Six months into their stint in North Beach, Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield are taking over another area icon: after lovingly restoring Tosca Cafe, they've now decided to take over the similarly troubled nearby strip club, The Lusty Lady, and transform it into a bar. As Inside Scoop reports, the venue shares a back wall and a landlord with the restaurant, which made it a natural fit to become a bar that will share staff with Tosca, offering bites from Bloomfield and chef de cuisine Josh Even, drinks from barman Isaac Shumway, and wine from Ceri Smith and Randall Grahm.
Though the new Lusty won't feature any strippers (and won't keep the name, either, as it was trademarked), Friedman plans to throw in some winks to its former incarnation, with booths available by reservation where drinkers will be able to insert a dollar to reveal a bartender (instead of a stripper) behind the wall. The space has been totally gutted, and architect Seth Boor (Sightglass, The Mill) will design the new venue, which will include a wine cellar for Smith to use at Tosca. Needless to say, it's a big change from its previous incarnation as a unionized, worker-owned peep show, which lost its lease earlier this year amid a firestorm of gentrification-related criticism that we're sure its new incarnation won't abate. Regardless, drinkers can expect the still-unnamed bar in the second half of 2014, when it will join an already-bustling cocktail corridor that includes 15 Romolo, Comstock Saloon, and a forthcoming bar from the Bourbon & Branch team next door.
· Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield taking over the Lusty Lady [Inside Scoop]
· Watch April Bloomfield Build Tosca on The Mind of a Chef [~ ESF ~]
· Ken Friedman Talks About the First Week at Tosca [~ ESF ~]