San Francisco

Under new ownership, The Alembic reopens Saturday

An Upper Haight gastropub that closed in April after it changed hands is set to reopen tomorrow, but its new owners say regulars will still feel very much at home.

Restaurateur Mikha Diaz and Christin Evans (The BooksmithThe Bindery) purchased The Alembic (1725 Haight St. between Cole and Shrader) in April. That month, they closed the space for several weeks to transfer the liquor license, do some plumbing work and make cosmetic improvements.

Apart from a few "manifestly obvious changes," customers "have been stopping by and have noticed that we haven't changed much," Diaz told Hoodline. "Their neighborhood watering hole is still their watering hole."

In keeping with the bar's tradition, "we'll be featuring what we will call house cocktails and seasonal cocktails," Diaz said. "The house drinks are our take on the classic cocktails, and we'll be pushing the envelope with the seasonal cocktails."

The new bar program includes an extensive boilermaker list, local brews on draft, spirits and wines on tap from local producers as well.

"We brought in wine on draft not only for the environmental element, but it also brings the price point down," she said. "It also allows us to serve half-liters and liters of wine in old milk jugs." 

The bar opens tomorrow, but the kitchen debuts on Tuesday, May 29, since the "menu is still being polished," Diaz said. She declined to reveal much about the menu, but said customers can expect "comfortable and approachable, but still elevated" fare. 

Legacy dishes like spiced duck hearts with pickled pineapple will remain on the menu, appearing now with Two Sisters' deviled eggs, and Scotch eggs with sage and pork sausage, "the one thing that you have to have when you come to a bar," said Diaz.

Larger plates include wild and cultivated mushroom wontons in a mushroom dashi broth with bok choy. "The wontons are gluten-free and the dish is vegan," said Diaz. "We are trying to get a big spread for all dietary restrictions on the menu." The pub is an entirely peanut-free space, "so that even someone with the most extreme allergy can feel safe." 

For dessert, she said Alembic will feature a "boozy" root beer float with house-made chocolate and vanilla ice cream. 

The pub will also debut counter service for ordering; previously, tables were reserved only for guests staying for brunch or dinner, but "we are changing that to seating for all," said Diaz. "Grab a drink, grab a book and hang out wherever it feels comfy. We want people to use this an an extension of their living space." 

The Alembic is hosting Neighborhood Night on June 6 from 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. with all night happy hour specials, a chance to sample food from the new menu, and meet the team. 


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