- The Novela space, under construction.
- A gilded ceiling in the private dining room.
- Deco-inspired tile work on the private event room's dedicated bar.
- The scaffolding for the back of the all-glass bar.
- Vintage books, to be used as decor.
- The bar, viewed sideways.
- The cool zigzag floor (Twin Peaks' Black Lodge, anyone?)
The construction site you see pictured above will very shortly become Novela, a new bar headed up by Alex Smith (Gitane, Honor Bar) and Kate Bolton (Maven), who were named Chronicle Bar Stars in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Housed in the former Fluid Ultralounge space, the massive bar (3,500 square feet, with seating for 120) will focus on classic cocktails and an ambitious punch program, featuring punches made with traditional olio sacrum (freshly zested citrus oil) and served by the glass or bowl. Though Smith and Bolton developed the drink program together, Smith will run the bar.
In case you couldn't guess from the cognate name (Spanish for "novel"), the theme of the bar will be books, with vintage tomes throughout the space and a massive glass back bar. There's a private-event room with its own separate bar, and the vibe is generally luxe, with gilded ceilings, black-and-white Deco-style tile, and a zigzag floor. (That last one's a dead ringer for Twin Peaks' Black Lodge; we hope David Lynch will stop by.) L.A.-based Jacek Ostoya of Gold Grenade, who also designed nearby Harlot, is behind the remodel. There is a kitchen, but the food program is still in its infancy and will likely roll out long after the bar has served its first cocktail. They're planning to open in three weeks, and we'll have a menu and more photos as things get closer. And if you're interested in working for Bolton and Smith, they're hiring.
· Novela [Official website]