The pandemic knocked down popular mid-Market wine bar Waystone, but it’s definitely not out. After closing three years ago, the bar is back in fighting shape with a brand new location in North Beach. The space may be familiar to those who’ve followed the career of Waystone chef and co-owner Billy Riordan. The resurrected Waystone has nestled into the former Barrio location on Powell and Green streets, as the Latin restaurant moved into a roomier space in Ghirardelli Square in 2021.
Riordan is heading up the Waystone food program, and the new menu features classics from the previous location plus some new options. Expect the return of the braised beef sandwich, the shrimp salad sandwich, and the Ploughman’s Board — Waystone’s version of a charcuterie board based on what British farmhands would eat in the field — featuring an assortment of pickled veggies, cheese, cured meat, soft-boiled eggs, and bread. But Riordan is also clearing the way for potential new classics, adding achiote baby back ribs and a shareable whipped feta dip with crudites to the menu. Weekly specials will also be part of the food program, such as an herbed mussel dish with rosemary fries.
For the extensive wine list, Waystone co-owner Tom Patella is leading the charge with a selection that includes bottles from around the world, but with a particular focus on California and France. There will be four wines on tap and 22 wines by the glass; Waystone also expects to host winemakers and educators for public and private wine-tasting classes. There’s also a hearty beer list from the four featured local beers on tap, such as Standard Deviant Brewing or North Coast Brewing, to a mix of Belgian-style beers, sours, IPAs, and more, by the can or bottle.
The new space has a different feel from the modern, concrete venue Waystone occupied in mid-Market. Riordan and Patella updated the place with design company Skiff Made, installing custom wine shelves and glowing paper lanterns that sprawl across the ceiling. The wine bar will also double as an art gallery feature works by local artists. The art on show is expected to flip quarterly with an opening party each time; artist Elliott Nathan will kick things off with an artist party on Thursday, May 18.
Waystone (1609 Powell Street) debuts Friday, April 21 and will be open 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.