El Amigo, the sort-of-hidden, small bar connected to Emmy's Spaghetti Shack in Bernal Heights, just reopened two days ago after a facelift. The interior was cleaned up, several windows were added to the exterior (see the phone cam snap at right) and owner Joe Kaplan tells us it's now under new management. More important, perhaps, is Kaplan's addition of about 30 100% blue agave tequilas—a "tequila bar," if you will—and some well-thought-out cocktails.
Kaplan used to be a bartender at The Royal Cuckoo across the street, so he knows where to go in the drink department. The house margarita, made with Cabrito blanco tequila, agave and lime juice, will run you just $5. They are still training bartenders and devising the final Latin-style cocktail list; so consider this a soft-launch period. Keep in mind, when things are slow at Emmy's next door, they'll let you bring food from the restaurant into the bar. "It's all very casual," says Kaplan.