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Bar Industry Pros Open New North Beach Hangout With Late-Night Food

The Showdown has appeared on Grant Avenue

A Mother Bronson cocktail at the new Showdown
Tony Cooney

The Pour Guys, the bar ownership team behind Louie’s (Financial District), Tempest Bar & Box Kitchen (SoMa), and the Connecticut Yankee (Potrero Hill), are bringing their formula for drinks and pub grub to North Beach, opening the Showdown at 1268 Grant Avenue. The 60-seat space is now up-and-running in the old Tamarind Hall, a well-liked local Thai restaurant that closed in February after a three-year run.

Before the Showdown and Tamarind Hall, the corner location was Italian restaurant La Pantera Cafe, whose name the Showdown has sprinkled about its new menu. They’re serving a Pantera Smash Burger ($14), for instance — an item the Italian standby almost certainly did not offer — with a double wagyu beef patty, American cheese, charred onion, lettuce, house pickles, and sauce on a sesame bun.

The new name, the Showdown, is somewhat recycled, too. It’s the same as the 6th Street dive bar and DJ spot that closed after eight years in 2017. Pour Guys partner and executive chef Stephen Crawford and original Showdown owner Johnny Venetti are friends. Crawford and partner Tony Cooney always loved the name, they say. The new North Beach bar even bears some of the old Showdown’s lanterns in its honor.

Beyond the Showdown’s burger, more menu items include snacks like duck fat popcorn ($5), fruit like melon with espelette and olive oil, and salads like grilled summer squash and heirloom tomato (with zucchini, basil, burrata, balsamic, and olive oil; $11). For a bit of continuity from Tamarind Hall, customers will find Thai-style drunken noodles on the menu, too.

To drink, the Showdown’s house cocktails ($12) include a Gold Standard (Xaymaca rum, Stiggins pineapple, lime) and a Mother Bronson (whiskey, blackberry, lemon). Chef Mike Espinoza and bar manager Jake Snow are running the show: The bar opens daily from noon to 2 a.m., and the kitchen serves from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday and Tuesday, with hours from noon to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The Showdown

1268 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94103