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The Early Word on Chambers Eat + Drink In The Tenderloin

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Photo: Mister Important Design

After historic rocker lounge Bambuddah ended its run at the Phoenix Hotel, the good people behind Mighty and Wish took over. Owners Sean and Isabel Manchester swiftly made their vision, Chambers Eat + Drink, a reality. They brought on Charles Doell, the designer behind whimsical decors at Gitane and Monroe, who dressed up the space in custom light fixtures, vintage furnishings and hundreds upon hundreds of vinyls. Manchester called it "equal parts bohemian rockstar and English gentlemen's club." Tasked with creating a menu to fit the crafty space is Mission Beach Cafe vet Trevor Ogden. His tack? Approachable American fare. Although many may think Chambers to be more of a see-and-be-seen spot than a food-lovers destination, the final verdict is still up in the air.

The Interior News: Madame Hopper calls it "aaaamaaaaazing." While Grubstreet paints us a more descriptive picture: "what with the glam details, all the shades drawn, and the shelves of records along the walls, it's like you just wandered into Mick Jagger's living room in 1981." SF Station thinks, the "menu, décor and equal parts substance and style." And Virginia Miller goes so far to say, "there's no atmosphere like it in SF." [Tablehopper, Grubstreet, SF Station, SFBG]

The Music News: D. B./Yelp, dishes, "the music in this place is superb." And Stef V./Yelp goes into more detail: "this place nails it. On the two separate occasions I've been there, the DJ was spinning tunes that were at the very least enjoyably non-intrusive, and at the most, conversational centerpieces among my group. I had to ask the DJ about his collection, and was amazed to hear he was spinning the vinyl right off the walls. Decor you can actually hear. Legit." [Yelp]

The Burger News: Virginia Miller fill us in: "The food keeps up... In a city with no shortage of fine burgers, Ogden makes an utterly satisfying one... red onion so smoky it feels as if the burger was grilled by campfire." Popservations blogger John Koch tweeted a similar story about the burger: "the @CHAMBERSsf burger is best I've had in a super-long time." And a recent 7x7 commenter gave the Chambers burger a shout out, too: "the burger at the new Chambers at the Phoenix Hotel has to be one of the best I've had in recent memory. Prather ranch beef, SMoked onions, pork belly![sic]" [SFBG, @WriterJK, 7x7]

The "+Drink" News: Virginia Miller wasn't that impressed: "drinks, though decent, still aren't worth a special trip, but the food is." But Ash S./Yelp was thrilled: "I especially enjoyed the drinks here. Aside from the cocktails being delicious, I always love it when a bar uses real fruit/elderflower/mint leaves in their drinks." [SFBG, Yelp]

The No-Smoking News: An Opentabler gives the skinny on the smokes: "I'm a little sad though that they restricted smoking from the patio, it's just a nice highlight to have a drink and a smoke while out by the fire or by the pool. Now we have to deal with the bums and crackheads that walk by the building out front in order to have a smoke break." [Open Table]

The TL News: Todd S./Yelp gives his opinion: "The only down side to the place is, of course, the rough neighborhood. Take a cab and don't give it another thought." But an Opentable commenter seems to think there's a brighter future: "gems like these will help transform, and dare i say, gentrify, a part of town that is long overdue for this kind of thing.[sic]" [Yelp, Open Table]

The Service News: Opentable gushes, they have "the best staff ever!!!... It made our visit to have such a welcoming hostess, an owner who visited our table and wait-staff that responded to all requests." [Open Table]

The Celeb News: Then there's local star power: "Honored to host one of America's most acclaimed chef's - Hubert Keller - in the house! Wonder if he wants to DJ after dinner :).[sic]" And just days before, they tweeted that a certain "'Gossip Girl' joined [them] for dinner." Then there is Juli B, who said some spicy rockers dropped by: "fully furnished cabanas (no ressies needed) and a freestanding fire fountain play host to hotties like the red hot chili peppers." [@CHAMBERSsf, Juli B.]

The Price News: An Open Tabler called it "too pricey, " but Stef V./Yelp finds that "the prices are standard for higher-end fare, and don't expect them to pricematch with their TL neighbors, but everyone left feeling like they got more than their money's worth.[sic]" [Open Table, Yelp]

-Eva Frye

-All Previous Chambers Eat + Drink Coverage [~ESF~]

Chambers Eat + Drink

601 Eddy St San Francisco, CA 94109