The rich rock-and-roll history of 3138 Fillmore Street is on full display in its latest incarnation as White Rabbit, opening August 15th with new cocktails from Jenna Carlson (Bluestem Brasserie), fresh interiors designed by Shopworks, and an extensive vinyl collection. Bargoers can spin those records at the DJ booth on weekday evenings.
The albums, from artists like the Doors and the Dead, recall the venue’s past life: As the Matrix, est. 1965, 3138 Fillmore Street was a hugely influential venue and the home base for Jefferson Airplane, whose singer, Marty Balin, owned the joint. The new bar name, White Rabbit, is a reference to the Grace Slick-written Airplane song of the same title.
As the years went on, the Matrix became a music spot of a very different kind: In 2000, the Gavin Newsom founded PlumpJack Group reimagined it as a DJ-driven nightclub. Now the times are a-changin’ again: After enjoying success with their cocktail-focused bars like Wildhawk and Forgery, Plumpjack rejiggered Matrix somewhat last year, rechristening it MatrixFillmore. That wasn’t quite enough of an overhaul, so they closed it for real this spring, heading back to the drawing board.
On the other side of the looking glass, they’re back with White Rabbit. It’s not a total throwback, mind you — the vinyl collection includes contemporary albums. The new cocktails, too, are a mix of old and new: They include a Pimm’s Cup variation they’re calling a Cottontail Cup (Pimm’s, Campari, apricot liqueur, lemon Juice, tonic, and cucumber and mint garnish) and a Ginger Hop (Frisco Pisco, lime juice, canton). Beer and wine are on tap and by the glass/bottle, and snacks like deviled eggs, sweet and savory popcorn, and charcuterie and cheese boards are available, too.
Starting August 15th, White Rabbit is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to midnight, Fridays from 5 to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays from 2 pm., to 10 p.m. (closed Monday and Tuesday).