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Fifth Arrow On Target to Feed New Music Venue in Former Ruby Skye This May

Pizza, pasta, cocktails, and more near Union Square

August Hall

August Hall, an ambitious new music venue in the former Ruby Skye nightclub space, opens for its first show on April 21, and its culinary accompaniment, a restaurant called Fifth Arrow, won’t be far behind. Executive chef Joey Booterbaugh will be the headliner there (in the former Slide space below the venue) starting in May, with fresh pasta and pizza hot out of a brick-lined deck Marsal oven.

Previously executive chef and partner at popular LA restaurants Café Birdie and Bar Angeles (and chef de cuisine at Hollywood’s chic Hungry Cat before that), Booterbaugh is busy developing a menu that he hopes will work as well for a date night as for pre- or post-concert sustenance. Today, the chef was busy experimenting with Monterey baked squid toast and garganelli pasta.

Tasting his way around town, Booterbaugh praises Cotogna, Del Popolo, and Delfina. “I keep running into great pizza,” he says, though his will be a bit different, more “Cal-Italian” with a baker’s crust. It’s “a real process,” he says, “the dough’s fermented for 72 hours,” naturally leavened with a high hydration.

Joey Booterbaugh
Fifth Arrow

Fifth Arrow at 430 Mason will share an entrance with August Hall at 420 Mason for a combined 20,000 square feet of space. Most recently known to club kids as Ruby Skye, the historic 1911 structure was built for the Native Sons of the Golden West, a storied California historical society. It was designed by August Headman, lending the new music hall its name.

For its part, Fifth Arrow is named for a mark on bowling lanes used by ace bowlers. That’s because, in addition to tables, the restaurant have three bowling alley lanes to play. Britt Hull of the Tide Design Co. and Parisa O’Connell Interior are working on both the August Hall and Fifth Arrow Spaces.

“This is such an original project, there aren’t many opportunities like this,” says Booterbaugh, whose family moved for the project from his native LA to his wife’s hometown, Oakland. “My background is strictly executive chef of restaurants, this is a lot larger scale.”

“We look at Fifth Arrow as a brother or sister to August Hall,” says Nate Valentine, (Umami, Mamacita, The Tipsy Pig, Padrecito, Harper & Rye, Ambassador, Double Dutch). “But just like any sibling, it’s got its own personality — it’s its own business. We want it to be inviting, with the foundation being excellent food.” To that, add cocktails, wine, and beer, with Jordan Dunn (Padrecito) tapped to oversee beverage and food operations.

With partners Scott Murphy (Deckstar, Eventbrite, Snowglobe Music Festival), Chad Donnelly (Snowglobe Music Festival), and Justin Roja (Redford Bar | Eat, Rambler at Hotel Zeppelin, Barry’s Bootcamp San Francisco), Valentine has been working on August Hall and Fifth Arrow for over two years now. “It’s a very different process from anything we’ve ever opened,” he says, since the team is managing everything from sound systems to bowling lanes in a space that’s more than a century old. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to do it — it’s a challenge.”

When Fifth Arrow opens, happy hour will start at 4 p.m., with dinner from 5 to 11 p.m., and a late-night menu from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. A daytime menu and brunch service are in the works down the road.