Park Tavern: Opening just a few short months ago in the former home of Moose’s, this restaurant and bar has brought back the buzz to the space made famous — and extraordinarily popular — by the inimitable restaurateur and raconteur Ed Moose. And the late Moose’s presence is still front and center — he is represented at the bar by a large, carved moose head. Bar manager Brian Levesque has also designed referential drinks on the menu for Moose and his wife, Mary Etta. But Park Tavern is no nostalgia trip. The menu, drinks and decor befit a 2012 North Beach hot spot. 1652 Stockton St., San Francisco, (415) 989-7300, www.parktavernsf.com
Can you describe the concept at Park Tavern? We hearken back to [this location’s] days as Moose’s. We want to pay homage to that. And I think Ed Moose would recognize the place and its modernity.
Why is this place so busy so soon? We get a lot of locals and we get a local of concierge business. It is the hot new restaurant in town. We have a fun staff and the synergy of that has worked really, really well from the get-go. We are full every day now and we are opening for brunch soon.
Do you get any regulars from the old place? Almost once a day we get a customer who used to go to Moose’s, and we get people who used to work at the bar all the time.
What can you tell me about the decor? This place feels like it’s been open for 10 years, but we just opened on Sept. 1. The space was redesigned into three rooms: the bar area, the dining area and the cafe terrace that looks out on [Washington Square] Park.
What’s unique about the cocktail list? We do a little bit of everything in terms of spirits. We name our drinks after parks, and that will keep changing as the seasons change. We are now creating a cocktail program for our new brunch.
What are the hot sellers here? We do bourbon and gin the most. The hot drink is the Country Lawyer. This is a classic cocktail space, so we do a lot of martinis, manhattans and Ed’s Negronis.
So you have drinks inspired by Ed and his wife? Ed was known for drinking Negronis in a wine glass, and Mary Etta’s Bubbles is sparkling wine.
How do you come up with new drinks? We know the balance of the spirits and the components, and we all collaborate.
What does North Beach think of Park Tavern? All the people in the neighborhood from the Herb Caen era are coming back in. And all the politicos and socialites have been in.
- 1½ oz. 209 gin
- ¾ oz. fresh-squeezed pink or ruby grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. Lillet
- ¼ oz. Benedictine
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients and shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a grapefruit peel.