Lazy Bear, the communal, fine-dining-dinner-party restaurant from chef/owner David Barzelay, has consistently earned both critical praise, and a fan club of local diners since opening in 2014. Now, Barzelay tells Eater that he and Lazy Bear bar manager Nicolas Torres are opening a more approachable, cocktail-focused restaurant— it will take over the former Tradesman space, just blocks away at 753 Alabama Street.
Though many details are still in the early stages, Barzelay says that the new concept will showcase Torres’ inventive cocktails, with a full food menu to match and a lower price point than Lazy Bear’s current tasting menu. “He’s adopted the philosophy behind our cuisine into the bar program,” Barzelay said. “Things like the use of fresh seasonal local produce are a focus, so the drinks aren’t totally spirit-focused cocktails.”
The food will be an extension of the modern American fare currently served at Lazy Bear, but “in a different context,” says Barzelay. (Examples of recent dishes at Lazy Bear include aged squab with wild blueberries, and grilled lamb served under redwood branches.) Torres and Barzelay are also planning “multiple experiences” at the new place, which they say will similarly reflect the way that Lazy Bear offers two experiences, with drinks and snacks on the the mezzanine and dinner in the dining room below.
Diners can also expect a lower barrier to entry than Lazy Bear’s often sold out ticketed dinners, which clock in at $180-185 per person and require a time commitment of several hours. “It’ll be the philosophy we have here, but delivering it in a more accessible way,” said Torres. That also means a more casual atmosphere where industry friends (and diners) can drop by for just a drink, something Barzelay says the team has been missing at Lazy Bear. “
The new space already contains significant amounts of original woodwork done by Tradesman owner Zarin Gollogy; Gollogy also helped Barzelay with many of the design components at Lazy Bear, so expect similar, but different aesthetics in the 1,600 square-foot space.
The liquor license is currently in the process of being transferred to its new owners, with the addition of distilled spirits; the Tradesman will close for good after brunch on September 25th. After that, expect the as-yet-unnamed concept to make a debut in early 2017. Stay tuned for more details on the food, drinks, and space.