[Photos: Patricia Chang]
After going dark a year and a half ago, the former Heaven's Dog is back in business today as The Coachman, a British-inspired restaurant and bar from the same owner, Charles Phan (Slanted Door, Hard Water, Out the Door, South at SFJAZZ). The new concept is something of a a nostalgic throwback to Phan's first restaurant job (as a busser) in a Union Square British restaurant of the same name. Unlike The Cavalier, whose proximity and similar theme will draw a lot of comparisons, The Coachman doesn't have an articulated British look: fans of Heaven's Dog will notice only a slight change to the interior, primarily via an expansion that's turned the private dining area into a full dining room and knocked out the wall between the lounge and kitchen area. Longtime Phan designer Olle Lundberg also scavenged a key design element from another defunct Phan restaurant: 76 glowing glass rectangles filled with different varieties of honey, which were most recently seen at Out the Door's Westfield location.
Phan has enlisted former Hard Water sous Ross Wunderlich to helm the open kitchen, which will turn out a hearty menu of classics like steak and kidney pie and Yorkshire pudding, plus starters like bone marrow with snails and pickled vegetables, potted crab, and watercress soup. Entrees include blood sausage with braised cabbage and apples, prime rib with bone marrow jus, and a half-chicken with grilled lettuce and celeriac. Desserts follow the theme with a sticky toffee pudding, Earl Grey tea and lemon shortbread, and stout chocolate ice cream. (See the full menu here.)
Barman Erik Adkins is behind the cocktail list, which features 19th-century recipes like a Knickerbocker, Regent's Punch, Pineapple Julep and Sherry Cobbler, plus a piping hot Ale Flip made with oatmeal stout, rum, Benedictine and cinnamon (all cocktails are $11). For those more interested in wine, the Coachman's list covers a wide range and is divided into categories according to locally sourced and imported vintages. (See the cocktail and wine list here.) Two English-style ales will also be served on cask.
Tonight is the Coachman's official opening night, and it'll eventually be open from 5-11pm nightly.
· Charles Phan Turning Heaven's Dog Into British Spot [~ ESF ~]
· Charles Phan Closing Wo Hing General Store [~ ESF ~]