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New cocktail bar from Nopalito team is coming to Lower Haight next year

New cocktail bar from Nopalito team is coming to Lower Haight next year
Photo: Courtesy of Instagram via @nopalitosf
By Matt Charnock - Published on November 08, 2022.

Taking over the taproom once occupied by Fort Point Beer Company and before them Black Sands Brewing at 701 Haight Street, several of the partners in Nopalito will debut a new cocktail bar inside the space in the spring of 2023.

Since opening its first location on Broderick Street in 2009, Nopalito has endured immense popularity in San Francisco around its authentic, cost-friendly Mexican cuisine that highlights local and seasonal ingredients. Despite a 2020 setback — the team closed its Inner Sunset location that year, citing financial reasons spurred by the pandemic — Nopalito’s original NoPa eatery, its catering service, and its takeout window near Dolores Park continue thriving.

In the spring of next year, they will add a spirit-forward cocktail bar to its list of establishments. The name: Stoa.

Per the Chronicle, the bar’s drinks, while not finalized, will include around 20 offerings, including non-alcoholic, low-ABV drinks and spirit-forward cocktails; Yanni Kehagiaras, who was once Nopalito’s bar director, is curating the drink menu, and the current Nopalito chef de cuisine, Joji Sumi, will help in developing the food fare. It remains unclear if the menu will be at all Mexican, or will feature other cuisines.

To complement the bar’s drinks, many of the plates will be smaller and meant for snaking with paired cocktails. Allyson Jossel, one of Nopalito’s owners, told the newspaper that larger dishes might be offered at Sota, as well.

Jossel noted that the space will receive a minor renovation, which will preserve the columns inside the former taproom that were popular among patrons. And while Stoa (the name means "columned portico") will exist under Nopalito’s umbrella of eateries, the cocktail bar will stand as an entirely separate project that doesn't copy its existing elements — “we’re kind of building on our own industry experience and moving forward, but not trying to duplicate or recreate something we've already created at Nopalito.”