Almost five years after the debut of groundbreaking Mission cocktail destination Trick Dog, Josh Harris and Morgan Schick of BVHospitality are opening a second bar called Bon Voyage! Though the cocktail consultants have been involved with a variety of high-profile projects — including SF’s newest rooftop hotspot, Charmaine’s — this is only their second stand-alone project.
It’s taking over the former home of Urchin Bistrot (584 Valencia St) which closed in 2015, and was also the original location of the Slanted Door. The creative duo is still deep in the design process, but here’s what to know about what could be one of the city’s most exciting coming attractions:
As with most bars, success depends not only on excellent cocktails, but the right vibe. To create just that, Harris and Schick say they’re chasing an eclectic, global design inspired by Asia, Africa, and “equatorial tropical beach towns.” And, staying true to their personal love of treasure hunting, they’ve been scouring estate sales, the Alameda flea market, and antiques dealers around the country for décor. “It’s also inspired by midcentury style through the ’70s,” says Harris, “with a little glimmer of Palm Springs of yesteryear, and a glimmer of disco.” That means plenty of animal inspiration, with carvings, statues, and paintings throughout. See one of Harris’ Alameda flea finds below:
Designer Wylie Price (Kronnerburger, The Progress) is collaborating with Harris and Schick on the interior as well, in what will ultimately be more of a remodel than a renovation. The bar, downstairs and upstairs layouts will stay the same, though that’s about it. “We enjoy the process of creating a space that is unique,” says Harris. “It’s how we communicate the excitement we get from the things we’ve found and sought out.”
While Bon Voyage! will follow loosely in the creative footsteps of Trick Dog (known for its elaborate, biannually changing menus) the drinks will be unique to the space and won’t focus on one single spirit. Instead, the menu will run the gamut, with a flavor style to match the bar’s concept. “When we summon that aesthetic vibe, we want the drinks to fit into that,” says Harris. “Lots of homemade ingredients and unique flavors will lead the way.” At Trick Dog, that’s meant past ingredients like ginger reishi mushroom syrup, clarified malted milk, and sourdough — a common thread for what the guys consider their culinary roots.
Details on food are forthcoming, but Harris says that like the cocktails, the menu will be full of flavor, good for sharing, and obviously good for pairing with cocktails. And most importantly, really, it will be served late into the night for Valencia’s late-night revelers.
Ultimately, like Trick Dog, the Harris and Schick intend Bon Voyage! to be an extension of themselves and their team through the music, decor, food, and drinks. “We think bars should be fun and full of energy and love and people that are engaging in convivial moments,” says Harris. “It’s not something that you can just formulaically create.”
Right now they’re hoping to open in February, with service seven days a week until 2 a.m. Stay tuned for more details closer to opening.