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Café Terminus, FiDi Take-Out and Cocktails

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[Photos: Patricia Chang]

Two months after closing his much-loved restaurant Canteen to focus on his growing portfolio of FiDi and SOMA spots, Dennis Leary, along with partner Eric Passetti, has unveiled the first of two new projects for the fall: Café Terminus, a sleek all-day café and cocktail den adjacent to the end of the California Street cable car line. Leary, who made his name slinging sandwiches at The Sentinel and Golden West before moving into the bar scene with House of Shields, has combined the two concepts in Terminus, which will offer to-go breakfast and lunch service by day and cocktails late into the evening.

During the daytime, Terminus' menu will resemble that of the Sentinel, with a rotating selection of house-baked pastries like muffins and coffee cake in the morning. Leary is also working on getting his own coffee roastery up and running, and will soon offer java made with house-roasted beans. At lunch, the menu shifts to a rotating and seasonal selection of sandwiches like a Cubano and a roast beef; the plan is to add further menu items, including a selection of ceviches, as the space progresses, and like the other Leary joints, the website will carry the daily options.

Cocktail service kicks off at 2 pm, and features a more innovative drink menu than that of House of Shields, developed by Passetti and Will Herrera, who also consulted on the drink menus at Pesce and Palmer's Tavern. Terminus is an old French brand of absinthe, and the spirit found its way into several of the drinks. "For whatever reason, the American palate hasn't really adhered to pastis yet," says Passetti. "We're trying to change that." Leary is currently offering a sandwich all evening as a bar snack, and sandwiches and ceviches should be available in some form all the way through to 1 am. Here's the full drink menu.

The space, designed in partnership with Jack Dakin, features a 22-foot concrete bar and opposing walls made of vertical stripes of walnut and mirrored glass. Passetti says the team was inspired by Hector Guimard, who designed the iconic art nouveau Paris Metro stops, but wanted to update the look for the modern day. 49-seat Terminus is currently in soft-opening mode, with a limited menu; their tables are scheduled to arrive later in the week, so for now, the bar offers the only seating. Hours are daily from 7 am-2 am (yes, you read that right). Meanwhile, Leary & co.'s second project, Tenderloin bar Trocadero Club, is about two weeks out from opening, according to Passetti.

· Canteen Closing This Friday [~ ESF ~]
· Dennis Leary Snags RJ's Sports Bar AND Second Downtown Space [~ ESF ~]
· Café Terminus [Official website]

Cafe Terminus

16 California Street, , CA 94111 (415) 960-8405 Visit Website