SF’s hottest rat cocktail experience
There are publicity stunts, and then there’s the Rat Bar, a three-day pop-up from June 13 to to 15 at the permanent Fisherman’s Wharf haunted house known as the San Francisco Dungeon. It’s the second iteration of the Dungeon’s previous gambit, a rat cafe, which supposedly sold out in 45 minutes. What sounds like a serious health department violation actually skirts around the issue by separating the rat-petting portion from the drink-consuming aspect: Customers (who pay $50) get one cocktail, a tour of the dungeon, and then time to play with rats from Ratical Rodent Rescue. Then they’re set free at an upstairs cash bar, where they might require several more drinks.
Castro’s Brewcade will expand, but first close and change names
Castro District arcade bar Brewcade (est. 2014) has announced plans to close, change its name, and reopen in an expanded space, spilling over into the next door restaurant that was previously Botellon. Sibling owners Shawn Vergara and Tiffny Vergara Chung, also of nearby cocktail bar Blackbird, say they’ll close on June 3 for a remodel to connect the neighboring spaces. When they reopen, the entrance will be at 2200 Market Street B, and they’ll go by the new name District 8 (the Castro’s designation), a way to underscore that the focus is now on food — which will be served in a fast-casual setting — and cocktails (they bought Botellon’s license) as much as brews and arcade games.
Brenda’s Oakland targets July opening
A planned fast-casual Brenda’s, a spinoff of SF’s Brenda’s French Soul Food from Brenda Beunviaje and partner Libby Truesdell, is now gearing up for a late-summer opening in Oakland. The location, a new development at 41st and Broadway, has been somewhat delayed.
Alfred’s has closed again, temporarily
Alfred’s Steakhouse, first opened in 1928, is closed for a remodel. Owner Al Petri says he’s adding some new features to the dining room, a blood red and leather space that already got one refresh when Petri handed the restaurant over to Daniel Patterson’s restaurant group in 2015. That ownership change didn’t last, and Petri and family bought back the majority stake in Alfred’s last year — he’d like to see the restaurant reach 100 years old, he says.