by Betty Wang
Barbarossa, the new concept from former Bubble Lounge owner Eric Benn and his new business partner Arash Ghanadan, who is also the co-owner of Novela, is planning for a mid-October reopening, reports Hoodline.
As you may recall, Bubble Lounge located in the Historic Jackson Square District and former West Coast spinoff of its original New York location (which also recently closed due to a rent hike), shuttered in May after 17 years of operating.
Benn had placed a note on the door and confirmed with InsideScoop that after so many years, he finally plans to renovate the space and be back with a new concept. The new Barbary Coast-themed Barbarossa, named after Hayreddin Barbarossa, a notorious pirate on Africa’s Barbary Coast.
The name Barbary Coast later referred to San Francisco’s red light district, its inception coming from the Gold Rush era in the late 19th to early 20th century, where dance halls, brothels, jazz, and saloons were aplenty. Barbary Coast SF encompassed a nine-block stretch that includes Pacific Avenue between Montgomery and Stockton Streets, near exactly where the ex-Bubble Lounge, and now Barbarossa, is located.
According to Hoodline, Benn claimed that during process of renovating, they had found shackles, further confirming that the space may have at one point housed a prison. Cell door tracings could be seen as well, according to Benn. This all lends heavily to the new theme of the space, based on the idea of restriction. Also, they're "using these symbols: corset, shoelace, suspenders. Anything enclosing."
Champagne and sparkling wine, the old Bubble Lounge’s claim to fame, will still be available though to a lesser degree. Patrons can also look forward to beer, a more extensive food menu, short of being an actual restaurant, with a focus on happy hour and specialty cocktails.
Also, there's a bar within the bar called “Bubble Lounge at Barbarossa”, just to continue the bubbly tradition, and the place will still feature dancing on the weekends.
Barbarossa - 714 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA - Expected to be open around Mid-October