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As Lightning Opens, Tonic Guys Take Over Gold Star Bar

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Big news from Duncan Ley, Ben Bleiman, and the rest of the team over at Tonic, Bullitt, Mayhem and Rebel. On Sunday, the doors at their new Cow Hollow bar Lightning will swing open for the first time at 4 p.m. It's going to be a soft-opening, with a limited menu of tater tots, fries, burgers, cocktails and beers. Once everything rolls out, Ley says they'll do East Coast-style wings, and a devoted "Wing Wednesday," along with a "pretty legit" slew of options for a chicken sandwich: General Tso's-style, a Mexican rendition with guacamole, and a few others. Four different cocktails by-the-pitcher will be available as well: Red Bull-vodka, "Strong Island," John Dalys, and Jack and Coke. They'll open at 5 p.m. every day next week, moving to a 3 p.m. daily start time the week after July 4th. Brunch will unfurl on August 1st. Oh, and it's not up yet, but the team licensed the picture (at right) of lightning striking the Golden Gate Bay Bridge back in April to make their sign. It will be an 18-foot replica of the image set against a light box, when all's said and done.

Meanwhile, the transfer sign went on the door today at Gold Star Bar (1548 California Street), the four month old school-themed bar that used to be California Dreamin' in the middle of Polk Street. Apparently Gold Star's owner got pulled into another business, and the Tonic boys moved in quickly. Ley says they're not sure what they'll name this one yet, but the turnaround shouldn't take too long, since the bar was just remodeled. The program will be most similar to Tonic's, and after the transfer completes in the next 90 days or so, it should roll out some time in September.

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1875 Union St., San Francisco, CA