The folks behind Tenderloin speakeasy Bourbon & Branch and Financial District punch destination Rickhouse have become synonymous with serious cocktail-making in San Francisco. So when word got out that the purveyors of some of the city's best drinks were opening a new bar downtown, we were all ears.
Local Edition opened last Thursday in the basement of the storied Hearst building. The bar is in the space that once held the printing presses for the Examiner. "Doing a newspaper theme was an obvious choice," said bar manager Ian Scalzo. Having been involved with the Hearst building since opening the group's retail liquor store, Cask, Scalzo and the bar's design team were given full access to the Hearst archives, allowing them to design a space and create a menu centered around the family's rich newspaper history.
The decor announces this intention immediately—typewriters, acquired off eBay and from the Alameda Flea Market, line the walls, along with full-scale printing presses. Red booths and sconce-enclosed lights lend the bar the feeling of a 1950s nightclub, an era that's further reflected in the cocktail menu.
"All of the drink names are based on the newspaper business: on people, places, and things of the '50s and 60s, and all things Hearst," said Scalzo of the menu, which will have 11 to 12 drinks, all priced around $9. Expect period favorites like gimlets and highballs, created with quality spirits and syrups made in-house. Check out the drinks in the slideshow above.
Still to come: bottled cocktails (which will serve 6), 500 mL carafes of high-quality whiskeys and tequilas, and live music. "We want this to be the place in the city where you can see some great music and have a great cocktail," Scalzo said.