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American History-Themed Cafe and Bar Heads for Former Volta Space

Antique sofas, revolutionary cocktails, and Thomas Jefferson’s favorite food are on tap at Executive Order

Executive Order

After election day, it only seems fitting that we learn about a new San Francisco bar dedicated to American history and the country’s foundational values. Dubbed Executive Order, the effort comes from John Eric Sanchez of Sip Bar & Lounge and its bar-within-the-bar the Hancock Room, which closed this past February when its building was due for earthquake retrofit construction.

Taking over the former Volta space — a giant 7,200 square feet — at 868 Mission Street, Executive Order will operate as a 21-and-over coffee bar during the day and a cocktail lounge at night, with a food menu from consulting chef Erik Hopfinger (The Cooperage, Circa), who some might recognize from vintage Top Chef (he appeared in 2008). The drinks, food, and atmosphere will all pay homage to the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, as well as promote the important role immigration and diversity has played in shaping this country. It should open by the end of the month.

It’s a natural segue for Sanchez, who similarly decked out the Hancock Room in presidential busts and antique furnishings. He’s bringing over those same Spanish brass and crystal chandeliers to Executive Order, along with Chesterfield-inspired, walnut-clad sofas; Victorian armchairs; tufted leather wall panels; an antique pool table; and loads of presidential portraits. They’ll all contrast with the space’s otherwise modern, sleek design. Sanchez teamed up with CCS Architecture for a major overhaul of the space — making it intentionally customizable for variously sized private gatherings — and added a second bar in the mezzanine.

Some favorite Hancock Room cocktails will make their way to the Executive Order menu as well, with in-theme names like Crossing the Delaware and Revolution. Hopfinger’s finger foods menu, meanwhile, will take traditional American and Southern comfort dishes and infuse them with international elements to speak to the plurality of cultures in the Bay Area. It’ll also be sure to include some presidential favorites — according to history buff Sanchez, Thomas Jefferson adored mac ‘n’ cheese and John Adams loved pickles. During the day, coffee will be provided by Luigi DiRuocco (Coffee Bar, Mr. Espresso) and pastries via Craftsman & Wolves and Brisbane’s Bakers of Paris.

The Perbacco team closed its ambitious Scandinavian restaurant Volta after only nine months, citing the challenges of doing business in the still-evolving Mid-Market neighborhood. Executive Order will need to overcome those same realities — but perhaps its very different concept will find more solid footing.

Stay tuned for more details as the opening gets closer.