Polk Street's bustling bar culture is receiving a newcomer in the form of Buffalo Theory, a craft beer-focused restaurant and beer bar from chef Tim Luym (Poleng Lounge).
The food will be influenced by a wide range of cuisines, the result of the chef's extensive travels. Mostly classified as "bar fare," there'll be tapas inspired by Spanish, Latin, Filipino and Japanese flavors, translated into bites, shareable plates, sandwiches and salads. Luym garnered recognition for his Filipino and Asian street food inspired menus at Poleng Lounge, where he earned three stars from the Chronicle, and was featured as a Rising Star Chef in 2007; since then he's been traveling and consulting at restaurants like Attic Restaurant in San Mateo. Most recently, he consulted on the menu at late-night spot Ho's Bootleg Tavern, around the corner on Van Ness.
The menu is designed to back up a large tap program, with 30 beers chosen by Ted Kim (Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in Mountain View). It will include local brewers, but also international and hard to find options, something Kim is especially passionate about. A few taps will be reserved for wine and nitro cold brew.
The space at 1735 Polk St., which was previously a Quickly, will feature 116 seats across a large bar and communal tables, as well as a private dining room. D-Scheme Studios is designing the interior, which is described as "lively and industrial," and will feature a concrete bar top, exposed air ducts and high ceilings.
And for those curious about the origin of the name, it refers to the idea that the herd becomes collectively stronger as the weakest and slowest buffalo are weeded out by predators. In this case, the team hopes that your weaker brain cells will be killed by alcohol first, making its patrons actually smarter as they drink more alcohol. It's an interesting theory, and one that will surely attract many would-be scientists to test it.
The project is expected to open in early summer (May or June), if all goes according to plan.