More than a year after branching out from their Hayes Valley wine bar Fig & Thistle with a Castro District market selling bottles and plants, co-owner Angel Davis is finally pouring wines by the glass to customers at Fig & Thistles Market. Patrons at 691 14th Street (just off Market Street) can tuck in for a glass of wine at newly installed side tables and bar seats, or shop the shelves as usual for wine, succulents, sake, and cider to go.
“Some of the wines we have are so crazy and different, we said, we need people to try these,” says Davis. With its license to pour by-the-glass, obtained after an arduous permitting process, Davis and co-owner Nguey Lay can gauge customers reactions to their often unusual selections.
Over its more than five-year run, Fig & Thistle’s Hayes Valley bar (313 Ivy Street) has gained a reputation as a hub for natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. The market at 691 14th Street is no different, stocking nine orange wines at any given time, and about 40 to 60 reds and 50 to 60 whites and bubbles. On top of their by-the-glass offerings, Fig & Thistle Market will pour any bottle from its shelves for a $10 corkage fee.
Six by-the-glass pours are currently available at the market: Hermit Ram 2017 (a skin-contact Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand), a natural Pinot Noir from France, and an Italian organic wine, Rossi di Gaetano from Le Coste Farm, to name a few.
Beyond connecting the area’s neighbors to new wines and plants, Davis hopes to connect them to each other. “I want for people to come and hang out and know who your neighbor is again,” she says.
691 14th Street has long been a community hub: For many years, Lay’s grandmother, May, ran a beloved sandwich shop there, M&L Market. Pictures of her serving customers hang over some new window seating at Fig & Thistle Market, and an old M&L sign still adorns the Market’s fridge.
Fig & Thistle Market’s hours are 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, till midnight Friday and Saturday, and closed Mondays.