Hayes Valley has a sexy new date spot in the form of Noir Lounge, which soft-opened in the former Frjtz space along the Hayes Street corridor last night. Owned by Brian Cassanego, the 89-seat space was designed by the very busy Gi Paoletti (Per Diem, Bloodhound), with lots of '40s-inspired red and black accents, refurbished vintage divans, and a screening room that will play films of the era on a 104-inch projection screen. Guests are encouraged to linger and play liars' dice or chess at the 16-seat communal table.
Noir was originally expected in late 2012, and one of the reasons for its delay was a shakeup in the food department: after consulting chef Adam Hinojosa (Per Diem) got a promotion at his day job, Cassanego needed to find another cook to steer the ship. For now, Joanna Karlinsky (most recently of pop-up Sweet Jo's Chili & Biscuits) will act as interim chef, serving regular and vegetarian chili and the famed biscuits she perfected at the Meetinghouse. Over the next few weeks, she'll add mac and cheese, red beans and rice, and pulled-pork biscuit sandwiches as well. A handful of other bar snacks reflect the space's movie theme, including flavored popcorn and Dr. Pepper cotton candy.
Beer and wine are the centerpiece of Noir's mission, and both programs are extensive. On the wine side, Cassanego brought in sommelier Gianna Gaudini to develop a global program with 55 bottles, including 20 by the glass; there are also four California wines available on draft. The eight drafts include offerings from Pine Street, Heretic, New Belgium, and Dogfish Head, with another 18 bottles available. See the full wine and beer list here.
The current plan is for Noir to be open daily from 3 pm-12 am, but since it's still softly open, the occasional late start or closure is par for the course. Because of the kitchen shakeup, we weren't able to get our hands on a set menu, but we'll update this post if and when one surfaces.
· Noir Adds 'Kitschy Modern Movie Theatre Fare' To Hayes [~ ESF ~]
· Frjtz Closing In Hayes Valley, Will Become Noir [~ ESF ~]
· Noir Lounge [Official website] Warning: autoplay music