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Bourbon and Branch Empire Will Take Over Swanky New Space

Seizing the closed Gitane on Claude Lane

Akshay P./Yelp

The bartending empire behind Bourbon and Branch (and many, many more) is up to its old ways, acquiring a new, swanky space at 6 Claude Lane/239 Kearny that that was home, until February, to the restaurant and bar Gitane. A liquor license revealed the ambitions of the Future Bars Group, as it’s known, to the Chronicle, but owners had few details to share so far.

After 11 years on its charming pedestrian side-street in the Financial District, Gitane said goodbye this spring, writing on Facebook that its landlord declined to renew their lease. “We look forward to the opening of Bar Gitane which will be making its grand opening later in 2018 next to Galleria Park Hotel downtown on Kearny/Sutter,” the team wrote — stay tuned on that front.

Meanwhile, Future Bars appears to have negotiated the lease takeover: The group’s considerable empire includes its flagship, Bourbon and Branch, and similar bars like its neighbor Tradition. But its influence extends all over town, from the Devil’s Acre in North Beach to the Lark in SoMa and Tupper & Reed in downtown Berkeley. The whole operation is fueled by a group of three specialty spirits and cocktail supply stores, Cask. And, conveniently across from Claude Lane, Future Bars operates a slew of watering holes: Rickhouse, tiki bar Pagan Idol, and cozy, throwback gay bar Ginger’s.

Stay tuned for more on what Future Bars has planned for the Gitane space — Eater SF has reached out to the group for details on the latest feather in its cap.

Update, 6 p.m: “With Rickhouse, Ginger’s, and Pagan Idol, and Local Edition and Lark, we’re very familiar with the Kearny Street corridor, and on Thursdays, all our bars are at capacity,” says Future Bars partner Brian Sheehy. So when the opportunity to add a new space came along, the team jumped at it.

“We still have quite a few hurdles before the bar comes to fruition, and we haven’t completely settled on a concept for the space,” he says. For now, expect an approachable neighborhood bar — with no food, as Gitane took all their equipment with them.

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