ArtPadSF at the Phoenix Hotel
Synchronized swimming in the Tenderloin? Hell yeah, ArtPadSF has returned! An unconventional art fair to say the least, ArtPad has taken over the Phoenix Hotel for a third year in a row and has transformed the hotel’s 40+ rooms into exhibition spaces. Participating galleries are showing some of the most exciting contemporary art out there from the Bay Area and beyond. As part of the opening night festivities, local synchronized swimming team Tsunami Synchro held a captivating performance in the Phoenix’s iconic pool. ArtPadSF goes through Sunday, and in addition to the galleries they have special exhibitions and performances planned for each day. If you’re looking for an excuse to hang out at a sleazy motel, this is it!
H2O Cafe closed for remodeling. What kind of food would you like to see here, Tenders? They seem to be open to community input. Polk between Pine and Bush.
After many months of stagnation while dealing with all sorts of neighborhood complaints, it looks like California Pacific Medical Center is about about to take another lurch forward with a Planning Department notice for May 23rd. Van Ness between Geary & Hemlock.
Hospitality House is having their art auction at White Walls right now until 9pm. Get art. Support a local Tenderloin social service.
Hi-Lo Club reminds us that the Farmer’s Market in Fern alley (that’s between Sutter and Bush) kicks off again this Saturday, May 11th, from 10am - 2pm. Fern between Polk & Larkin.
Photo courtesy of Hi-Lo Club.
In addition to just a name change, Thai House Express is getting in on the brunch bandwagon and serving overpriced, completely non-Thai breakfast foods Saturday and Sunday. Why you’d go here over, say, Han’s, Golden Coffee or New Village is beyond me, but I know some people like expensive brunch foods - see: Red Door, Olea, My My, or Brenda’s. Toast belongs on the expensive list too, but I love their chicken fried steak.
Thai House Express / House of Thai is serving a “Tenderlovin’ Elvis” dish. That’s cute.
Corner of Geary and Larkin.
The truth is, I’m a cheap-o-holic. Addiction necessitates good-to-free deals, otherwise you go broke really fast. So by all accounts, a place like Big is a bar I should hate. But I don’t. The bar is adorned with flamethrowers, fruits and veggies that I don’t recognize and several shelves of high-class liquors, liqueurs, mixers. For the uninitiated, it’s quite impressive. The drinks are all fucking $13 though! Christ! But much like the Green Door on Stockton, you get to choose your delight. So, in a strange way, it’s all worth it. You can say something stupid, like, “mezcal with celebratory sparkles,” and they conjure up something that makes you happy 90% of the time. No menus, just joy. Bullshit and Branch not much further down the street charges almost as much, but you have to pick from their limited menu, Because they know better than you. And if you don’t know what a stank flower mixed with germanium juice tastes like, well, you’re loss. Pay up, sucka’.
That’s my drunk review of Big. Fun times. Expensive times. Now the bad times. It’s closing Friday, June 14th. Brian, one of the main dudes, mentioned, with great disdain, how the Marriott is taking over the hotel + their little speakeasy-ish, 20-person hallway. So what’s next for Big?
He admitted he’s not moving to Hawaii to live on the beaches in Haole Heaven. But he couldn’t divulge what’s next for the bar - not even the neighborhood, to be specific.
Sounds like they need to find a license, which isn’t an easy feat in this city. The Marriott will probably keep the license and open some bland, meaningless bar that feeds tourists and not the neighborhood. Lame.
It’s been a good year, Big. Thanks for bringing something unique, if not really expensive, to the neighborhood.
And for those of you in the ‘hood who haven’t strolled in, do so before they close. Order a gin and muddled jelly. I don’t know what that is, but I’m sure they can deliver it.
Update: The Big owners probably own that liquor license and I doubt they’d sell it back to the hotel. I don’t know what I was talking about last night. Transferring a license in this city isn’t fun or easy in this city either though. I know one street they aren’t moving to.
The cherry picker probably means the piece isn’t entirely complete, but it looks pretty close. How about them apples?
I missed the other wall in Olive alley. Formerly the Spencer Cunningham piece. Olive, between Larkin and Polk.