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Get in the Groove with South at SFJAZZ, Opening Today

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The interior of South, as seen from the entrance. (And yes, they'll normally have tables.)
The interior of South, as seen from the entrance. (And yes, they'll normally have tables.)

[Photos: Nathan Ziebell]

Though the new SFJAZZ center and concert space in Hayes Valley opened back in January, its restaurant component, South, was delayed slightly, and is finally opening for business today. The prolific Charles Phan (The Slanted Door, Wo Hing General Store, Out the Door) is behind the project, and unlike his more Asian-oriented stable of restaurants, South is primarily focused on soul-food small plates like fried oysters, shrimp and grits, chicken gumbo, and alligator sausage. Slanted Door Group pastry chef Chucky Dugo also contributed a few homey desserts, like butterscotch pudding with bananas. (The full menu is viewable here; be warned that it's changed slightly since we previewed it back in January.)

Cocktails, as with all of Phan's restaurants, were developed by luminary Erik Adkins, and feature riffs on Southern classics like the Battle of New Orleans (an Old Fashioned-Sazerac hybrid with absinthe and Peychaud's bitters) and the Pendennis Club cocktail. (See the full cocktail menu here.) The wine list emphasizes small local wineries, and there's a limited draft program with a handful of local beers like Trumer Pils and Acme IPA.

South is meant to be of a piece with the larger SFJAZZ space, which was overseen by Lundberg Design. Among the notable features are large, floor-to-ceiling windows and a glassed-in kitchen reminiscent of the one at Phan's now-closed SOMA project Heaven's Dog. The upstairs bar will serve wine, draft beer, and a select number of drinks from the cocktail list before performances and during intermission, though concertgoers will have to settle for compostable cups instead of glassware while inside the theater.

Hours at South are currently 5:30-10 pm nightly, and Phan eventually hopes to add breakfast and lunch service as well, beginning in April.

· South at SFJAZZ [Official website]
· Charles Phan Gets Jazzy [~ ESF ~]
· Let's Get to Know the New SFJAZZ Center in Hayes Valley [Curbed SF]