The team behind Divisadero cocktail bar Horsefeather will take a unique new approach to the classic tiki bar — a fantasy of tropical paradise basically invented at Bay Area establishments like The Tonga Room and Trader Vics — with a new bar called Last Rites. True to that ominous name, Last Rites will present a darker, moodier vision of tiki when it opens as soon as next month at 718 14th Street.
Stepping inside Last Rites (in the former Residence space) will feel a little like crash-landing on tropical island — an effect brought home by a back bar fashioned from an actual airplane fuselage. Designer James Lagoc (Nopa, Bi-Rite, Horsefeather) and fabricator Brian Sullivan aim to create what the team is calling a “Polynesian Noir” aesthetic, decorating the bar with dense faux foliage and forbidding skulls.
To found Horsefeather in 2016, partners Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo spun off from the Future Bars group, which runs nine Bay Area watering holes including Bourbon & Branch, Tradition, and its own new-school tiki den, Pagan Idol. Lew and Scalzo’s second bar will expand on aspects of their first, like Horsefeather’s emphasis on its own wine-based syrups and its obsessive attention to detail (the Divisadero bar is loaded with craftsman design flourishes).
To drink, Last Rites will serve tiki-inspired cocktails like a Cadmael (a refreshing beer cocktail with house made tepache, orange juice, bourbon, lemon sugar, and kolsch), a Tiger Moth Grog (St. Lucia Bounty dark rum, Mount Gay black barrel rum, Real McCoy 5 year rum, grapefruit, lime, spiced matte honey syrup, angostura bitters, allspice dram), and — in an Indiana Jones reference — Kali MA’s Doom (gin, pisco, melon/sauvignon blanc syrup, grapefruit, lime, vanilla cream, and toasted marshmallow). Departing from tiki tradition, those won’t be served in fancy tiki mugs: Instead, expect glassware carved from bottles, committing to the fantasy of found objects on a desert island.
Stay tuned for more details as Last Rites approaches next month.