Mr. Digby’s is finally opening in Noe Valley — a year later than planned following pandemic delays — first with a quiet friends and family event this week, and then its official opening on April 6. The cocktail bar is run by new wife-and-husband owners Kristen Gianaras McCaffery (Novy) and Mike McCaffery (Mission Rock Resort), who live in the neighborhood with their daughter. Here, customers will find deviled eggs and dirty martinis in a handsome space, although given the family-friendly neighborhood, Mr. Digby’s also doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s named after Mike’s childhood dog, and there is a clear canine theme.
Design group ROY (Riddler, Elda, Wildseed) renovated the interior, pulling out sports screens and putting in polish. Following new county guidelines, the restaurant will be open at 50 percent capacity indoors. It also boasts a generous outdoor setup on the quieter end of 24th Street, with about 50 seats between the sidewalk tables and a fresh parklet, complete with cozy space heaters. The menu, meanwhile, features tavern classics, like deviled eggs fully loaded with bacon, scallions, and potato chips; shrimp cocktail on crushed ice; spinach dip hot bread sliced up hasselback style, and chicken pot pie repackaged as a pocket. Chef Mike Ocampo (Bourbon Steak, Bar Crudo, Absinthe, Piccino) joined the team to consult on the food.
Some may be just as excited to see the drinks list, in a neighborhood that’s parched for cocktail bars. Cocktails hit the classics with house martinis and boulevardiers, as well as a few fresh twists, including a “garden gimlet” with gin, basil, and curl of cucumber; and the “snake eyes” with rum, pineapple, jalapeño, and a chili-salted rim. There’s also a California-focused lineup of wine and beer, and coffee comes from the micro-local Noe Valley Roastery (just a short stroller roll away on slow Sanchez Street).
ROY transformed the space inside and out, and Nicole Cooley-Katz put the final touches on the interiors. They took away the big bull mural that previously graced the cantina, pulled out the sports screens behind the bar, and put in leather and polish. The freshly painted exterior is now a crisp black and white. When you enter at the corner of 24th and Church, you see a dozen leather-backed chairs cozied up to the smooth concrete bar. There’s a front nook to the left, covered in plaid wallpaper, with a couple of high tops and tall stools. Running down the length of the long space, there’s a banquette in navy and saddle leather.
A wide mirror lightens the back room, visually opening it up into one continuous space. And it all comes together with elegant details — warm woods, rich leathers, different tiles, and tan plaid, as well as framed art featuring the occasional canine portrait, courtesy of local painter Jack Freeman.
Mr. Digby’s is welcoming a few friends and family this week, and officially opening April 6, starting with outdoor dining and takeout. Hours will be Tuesday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to close, with plans to add brunch in May. Check out the full details below.