Yee-haw? Westwood, a new country music bar from one of the guys behind The Brixton, Trademark & Copyright, Horsefeather, and Last Rites, is headed for the former Stock in Trade space on Lombard by late May.
Is San Francisco really craving another country-western bar? Are there a ton of currently under-served country music fans who will flock to a new bar that plays Jason Aldean and has a mechanical bull? We'll see! There is already one such bar in the Marina, Jaxson, which opened in 2014, and it doesn't enjoy the greatest Yelp rating (lots of reviews talk about rude bartenders and bouncers) — though this Chronicle reviewer enjoyed the place last year and said it offered a "chance for us San Franciscans to role-play as regular Americans."
Owner Kingston Wu is betting that the early-1980s are back again and that urban cowboys and cowgirls are going to rush to hoe-down (and line-dance?) at Westwood. As he tells Eater, "I think that you can be born in Burlingame and still embody country music, or born in Los Angeles or New York and still have a fascination for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Country is more of a spirit than a place."
That may be true, but if there were a legion of country fans around here, wouldn't acts like Aldean be showing up to do a show? (His current tour schedule has him bypassing NorCal altogether, making a single California stop in Ontario.) Tim McGraw is making a stop in Santa Rosa in June, but that's Santa Rosa. I expect there to be a bar with a mechanical bull in Santa Rosa.
Anyway, perhaps there are just enough transplants from country music country, and those who have a country sort of spirit, to make this place a success.
Per Eater, this baby is Wu's alone, with all his previous projects being other people's projects that he's silently or passively invested in. And he's pulling out all the stops, design-wise, he says, which includes constructing the 16-foot bull ring in the spacious, 6,000-square-foot bar.
We'll update you once we know the exact opening date.
Photo: Eli Christman