Red Window, a low-proof cocktail bar and Spanish restaurant, is opening its doors to indoor dining this week after a stint with outdoor-only seating. It’s the latest project from chef-partner Adam Rosenblum (Causwells) and managing partner Elmer Mejicanos (Tony’s Pizza Napoletana). Mejicanos is in charge of the bar program, which is intended to up the ante for cocktails without high-proof spirits like whiskey or gin.
North Beach is known for its European vibe with sidewalk cafes, hilly terrain, and nary a high-rise in sight (with the exception of the view down Columbus, of course, with the Transamerica building on full display). Italian restaurants like Sotto Mare, Ill Pollaio, and Baonecci Ristorante have routinely drawn diners for plates of pasta or pizza with perfectly blistered crusts, while Tosca Cafe — newly revamped by chef Nancy Oakes, designer Ken Fulk and restaurateur Anna Weinberg — has been a central gathering place for the creative class for decades (and a destination for its potent house cappuccino, which contains exactly zero percent coffee).
Red Window fits into the tight neighborhood quite nicely, wedged into the triangular former home of Caffe Delucchi at the intersection of Columbus and Stockton. It’s been serving 100 seats outside in the parklet and on the sidewalk, very reminiscent of the outdoor dining throughout Spain; inside, it’s petite in stature at just 720 square feet, with the best table in the house looking out onto the corner, with the iconic Transamerica building in full view. The Red Window table seats six to eight guests for a cocktail tasting menu, comprised of low-proof cocktails made with beer, wines, amaros, and housemade syrups.
The space is adorned with paintings reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style of Alphonse Mucha, featuring bright flowers intertwined with flowers, birds, masked figures, and lips, a key branding element that can be found throughout the restaurant. Nicholas Roberto of Auspice Design (also behind the interior of Causwells and the Noguchi-inspired True Laurel) used Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill as the inspiration for the space, in particular his La Muralla Roja — an iconic 1970s postmodern apartment complex in Alicante, Spain. Those bright colors — purple, orange, pink — combine for a Mediterranean persona. Outdoors, madrone wood tables are roomy enough to allow staff to wheel up a bar cart for tableside drinks like the Coming in Hot, made with Alvear Oloroso, Martini & Rossi Dry, Punt e Mes, and smoked chili.
The menu is filled with tapas, including pintxos like bacalao croquetas, crostini with tuna conserva, and skewers — including the classic gilda, with an olive, anchovy, and piparra pepper. Elsewhere are Rosenblum’s takes on Spanish tortilla — here served in individual cazuelas instead of by the slice — gambas, and patatas bravas. Next door is the takeout window, Little Red Window, which serves Spanish, Argentinian, and Mexican empanadas and house-canned cocktails, including sangria.
Reservations are now live for indoor dining, as well as outside seating. Red Window is open for dinner — outdoor dining and takeaway — on Wednesday from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. and Thursday from 4 p.m.- 9 p.m.; on Friday-Saturday for lunch and dinner from 12 p.m.- 9 p.m. and Sunday for lunch and dinner from 12 p.m.- 8 p.m.