[Photos: Rose Garrett]
Dennis Leary has unveiled another of his post-Canteen projects today, with the opening of the Trocadero Club on Geary and Leavenworth. The project is Leary's second opening with partner Eric Passetti in as many weeks, following new FiDi take-out and cocktail spot Café Terminus. Housed in the space formerly occupied by famed dive bar RJ's Sports Bar, Trocadero aims to bring a softer, more sophisticated vibe to the area. The interior has a Bauhaus-inspired ambiance, with stucco walls, newly reopened windows and a restored antique bar.
Relics of earlier bar iterations were discovered during the build-out, a reminder that San Francisco's bar history is long and storied. "We discovered a 100-year-old safe above the bathrooms," says Passetti. "We had a safe-cracker come in and get it open. It had a phone book from March of 1936, and wooden drink tickets from an earlier iteration of the bar called 'Driftwood.'" Passetti hopes the bar will serve as a throwback to sexier bar times like the '70s and early '80s. "It's a cool, friendly place with a very unusual design, where people can meet, drink excellent cocktails and socialize with members of their desired sex."
Jake Roberts is heading up the drink program. "We aren't really aiming toward being a mixology destination bar, but still would like people to know they can come for a well made cocktail," he says. Some of Roberts' drinks include San Francisco originals such as a Carter Beats the Devil with a house-made chili tincture and a Shanghai Gin, plus classics like a Hanky Panky and an Old Pal with Gran Classico instead of Campari. Roberts has also included a couple of his own concoctions, like the Maraschino Step (a play on a Paloma with an amaro float).
The Trocadero team is going for a neighborhood vibe, where drinkers won't have to wait too long for a drink or order a specialty cocktail per se. "Put simply," says Passetti, "it's a beautiful bar where people have a good time, whether you're in a relationship or looking to start one." The bar will be open from 5pm-2am, seven nights a week.