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Oddjob, A Quirky SOMA Cocktail Lounge

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[Photos: Patricia Chang]

Western SOMA is still known more for its party bars than its serious cocktail dens, but like nearby fellow newbie Bergerac, Oddjob is attempting to bring mixology to this corner of the city by fusing the two concepts. The brainchild of Jordan Langer (the late, much-lamented Big), Jeff Whitmore (Public Works), and Pete Glikshtern (Jones), Oddjob has a little DNA from each of its three predecessors: Big's custom mixology; Public Works' big, DJ-centric space; and Jones' lively lounge vibe.

The former Shine Lounge is divided into two halves: a larger front bar and lounge that seats about 100, and Plus+, a standing-room-only bespoke cocktail bar nearly exactly the size of Big that can accommodate another handful of folks. Don't expect to find Big's Brian Felley and Mo Hodges behind the stick, though: they've departed to work on their own project, with Joey Picchi (Martins West) and Grady Lee taking their place.

The main room features a ton of nifty design touches. The most immediately noticeable aspect is a conveyor-belt bar inspired by one of Langer's visits to FedEx: it's sourced from the same shipping and receiving manufacturer, and although it actually works, it's just for decoration—the team decided not to use it after realizing it jarred the glass top a bit too much. Luckily, there's another super-cool toy for drinkers to see in action: Ben Cowden's Corpse Reviver, a Rube Goldberg-like machine that uses a series of levers and funnels to properly pour, chill, and dispense a given drink (currently the namesake cocktail, but it will rotate—those who want a machine drink should ask for it specifically). Nate Cardozo manages the front bar, with a pre-set drink menu he developed with Picchi and Lee; here's a tentative opening cocktail menu (subject to change, of course).

For now, there's no food, although Langer says there's potential to add bar bites from the upstairs kitchen if demand is high enough. Essentially, the team plans to shape the bar around the interests and desires of their clientele, a philosophy that extends to the hours: the bar will be open tonight at 6 pm and tomorrow night at 6 or 7 pm, and while he eventually guesses that he'll stay open from 4 pm-2 am six or seven nights a week, it's all still up in the air. (Twitter is the place to go to see if Oddjob is open.) DJ sets and dance parties in the vein of Public Works are also promised a few months down the line.

· Odd Job, a Bar from the Big Team, Coming Soon [~ ESF ~]
· Big Says Goodbye (For Now) With All-Day Party Today [~ ESF ~]
· SF's 10 Most Anticipated Fall Bar Openings [~ ESF ~]


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