[Photos: Rose Garrett]
FiDi denizens, rejoice: there's a new weekday watering hole in town, courtesy of industry vets Kevin Kokoszka and Gabriel Bryant. Located at the busy intersection of Mission and Second Streets, Archive Bar & Kitchen is designed for drinking and casual shared bites with friends or coworkers. Housed in a rare pre-earthquake building, Archive hearkens back to turn-of-the-last-century ambiance with exposed brick walls, Edison bulbs and an original steel beam as a centerpiece.
Partner and bar manager Bryant comes with experience at Izzy's Steaks & Chops, Wayfare Tavern and, most recently, Coqueta, and has designed a beer and wine program that's approachable and food-friendly. Look for local drafts like Speakeasy Prohibition, plus a rotating bottle list with the likes of Blanche de Bruxelles and Wexford Irish Cream Ale. Without a full liquor license, Bryant has gotten creative with a cocktail list crafted from vermouths, beers and liqueurs: the Atlas Apple features strong cider, chai, walnut bitters and spiced pear foam, and the Bay Lights is mixed from mint-and-kaffir-lime-charged wine, lemon juice and cava. (See the cocktail list here.)
The food offering is a collaboration with John Sabbatini of Barbary Coast Bistro and Pirate Pizza, who helped design a pizza menu featuring pies like the Classic (sausage, mushrooms, roasted garlic, onion, black olives) and the Get Squashed (butternut squash, piquillo peppers, goat cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, arugula). They're starting slow with a limited menu of pizzas and charcuterie, but hope to soon unroll a full menu with more options soon. Social sharing will be a focus, and Archive has a selection of wooden boards to serve meats, cheeses and spreads to any size party (check out the gigantic wooden paddle that serves parties of 8-10). Here's the current food menu, soon to be expanded.
The interior of the former Mondo Caffe is a mix of bar and table seating, with room for 46 inside and sidewalk seating coming soon. A warm industrial chic permeates throughout, from the antique file cabinet that's used for wine storage to the wooden tables made from reclaimed Cal Stadium bleachers. Kokoszka, who spent nine years as a managing partner at Mr. Smith's and before that in the Paragon restaurants, worked with Michael Brennan to install lighting and add visual details, as well as putting in old-timey touches like the antique books from his mother's collection. Diners can look for more from the Archive team very soon: the partners also have a lease on the space next door, which they hope to turn into a full cocktail bar after they secure a liquor license. For now, hours are Monday-Friday, 10 am-10 pm.
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