The beloved, 21-story-high view bar at the Beacon Grand, formerly the Sir Francis Drake, is undergoing a facelift, and we finally have a reopening date.
It's always been part cocktail lounge, part nightclub, and part retro supper club in the space atop the Union Square hotel that's now called the Beacon Grand. And hotel guests and San Franciscans alike will again get to party up there starting this winter. As the Chronicle reports today, February 2 is the opening date for Starlite, which is getting a makeover to its interior, menu, and cocktails.
Northview Hotel Group bought the Drake in 2021, and it reopened for guests last March after a hefty makeover to the rooms. The top-floor bar and restaurant, which had been Harry Denton's Starlight Room from the early 1990s to 2011, was called just The Starlight Room for most of the last decade, and briefly Lizzie's Starlight Room in 2019, before closing for the pandemic.
The venue has had a number of makeovers over the years, including one a decade ago, but the Chronicle describes this one as having an Art Deco vibe, with makeovers to the velvet banquettes and "an emerald and golden jewel tone color palette."
The bar menu is being overseen by consultant Scott Baird, a co-founder of Trick Dog, who tells the paper he wanted to create "celebratory" cocktails for the list, and saying, "We’re trying to go back to making fun and interesting drinks."
These include a version of the Porn Star Martini, dubbed the Clarified Pornstar, featuring with vanilla-flavored vodka, passion fruit, and a sidecar of Champagne, with edible glitter on the rim of the glass.
The food menu is being overseen by DC chef Johnny Spero, of Michelin-starred restaurant Reverie, and Ken Fulk alum Alice Crumeyrolle is doing the design.
On the good news front, the iconic spinning star atop the hotel is set to be relit and begin spinning again soon. And, also spinning once Starlite opens will be nightly DJs, hosting "listening parties featuring a mix of funk, soul, disco and groove." Does "listening parties" mean the dancefloor won't get used? That seems unlikely.
The openings of different parts of the Beacon Grand have been staggered, with the hotel reopening last spring, but the hotel bar and restaurant, The Post Room, just opening last month.
The big former Scala's space on the ground floor, facing Powell Street, is set to become a new French brasserie from the Left Bank team and chef Roland Passot, as we learned last year. But there's been no movement on that since, and reps for the hotel had no update on the opening timeframe for that.
Starlite - 450 Powell Street, 21st floor - Opening hours 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday to Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday - Opening February 2, but reservations are open now
Photo via Starlite