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Husband-and-Wife Sommeliers to Open New Wine Bar and Restaurant Outside Chase Center

GluGlu is set to open this winter at Thrive City, just steps from the home of the Golden State Warriors

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Patricia Chang
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Warriors fans and concert-goers, take note: New wine spot GluGlu is opening up in Thrive City next to the Chase Center, ready to take care of your pre-game needs.

The project is the latest from Chris Gaither and Rebecca Fineman, the couple behind Ungrafted in Dogpatch, and is slated to open in Winter 2022. They both have some serious wine chops, with Fineman certified as a Master Sommelier and Gaither as a Master Sommelier candidate (on top of having earned other wine-related accolades). They’ve brought on Chef David Aviles, who joined the Ungrafted team in late March and is running the kitchen there as well. He previously worked at two-Michelin-starred Acadia in Chicago. “When we were looking for a new executive chef, we really wanted somebody who was creative and calm, that I could work well with, but also somebody that would be excited about creating menus to take Ungrafted in a new direction,” Fineman says. “And also, if things worked out with our new project, will be able to handle the program there.”

Already Aviles is developing the menu but with an eye toward the expected waves of patrons thanks to Chase Center. “We’re trying to think about a menu that would work really well for a leisurely lunch, or dinner, but also, that’s going to do really well with high volume,” Fineman says. “So we are really looking for dishes that have a lot of flavor, that are interesting, that sound good, that taste great with wine, that can be executed really quickly.” The menu will lean toward Mediterranean flavors, Fineman shares, with seasonal vegetables incorporated into the dishes.

Patricia Chang

As for wines, the couple says they’re serving ‘wines we want to drink’ — but considering the duo are industry pros, that means a mix of experimental stuff, paired with more established brands. Fineman pointed to winemaker Katharina Wechsler, a second-generation winemaker in the Rheinhessen region, who also trained under famed winemaker Klaus-Peter Keller. Wechsler now produces two different versions of wine, such as a traditional Riesling using top sites in Germany, alongside an unrefined and unfiltered wine called Cloudy by Nature, that’s more experimental. “We want people like the younger generation that are coming in and just doing things a little bit differently, but also include some of the older guards who just have been the icons,” Fineman says of GluGlu’s wines. “Somebody like Keller should live alongside Katarina.” The bar will also have other offerings, such as beer, sake, traditional rice beverages and ciders.

Matt Hollis of MH Arhitects, who previously worked on the Ungrafted space, is building out the space. And if you were wondering about the name: GluGlu is “that thirst-quenching sound you make when drinking something delicious and refreshing.”

GluGlu (7 Warriors Way, Suite 202, San Francisco) is set to debut in Winter 2022.