Two behind-the-scenes pros in the SF restaurant industry are venturing out on their own with a new place on Polk Street. By late November or early December, Macondray will serve small seafood plates and cocktails in the former home of Bullitt, a popular local hangout that closed in August at 2209 Polk.
Macondray’s first-time bar owners are Jake Roberts, a long-tenured bar manager at Harper and Rye, and Aaron Paul, previously bar director at Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group (he designed drinks menus at Alta’s then-restaurants like Kaya, Alfred’s, and Besharam). Their new bar’s name is a neighborhood-appropriate nod to nearby Macondray Lane, the pedestrian-only street that inspired the fictional Barbary Lane in Tales of the City.
While Paul and Roberts’ inspiration comes from San Francisco and California, it also starts farther afield. In homage to Maine, where they’re both from originally, Macondray will serve East Coast-style bar snacks including split-top bun sandwiches like lobster rolls, plus oysters and other small plates focused on seafood.
“Our goal is to be a solid neighborhood cocktail bar,” says Paul. Some drinks will incorporate seasonal produce; others will be spirit-forward. “Nothing too weird and wild... just universally delicious,” says Paul.
Marissa Jade Marsh, a former restaurant designer for Puccini Group, is designing the space. Meanwhile, Macondray just received its limited live performance license for music nights with DJs and musicians — ensuring it’s at least a little bit the playful community hub that Armistead Maupin imagined in 28 Barbary Lane.
On this strip of upper Polk, partners Paul and Roberts will join other newcomers like a busy second location of Fiorella, plus popular bars like House Rules and enduring restaurants like La Folie. Stay tuned for more as Macondray strolls into the neighborhood next month or shortly after.