The promised wine bar offshoot of Oakland's "vulgar fine-dining" outfit Hi Felicia has just opened in the former Terroir wine shop/bar space on Folsom Street — and they're serving Lean Cuisines and Chips Ahoy to accompany your natural wine.
There was a false-alarm story last summer, when Hi Felicia founder, the one-named Imana, announced and then rescinded her announcement that she was opening a wine bar in San Francisco called Sluts. The original plan was for the former Destino space on Mint Hill, but negotiations with the landlord seemed to collapse at the last minute, so Imana spoke too soon.
But Sluts lives on, and without warning, it just opened on Friday at 1116 Folsom Street, in the former Terroir space — which, itself, brought natural wines to the neighborhood over a decade ago. As Eater reports, the space has been decked out with purple velvet curtains, nude garden statues, a stripper pole, and a blue-lit chandelier — Willy Wonka glutton Violet Beauregard was reportedly on the mood board for the space.
Also: There's a neon piece behind the bar that asks, "Spit or Swallow?"
Sluts began life last year as a weekly pop-up at Hi Felicia (326 23rd Street in Oakland), and Imana tells Eater she feels like opening a brick-and-mortar wine bar is "a nice first step" toward becoming a full-fledged bar owner and restaurateur.
And it feels like the party vibe will be in keeping with other upstart wine bars like Bar Part Time in the Mission, which also got its start as a pandemic pop-up and where it's as much about the scene and the music as it is about the wine. As the Chronicle put it last year, natural wine "has become a sort of shorthand for Millennial-and-under bohemia," and "emblematic of a certain sort of urbanity."
"I just want people to come and have a really, really good time," Imana tells Eater. "I want people to have a place to be wild and crazy."
So, gone are the charcuterie boards and Bi-Rite cheeses, and the opening food menu instead features corner store junk food, essentially: Lunchables, Chips Ahoy cookies, Lean Cuisine frozen entrees, pizza rolls, and Cup O' Noodles.
Basically, despite the natural wine connection, Sluts is about as different as its predecessor Terroir — which specialized in European, biodynamic and organic producers and pricy cheese plates — as it can be, though the prices may be similar. Terroir announced its closure in September, after 15+ years, on Instagram.
If you're headed there, it's near 7th Street, and just look for the yellow facade with plastic dinosaur heads over the windows.