Is everybody familiar with the concept of a "hofbrau"? No? Well let's start there. A hofbrau, as we know them in California, is a bar that serves food, usually cafeteria-style. Unlike some other major cities, San Francisco, which for many years had an over-population of men, evolved a bar culture that often involved food in particular the "free lunch" offered by many saloons (and still offered on Fridays at Comstock Saloon), in which food was served for free to encourage mid-day drinking. Hofbraus likely took hold in SF because of that tradition, and not necessarily via German immigrants, despite the word though Schroeder's downtown likely had more of a hofbrau format in decades' past. The hofbrau thing spread down to L.A. as well, but traditional SF hofbraus featured carved meat, beer, and cocktails, with Lefty O'Doul's at Union Square and Tommy's Joynt on Van Ness a couple of the last holdouts.
Enter Starboard SF, a new pub coming to 16th and South Van Ness from former Alembic guy Daniel Hyatt, which as he tells Tablehopper will "be similar in format to Tommy’s, but with a bit of a NorCal spin on the ingredients and sourcing." Featured on the menu will be things like open-faced turkey sandwiches, carved meat plates with sides, and French dips, as well as big family-style entrees on Sunday like cassoulet.
Hyatt is partnering with owner of next-door bar/club Slate, Patty West, along with former Alembic bartender Suzanne Ray, to open this "new kind of hofbrau," which will serve beer and a rosé-centric wine list and there will also be a window between Slate and Starboard, so you can get cocktails on the other side and get your dinner as well.
They're aiming for a late July or early August opening.
Starboard SF - 2919 16th Street at South Van Ness