Junior, the heir to the former Jack’s Club space, opens for beer, wine, and cocktails tomorrow, November 30th. The new bar, way down 24th Street toward the 101 at Utah, comes from the team behind Brass + Tacks and Anina in Hayes Valley. And while the newcomers have completely remodeled the interior of the old Jack’s, a popular deep Mission dive of yesteryear, on the outside, Junior still nods to its predecessor.
“We loved the [old] signs, which we repurposed, changing the name and the font slightly, but keeping the original colors and the style,” explains Anthony Healy-London, who owns the bar with partners Matty Conway, Josh McAdam, and David Ruiz. In addition to the fifties-style martini glass on the sign, which the team kept, “There were some [other] throwbacks design wise, small features that were ‘50s and ‘60s nods, like a photo booth we had fabricated that looks like an Airstream.”
Design flourishes aside, Ruiz is quick to point out “we’re not a ’50s bar!” The drinks, for one thing, are contemporary: Ruiz, who previously managed the bar at Padrecito in Cole Valley, says he’s “really proud” of the “focused” menu, where there’s a cocktail in every spirit category and drinks like the “Safety Third” (overproof tequila, aperol, french vermouth) and the “Concrete Slippers” (apply brandy, ancho, ginger, cherry) are about four ingredients a piece. Ruiz is also keen on the 10 taps of draft beer at Junior, where the emphasis is on freshness and local breweries.
Sayre Ziskin, who designed Brass Tacks and Anina (and whose partner is McAdam), also designed the interior at Junior. “We were so excited, coming off of Anina,” recalls Healy-London. “We felt it had a really unique design that was really well-received... She did just a phenomenal job [here].” Local artist Nicole Hayden gave the bar its ceiling of colorful triangles, and another local artist, Velia De Iuliis, painted the 16-foot long mural of sparring animals across from the bar on plywood panels.
While Healy-London wants Junior to be a bar that people come out of their way to visit, he hopes to serve the neighborhood first and foremost. “We’re kinda far down, across Potrero, and we want to contribute something positive to this area, this side of the street,” he says. “If we can extend the [24th Street] corridor down this way, and provide another business that flourishes and helps the neighborhood, that’s our goal.”
Starting November 30, Junior is open Monday to Friday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.