Fresh Air on the SF Nightlife SceneOctober 28, 2010 By: Leigh W. O'Quinn
Nightclub veteran Peter Glikshtern is giving an historic San Francisco landmark a facelift. Empty for decades, the 13,000-square-foot space at 620 Jones St. is being revived as Jones, an indoor/outdoor bar and lounge, and is now welcoming patrons.
Located between Post and Geary next to the Gaylord Suites Hotel, Glikshtern — famed for his work with Mighty, Som, Liquid and Club Six — saw potential behind the property’s Spanish colonial revival architecture and decided to give it a modern perspective.
“In the 1930s this space was home to a 120-table restaurant, and we think its time has come again,” says Glikshtern of Jones. Partnering up with other noted area nightclub forces including Spundae, Jones includes a new 8,000-square-foot rooftop patio courtyard.
Architect Peter Strzebniok of Nottoscale (whose résumé includes work on renovations of the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Academy of Sciences) worked with the Jones crew to give the space a much-needed upgrade. Finding inspiration in the neighboring hotel’s entrance, ornate laser-cut steel plates greet guests and reflect a more timely interpretation of the original ironwork. The plates continue throughout the space past the main bar, thanks to Kyle Reicher of Ferrous Studios lending his skill to the redesign.
Past a wall of pivoting floor-to-ceiling glass doors one will find the outdoor terrace (which will be heated as the temperature drops). Long-abandoned rooftop rubbish was cleared to make way for an urban oasis. Another bar has been added outdoors in addition to landscaping and planters so guests can enjoy any number of craft cocktails under a moonlit sky. Highlights from the menu include the Kensington Zinger (house-made ginger-jalapeño syrup, gin, ginger beer and lemon), the San Frantastic (elderflower liqueur, muddled strawberry, lemon juice, blood-orange vodka, sugar) or the NY Sour (bourbon, lemon juice, sugar, egg and red wine float).
In addition to becoming a new spot for mixology fans, Jones patrons will be able to return on Sundays for brunch in the near future, where meals will be paired with a Breakfast Martini (gin, Cointreau, orange marmalade, egg white). The space also functions for a dining experience courtesy of chef Ola Fendert and a French-Californian menu with preference to local ingredients, seasonal produce and organically farmed meats. Additionally, a small plate menu to complement beverages during happy hour will soon be available, and the staff is even poised for a full dinner menu.
Besides the penchant for greenery outdoors, the operation of Jones itself also has gone green. Fair-trade products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies and green linens are only the first step in Jones’ eventual goal that includes a completely solar-powered property and sustainability of food waste.
The intimate Jones soft-opened Oct. 15 and accommodates 125 patrons. The gates of Jones open Tuesdays through Sundays at 4 p.m. where one can sip a Sazerac in style until 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or 2 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Once brunch service starts, the venue will open at 11 a.m on Sundays. Jones is also available for private events.
“This is a very unique property, We just saw this incredible opportunity to breathe life back into this little corner of the city — and not just revive the glamour of the building’s architecture, but also blow people away with this unbelievable combination of indoor-outdoor-rooftop space,” says Glikshtern. “Where else do you see something like this in San Francisco?”