Following a remodel that more than doubles its footprint, Castro arcade bar Brewcade is reopening tonight with a lot more space, food and cocktails, and a new name pulled from the neighborhood's recent history: The Detour.
It's round three for the triangular space on the northwest corner of Market and Sanchez, and the rebranding of Brewcade comes as owners Shawn Vergara and Tiffny Vergara Chung take over the next-door space that was formerly home to Hecho and Botellon — both concepts having had a full bar and food menu, and both being fairly short-lived. Vergara and Vergara Chung, who also own Blackbird down the street, found a second success in their craft beer-focused arcade bar, which opened at 2200 Market Street (Suite B) in 2015. And after Botellon closed late last year, they saw an opportunity to expand their footprint into the larger space next door, adding a full kitchen and full bar for a combined 5,000 square feet.
The former Brewcade space now connects to the larger space, and the newly named Detour offers a full menu of pizzas, cocktails, and more, along with the craft beer list it was known for. The reason for the rebranding, the owners say, is that they didn't just want to be associated with "brews" now that they have a full bar — and an initial plan to call the place District 8, a play on both the Hunger Games and the actual supervisory district where the Castro sits, fell through after a legal challenge from SoMa wine bar District. Longtime Castro denizens, though, will remember the often highly sexual bar known as The Detour a block and a half up, where Beaux now resides — The Detour occupied the left half of that space, before it was expanded to its current form under the name Trigger.
"When we were just beer and games, the name Brewcade totally made sense to me," owner Shawn Vergara tells SFist. "We don't want people just to see us as an arcade. We want people to see us as a restaurant now, too."
The switch means that the business in the larger space is once again LGBT owned, following the closure of the also LGBT-owned Hecho in 2017 — the Andalé Management Group tried and failed to make a go of it in the space with Botellon, which barely lasted a year. And Vergara is hoping that the local community embraces the space the way they did Blackbird — and to a lesser extent, Brewcade.
Some of that comes with reviving the name Detour.
"I used to hang out at the Detour every Monday playing The Addams Family arcade game with my crew and listening to the best house music in the city," Vergara says. "As a gay man who came of age living and playing in this neighborhood, I wanted to honor the history and the culture of this place." To that end, the new space features art that stresses the fact that the new Detour is a gay-inclusive environment. "It's of course nothing like the old Detour, but I want the LGBT community to know that this is a space for them to come to eat and drink and play games and feel safe," he says.
The food menu, which you can see below, features three pizzas, two salads, small bites like wings and hummus, a grilled cheese, and a lemongrass beef sandwich with cabbage slaw, chili mayo, and pickles. Coming soon will also be a burger and a veggie burger.
The cocktail list was designed by Blackbird bar manager Matt Gripp, and primarily features riffs on classics, with the whole menu designed with speed in mind. That focus means there are five pre-made cocktails on draft, as well as a sangria and a frozen pina colada, all of which are pour-and-go. At the bar there are also three handmade drinks, five beers on draft, and 15 more in bottles and cans. Serving active game players will be a roving bar cart serving highballs and bottled draft cocktails, which replaces a traditional cocktail server.
Added to the mix of over a dozen video games at Brewcade will now be 16 more, for a total of 30, as well as Skee-ball, and 10 pinball machines.
Total capacity in the space is now 194, with 65 seats plus patio seating.
The hours, following the official opening on Friday, July 19, will be as follows: Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, noon to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to midnight.