that he knows the neighborhood well and hopes to retain Zeke's crowd of loyal regulars.
"I'm not some new kid or techie with lots of money trying to start a bar," he said, adding that Local Tap will be the kind of bar where the owners are working the place every day.
Given that his business partner happens to also be a general contractor, he estimates that they'll be able to open the renovated bar by mid-December. The menu is currently under development as well, but he promised to give Hoodline readers a peek once it's ready.