The team behind the recently opened nightclub Audio Discotech is set to launch the second project in that South of Market space, with the opening of Bergerac, a craft cocktail bar serving dynamic international cuisine.
Previous Coverage: A look at Audio Discotech
The bar program is led by nationally-acclaimed Bar Director Russell Davis. He has brought in a great group of bartenders from across the country including Yael Vengroff, who was the 2012 National Miss Speed Rack winner and is serving as bar manager at Bergerac and Audio Discotech. “I wanted to have a unique cocktail menu, but also wanted to enhance the experience for our guests. It’s about having a great drink, but also the technique of our bar team, the show,” Davis said. “And we’ve designed the bar in a way that we can have that ‘functional flair.’”
The cocktail menu is split into four different categories: Modern Day Classics, From the Curator (cocktails Davis created himself), Staff Drinks (each bartender will have a say in the menu) and Communal Drinks. While there will be a host of craft cocktails, Davis also didn’t want the space to be so pretentious that guests are forced to drink something. “So if they want a shot and a beer, we’ll get them a shot and a beer. We’re not a place where we’re going to force people to drink something they don’t want,” said Davis. “We want the menu to be fun, the drinks to be fun and the process of creating those drinks to be fun as well. I wanted the menu at Bergerac to be built around the cocktail culture and cocktail community.”
Cocktails are just one part of the equation at Bergerac, as there will be a food menu as well from Chef Randy Lewis, filled with items with an international flair. Lewis, who has roots in the South, said the menu was developed in collaboration with Davis‘ cocktails in mind. “There will be some food that people know, what I guess you could describe as bar-type food. But when I was working on the menu, my main goal was to create dishes around the cocktails and spirits Russell was using,” Lewis said. “We did a lot of tastings together and it was a process where I tried to determine if a certain spice on a dish might work well with the main spirit in a drink.”
Lewis said his menu, which is still being tweaked, is meant to be communal, where groups can share items. “We’re using some interesting techniques in the kitchen, but in all honesty, I think many of the items will be hands-friendly,” Lewis said. While sourcing locally is important to Lewis, he said he’s not been afraid to gather ingredients and spices from around the globe to bring his dishes together.
The space itself is almost befitting of a completely different time period – there is a feel of the Renaissance and old world France. The idea behind the design by Josh Rowland is loosely based on Villa Nicolette, an Art Nouveau-styled mansion in the south of France where the Rolling Stones composed “Exile on Main St.” There is plenty of comfortable seating, but also space to move around freely. Each portion of Bergerac has a different feel, aimed at mimicking different portions of the mansion. The long bar features 25 seats and there are several plush couches as well, great for larger groups or couples.
Bergerac is located at 316 11th Street in San Francisco and will be open Tuesday-Saturday starting at 5:00pm. Grand opening night is Saturday, September 21.