December 29, 2008

Drinking Might Be On The Rise, But Martini Park San Francisco Is Not

Martini Park

A plugged-in (and observant) reader reports:

There has been a sign at Rincon Center for the past 4-6 months saying that a Martini Park bar will be opening in late Fall 2008. Of recent, there is a "for lease" sign in one of the windows (Spear Street side). There is also no reference to a San Francisco location on the company's website. There was several months ago.
Curious if it has died a quite death as a result of the slowing economy. That was the line they gave for closing the location in Texas.

That's probably a good guess, and they wouldn't be alone, but we can't confirm. Readers?

First Published: December 29, 2008 9:45 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

That news will be a relief to long-term Rincon Towers occupants who probably didn't look forward to potential noise and other issues late at night just below their balconies.

Posted by: jamie at December 29, 2008 10:59 AM

I heard they backed out when the realized Cosmo Cafe was next door.

After all, who likes to mix like that? ;-)

Posted by: Foolio at December 29, 2008 11:06 AM

True story, I was leaving my office to head to my colo at 365 Main one weeknight and a cougar stopped me at Folsom and Main, asking where Martini Park was. I replied that I didn't live around there so maybe she should ask someone else. She said it was supposed to be somewhere around there and kept wandering around as I left.

Cougars are waiting to get into the place before it even opens, tell me that isn't a good sign for the bar? But a terrible one for the nabe -- Balboa Cafe redux?

Posted by: scurvy at December 29, 2008 11:22 AM

As long as they shop locally and help Rincon Hill's businesses, I welcome the "cougars." :)

Posted by: jamie at December 29, 2008 11:40 AM

hahaha is this really breaking SS news... Albeit oh so funny!

Posted by: Ryan at December 29, 2008 11:50 AM

A combination of factors made it a less-than-ideal situation for Martini Park. The Landmark status of that side of Rincon Towers makes it impossible ot make any changes to gain street visibility; they applied for a 48 liquor license (no food) and were planning to run it as a huge nightclub (as opposed to bar with food which only requires a 47) thus infuriating the neighbors who protested the license; and the slowing economy did not help. The inside has been completely gutted so its only an empty shell now whereas before, much of the original layout that was 'Chalkers' was still in tact and in good condition. Good Luck renting that space now!

Posted by: JohnK at December 29, 2008 12:19 PM

My daydream - It'd be a nice spot for a Rincon Hill Community Center.

Posted by: jamie at December 29, 2008 12:23 PM

Good point, Ryan. What can I say...it's a slow holiday week and we're bored!

Regarding this place: great concept, bad location, terrible timing.

Posted by: Dude at December 29, 2008 1:46 PM

With the state of the economy anything drinking related is major news.

Posted by: Rillion at December 29, 2008 3:56 PM

Posted by: plan C-sparky at December 29, 2008 4:07 PM

You don't need premium vodka -it is a waste of money.

Just take cheap vodka and put it through a Britta filter. Voila -vodka as smooth as the high end


Posted by: jhgjhgjhgjhg at December 29, 2008 7:43 PM

And you don't need SF real estate either, but we all post on this site.

Posted by: plan C-sparky at December 29, 2008 8:40 PM

Britta Filter?

Don't let the smooth taste fool you.

Posted by: Paul Hwang at December 29, 2008 11:21 PM

The best drinks in SF are not found in the Rincon/ South Beach area. Try the Mission, the TL, and the Haight:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/travel/28journeys.html

I have had seriously good cocktails at the Alembic and at Beretta.

Posted by: Dan at December 29, 2008 11:47 PM

Do not pour high-proof alcohol through a Brita filter. The high-proof alcohol will leach toxins from the plastics and polymers in the filter cartridge (there's more than just activated charcoal in a Brita filter). Read some of the comments on Chowhound.

Posted by: Eric in SF at December 30, 2008 9:17 AM

"Just take cheap vodka and put it through a Britta filter. Voila -vodka as smooth as the high end"

Please tell me neither you, nor anyone you know, actually has done this.

Posted by: fluj at December 30, 2008 12:20 PM

Tenants from Rincon Towers showed up in mass at various meetings of city agencies to oppose Martini Park. They also presented petitions to various government officials showing their opposition. Martini Park officials kept saying they would be back, but it is looking less likely they will be.

Posted by: Brian at December 30, 2008 2:31 PM

Cougars you say, eh?

Posted by: EH at December 30, 2008 11:58 PM

Why would they close the one in Texas? Texas is still doing quite well -- and the state has an $11 Billion budget surplus -- and no income tax!

Posted by: Mark at December 31, 2008 9:12 AM

I like the place! i went 3/13/09 i noticed less people fri sat. I think drink prices and bad bands at the columbus, ohio location may be affecting sales. It looks less packed to me.
Maybe better bands and better advertising is needed. Change drink prices. i love the place! i was shocked at the smaller amount of people.
The economy must be the main problem.

Posted by: bob at March 15, 2009 5:56 PM

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