A lot of cocktail fans mourned the loss of cozy Tenderloin spot Big, which had to give up the ghost far too quickly last year when the building it was in was sold. Now, a couple of the guys behind it (minus bar manager Brian Felley) have opened a tiny new bar-within-a-bar called SRO, which stands for Standing Room Only and not to be confused with the real estate term for the single-room-occupancy hotels that dot the middle of our city.
SRO follows in the footsteps of The Hideout at Dalva and Wilson & Wilson inside Bourbon & Branch in this mini-trend of higher-end cocktail bars that live inside of larger, busier bars. And it's simultaneously trying to keep the comforting, high-end-but-low-key spirit of Big alive.
As Urban Daddy notes, the new spot has opened inside of OddJob (1337 Mission Street at 9th), the saloon opened last fall by Public Works/Jones owners Peter Glikshtern and Jeff Whitmore, and bar guys Jordan Langer and lead bartender Joey Picchi (Jordan also helped conceive Big). Like Big, there's no menu, and drinkers are in the bartenders' hands. Tell them what you like, and they'll concoct something for you.
And the entrance is kind of hidden — there's a separate door off of Washburn Alley, or you can enter via a secret bookcase-door, a la the Library at Bourbon & Branch, at the back of OddJob.
Meanwhile, former Big cocktail guru Brian Felley has been bouncing around and popping up different places, and he and partner Mo Hodges are still working on opening their own spot in Oakland.
SRO, 9 Washburn Street (near Mission and 9th), inside OddJob