The late-night scene has taken a hard hit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some bars have yet to go back to closing at the late — or, um, early depending on how you look at it — hour of 2 a.m., new SoMa nightspot Dragon Horse aims to become the area’s late-night destination for cocktails, sushi, and skewers, all of which will be served until 1 a.m. six days a week. It’s the latest project from Mins Group, as first reported by Tablehopper, which recently debuted a whole slate of restaurants and bars including twin wine and coffee bars and Korean fine-dining restaurant Suragan. In this group is recycling a familiar space, reimagining the former Mins restaurant Izakaya Hon into a new bar.
Cocktails at Dragon Horse come from Mins Group bar director Derrick Li, the award-winning bartender who recently opened Blind Pig Speakeasy Lounge in the historic Cathay House on California Street. “This location will be a Japanese ingredient-focused craft cocktail bar by Derrick,” says Min Choe, CEO of Mins Group. Expect more inventive cocktails from Li, with drinks like the Framing Dragon incorporating rose baijiu with Bombay Sapphire gin, hot pot cordial, coconut oolong tea, with yuzu and lime. The Mogura, meanwhile, combines Mount Gay rum with Dictador 12-year rum, and Amaro Nonino, plus ginger, tangerine, mint, lime, and pineapple. This spot will also serve beer from the Mins Group’s new brewery, lead by brewmaster Dave McLean and located beneath the Sushi Sato restaurant in Polk Gulch.
But beyond the drinks, Mins Group is also ensuring there will be food available for customers into the late-night hours. It’s a menu that incorporates sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri with izakaya food, such as ginger chicken tsukune skewers, gyoza dumplings, and even tori paitan ramen. Given that there will be food available late into the night, alongside some unique cocktails, Choe hopes the new spot will be a go-to spot for industry folks and locals alike. “I think this is huge after COVID happened, now with bars closing at midnight now,” Choe says. “Industry people work in a restaurant that closes at 11. They need a place they can hang out, and I think this will be it.”
Dragon Horse (917 Folsom Street) debuts Wednesday, March 8 and will be open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday to Monday, closed Tuesdays.