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Sneak-Peeking Bergerac, Opening This Month in SoMa

Carolyn Alburger | September 4, 2013 | Story

Between two beer shrines (The Beer Hall, Mikkeler Bar), a couple of unexpected revamps (The Royal Tug, Emperor Norton’s Boozeland), and a brand-new cocktail den (Virgil’s Sea Room), the city has seen a hell of a lot of new bars pop up in the past month or so. And it’s about to get one more: The opulent new Bergerac (316 11th Street, between Folsom and Harrison), which comes to us via a foursome of industry vets (Bruce McDonald of Foreign Cinema, David Brinkley of Vessel, Anderson Pugash of Crossroads Nightlife Group, and designer Josh Rowland, who’s responsible for interiors like that of the red room at Raymond Vineyards).

Located on the former site of the pink-LED-encrusted Mist bar, the hundred-seat SoMa space is inspired by Villa Nellcote, the Rolling Stones' recording studio from the Exile on Main Street era. Rowland says there will be several leather Chesterfield-filled lounge-y areas, a banquette in back that’s dramatically separated off by curtains, and a walnut-and-zinc bar up front.

Now. With all the fancy trappings, maybe this is the kind of place where the bartenders will snub you if you try to order a vodka soda, or—gasp—a Jack and coke? Not so. Chef Randy Lewis declared it a vodka-friendly zone when we spoke on the phone, although we can't in good conscience recommend ordering an Absolut and soda over the cocktail theatrics that Russell Davis, Nightclub & Bar's 2012 Bartender of the Year, will be serving up. Davis made a name for himself with his soda fountain bar program at The Ice Cream Bar. He’ll be floating a similar style of drinks at Bergerac (mostly betwen $9 and $11), but there will also be bottle service, various punches, barrel-aged drinks, and table-shaken cocktails. Have a look at some drinks in the slideshow above (Spoiler Alert: Fruit Loop foam is involved).

Meanwhile, chef Randy Lewis will wield tweezers in the kitchen as he plates up “globally inspired,” drink-friendly food ($8-$15). He’s particularly excited about his take on a Scotch egg, in which he wraps a “custard-like” egg yolk in housemade blood sausage that is then tempura-battered and fried, and his boneless chicken wings, shellacked in “Vietnamese caramel,” along with cilantro, mint and fennel fronds.

Lewis says he and his team are ready to let Bergerac rip the week of September 16. In the meantime, indulge in a teaser by way of the gallery above, and feel free to visit the owners’ upstairs dance club, Audio Discotech.

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