Photo Credit: ForgeryWith three wineries, two hotels, and over five restaurants, the Plumpjack Group, which was founded in 1988, is one of the Bay Area’s most well known hospitality companies. However, the group, that is run by the brother and sister power duo, Gavin Newsom (who also happens to be the Lieutenant Governor) and Hilary Newsom Callan, havn’t opened anything new in San Francisco in several years. Until tonight that is. With the debut of the Forgery, a shiny new bar directed by well-known mixologists Ken Luciano and Jacques Bezuidenhout (pictured below), Plumpjack is set to make waves on the San Francisco cocktail circuit.
What to Expect
On Mission Street just past 11th, the Forgery opens its doors this evening at 5 pm with a cocktail menu of 16 enticing cocktails. “We’ve got a really great back bar,” Bezuidenhout says of the long wall that’s lined with everything from mezcal to amaro, “we have 6 different amazing sherries and 10 different kinds of calvados.” The drinks are innovative, well-balanced, and delicious. The Pickled Swede (below) is a smooth, crisp, and clean take on a vodka martini with dill-infused vermouth that provides an excellent herbal quality to the drink. When asked why he used vodka, the craft cocktail world’s most hated spirit, instead of gin in the drink, Bezuidenhout candidly says that a recent trip to Scandinavia brought him to respect the alcohol. “I don’t know why everyone hates on it. I mean it’s just vodka. People sometimes need something to be angry at and in the cocktail world it’s vodka.” Two other wonderful drinks? The County Cork Shrub, a refreshing concoction of Irish whiskey, tonic, and housemade strawberry chamomile shrub and the Dr. Tequila, a tequila sour that get its smokiness from Laphroaig scotch and its light frothiness from an egg white.
The welcoming space is simple, but swanky; masculine, but sexy. It has incredibly high ceilings, long exposed beams, wood-paneled walls, and a unisex bathroom. Mirrors accent a few key walls making the bar feel larger than it is. There’s an upstairs lounge that will be ideal for group get togethers and plenty of room downstairs along the bar. There’s no food yet, but Bezuidenhout says they will figure something out and mentions possibly hosting several pop-ups.
With the Forgery, Plumpjack is reestablishing itself as a big game player in the SF night life scene. Their dominance will be further demonstrated later this year when they open a second bar in the Castro. Bezuidenhout and Luciano are behind this concept, which has yet to be named, but Luciano assures us that “that will be our serious cocktail bar. The Forgery is more of our really good neighborhood bar.” We couldn’t agree with him more about the Forgery: it’s a great new bar, one that we’ll definitely frequent.
Photos Credit: Katie Sweeney